Could you keep up to all the stakes race action from coast-to-coast on Saturday?

Belmont and Keeneland had major races featuring horses entertaining trips to the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs in 3 weeks.

Some of the results bordered of head-scratching (so to the results at Woodbine in the fog on Saturday) and sifting through the races, how they were run and what horse will peak in the BC will be the challenge heading to the two-day year-end championships.

While racing trucks along through 3 days of this long weekend, Woodbine’s final, major racing date is next Saturday with the Pattison Canadian International (Grade 1), the 1 1/2 mile tour of the Taylor Turf that is a favourite race of many on the calendar.

The E P Taylor Stakes and Nearctic are also on the card.

One of the first visitors to arrive is DESERT ENCOUNTER, trained by David Simcock, who has had plenty of success with his Euro shippers to Woodbine.

Desert Encounter is a 6-year-old gelding by Halling and a Group 3 winner of 7 races.

Joining him on the flight was the Roger Varian trainee SHEIKA REIKA, a fast improving filly by Shamardal who was a big winning of the listed Yarmouth Stakes in her last start.


DESERT ENCOUNTER arrives at Woodbine – Karl Lagerborg photo


SHEIKHA REIKA – for the E.P. Taylor Stakes – Karl Lagerborg photo


















Arklow (Arch) – Donegal Racing, Bulger, Joseph and Coneway, Peter – Brad H. Cox – TBA   100, 92, 96, Won Ky Cup

Bandua (The Factor)  – Calumet Farm – Jack Sisterson – Adam Beschizza  84, 92  3rd Secretariat Stakes

Desert Encounter (IRE) (Halling)  – Abdulla Al Mansoori – David Simcock – Harry Bentley, Gr 3 winner, Listed Winner 2018

English Illusion (English Channel) – 4U Thoroughbred Racing Stable Inc. – Sylvain Pion – Rafael Hernandez, 96, 98, 93, 3rd Northern DancerS

Focus Group (Kitten’s Joy) – Klaravich Stables & William H. Lawrence – Chad C. Brown – Jose Ortiz 100, 96, 89  John’s Call S.

Funtastic (More Than Ready)   – Three Chimneys Farm – Chad C. Brown – John Velazquez 92, 102, 96. Grade 1 United Nations

Johnny Bear (English Channel) – Colebrook Farms and Bear Stables, Ltd. – Ashlee Brnjas – Luis Contreras 98 95, 95 Northern Dancer S

Khan (GER) (Santiago)– Darius Racing – Hank Grewe – Clement Lecoeuvre; won for second time at 20 to 1 in Group 1 Preis Von Europa

Markitoff (Giant’s Causeway) – Three Diamonds Farm – Michael J. Maker – TBA 98, 88, 88 4th Northern dancer

Mekhtaal (GB) (Sea the Stars) – Al Shaqab Racing – H. Graham Motion – 97, 96, 88,  Alan Garcia  2nd Northern Dancer

Spring Quality (Quality Road) – Augustin Stable – H. Graham Motion – Edgar Prado 55,100, 102; Grade 1 winner; eased up Sept 29 soft turf Belmont

Thundering Blue (Exchange Rate)  – Clive Washbourn – David Menuisier – Fran Berry – 3rd Group 1, Group 3 winner

Tiz a Slam (Tiznow) – Chiefswood Stable – Roger L. Attfield – Steve Bahen  94, 95, 96 – 6th Northern Dancer, won Gr 2 Nijinsky



Just one local mare tabbed to race in the 1 1/4 mile ‘Taylor, last year’s champion Turf Female Starship Jubilee.

Horse – Owner – Trainer – Jockey

Elysea’s World (IRE) – Sheep Pond Partners and All Pro Racing LLC – Chad C. Brown – Joe Bravo; 94, 96, 86. Grade 3 winner, 2nd at Woodbine in Canadian S. last year

Golden Legend (FR) – Mrs. Henri Devin – H.F. Devin – TBA  Group 3 French filly

Pollara (IRE) – Peter M. Brant and Allen Stable Inc. – Chad C. Brown – Irad Ortiz Jr.  Group 3 winner

Proctor’s Ledge – Patricia L. Moseley – Brendan P. Walsh – John Velazquez; 96, 97 97

Santa Monica (GB) – Mrs. John Magnier, Madaket Stables LLC and Deron Pearson – Chad C. Brown – Jose Ortiz; 89, 100, 93; won Grade 2 Dance Smartly at Woodbine

Sheikha Reika (FR) – Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum – Roger Varian – TBA – 2-time winner, improving listed winner

Sky Full of Stars (GER) – Gestut Karlshof – Hank Grewe – TBA;  Group 2 in Germany

Starship Jubilee – Soli Mehta and Kevin Attard – Kevin Attard – Luis Contreras; 104, 93, 85; ran race of her life to win Canadian last out

Summer Luck – Gary Barber – Mark E. Casse – TBA; 86, 78, 86



MAZARINE GRADE 3 – 2-YEAR-OLD FILLIES – WOODBINE (some files from Woodbine media)  It was a big day on Saturday for trainer Mike Doyle who sent out three winners, all fillies, including Bill Graham’s TIZ BREATHTAKING who won her 2nd stakes races of the season and stamped herself the top 2yo filly in the country.

The Tiznow gal came from last place and won a 3-horse photo over Godolphin’s Carnival Colors and Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Comic Kitten. Ridden by, who else?, Eurico da Silva, Tiz Breathtaking is from the Elusive Quality mare I’m Breathtaking, the dam of three other winners including major 2yo stakes winner Matador.

“She had a lot of work to do and then she was very wide because it was the only place to go. There was no point going up the inside,” said Doyle. “I was certainly worried — I wasn’t sure she if she got there or not — but I knew she’d come running and I knew the trip wouldn’t be a problem.”
Doyle mentioned the November 4 Princess Elizabeth, a 1 1/16-mile race for Canadian-bred two-year-old fillies, as a logical target for Tiz Breathtaking but was keeping an ace up his sleeve.
“We might maybe talk about the Breeders’ Cup for two minutes, just in case,” said Doyle. “She got a few points, just in case it made any sense. It probably doesn’t, but it may do some other time.”

The Tiznow filly was the only stakes winner in the Mazarine line-up but was traveling beyond 5 ½ furlongs for the first time and making her first start in nine weeks.

Some Beyer Figures from winners of major stakes races Saturday:

Next Shares (G1 Shadwell), 106 – (Breeders’ Cup Mile) *Canadian-bred Heart to Heart got burned out in a pace duel and finished well back

Knicks Go (G1 Br. Futurity), 81 (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile)  70 to 1, led all the way
Complexity 94 (BC Juvenile)
A Raving Beauty (G1 First Lady), 102 (BC Cup Mile or F & M Turf)
Wow Cat 93 (Distaff)

THOROUGHBLOG will have continued updates through the long weekend while time permits, with the twice-weekly ENEWS sent out Tuesday.