On Saturday, a classy field of 11 will go to post in the 75th running of the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International, a 1 1/2 mile trip around Woodbine's E.P. Taylor Turf Course for a guaranteed purse of $1.5 million, the richest race in Canada, with the winner earning a berth in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita on November 3. It is one of three Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" races to be run over the turf at Woodbine that afternoon.
Entries were taken and post positions were drawn at a special lunchtime ceremony at Woodbine's trackside hospitality tent, with double Paralympic gold medalist Summer Mortimer on hand as the honourary drawmaster, drawing the entry sheets out of the box while racing secretary Steve Lym drew the numbered pills in the traditional "double blind" system. Mortimer was interviewed by track announcer Dan Loiselle on stage, and explained how she became a Paralympian. While training on the trampoline at age 15 she landed on a concrete floor shattering both feet and ankles, and there was a possibility amputation would be necessary. However after multiple surgeries, her feet were saved but her trampoline career was over. Switching full-time to her other favorite sport, swimming, she went on to compete in the 2012 London Paralympics, winning gold in 100 meter backstroke and 50 meter freestyle along with silver in the 200 meter individual medley and bronze in the 100 meter freestyle. The 19-year-old will require further surgery while training up to the 2014 world championships and ultimately the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Imperial Monarch is the 3-1 morning line favorite and drew post 10 for trainer Aidan O'Brien, off a win in the Grand Prix de Paris (G1) at Longchamp. Assistant trainer T.J. Comerford said, “I think he’s had so little racing that he’s still learning (about a preferred racing style). The last time, he made it (the pace). It didn’t bother him. He’s got a great temperament. I just hope we see him at his best on Sunday. He’s been off (for three months) but at the same time, we’re getting him here thinking we’ve got him spot on. He’s got loads of ability. It depends on how competitive a race it is.” New jockey Ryan Moore gets the call on Sunday. Reliable Man, second in La Coupe de Maisons-Laffitte (G3) last out, is the 4-1 second choice out of post 7. The 2011 French Derby (G1) winner is winless since the 2012 Prix Niel (G2). Regular rider Olivier Peslier will be in the irons for trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre. 2010 Canadian International winner and last year's runner-up Joshua Tree is back for the third year in a row and is the 5-1 third choice out of post 8 for trainer Marco Botti. He was third in the Prix Foy (G2) last out at Longchamp. Jockey Frankie Dettori will be in the irons again Sunday.
The distaff counterpart to the International is the $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes (G1), presented by Emirates Airline, featuring a field of 13 older fillies and mares going 1 1/4 miles on the turf, with the winner earning an automatic entry in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf on November 5. Sun Chariot (G1) winner Siyouma is the 3-1 morning line favorite out of post 3, with regular rider Gerald Mosse in the irons for trainer Francois Doumen. Top American hope Dream Peace is the 7-2 second choice from post 5, with Ramon Dominguez getting the call for trainer Chad Brown.
The $500,000 Nearctic Stakes (G1) featuring 11 older horse sprinting 6 furlongs on the turf looking for a trip to the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. Play the King (G2) winner Big Band Sound will try to earn a trip to California for trainer Dan Vella and jockey Tyler Pizarro, and will face Fire Lily, winner of the Phoenix Sprint (G3) before finishing second in the Flying Five (G3) and third in the Renaissance (G3), all at the Curragh. Wayne Lordan gets the return call for trainer Dave Wachman.
Added to the card for this year is the $150,000 Durham Cup (G3) at 1 1/8 miles on the Polytrack. Arlington Million (G1) last place finisher Vertiformer ships in from Chicago for the cutback in distance and a return to synthetics for trainer Wayne Catalano, taking on top local hope Alpha Bettor, winner of the Seagram Cup (G3) two starts back for trainer Dan Vella.
Entries for the entire card are available from Equibase.
The Pattison Canadian International is the 10th race in an 11-race card at Woodbine Racetrack on Saturday, going to post at 5:44PM ET. Kicking off the stakes action is the Durham Cup (race 4) at 2:31pm with the Nearctic (race 5) at 2:55pm and the E.P. Taylor (race 8) at 4:23pm.
Free Brisnet Ultimate past performances for the entire 11-race Woodbine card is available here.
In addition, free past performances are available individually for all four stakes races:
Canadian International (search for Forte Dei Marmi)
E.P. Taylor Stakes (search for Kissable)
Nearctic Stakes (search for Hammers Terror)
Durham Cup (search for Vertiformer)
All horses will carry 126 pounds except Lay Time who gets 123 pounds as the only filly in the field and 3-year-old Imperial Monarch who will carry 119 pounds.
|1||Lay Time||Andrew Balding||Jimmy Fortune||20-1|
|2||Dandino||James Fanshawe||Jim Crowley||8-1|
|3||Forte Dei Marmi||Roger Attfield||John Velazquez||15-1|
|4||Scalo||Andreas Wohler||Andrasch Starke||12-1|
|5||Prince Will I Am||Michelle Nihei||Ramon Dominguez||20-1|
|6||Wigmore Hall||Michael Bell||Jamie Spencer||6-1|
|7||Reliable Man||Alain de Royer-Dupre||Olivier Peslier||4-1|
|8||Joshua Tree||Marco Botti||Frankie Dettori||5-1|
|9||Al Khali||Bill Mott||Garrett Gomez||10-1|
|10||Imperial Monarch||Aidan O’Brien||Ryan Moore||3-1|
|11||Air Support||Shug McGaughey||Javier Castellano||10-1|