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2012 Pattison Canadian International

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Joshua Tree wins the 2012 Canadian International
Joshua Tree wins the 2012 Canadian International

Joshua Tree wins the 2012 Canadian International at Woodbine

© Cindy Pierson Dulay
October 14, 2012

Horses from North America and Europe came to Woodbine for Saturday's $1.5 million Pattison Canadian International (G1), a 1 1/2 mile trip over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course. It is the richest horse race in Canada and a "Win and You're In" Breeders' Cup Challenge race for the Breeders' Cup Turf. After Al Khali scratched due to the less than firm conditions, a field of 10 older horses went 1 1/2 miles on Sunday afternoon, one complete lap of Woodbine's E.P. Taylor Turf Course. Overnight rain downgraded the course to good, with a race time temperature of 70 degrees and 11 MPH headwind through the stretch under dark overcast conditions. Imperial Monarch was sent off as the 9-5 favorite, 3 for 4 lifetime including wins in the Classic Trial (G3) at Sandown and the Grand Prix de Paris (G1) at Longchamp. In to challenge him included 4-1 second choice Joshua Tree, winner of this race in 2010 and runner-up last year, off a third in the Prix Foy (G2 at Longchamp, and 9-2 third choice Reliable Man, second in La Coupe de Maisons-Laffitte (G3) last out.

Jockey Frankie Dettori sent Joshua Tree to the lead first time past the stands and he set easy fractions of 25.52m 51.59, 1:17.17, 1:43.05, and 2:07.41 while pressed by 12-1 Air Support and 46-1 Lay Time. At the 3/16 pole Dettori asked him for run and Joshua Tree opened up a 2 length advantage over 8-1 Forte Dei Marmi who moved up from 5th. 2501 Dandino, 7th early, put in a strong 6 wide rally but Joshua Tree held him off by 1/2 a length at the line for the hard-fought gate-to-wire victory in 2:30.89 over the firm course. It was another 1/2 length back to Forte Dei Marmi third.

Results chart

Also on the card were the E.P. Taylor Stakes (G1), Nearctic Stakes (G2), and Durham Cup (G3).

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