Nijinsky Stakes at Woodbine

Dave Bond, OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes is on tap for this Sunday, July 22nd from Woodbine Race Track. Woodbine's turf track will be the scene as horses three years old and upward go 1 1/8 miles for a nice purse of $300,000.

The Nijinsky Stakes has attracted a small but quality field of six to go in race 8 on Woodbine's Sunday card. Post time is 4:39 PM. Let's take a look at the recent performances of the six entries and what brought them to this Grade 2 race.

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2012 Nijinsky Stakes Race Favorites

Imagining - ended 2011 with a very impressive second place finish in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby in November and in his only two starts this year he has posted two wins - an Allowance at Belmont in May and an Allowance Optional Claiming last time out by six lengths over nine furlongs on that same track on June 29th. Imagining ships from New York for this race and is the early line favorite based on his recent results.

Pender Harbour - won two-thirds of the Canadian Triple Crown last year and is coming off a decent second last time out in the Grade 3 Dominion Day Stakes to Hunters Bay here on July 1st. That result followed a win at the Steady Growth Stakes here on June 17 th which followed a rather disappointing ninth in the Grade 3 Eclipse - in his 2012 debut. He won last year's top honours as the country's champion three-year-old male for a reason however. Pender Harbour finished his 2011 campaign with three wins and a second in his last five races - the lone poor performance coming in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx in September. Despite one unflattering recent performances Pender Harbour appears to be back on track for the Nijinsky.

Riding the River - has raced exclusively at Woodbine and has reportedly been looking very good of late. He has 17 career starts with seven wins a second and a third place finish. His best career result came last time out - an impressive win in the Grade 1 King Edward Stakes here on June 24th. Other impressive results for Riding the River include the Grade 2 Play the Kings Stakes - a second behind Havelock. In 2012 Riding the River has a seventh in an Allowance Optional Claiming and a fourth in the Grade 2 Connaught Cup Stakes and that win in the King Edward. If the King Edward is any indication, Riding the River should be in the hunt Sunday.

Nijinsky Stakes 2012 | Remaining Field Entries

Hollinger - Canadian Champion Hollinger most recently finished third in the Grade 1 King Edward Stakes here to follow a second in an Allowance race at Woodbine. Before that Hollinger finished a rather pedestrian fifth at the Grade 1 Maker's 46 Mile Stakes at Keeneland. Prior to that was a respectable second in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap in February and before that he benefitted from Yummy With Butter's misfortune and was moved up to second in the Grade 3 Ft. Lauderdale. Hollinger has placed in seven of his last eight starts - the Maker's 46 Mile being the only blemish. He has three second place finishes and a third in five starts in 2012.

Nijinsky Stakes betting at Woodbine with OffTrackBetting.com

Kara's Orientation - won the Grade 2 Sky Classic Stakes in August after another win in an Allowance in July. However since that time she has not been the same - a pair of 11ths in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile Stakes and the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International Stakes were followed up with a seventh in the Labeeb Stakes in October, a sixth in an Allowance on May 12th and eighth in the Grade 2 Connaught Cup Stakes and a third last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming - all races on this track.

Hotep - ended 2011 with consecutive sixth place finishes on this track - the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes and the Grade 2 Autumn Stakes but did record a win last time out here in an Allowance Optional Claiming on June 16th.

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