Northern Dancer Turf Stakes 2013 Contenders at Woodbine Racetrack

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario will play host to the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes this Sunday, September 15. Horses three years old and upward will be after the winner's share of the $300,000 purse when they go 1 1/2 miles on Woodbine's turf track.

A field of seven will line up in the Northern Dancer Turf Stakes - race 8 on Woodbine's Sunday schedule. Post time is 4:32 PM. Let's take a look into the past performances of all eight combatants for this Grade 1 stakes.

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2013 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes Race Favorite Entries

Forte Dei Marmi - defending third place finisher in this race behind Wigmore Hall and Al Khali enters in very good form - off two consecutive stakes scores on this track - the Grade 2 Sky Classic by 2 1/2 lengths last time out and the Grade 3 Singspiel by 6 1/4 lengths July 7. This after an ugly ninth in the Grade 2 Dixie and a DNF in the Elkhorn. He did place in three straight around this time last year - a win in the Grade 2 Sky Classic, a third in the 2012 version of this race and another third in the Grade 1 Canadian International but he struggled a tad after that before finding his form again in July. Forte Dei Marmi is tough to beat when running well and that is precisely what he is doing right now for trainer Roger Attfield. He should be considered the favorite and breaks from post 5 with John Velazquez in the saddle.

Stormy Len - has looked good this year in placing in five of six starts. He is coming off a pair of good results at Arlington Park - a second to Admirable Kitten in the Grade 1 Secretarial August 17 and a third in the Grade 3 American Derby July 13. This after three straight Allowance races at Belmont Park yielded a win, a second and a third place finish. He is the only three year old in the field and should give the field a good run with Garrett Gomez guiding him.

Northern Dancer Turf Stakes 2013 | Remaining Contenders

Hampstead Heath - Brian Lynch trained gelding raced in graded stakes company for the first time in the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes here July 21 and finished a very good second and followed that with another second in the Grade 2 Sky Classic here August 18. Prior to those result he had 10 career starts with three wins, two second and four third place finishes. He has two wins, two seconds and two thirds in six starts in 2013 and proved in his last two races that a step up in competition was warranted. He stretches out in distance Sunday looking for his first stakes win.

Irish Mission - Canada's top 3-year-old filly last year will try to give her trainer Mark Frostad his seventh Northern Dancer victory. Last time out was a fifth in the Grade 2 Northern Dancer after an Allowance score here July 24. She had some success earlier this year - a third in the Grade 3 Orchid at Gulfstream and a second in the Grade 2 Nassau on this track and she did win the Breeders' Stakes in Canada last year among her three victories in 2012 - so we know that she can run with the best. She was fifth in this race last year and hopes to better that this week.

Northern Dancer Turf Stakes betting at Woodbine Racetrack with

Hotep - his last win was 11 starts ago. He followed that with a second in last year's Nijinsky Stakes in July behind Riding the River and continued his inconsistent ways in 2012 - a disappointing sixth in the Grade 2 Sky Classic here, a fourth in the minor Robert F. Carey Memorial Handicap at Hawthorne October 6, a third in the 2012 Autumn Stakes and a second in a minor stakes race to end the year. Hotep has five starts in 2013 - a fourth in an Allowance at Keeneland in April, a fifth in the Grade 2 Connaught Cup Stakes here May 26, an OK third in the Grade 2 King Edward Stakes June 23 behind Riding the River again, a sixth in the Grade 2 Nijinsky July 21 and an OK fourth last time out in the Grade 2 Sky Classic August 18. Trainer Malcolm Pierce hopes the extra distance will be enough to get Hotep over the top but his form doesn't suggest a huge breakout here.

Turkish - Races in stakes company for the first time Sunday for trainer Reader Barker but enters having won two straight races on this track - an Allowance July 28 and a MSW June 22. He has two wins, two seconds and a third place finish in 11 career starts but takes an enormous leap up in competition Sunday.

Perfect Timber - Another Roger Attfield trainee has just five career starts but is coming off a career-worst effort - a sixth in the Grade 2 Sky Classic here August 18. Before that was a good second in the Grade 2 Singspiel behind Forte Dei Marmi and an Allowance score. He has looked good in his limited action and is an intriguing name ahead of the Northern Dancer.

2013 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes Entries & Odds

Race 8 on Woodbine Racetrack's Sunday card with a Post Time of 4:32 PM.

Entry Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Hampstead Heath E. Wilson B. Lynch
2 Forte Dei Marmi (GB) E. Da Silva R. Attfield
3 Irish Mission G. Boulanger M. Frostad
4 Hotep L. Contreras M. Pierce
5 Perfect Timber J. Velazquez R. Attfield
6 Stormy Len G. Gomez D. Donk
7 Turkish G. Stevens R. Baker

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