Las Vegas, NV - Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario will be the scene of the Grade 2 Connaught Cup Stakes on Saturday, May 31. Horses four years old and upward will be featured as they dash seven furlongs on Woodbine's turf track for a purse of $200,000.
Nine older entries have been confirmed for the Connaught Cup - race 8 on Woodbine's Saturday card. Post time is 4:39 PM. Here is a brief glance into the past performances of all nine combatants for this Grade 2 stakes.
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2014 Connaught Cup Stakes Race Favorite Entries
Something Extra - Gail Cox trained gelding won this race in 2012 and in 2013 - both in gate-to-wire fashion - he truly loves this race. He has just one start this year - a third, just a length back in the Grade 3 Shakertown Stakes at Keeneland April 12 after an ugly seven in the Grade 3 Highlander Stakes two back - July 7 on this track. He has placed in 13 of his last 15 starts overall with six wins over that span and returns to a race that he has dominated the last two years. Eurico Rosa Da Silva will be in the reins from post 6 Saturday.
Excaper - finished second in the 2011 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf and looked good in the summer of 2012 with a win and a pair of seconds. He had just four starts in 2013 - an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track July 19 after and eight month layoff, a very good second behind Dimension in the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes August 25, a sixth in the competitive Woodbine Mile September 15 and a ninth in the Grade 1 Nearctic Stakes here in October. Excaper has just one start in 2014 - an Allowance score at Keeneland April 13. He has finished second in four stakes races on this track and will be looking for his first stakes win Saturday with have Justin Stein in the saddle from the inside post.
Laugh Track - Mark Casse trained gelding has placed in 10 of 14 career but has placed in just one of his last four starts overall - a third in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland April 12. He had a troubled ninth after getting bumped in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct November 30, a seventh in the Grade 3 Gulfstream Park Sprint in February and an eighth last time out in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes May 3. Toward the end of 2013 he had a great second in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, a second in the Grade 3 Ogden Phoenix Stakes at Keeneland October 4 and a nice win in the Grade 3 Vigil Stakes at Woodbine in June. He has four wins, four seconds and two third place finishes in his career and has won or placed in all six starts on this track. Laugh Track will be looking for his first win since June on Saturday with Patrick Husbands aboard from gate 2.
Connaught Cup Stakes 2014 | Remaining Contenders
Occasional View - Kenneth McPeek trained gelding had a terrific win in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland April 12 and followed that with a good second last time out in the Grade 3 Vigil Stakes last time out on this track May 11. Before those results was a disappointing ninth in his 2014 debut - the minor Fifth Season Stakes at Oaklawn Park January 11. He ended 2013 with a third in the minor Prairie Bayou Stakes and a good second in the Grade 2 Autumn Stakes on this track in November. He has six wins, two seconds and four third place finishes in 21 career starts and has looked very good in his last two starts. He starts from gate 8 Sunday and is expected to challenge with Luis Contreras in the saddle.
River Seven - Ontario bred gelding entered the Donn Handicap on an impressive three race win streak - the minor Harlan's Holiday Stakes over the terrific Csaba here in record setting form December 22, the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs November 16 and the minor Labeeb Stakes at Woodbine in October but finished a disappointing tenth in the Donn - his only start of 2014. Before his win streak a string of good seconds including the Breeders' Stakes at Woodbine in June and the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie in July. River Seven has hit the board in 10 of 14 career starts and will be out to avenge a career worst performance last time out. Jesse Campbell will guide River Seven from the outside post.
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Mr. Online - enters this weekend on quite a roll - five wins and five seconds in his last 10 starts including three straight wins this past winter - a Starter Optional Claiming score January 24 after a win in the competitive listed El Prado Stakes December 28 and an Allowance Optional Claiming at Laurel Park in November. He enters having placed second in his last two starts - both graded stakes - the Grade 3 Appleton Stakes last time out at Gulfstream March 29 and the Grade 3 Canadian Turf Stakes on that same track in February. Mr Online has been at or near the top in every start the last 10 months and should be competitive Saturday. Mario Pino gets the call form gate 7.
Dimension - British bred gelding made his first graded stakes start and finished a very good second in the Grade 3 Bold Venture Stakes July 17 after shipping to North America in October. His first four races in North America were Allowance starts with a fourth at Keeneland in October being his best result. Last time out was a very good second in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland April 12 after a pair of fifths - in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile September 15 and in the Breeders' Cup Turf Spring. Before that was an impressive win at 10-1 odds in the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes on this track August 25. He has a win and a second in his last four starts overall with two fifths sandwiched in there and hopes for his first win of 2014 this Saturday. David Moran rides from post 3.
Run to the Bank - makes his graded stakes debut Saturday but is coming off a pair of Allowance Optional Claiming scores on this track this year. Last time out was a win May 16 after his victory April 19 and a second in a Starter Allowance to end 2013 - December 8. Run to the Bank has eight wins, 10 seconds and two third place finishes in 25 career start but enters in very good form. Gary Boulanger gets the mount from post 4.
Seekingthediamond - Roger Attfield trainee makes his stakes debut this weekend off an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Keeneland April 5 after a fifth and a sixth respectively in a pair of Allowance Optional Claiming races and an Allowance score back in July. Seekingthediamond has 11 career starts with three wins, four seconds and two third place finishes and steps up in competition in so-so form. Chantal Sutherland Kruse gets the call from post 5.
2014 Connaught Cup Stakes Entries & Odds
Race 8 on Woodbine Racetrack's Saturday card with a Post Time of 4:39 PM.
|1||Excaper||J. Stein||I. Black|
|2||Laugh Track||P. Husbands||M. Casse|
|3||Dimension (GB)||D. Moran||C. Murphy|
|4||Run to the Bank||G. Boulanger||N. Nosowenko|
|5||Seekingthediamond||C. Sutherland Kruse||R. Attfield|
|6||Something Extra||E. Da Silva||G. Cox|
|7||Mr. Online||M. Pino||M. Pino|
|8||Occasional View||L. Contreras||K. McPeek|
|9||River Seven||J. Campbell||N. Gonzalez|