Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes is on tap for Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario this Sunday, September 13. Horses three years old and upward will be featured in this 1 1/2 mile turf test as they seek the winner's share of the $300,000 purse.
The Northern Dancer Turf has attracted a field of nine to go in race 6 on Woodbine's stacked Sunday schedule. Post time is 3:32 PM. Here is a peek into the credentials of all nine combatants for this Grade 1 stakes.
The Pizza Man - impressive gelding enters this weekend absolutely on fire - five straight stakes wins including the minor American St. Legere Stakes August 16, the Grade 3 Stars and Stripes Stakes July 12 and the minor Black Tie Affair Stakes in June - all at Arlington to go along with two minor stakes scores to end his 2013 campaign. The Pizza Man makes his Woodbine debut Sunday with Florent Geroux aboard from the rail.
Reporting Star - Pat Parente pupil enters this weekend off a good second in the Grade 2 Sky Classic Stakes on this track August 16 after a three race win streak - all Allowance races here - the last coming July 27. He has placed in all five graded stakes starts in his career including the second last time out, a third in last year's Grade 3 British Columbia Derby, seconds in the Grade 3 Canadian Derby and the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes last summer and a third in the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes in March, 2013. Reporting Star has four wins, four seconds and six third place finishes in 15 career starts and will depart from post 2 with Justin Stein in the reins.
Karibu Gardens - made his stakes debut one to remember - a win last time out over Reporting Star in the Grade 2 Sky Classic Stakes here August 16 for trainer Josie Carroll after seven career starts yielded three wins and a third place finish - one of those wins coming two back - an Allowance Optional Claiming here July 20. He has looked very good an opened a few eyes with his Sky Classic score - Karibu Gardens has to be confident after two straight wins. Luis Contreras gets the call from gate 4.
Sheikhzayedroad - British bred gelding makes his North American debut off a pair of Stakes wins in Britain - listed Fred Archer Stakes at Newmarket and the group II Skybet York Stakes at York. He has 20 career starts with seven wins including a win at Meydan and a group 3 race in Britain, three seconds and four third place finishes but debuts in the best form of his career. Martin Lane rides from gate 8.
Aldous Snow - Malcolm Pierce trainee enters off a disappointing sixth in the Grade 2 Sky Classic Stakes here August 16 after a two race win streak - the Grade 3 Singspiel Stakes ahead of Perfect Timber and Forte Dei Marmi on this track July 6 and an Allowance Optional Claiming in June. Aldous Snow has 21 career starts with four wins, five seconds and two third place finishes but has won two of his last three. He hopes to bounce back from any ugly effort last time out with Eurico Rosa Da Silva in the saddle from post 7.
Perfect Timber - Roger Attfield trainee has 11 career starts with two wins and three second place finishes. Last time out was a pedestrian seventh in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga August 17 after a good second in the Grade 3 Singspiel Stakes at Woodbine, a sixth in the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap in May, an eighth in an Allowance in April and a tenth to end his 2013 campaign - in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International Stakes. He did finish second in this race last year but has failed to place in five of six starts since. John Velazquez has the call from the outside post.
Dynamic Sky - Mark Casse trained colt looked very good early in his career - highlighted by a second in the Grade 1 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland in October, 2012. He went on to a sixth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, a win in the minor Pasco Stakes and a good second in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes in February 2013. He has been up and down since. Last time out was a fifth in the Grade 2 Sky Classic after a good second in the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes here July 19, a decent third behind Aldous Snow and ahead of Forte Dei Marmi in the Grade 3 Singspiel here July 6 and an Allowance score on this track. He also had a nice win in the minor Plate Trial Stakes on this track last June. Dynamic Sky has been in there with some of the best but will be looking for his first graded stakes score Sunday. Joel Rosario rides from gate 6.
Villandry - has 15 career starts with four wins, a second and a third place finish for trainer Charles LoPresti - one win and a second place finish in five starts this year. He is coming off a fifth in the minor Lure Stakes at Saratoga August 2 after an OK fourth in the Grade 2 Firecracker Stakes at Churchill Downs in June, a second in the minor Opening Verse Stakes in May and an Allowance Optional Claiming score also in May. Villandry has yet to place in three graded stakes starts but hopes to take the next step with Javier Castellano in the reins from gate 5.
Forte Dei Marmi - Roger Attfield reigning Canadian Champion grass horse won this race last year and finished third the year before. He also won the Grade 3 Sky Classic Stakes on this track last August during a streak of three straight graded stakes scores but has failed to place in six starts since. He enters off a seventh in the Grade 2 Sky Classic after a pair of fourths - the Grade 3 Singspiel Stakes here and the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap back in May. Forte Dei Marmi has 10 wins, a second and five third place finishes in 38 career starts and finds himself in the midst of a long slump. David Moran rides hoping to change Forte Dei Marmi's fortunes from post 3.
Race 6 on Woodbine Racetrack's Sunday card with a Post Time of 3:32 PM.
||The Pizza Man
||Forte Dei Marmi (GB)
||E. Da Silva