Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 Play the King Stakes will take place at Woodbine Racetrack in beautiful Toronto, Ontario this Sunday, August 10. Horses three years old and upward will take to Woodbine's turf track and dash seven furlongs looking to score the winner's portion of the $200,000 purse.
A very good field of 10 will line up in the Play the Kings - race 6 on Woodbine's Sunday schedule. Post time is 3:33 PM. Here is a brief glance into the past performances of all 10 entries for this Grade 2 stakes - a major prep for the Woodbine Mile.
Dimension - defending champion in this race, British bred gelding made his first graded stakes start and finished a very good second in the Grade 3 Bold Venture Stakes last July 17 after shipping to North America in October. Last time out was an ugly ninth after a bad start in the Grade 2 Connaught Cup after a very good second in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland April 12 and a pair of OK fifths - in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile September 15 and in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. Before that was his impressive win at 10-1 odds in last year's Play the King Stakes August 25. He hopes to bounce back from an ugly effort and to record his first win since last year's edition of this race. Dimension will leave from gate 5 with David Moran aboard.
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 2013 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 three starts in 2014 - two wins including an Allowance score at Keeneland April 13 and a terrific win in the Grade 2 Connaught Cup on this track May 31 were followed by a good second last time out in the Grade 2 King Edward Stakes June 22. He has finished second in five stakes races on this track and has won another in nine attempts. Excaper should be near the top again Sunday with Emma-Jayne Wilson Silva in the saddle from post 7.
Winning Prize - multiple Grade 1 winner and Argentinean bred colt had eight starts at home with five wins and a second place finish including two straight wins (the Grade 1 Joaquin S. de Anchorena in December being the last). He has just six starts since - an Allowance Optional Claiming score in his North American debut at Del Mar August 22 after a nine month layoff, an OK fourth in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile October 5 at Keeneland, a decent third in the Grade 2 Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park November 29, a terrific win in the Grade 2 Arcadia Stakes February 1, a great win in the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile in March and a disappointing sixth last time out in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile June 14. Winning Prize has won two of his last three starts and looks to rebound from an uncharacteristic effort with Victor Espinoza in the irons from the outside post.
Kaigun - Mark Casse trained gelding looked good at the end of 2013 - a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream, a good third in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs November 16 and an Allowance score at Woodbine in August. He has six starts in 2014 - an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Gulfstream February 22 followed a fourth in a similar race on that same track January 17 to start his year. Last time out was a fifth in the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth July 6 after a good second behind Real Solution in the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes June 7 at Belmont Park, a fourth in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic May 3 and a good second in the Grade 1 Maker's 46 Mile behind the great Wise Dan at Keeneland in April. Kaigun has been in there with some top competition and has fared well. He starts from post 9 looking for his first stakes win with Patrick Husbands in the saddle.
Global Power - Thomas Amoss pupil has just two starts this year - an OK third last time out in the Grade 3 Jaipur Invitational at Belmont Park June 7 followed a sixth in an Allowance in May. His last win came a year ago in the minor West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker's Cup at Mountaineer - he has a pair of thirds in four starts since. Global Power has 25 career starts with seven wins, two seconds and five third place finishes but has placed in just one of six graded stakes starts - that coming last time out. Jacob Radosevich will ride hoping to bring Global Power his first graded stakes score from the rail.
Something Extra - Gail Cox trained gelding has just three starts this year - a terrific win last time in the Grade 2 Highlander Stakes followed a good second in the Grade 2 Connaught Cup in May and a third, just a length back in the Grade 3 Shakertown Stakes at Keeneland April 12. This after an ugly seven in the 2013 Highlander Stakes four back - July 7 on this track. He has placed in 15 of his last 17 starts overall with seven wins over that span and is expected to be competitive again Sunday. Eurico Rosa Da Silva will be in the reins from post 4.
Lockout - Mark Casse pupil is coming off an OK third in the Grade 3 Highlander Stakes here July 6 after a fifth in an Allowance in June and an Allowance Optional Claiming score here in May. He has six graded stakes starts with a second back in 2011 and the third last time out being his best results. Lockout has placed in just two of his last six starts overall and appears to be a tad difficult to trust this week. Gary Boulanger will be in the saddle from post 3.
Sharp Sensation - Reade Baker trained gelding enters off a disappointing fifth in the Grade 3 Parx Dash July 12 after a two race win streak - in the minor Karl Boyes Memorial at Presque Isle Downs June 9 and an Allowance Optional Claiming at Woodbine in May. He has four wins in seven career starts and hopes to rebound from a career worst result. Jesse Campbell gets the call from post 2.
Awesome Eclipse - made his stakes debut last time out and finished an OK fourth in the Grade 2 Highlander Stakes on this track July 6 after an Allowance score here June 13 and a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming also on this track in May. He has 16 career starts with four wins and three seconds and enters in decent form. Sheena Ryan rides from post 6.
The Brothers War - started his career in Europe where he posted three wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in eight starts. Since shipping The Brothers War has a second (last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Belmont Park) and a pair of thirds in four starts including the minor Quick Call Stakes at Saratoga a year ago. He makes his graded stakes debut and Woodbine debut from gate 8 with Alan Garcia in the reins from gate 8.