Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 3 Valedictory Stakes is on tap for Woodbine in Toronto, Ontario this Sunday, December 7. Horses three years old and upward will take to Woodbine's All Weather Track and race 1 3/4 miles for a $150,000 purse.
A field of nine older entries will take part in the Valedictory Stakes - race 10 on Woodbine's Sunday schedule. Post time is 5:24 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all nine combatants for this Grade 3 marathon on closing day of the 2014 Woodbine meet.
Turkish - Tino Attard trained finished sixth in this race last year and has just five starts since - two wins, a second and a third place finish over that span. Last time out was an incredible 11 length score in a 1 5/8 mile Allowance race after a second in a Starter Allowance, a third in a Claiming and an Optional Claiming score in August. He has yet to place in two graded stakes races but has looked good against lesser competition. Emma-Jayne Wilson will be aboard looking for Turkish's first stakes score from post 4 as his trainer can continue his good fortune in this race.
Pender Harbour - Michael DePaulo trainee has three wins, two seconds and a third place finish in eight starts this year but races in graded stakes company for the first time since August when he finished fifth in the Grade 3 Seagram Cup on this track. Since then she has three minor stakes starts - a fourth as favorite last time out in the Bunty Lawless Stakes followed a third in the Overskate Stakes and a win in the OLG Elgin Stakes. Earlier this year he had a second in an Allowance July 6 after a minor stakes score - the Steady Growth Stakes June 8 on this track. He did finish third in the Grade 2 Autumn Stakes in November - the only time he placed in graded stakes action since 2012. Pender Harbour has 33 career starts with 11 wins (including two thirds of the 2011 Canadian Triple Crown), six seconds and six third place finishes. He has eight wins on this track and has been OK lately. Luis Contreras rides from gate 2 as Pender Harbor looks for his first ever graded stakes win in his longest race ever.
Manighar - multiple Grade 1 winner in Australia - well traveled Christophe Clement trained French bred gelding made his North American debut May 3 and finished ninth in the Grade 3 Fort Marcy Stakes and followed that with another ninth in the Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap at Woodbine November 15. His last two starts in Europe resulted in a pair of fifteenth place finishes. He has 43 career starts with 10 wins, seven seconds and five third place finishes and hasn`t hit the board since June, 2013. He hasn't looked good lately but hopes to snap a long slump from the rail with Patrick Husbands in the saddle for new trainer Graham Motion.
Cozy Kitten - is coming off a sixth in the Grade 2 Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland October 16 after an ugly eighth in the Kentucky Turf Cup September 13 which followed a Claiming score at Saratoga August 16 and a third in a similar race at Saratoga August 3. He also had an eighth in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida in February. Cozy Kitten has 13 starts in 2014 already with two wins and three third place finishes but hasn't placed in graded stakes company since October, 2011. Rafael Manuel Hernandez has the mount from post 3.
Royal Blessing - Michael Maker trainee has just one second place finish in five starts this year - four wins, a second and a third place finish in 15 career starts. He makes his stakes debut Sunday off a second in a Claiming race at Belmont Park October 9 and four straight off-the-board finishes. Justin Stein has been tabbed to ride from gate 5 as Royal Blessing looks for his first win since November, 2013.
Bingo Kitten - makes his stakes debut Sunday for Michael Maker having recorded one win, two seconds and three third place finishes in nine career starts. He enters off a third in an Allowance at Churchill Downs November 1 after consecutive seconds in similar races this past fall. Bingo Kitten will be after his first win since his debut in September, 2013 with Jesse Campbell in the irons from the outside post.
Marathon Run - races in stakes company for the first time Sunday having posted two wins and two third place finishes in 12 career starts. He won an Allowance here October 29 but followed that with a fifth last time out in an Optional Claiming also on this track November 23. Marathon Run looks over his head in this one when he leaves from post 6 with Tommy Wong in the reins.
Desvelo - Argentinean trained gelding had two wins at home before shipping. Since arriving in America he has eight starts with a Claiming score at Monmouth Park in June being his best result. Last time out was a fifth in a Starter Allowance at Woodbine November 10, a sixth in the minor Temperence Hill Invitational at Belmont Park in October and a second and third respectively in a pair of Starter Allowance races at Saratoga this past summer. David Moran gets the mount from post 7.
Quiet Country - has nine career starts with two wins and two third place finishes - Sunday marks his stakes debut. He enters having won two of his last three starts however - an Allowance last time out and a maiden score three back in his seventh career start with a third in an Allowance sandwiched in there. He makes a huge step up in competition in decent form from gate 8 with Gary Boulanger aboard.
Race 10 on Woodbine's Sunday card with a Post Time of 5:24 PM.
||M. De Paulo