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Las Vegas, NV - The Ricoh Woodbine Mile Stakes is set for Woodbine Racetrack in beautiful Toronto, Ontario this Sunday, September 13. Horses three years old and upward will be featured as they take to Woodbine's turf track and race one mile for the winner's share of the $1 million purse.
A terrific field of 11 will line up in the Woodbine Mile - race 10 on Woodbine's Sunday schedule. Post time is 5:45 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all 11 entries for this lucrative, prestigious and sadly lacking Wise Dan Grade 1 stakes - also a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Breeders Cup Mile October 31.
Lea 5-2 - Bill Mott trainee colt has 17 career starts and has hit the board in all except a fourth in the 2013 Forego Stakes, a fifth in the Grade 2 Fayette Stakes at Keeneland that same year and a disappointing dud sixth last time out in the Grade 1 Whitney at Saratoga August 8. He returned after nearly a year away from racing in January and won the Grade 3 Hal's Hope Stakes earlier this year and continued to look good after that. Two starts back was a second behind Noble Bird in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap June 13 which followed a third behind Prince Bishop and California Chrome in the $10 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan in March and a second in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap in February. Lea looks for his first win since January and a strong bounce back from an uncharacteristic effort in his last race. Joel Rosario gets the call on the field's leading money winner and the morning line favorite from gate 10 in his first start on turf in two years.
Obviously 3-1 - multiple Grade 1 winner - Irish bred gelding was last seen running fifth in the Breeders' Cup Mile - a result that followed a fourth in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap in August, 2014 and two straight graded stakes scores - the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile in June and the Grade 3 American Stakes in May - he won both of those races two straight years. He has 22 career starts with 11 wins, four seconds and two third place finishes and was a bit tough to figure out before his layoff. Obviously looks to snap a two race losing streak and to become the oldest winner in Woodbine Mile history in his first start in over 10 months - from the rail with Joe Talamo in the saddle of the morning line second choice.
Mondaliste 9-2 - Irish bred David O'Meara trainee makes his North American debut Sunday after 14 career starts at home yielded three wins, three second and five third place finishes. He enters on a two race win streak - both Stakes races in Britain - one at York August 22 and the other at Pontefract July 26. Before that was a disappointing fourteenth and consecutive third place finishes. Mondaliste has placed in six of his last seven starts overall and seems to be peeking for his North American bow. Fergal Lynch has been tabbed to ride from post 7 Sunday.
Grand Arch 6-1 - finished fifth as second betting choice in this race last year after a second in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap in August, 2014 and a win in the Grade 2 King Edward Stakes at Woodbine last June. Grand Arch had been disappointing since before a terrific win last time out in the 2015 Grade 2 Fourstardave - he had a career best 102 Beyer Speed Figure in that race. Before the win was a fifth in the minor Forbidden Apple Stakes at Belmont Park July 11, a sixth in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic in May, an Allowance score in April and an eleventh in the Breeders' Cup Mile. He has placed in just one of his last three starts overall but that result was a great win. Grand Arch hopes to carry some momentum into this weekend when he departs from gate 2 with Luis Saez guiding him.
Mr. Owen 8-1 - has six career starts for trainer Francois Rispoli with three wins, a second and a third place finish. He makes his North American debut after a stakes win in France August 4, a sixth in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat in July and a third in the French 2000 Guineas (G1) at Long champ in May. Mr. Owen has been competitive virtually every time out and hopes that his success in Europe translates Sunday. Umberto Rispoli gets the call from gate 8.
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Tower of Texas 12-1 - Roger Attfield trained gelding raced in graded stakes company for the first time June 21 and posted an impressive win in the Grade 2 King Edward Stakes with an eye-opening 98 Beyer Speed Figure on this track. It followed two more wins - an Allowance Optional Claiming here May 31 and an Allowance win May 10 also here. He enters on the heels of consecutive runner-up finishes - the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes here August 23 and an Allowance July 31. He has three wins and two second place finishes in his last five starts overall and is obviously in good form heading into the weekend. Eurico Rosa Da Silva has been tabbed to keep the impressive roll going as Tower of Texas - from gate 6.
Reporting Star 15-1 - Pat Parente pupil has placed in his last four starts overall. Last time out was a career defining win at 15-1 odds in the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes here August 23. It followed a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming here July 12, a second in the Florida Sunshine Millions Turf back in January and a second in the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap at Gulfstream Park West in November. He also had a good second in the Grade 2 Sky Classic Stakes August 16 last year and a three race win streak - all Allowance races at Woodbine. He has placed in 17 of his last 18 starts overall and seven of eight graded stakes tries. Reporting Star looks for his second straight graded stakes score from the outside post 11 with Luis Contreras aboard.
Kaigun 20-1 - 2014 winner of the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes and defending runner-up in this race Mark Casse trained gelding also finished second in two other Grade 1 stakes last year - the Manhattan Stakes in June and behind Wise Dan in the Maker's Mile in Keeneland. He has just three starts this year which resulted in a third last time out in the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes here August 23, a third in an Allowance here July 31 and a fourth in the Grade 2 Arcadia Stakes at Santa Anita in January. He ended 2014 with a terrific win over Za Approval the Grade 2 Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar November 28 but also had a tenth in the Breeders' Cup Mile. Kaigun has three wins, a second and two third place finishes in eight starts at Woodbine and will be looking for his first win of 2015 Sunday. Patrick Husbands gets the call from post 9.
Za Approval 20-1 - had a win, a second and a third place finish in six starts last year and has placed in his last four starts overall - a second last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming here August 28 and three straight third place finishes - the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes July 19, the Grade 3 Vigil Stakes on this track May 17 and in the Grade 1 Maker's 46 Mile in April. Za Approval was at his best in 2013 - a second behind Wise Dan in the Breeders' Cup Mile, wins in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker Stakes, Grade 3 Red Bank Stakes and Grade 3 Appleton Stakes to go along with runner-up finishes in Grade 1 races - the Shoemaker Mile and the Woodbine Mile. He now has eight wins, nine seconds and four third place finishes in 31 career starts and enters in decent form. Za Approval looks for his first win in over a year Sunday when he departs from gate 4 with David Moran in the irons.
Platinum Glory 30-1 - has placed in five of nine career starts for trainer Michael De Paulo - a win, three seconds and a third place finish. He made his stakes debut June 21 and finished a good second in the Grade 2 King Edward Stakes here but followed that with a disappointing seventh in the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes July 19 and an equally disappointing fifth last time out in the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes here August 23. He had a second in an Allowance here May 24, a third in a similar race in November and a maiden score on this track in October in his fourth start. Platinum Glory has failed to place in his last two starts and hopes to change all of that around this weekend - from 3 with Jesse Campbell aboard.
Turncoat 30-1 - Laurie Silvera trained gelding makes his stakes debut Sunday having recorded four wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 16 career starts. Last time out was a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming here August 23 which followed a fourth in an Allowance July 31 and a Claiming score July 18 - his only victory in the last 14 months. Turncoat steps up with Omar Moreno in the resins from post 5.
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