OffTrackBetting.com - The Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes comes our way this Saturday, September 17 from Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario. Horses three years old and upward will take to Woodbine's turf track and race 1 1/2 miles searching for the winner's share of the $300,000 purse.
Eight older turfers will give it a go in the Northern Dancer Turf Stakes - race 10 on Woodbine's stacked Saturday schedule. Post time is 5:31 PM. Let's take a look into the past performances of all eight entries for this intriguing Grade 1 stakes.
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2016 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes Race Preview at Woodbine Racetrack
World Approval 2-1 - Mark Casse trained gelding has six wins, two seconds and three third place finishes in 16 career starts. He put his name on the radar with a win in July, 2015 in the Grade 3 American Derby and has been decent since. Last time out was a bit of a step back however - a seventh in the Grade 1 Arlington Millions August 13. Before that was a good win in the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park July 3, an OK third behind the terrific Flintshire in the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes at Belmont Park June 11, a second behind Divisidero in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic May 7, another second in the Grade 2 Muniz Memorial Handicap at Fair Grounds in March and an Allowance Optional Claiming score three weeks before that. He also won the Grade 3 Saranac Stakes last year. World Approval has been competitive virtually every time out but will be chasing a strong bounce back from an uncharacteristic effort. Julien Leparoux will be in the reins of the morning line favorite from gate 6.
Wake Forest 5-2 - German bred Chad Brown Group 3 winner at home has seven wins, a second and two third place finishes in 15 career starts. He made his North American debut last August and finished sixth in the Grade 1 Arlington Millions and was forced to the sidelines for eight months. He returned April 2 and posted a respectable second, a head behind Kaigun in the Grade 2 Pan American Stakes at Gulfstream and followed that with a terrific win at this distance in the Grade 1 Man o' War Stakes at Belmont Park May 14. He followed that with an OK third in the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park July 3 and an uber-disappointing tenth in the Grade 1 Arlington Millions last time out August 13. Before shipping he posted a win in a Group 1 race in Hamburg. Wake Forest has been up-and-down and will be out to avenge a career-worst effort from gate 4 Saturday. Irad Ortiz has the mount on the second betting choice.
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Big Blue Kitten 4-1 - four-time Grade 1 winner and last year's champion turf male enters this week off a sixth in the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes at Belmont Park June 11, a fifth in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs May 7 and an OK third in the Breeders' Cup Turf. Before that he finished no worse than second in seven starts with three wins over that span including a win in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park September 26, a second in the Grade 1 Arlington Millions, a win in the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes in July and a second in behind Slumber the 2015 Manhattan Stakes last June. Big Blue Kitten now has 32 career starts with 14 wins, eight seconds and five third place finishes hopes to regain his incredible 2015 form. Joe Bravo has been tabbed to snap a streak of consecutive off-the-board finishes from gate 2.
Danish Dynaformer 6-1 - Roger Attfield trained colt has five wins, a second and a third place finish in 15 career starts. He won the Grade 3 Singspiel Stakes on this track in July - the only time he's placed in his last six starts overall. Results over that span include a fifth last time out in the Grade 1 Arlington Millions, a sixth in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Classic in May, a seventh in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International last October and a sixth in last year's edition of this race. Outside of one start (two back) Danish Dynaformer has been underwhelming to say the least. He tries to channel his Singspiel form from the outside gate 8 Saturday with Patrick Husbands guiding him.
The Pizza Man 8-1 - Roger Brueggemann trained gelding was terrific in the summer of 2015 - wins in the Grade 3 Stars and Stripes Stakes in July and the Grade 1 Arlington Millions in August were followed by a second in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland in October. He also won the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup in November of last year. The Pizza Man has largely struggled in four starts this year - a sixth last time out in the Grade 1 Arlington Millions followed a fourth in the Grade 3 Stars and Stripes Stakes in July, another fourth in the Grade 2 Wise Dan Stakes in June and a fifth in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap in February. He has shown serious form in the past, has 16 wins and two seconds and two third place finishes in 30 career starts but hasn't been impressive lately. Flavien Prat will try to change all of that from post 7 Saturday.
Button Down 15-1 - defending runner-up in this race - Josie Carroll trained mare has three wins and seven seconds in 18 career starts and has three wins and three seconds in her last 10 starts overall. Last time out was a fourth in the Grade 2 Sky Classic Stakes here August 21 which followed a second behind Up With the Birds in the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes here July 24 and two more off-the-board finishes - an eighth in the Grade 3 Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland April 29 and a fifth in the Grade 2 Hillsborough Stakes at Tampa Bay March 12. Before that were a career-best win in the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs November 21 and another fifth in the Grade 1 EP Taylor Stakes at Woodbine in October. Button Down was good at this time last year but has failed to place in five of her last six. She hopes to turn things around Saturday with Gary Boulanger guiding her from the rail.
Majeed 15-1 - British bred David Simcock trained gelding has six wins, a second and four third place finishes in 18 career starts. He makes his North American debut Saturday in decent form - a second last time out in the minor Sri Lanka August Stakes followed a third in the Group 3 Betfred Glorious Stakes in July and a Handicap score - at three different tracks in Britain. He has been good and hopes his success overseas translates Saturday. Jamie Spencer gets the call from post 3.
Camp Creek 20-1 - lightly raced Rachel Halden trained gelding has two wins and a third place finish in five career starts. He makes his graded stakes debut on a nice two race win streak - the minor Breeders' Stakes last time out on this track August 21 and a maiden score here July 15. Camp Creek has improved every time out and will be out to make some noise from post 5 Saturday. Rafael Manuel Hernandez is scheduled to ride.
2016 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes Entries & Odds
Race 10 on Woodbine's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:34 PM.
|1||Button Down (GB)||15-1||Gary Boulanger||Josie Carroll|
|2||Big Blue Kitten||4-1||Joel Rosario||Chad Brown|
|3||Majeed (GB)||15-1||Jamie Spencer||David Simcock|
|4||Wake Forest (GER)||5-2||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||Chad Brown|
|5||Camp Creek||20-1||Rafael Hernandez||Rachel Halden|
|6||World Approval||2-1||Julien Leparoux||Mark Casse|
|7||The Pizza Man||8-1||Flavien Prat||Roger Brueggemann|
|8||Danish Dynaformer||6-1||Patrick Husbands||Roger Attfield|