OffTrackBetting.com - The Grade 2 Sky Classic Stakes comes our way this Sunday, August 21 from Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario. Horses three years old and upward will take to Woodbine's turf track and race 1 1/4 miles searching for the winner's share of the $200,000 purse.
A field of eight will take to the track in the Sky Classic - race 7 on Woodbine's Sunday schedule. Post time is 4:06 PM. Here is a peek into the past performances of all eight combatants for this Grade 2 stakes.
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2016 Sky Classic Stakes Race Preview at Woodbine Racetrack
Up With the Birds 8-5 - Canada's 2013 Horse of the Year and Champion 3 Year Old Colt, Graham Motion trained multiple graded stakes winner snapped a bit of a funk last time out when she won the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes on this track July 24. Before that was a sixth in the Belmont Gold Cup Invitational June 10, a fourth in the Grade 1 Man o' War Stakes May 14, a fifth in the Grade 2 Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland April 23 and a ninth in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup back in November. He did post a good second in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International October 18 and had consecutive fourths in graded stakes action last summer as well. Up With the Birds hasn't shied away from top company but has been inconsistent as of late to say the least. He hopes to build on his only really good effort in 10 months with Eurico Rosa Da Silva in the saddle of the morning line favorite from gate 6.
Button Down 5-2 - Josie Carroll trained mare has three wins and seven seconds in 17 career starts and has three wins and three seconds in her last nine starts overall. She had a bounce back performance last time out when she finished second behind Up With the Birds in the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes here July 24 after two uncharacteristic performances - 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 was a career-best win in the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs November 21, another fifth in the Grade 1 EP Taylor Stakes at Woodbine in October and consecutive runner up finishes -in her graded stakes debut - the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes September 13 and the minor Flaming Page Stakes August 15. She also posted two more wins last summer. Button Down was good at this time last year but has failed to place in four of her last five. She hopes to flip the script on Up With the Birds - from the rail with Luis Contreras aboard the morning line second choice.
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Are You Kidding Me 4-1 - last year's Sovereign Award winner for champion older male had a nice two race win streak last summer- both graded stakes at Woodbine - the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes July 19 after his win in the Grade 2 Eclipse Stakes June 7. He has been up and down since - an OK second last time out in the Grade 3 Seagram Cup here August 1 followed a fifth in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs June 18 and a nice win on this track in the Grade 2 Eclipse Stakes May 28. Before that was an eighth in the competitive Grade 1 Maker's 46 Mile at Keeneland April 1, a nice win in the Grade 2 Autumn Stakes here November 8 and a third in the Grade 3 Durham Cup on this track October 3. Are You Kidding Me has placed in three of his last five starts overall and has two wins and a second place finish in his last three starts at Woodbine. He hopes to continue the trend on this track with Alan Garcia guiding the third betting choice from the outside gate 8.
Messi 6-1 - German bred Graham Motion trained gelding has five wins, five seconds and two third place finishes in 19 career starts - his best effort came four starts back when he won the Grade 3 Knickerbocker Stakes at Belmont Park in October. He enters on the heels of consecutive third place finishes - the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap July 9 and the Grade 3 Fort Marcy Stakes at Belmont Park in May which followed a fifth in the Grade 3 River City Handicap at Churchill Downs in November. Messi has placed in three of his last four starts overall and makes his Woodbine debut in decent form. Edgar Prado has been tabbed to snap a three race losing streak from gate 4 Sunday.
Dynamic Sky 8-1 - Canada's Sovereign Award Winner for 2014 Champion Grass Horse now has 31 career starts with five wins, six seconds and seven third place finishes. Career highlights include a win in the 2014 Red Smith Handicap, a second in the 2014 Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes, another second in the 2014 Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes and two more runner-up finishes in 2015 -the Grade 2 Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes and the Grade 3 Singspiel Stakes on this track a year ago. He hasn't been all that great lately however - a fifth last time out in the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes here July 24 followed another fifth in the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap May 21, a third in an Allowance April 10, another fifth in an Allowance Optional Claiming in March and eight months away from the track. Dynamic Sky has never posted victory at Woodbine but will try to channel his 2014/2015 form and to snap an 11 race losing streak from post 5 Sunday. Patrick Husbands gets the call.
Don Camillo 20-1 - Daniel Vella trained colt has two wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 12 career starts. He makes his stakes debut Sunday off a third in an Allowance here July 17, an Allowance score on this track June 12 and a fifth in an Allowance at Belmont Park in May. He has placed in three of his last four starts for what it is worth but takes an enormous step up in competition Sunday from post 7. Rafael Manuel Hernandez has the mount.
Clearer View 20-1 - Denyse McClachrie trained gelding has just four wins, two seconds and three third place finishes in 21 career starts. He makes his stakes debut Sunday in so-so form - a Claiming score last time out July 15 on this track followed three straight off-the-board finishes earlier this year. He hasn't been all that impressive but hopes for a major breakthough from gate 2 Sunday. Gary Boulanger rides.
Fixador 20-1 - won five straight races in Brazil including three Group 1 races before debuting in North America with an ugly ninth in an Allowance Optional Claiming in November, 2014. He followed that with a good second in the Grade 3 W.L. McKnight Handicap in December of that year and went on to a pair of fifths in 2015 including the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga last August. He was off for nearly a full year before returning to the track July 16 and finishing eighth in the minor Warrior Veterans Stakes at Indiana Grand. Fixador has looked underwhelming to say the least in his last three starts overall and will be out to channel his 2013 form from post 3. Jesse Campbell gets the call.
2016 Sky Classic Stakes Entries & Odds
Race 7 on Woodbine's Sunday card with a Post Time of 4:06 PM.
|1||Button Down (GB)||5-2||Luis Contreras||Josie Carroll|
|2||Clearer View||20-1||Gary Boulanger||Denyse McClachrie|
|3||Fixador (BRZ)||20-1||Jesse Campbell||Eduardo Caramori|
|4||Messi (GER)||6-1||Edgar Prado||H. Motion|
|5||Dynamic Sky||8-1||Patrick Husbands||Mark Casse|
|6||Up With the Birds||8-5||Eurico Da Silva||Malcolm Pierce|
|7||Don Camillo||20-1||Rafael Hernandez||Daniel Vella|
|8||Are You Kidding Me||4-1||Alan Garcia||Roger Attfield|