OffTrackBetting.com - The G2 Highlander Stakes will be contested this Sunday, July 2 at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario. Horses three years old and upward will take to Woodbine's turf track and dash six furlongs for the winner's portion of the $250,000 purse.
A field of eight have been confirmed for the Highlander Stakes - race 4 on Woodbine's busy Sunday schedule. Post time is 1:39 PM. Here is a brief look into the past performances of all eight combatants for this intriguing G2 stakes.
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2017 Highlander Stakes Entries at Woodbine Racetrack
Green Mask 2-1
Brad Cox trained gelding has six wins, eight seconds and three third place finishes in 26 career starts. He finished fifth in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint and has been good since - two wins and three seconds in five starts. Last time out was a second in the G3 Jaipur Invitational at Belmont Park June 10 which followed a nice win in the G3 Twin Spires Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs May 5, a second in the G2 Shakertown Stakes at Keeneland April 8, another second in the minor Colonel Power Overnight Stakes at Fair Grounds February 25 and a win in the minor Bonapaw Stakes on that track in December. Green Mask makes his Woodbine debut in good form and will depart from gate 4 with Javier Castellano in the irons of the morning line favorite.
Calgary Cat 5-2
2014 outstanding sprinter in Canada has been up and down the last two years - 10 wins, two seconds and three third place finishes in 20 starts. He enters in so-so form - a third last time out in the G2 Connaught Cup here June 3 followed a sixth in the minor Elusive Quality Stakes at Belmont Park April 29, a fourth at 41-1 odds in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint and his best result in some time - a win in the G2 Nearctic Stakes here October 16. He struggled before that however. Other results include an OK third in the G3 Bold Venture Stakes last July 23, a nice win by 1 1/2 lengths in the minor Achievement Stakes June 18, 2016, a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming May 21, a second in the 2015 Bold Venture and a pair of impressive minor stakes scores here in 2015 - the Ontario Jockey Club Stakes and the Achievement Stakes. He also won the 2014 G2 Kennedy Road Stakes. Calgary Cat now has 12 wins, four seconds and four third place finishes in 30 career starts and tries to snap a three-race losing streak from gate 6. Luis Contreras has been tabbed to ride the second betting choice.
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Noholdingback Bear 4-1
Has five wins, five seconds and a third-place finish in 14 career starts for trainer Michael De Paulo. He arrives off a disappointing seventh in the G2 True North Stakes at Belmont Park June 9 which followed a second in the minor Diablo Stakes on that track May 7, a sixth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint and a good win in the G3 Gallant Bob Stakes at Parx September 24. Before that was an OK third in the G1 King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga August 27, a decent second in the G3 Bold Venture Stakes at Woodbine July 23 and three straight wins - an Allowance with a terrific 101 Beyer Speed Figure at Woodbine July 1, the minor Tom Ridge Stakes at Presque Isle Downs last May 23 and the minor Woodstock Stakes in July. Also last year he had a second in the minor Texas Glitter Stakes at Gulfstream Park, a fourth in the G2 Swale Stakes and consecutive respectable runner-up finishes - in the G3 Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream January 2 and in the minor $100,000 Juvenile Dirt Sprint Stakes at Keeneland October 31. Noholdingback Bear has been competitive almost every time out but will be I search of a strong bounce back from gate 2 Sunday. Eurico Rosa Da Silva rides.
Bill Mott trained Ringling has placed in five of eight career starts - two wins and three second place finishes. He makes his graded stakes debut Saturday off an Allowance score at Belmont Park May 28 which followed a tenth and an eighth respectively in another pair of Allowance races and an OK second in his only stakes action to date - the minor Quick Call Stakes at Saratoga in August. Commend has been just OK so far in his career and searches for a career-defining win from post 7 Sunday. Jose Ortiz has the mount.
Mark Casse trainee has five wins, four seconds and three third place finishes in 21 career starts. He enters in decent form - a second last time out in the G2 Connaught Cup June 3 followed an Allowance Optional Claiming score May 7, a second in the minor Jacques Cartier Stakes April 15 and a third in the G2 Kennedy Road Stakes November 25 - all on his track. Before that was a fourth in the minor Labeeb Stakes on this track November 6, an Allowance Optional Claiming score here October 8 and a ninth in the minor Kentucky Downs Turf Cup in September. Commute has placed in four straight races ahead of this weekend and shoots for a first stakes score Sunday from the rail with Patrick Husbands guiding him.
Wesley Ward trainee was terrific in his first six career starts - four wins, a second and a third-place finish including a good win on the 2014 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. He has been less-than-spectacular since. Last time out was a fourth in the G3 Hanshin Cup at Arlington May 13 which followed a fifth in the G2 City of Hope Mile at Santa Anita October 8 and an Allowance score at Belterra Park in September. He failed to place in three of four starts prior to that. Hootenanny has shown some serious form in races around the world and hopes to regain his early-career form when he departs from the outside gate 8. Jose Ortiz rides.
Sweet Grass Creek 20-1
Michael Keogh trained gelding has four wins, five seconds and four third place finishes in 19 career starts - all on this track. He makes his graded stakes debut Sunday off a second in the minor Achievement Stakes June 10, a third in the minor New Providence Stakes May 6, a fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming April 22 and consecutive thirds in minor stakes action last summer. Sweet Grass Creek has placed in seven of his last eight starts ahead of this weekend but has yet to record a stakes score. Jockey Jesse Campbell hopes to change all of that Sunday from post 5.
Don Camillo 20-1
Norman McKnight trained gelding has two wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 15 career starts. He made his stakes debut three starts back and finished sixth in the G2 Sky Classic here in August and hasn't been much better in two starts since - a fourth last time out in a Claiming race here June 10 followed a fifth in an Optional Claiming race on this track May 19. He had a third in an Allowance here last July 17, an Allowance score on this track June 12, 2016 and a fifth in an Allowance at Belmont Park in May of last year. He has placed failed to place in his last three starts overall - in less-than-spectacular form ahead of this weekend. He hopes to snap a funk from post 3 Sunday with Rafael Manuel Hernandez guiding.
2017 Highlander Stakes Odds & Entries
Race 4 on Woodbine's Sunday card with a Post Time of 1:39 PM.
|1||Commute||8-1||Patrick Husbands||Mark Casse|
|2||Noholdingback Bear||4-1||Eurico Da Silva||Michael De Paulo|
|3||Don Camillo||20-1||Rafael Hernandez||Norman McKnight|
|4||Green Mask||2-1||Javier Castellano||Brad Cox|
|5||Sweet Grass Creek||20-1||Jesse Campbell||Michael Keogh|
|6||Calgary Cat||5-2||Luis Contreras||Kevin Attard|
|7||Commend||6-1||Jose Ortiz||William Mott|
|8||Hootenanny||8-1||Julio Garcia||Wesley Ward|