2017 Northern Dancer Stakes Preview, Entries & Odds

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Dave Bond | OTB Writer

OffTrackBetting.com - The G1 Northern Dancer Stakes is on tap for this Saturday, September 16 at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario. Horses three years old and upward will be after the winner's share of the $300,000 purse when they take to Woodbine's turf track and race 1 1/2 miles.

A field of eight will line up in the Northern Dancer Turf Stakes - race 10 on Woodbine's impressive Saturday schedule. Post time is 5:31. Here is a peek into the past performances of all eight entries for this intriguing G1 stakes - a major local prep for the Grade 1, $800,000 Pattison Canadian International over the same course and distance here October 15.

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2017 Northern Dancer Stakes Entries at Woodbine Racetrack


Charlie Appleby trained colt has eight wins, a second and three third-place finishes in 17 career starts. He makes his North American debut Saturday off a decent second in the Group 1 Longines Grosser Preis von Berlin August 13, a good win in the Group 1 Princess of Wales's Arqana Racing Club Stakes in Britain July 13 and a sixth in a Group 1 in France. He did post a Group 3 win in in May and had a Group 1 score last summer during a span of six straight wins. Hawkbill was a force overseas last summer, has looked good in works ahead of this weekend and has been decent in the leadup to this race. Hopes are that his success in Europe translates this weekend. Colm O'Donoghue has been tabbed to ride the 123-pound highweight from the outside gate 8.


German bred Graham Motion trained gelding has six wins, five seconds and four third place finishes in 25 career starts. He won the G3 Knickerbocker Stakes at Belmont Park in October, 2015 and has been good at times and bad at others since. Last time out was an OK third in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Saratoga July 21 which followed a ninth in the G1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park July 1, a third in the G3 Fort Marcy Stakes at Belmont Park May 6, a sixth in the G3 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct November 12 and a tenth in the G2 John Henry Turf Championship at Santa Anita October 2. Before that was a good win in the G2 Sky Classic at Woodbine August 21 and consecutive third place finishes - the G3 Arlington Handicap July 9 and the G3 Fort Marcy Stakes at Belmont Park last May. Messi has placed in just two of his last five starts and hopes for his first win since August, 2016. Jose Ortiz has the mount on the only North American graded stakes winner in the field - from gate 4.

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Noble Thought

Has placed in nine of 11 career starts for trainer Malcolm Pierce - three wins, four seconds and two third place finishes. He enters off a career-best result - a runner-up finish in the G2 Sky Classic Stakes on this track August 20 which followed a fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming here July 22 and a sixth in his stakes debut - the G2 Eclipse Stakes on this track May 20. Before that was a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Tampa Bay March 21 and consecutive Allowance Optional Claiming scores on that track to start 2017. Noble Thought has been a tad up and down in his career but hopes to build on a reasonable effort last time out. Patrick Husbands has been tabbed to ride from post 3.

Pumpkin Rumble

Kevin Attard trained gelding has 30 career starts with four wins, five seconds and eight third-place finishes. Last time out was a third in the G2 Sky Classic Stakes here August 20 which followed a decent third behind Dragon Bay and Can'thelpbelieving in the G2 Nijinsky Stakes on this track July 29, another third in the G3 Singspiel Stakes here July 2 and yet another third in an Allowance Optional Claiming here June 9. Before that was a second in a similar race May 17 on this track. He failed to place in his previous four starts. Pumpkin Rumble has been OK in his last five starts and will be hoping for a first ever graded stakes score from post 5 Saturday with Jesse Campbell guiding him.

Camp Creek

Defending sixth-place finisher in this race - Christophe Clement trained gelding has two wins and a third-place finish in his eight career starts. He won the minor Breeders' Stakes at this distance on this track last August but has failed to hit the board in three starts since. Last time out was a ninth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Belmont Park May 3 which followed a sixth in a similar race on this track in November and that sixth in his only graded stakes action to date - the 2016 edition of this race. Camp Creek hasn't been all that impressive lately but will try to snap a funk Saturday with Rafael Manuel Hernandez in the irons from gate 2.

Johnny Bear

Ashlee Brnjas trained gelding has 32 career starts with six wins, seven seconds and five third-place finishes. He arrives off a good 3 1/2 length win in the minor OLG/OR Halton Stakes on this track August 30 which followed a sixth in an Allowance Optional Claiming here July 22 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track in June. Johnny Bear has been trending upward and looks ready for his graded stakes debut. Luis Contreras will be in the saddle from post 7.

English Illusion

Has just two wins in 16 career starts for trainer David Vella to go along with two seconds and three third-place finishes. He arrives off an OK second behind Johnny Bear in the minor OLG/OR Halton Stakes here August 30 after a fourth, a fifth and a seventh respectively in a trio of Allowance Optional Claiming races on this track. His two graded stakes starts resulted in a fourth in the G3 Valedictory Stakes here in December and an OK third in the G3 Ontario Derby on this track last September. English Illusion hasn't been all that impressive but shoots for a breakthrough performance and first stakes score from the rail. Eurico Rosa Da Silva rides.

Seeking Albert

Michael DePaulo trained colt has two wins, a second and four third-place finishes in his 11 career starts. He steps into graded stakes company for the first time Saturday off a fourth in the minor Breeders' Stakes on this track August 20, an Allowance score here July 14 and a seventh in a similar race on this track in June. Before that was a third, a sixth and another third in a trio of Allowance races in the spring. Seeking Albert has been just OK but looks as though he could be in over his head Saturday. David Moran is scheduled to ride from gate 6.

2017 Northern Dancer Stakes Odds & Entries

Race 10 on Woodbine's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:31 PM.

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 English Illusion 20-1 Eurico Da Silva Daniel Vella
2 Camp Creek 20-1 Rafael Hernandez Kevin Attard
3 Noble Thought 5-1 Patrick Husbands Malcolm Pierce
4 Messi (GER) 4-1 Jose Ortiz H. Motion
5 Pumpkin Rumble 12-1 Jesse Campbell Kevin Attard
6 Seeking Albert 20-1 David Moran Michael De Paulo
7 Johnny Bear 15-1 Luis Contreras Ashlee Brnjas
8 Hawkbill 3-5 Colm O'Donoghue Charles Appleby

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