Desert Encounter, returning to Woodbine Racetrack from England for trainer David Simcock, will be looking to become the first repeat winner of the Pattison Canadian International since Joshua Tree in 2012-2013.
Saturday's 82nd running of the Grade 1 Canadian International, a 1 1/2-mile turf race for three-year-olds and upward, offers a purse of $800,000 and has attracted a field of six.
||Desert Encounter (IRE)
||Eurico Rosa Da Silva
Desert Encounter went off at 8-1 when he captured last year's Canadian International, defeating fellow English shipper and favourite Thundering Blue by a length.
The Irish-bred seven-year-old Halling gelding, owned by Abdulla Al Mansoori, returns while riding the wave of three consecutive Group 3 turf stakes scores, all in England. His last success came at Newbury in the Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup, a 1 3/8-mile race in which he had finished a close third last year while prepping for the Canadian International.
Andrea Atzeni will ride Desert Encounter for the first time since his success here last year. He also won the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes, for fillies and mares, with Sheikha Reika on that day's program.
Other overseas shippers for the Canadian International are Ziyad, from France; Pivoine, from England; and Alounak, of Germany.
Ziyad also arrives in very good form, with a Group 2 victory at Deauville and a close Group 1 second at Saint-Cloud in his last two starts for owner/breeder Wertheimer et Frere.
The English-bred four-year-old son of Rock of Gibraltar is trained by Carlos Laffon-Parias. Chinchon, his only previous Canadian starter, finished sixth in the 2010 Canadian International.
Maxime Guyon, who has ridden Ziyad in 12 of his 16 career outings, will be making his Canadian debut aboard the gelding.
Pivoine, trained by Andrew Balding and owned by King Power Racing Co. Ltd., had some traffic problems when second, beaten a length by Desert Encounter, in the Dubai Duty Free. The five-year-old gelding by Redoute's Choice is a six-time winner but is seeking his first graded stakes success. The Irish-bred raced in the Grade 1 Arlington Million earlier this year, finishing fifth.
Robert Hornby, who rode Pivoine in the Dubai Duty Free and to a handicap win at York four starts back, will be riding in North America for the first time.
Balding won the 2003 Canadian International with Phoenix Reach and the 2017 E.P. Taylor Stakes with Blond Me.
Alounak, conditioned by Waldemar Hickst in Germany, last saw action in his adoptive homeland, winning a Group 3 at 1 1/4 miles on the turf.
The French-bred four-year-old colt by Camelot had raced in a Group 1 two starts back and finished fifth, beaten just four lengths. Old Persian, the third-place finisher there, shipped across the pond to capture Woodbine's Grade 1 Northern Dancer and is scheduled to make his next start in the Breeders' Cup Turf.
Clement Lecouevre, aboard for Alounak's last-out win, retains the mount for Darius Racing.
Nessy, a closing second when making his local bow in the Northern Dancer, will be shipping back up from Keeneland for the Canadian International.
Owned and bred by Sierra Farm and trained by Ian Wilkes, the six-year-old Flower Alley gelding became a stakes winner in Santa Anita's 2018 running of the Grade 3 San Juan Capistrano.
Chris Landeros will be in from Kentucky to ride Nessy, who is a full brother to 2017 Canadian International upsetter Bullards Alley.
Pumpkin Rumble, the senior member of the field at age eight, was claimed for $30,000 at the Fair Grounds back in March 2014 by owners Al and Bill Ulwelling.
Sent north to trainer Kevin Attard in 2017, Pumpkin Rumble has been a consistent performer on both turf and Tapeta while racing at the top level in recent campaigns and closed out 2018 with a triple capped by the Grade 3 Valedictory Stakes.
This year, Pumpkin Rumble opened with third-place finishes in both the Grade 3 Dominion Day and the Grade 2 Nijinsky. The English Channel gelding then journeyed to Parx Racing for a rallying win in the Alphabet Soup, a turf race for Pennsylvania-breds in which he set a track record for the 1 1/16 miles of turf.
Eurico Rosa da Silva, who rode Bullards Alley to his Canadian International score, regains the mount on Pumpkin Rumble.
Scheduled as the afternoon's ninth race (estimated post time of 5:42 p.m. ET), the Pattison Canadian International will be featured during a live broadcast on TSN4 from 5-6 p.m. ET.
The lucrative Pattison Canadian International program also features the $600,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes (Grade 1) over 1 1/4 miles of turf for fillies and mares and the $250,000 Nearctic Stakes (Grade 2), a six-furlong turf sprint for three-year-olds and up.
ALOUNAK LOOKING TO BE GERMANY'S FIRST PATTISON CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL WINNER
October 8, 2019 - Germany has yet to field a winner of the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International, with Paolini coming closest as the half-length runner-up behind Mutamam in 2001.
On Saturday, the French-bred but German-owned and trained Alounak will be looking to make the breakthrough for his adoptive homeland when he goes postward in search of his most important victory to date in the $800,000, 1 ½ mile turf race for three-year-olds and upward.
"We do like this race at the end of the European season," said trainer Waldemar Hickst, in remarks translated by Holger Faust, racing manager for the colt's owner Darius Racing.
`'So yes, Alounak was always scheduled to run this race. He could run once more after Sunday, but we will decide that afterwards."
The four-year-old son of Camelot comes into the Canadian International off his first graded stakes win, a head score in a Group 3 at Baden-Baden. The colt was cutting back to 1 ¼ miles that day.
"He ran good on every distance, 1 1/4 miles up to 1 3/4 miles," said Hickst.
Two weeks earlier, Alounak had tackled Group 1 company in the Longines Grosses Preis von Berlin, where he finished fifth but was beaten just four lengths. Group 1 stakes winner Old Persian, who ran third there, came to Woodbine to score impressively in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer and is Breeders' Cup Turf-bound.
"We were not so happy with the tactic that day, with a better trip he might have even finished closer to Old Persian," said Hickst, who believes the spacious E.P. Taylor Turf Course will suit Alounak's style of running.
"He likes to be with the lead but also has some turn of foot," said Hickst, adding that his charge is versatile in terms of going.
"Alounak likes firm ground as you could see in Baden-Baden when winning the Group 3 in August, but he can also handle soft ground."
Hickst also thinks that Alounak's disposition will help him cope with the demands of his first international journey.
"He is an easy fellow, a lovely horse and we are very happy that he is back for the big races," said Hickst. "He was injured last year, and it took him some time to get his confidence back, so we are very excited about his appearance in Toronto."
Ziyad and Alounak checked into the quarantine barn at Woodbine just before midnight on Monday. Also on the flight from Amsterdam were Pivoine for the Canadian International; Red Tea, Platane, and Durance for Saturday's Grade 1 E.P. Taylor; and Woody Creek for the Grade 2 Nearctic.
Desert Encounter, the defending Canadian International champion, and Imperial Charm, here for the E.P. Taylor, have been on the grounds since late Saturday afternoon and took some light exercise over the Tapeta surface for the second straight morning.
Exercise rider Pep Singh did the honours on Desert Encounter, who is here with Ian Russell, a travelling head lad for trainer David Simcock. Seamus O'Gorman rode Imperial Charm, here with assistant Les Baker for conditioner Simon Crisford.
Andrea Atzeni, returning to ride Desert Encounter, also upset last year's E.P. Taylor with Sheika Reikha and has the mount on Imperial Charm this time around.
Imperial Charm, a three-year-old, has won just once but has ended in the top three in seven of her eight attempts. The English-bred had Atzeni in the irons when she turned in two solid efforts in Group 1 company at Longchamp this spring, finishing a close fourth in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches and third in the Group 1 Prix Saint Alary.
Pivoine is trained by Andrew Balding, whose successes here include the 2003 Canadian International with Phoenix Reach, the 2017 E.P. Taylor with Blonde Me, and the 2005 Play the King with Vanderlin. The Irish-bred five-year-old gelding is coming off a second-place finish behind Desert Encounter in the Group 3 Duty Free Legacy Cup at Newbury. Madeline O'Meara and Cheten Singh will oversee Pivoine's final preparations here.
ZIYAD LOOKING FOR WINNER'S CIRCLE AGAIN
October 8, 2019 - Ziyad, a four-year-old son of Rock of Gibraltar, brings a rock-steady record, plenty of personality, and winning form to Saturday's Grade 1 $800,000 Pattison Canadian International, at Woodbine.
Owned by Wertheimer et Frère, the British-bred will look to make it two straight scores when he goes postward in the 1 ½-mile turf event run over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
Trained by Carlos Laffon e'Parias, Ziyad showed great gumption in galloping to a half-length triumph in the Group 2 Lucien Barriere Grand Prix de Deauville, on August 25.
It was the first victory on the campaign for the dark bay, who also has a trio of seconds, and a third from six starts in 2019. On June 30, Ziyad just missed taking the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint Cloud, losing by a neck to Coronet in the 1 ½-mile event contested on `good/soft' ground.
"I was pleased they [the Nagano Gold team] put in a pacemaker because otherwise there was a worry that he would have to do all the work again," noted the Wertheimers' racing manager Pierre-Yves Bureau after the Deauville performance. "On the line of his run in the Grand Prix de Paris, we were expecting a good run and so we're very happy."
With 13 top-three efforts in 16 lifetime races, Ziyad has displayed a competitive edge - with the exception of a 10th and 11th-place finish - throughout his career.
Ziyad's also shown a penchant for giving his riders a rough and tumble experience.
"He's a very delicate horse," said travelling assistant Stephane Duprey. "He throws his riders around. When he's in good form, he's terrible."
Showcasing a 2-4-1 record from nine stakes appearances, Ziyad will certainly garner his fair share of support on the tote board for Saturday's International.
He'll also look to deliver his connections another `double.' Last year, Ziyad won an allowance race at Nantes in July, and then one month later, he was back in the winner's circle via a victory at Deauville in the Michel Houyvet Listed Stakes.
The gelding will have the services of Maxime Guyon for the International. The native of France has 1,878 career wins.
Guyon, aboard for the Houyvet victory and Saint Cloud runner-up finish, will no doubt have his hands full this weekend.
"Ziyad's cheeky, but not nasty," said Duprey.
PIVOINE LOOKS TO PLANT ONE ON HIS INTERNATIONAL RIVALS
October 7, 2019 - Pivoine, a five-year-old son of Redoute's Choice, could deliver trainer Andrew Balding his second Pattison Canadian International crown, this Saturday at Woodbine Racetrack.
Owned by King Power Racing Co. Ltd., Pivoine (French for `peony') is a six-time winner from 22 starts.
The bay gelding comes into the Grade 1 $800,000 turf feature off a strong second-place showing in the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup on September 21 at Newbury, a race won by defending International champ Desert Encounter.
Pivoine will get a chance to turn the tables on his rival in Saturday's 1 ½-mile event to be contested over the world-renowned E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
Should the Irish-bred be victorious, it would be the second International score for Balding, who won with Phoenix Reach in 2003.
Not surprisingly, the accomplished trainer has high praise for Canada's Showplace of Racing.
"Obviously, it was a great thrill to win the race with Phoenix Reach in 2003," said Balding, who has 120 wins on the year. "I have been lucky enough to win the E.P. Taylor, Wonder Where Stakes, and the Play The King Stakes, so Woodbine has been a happy hunting ground in the past."
This time, he'll look to spring the upset with a horse that has shown a penchant for rebounding nicely from an off-key performance.
After an 18th-place finish in the Duke of Edinburgh on June 21 at Ascot, Pivoine took the John Smith's Diamond Jubilee Cup at York on July 13.
Balding was thoroughly pleased with the effort.
"Although it was only a handicap, the John Smith's at York is a tremendously competitive race and he won it really impressively."
Robert Hornby, aboard for the runner-up finish in the Legacy Cup and the Diamond Jubilee Cup victory, will get the call for the International.
The England-born jockey, who won a career-best 59 races in 2018, has 45 victories on the year. Last year, his big-race wins came aboard a trio of Balding trainees: Maid Up, Morando and Belle Meade.
PUMPKIN RUMBLE ADDS SOME LOCAL SPICE TO PATTISON CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL
Woodbine-based Pumpkin Rumble, a 10-time winner from 45 starts, goes for his second straight stakes score in Saturday's Grade 1 $800,000 Pattison Canadian International at Woodbine.
Owned by Al and Bill Ulwelling, and trained by Kevin Attard, the eight-year-old gelded son of English Channel heads into the 1 ½-mile turf classic off an impressive win in the Alphabet Soup Handicap on September 21.
Sent off as the 6-5 favourite in the 1 1/16-mile turf event at Parx, Pumpkin Rumble showed plenty of fight in the stretch, using a rail rally to cross the wire a half-length victor in a course record time of 1:40.21 over `good' ground.
"It was amazing," said jockey Luis Saez. "We broke perfect and we saved ground. I didn't know where we were going to go because everyone was moving everywhere. We stayed on the rail, and, thank God, we did. He finished strong and I am very happy with how he ran."
Now, the chestnut will stretch out in distance on his home turf, and take on some formidable rivals, including last year's International champ, Desert Encounter.
Attard knows exactly what to expect from his wily veteran.
"He's a horse that always shows up to compete. Those are the ones you love to have. He's a classy older guy that is as honest as they come. He's been competitive and consistent for a long time."
Boasting 28 top-three finishes (10-8-10), Pumpkin Rumble has carved out a solid career that includes a record of 5-5-7 in 30 grass engagements.
In his past six starts, the Pennsylvania-bred has four wins and a pair of thirds. He capped off his 2018 campaign with a half-length triumph in the Grade 3 Valedictory Stakes at the Toronto oval, besting former stablemate and Attard trainee, the recently retired Melmich.
The Valedictory crown was a milestone victory for the Ulwellings.
"I'm very happy for the owners - first graded win - and they've put a lot of confidence in me to give me a lot of their horses to train and we appreciate that," said Attard. "They've really supported Canadian racing. They're breeding a lot of horses here in Canada now and in Ontario, and they're great people to work for. It's been a pleasure."
Adding a Grade 1 title and surpassing the $1 million lifetime earnings mark with an International win would be the icing on the cake for Pumpkin Rumble's connections.
The Smart Angle-bred star will have his biggest fan in attendance when the gates open on this year's running of the International.
"Pumpkin Rumble is a cool horse in the barn, just chills out in his stall, and tries his best each time he runs, no matter the distance or surface," said Attard's son, Joshua.
NESSY LOOKS TO KEEP PATTISON CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL TITLE IN THE FAMILY
October 6, 2019 -In 2017, the late Bullards Alley shipped in from Kentucky and was a 10 ¾ length winner while returning a record $87.90 in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International at Woodbine.
On Saturday, his full brother, Nessy, will be looking to replicate the feat in the 82nd running of the $800,000 showpiece over 1 ½ miles of turf.
Trainer Ian Wilkes was well aware of the pedigree connection and acknowledged that as one reason for Nessy's targeting the Canadian International. Another was that Nessy had not been effective at Kentucky Downs, which has been a logical geographical target.
"He doesn't like Kentucky Downs-he's never run good there," said Wilkes, who had raced Nessy at the previous three editions of that abbreviated meeting. "That's the only track he's never run good."
So, after sending out Nessy for a closing seventh-place finish in the 1 ¼-mile Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Cup at Ellis Park on August 4, Wilkes set his sights on Woodbine.
"We were always earmarking him for the two races at Woodbine this year," said Wilkes, who conditions Nessy for Sierra Farm.
Nessy launched the first phase of his two-race Woodbine mission when he shipped up from his Keeneland base to finish second behind English shipper Old Persian in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer, run over the Canadian International course and distance on September 14.
"I thought he ran a very good race," said Wilkes. "He ran into a buzzsaw, the Godolphin horse. He's a legitimate Grade 1 horse, he's very good. For him to nose out two other really good horses at the wire, to get second, was a huge performance."
Nessy, whose career highlight to date was a rallying 2018 victory in Santa Anita's Grade 3 San Juan Capistrano over 1 ¾ miles of turf, already had started nine times when he joined the Wilkes barn for the start of his four-year-old campaign.
"I was fortunate-he had some conditions," said Wilkes. "And, the horse always tries hard. That's one thing you like about him. Some races he wasn't good enough, but he really tries hard. And, I think he's starting to get better and better this year."
Wilkes believes that a change in attitude has helped Nessy raise his game.
"Early on, I thought he wanted to be in the race a little more," said Wilkes. "He'd been very quirky to ride. One day he'd break bad, and put himself back. Next day he'd break, and he'd be up near the front. These days he's enjoying his racing, where he just relaxes early and finishes.
"He's a cool little horse. He's just a pleasure to be around. Everybody loves Nessy."
DESERT ENCOUNTER SEEKS SECOND STRAIGHT INTERNATIONAL SCORE
October 5, 2019 - Desert Encounter, who won last year's edition of the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International, is back to defend his title in Woodbine's $800,000 fall turf classic.
A seven-year-old son of Halling, Desert Encounter, owned by Abdulla Al Mansoori, and trained by David Simcock, arrives at next Saturday's race in top form, having won his past three starts.
He launched his win streak on August 2 in the Queen's Plate Glorious Stakes, taking the 1 ½-mile Group 3 event by 2 ¼-lengths at Goodwood. That victory was followed up with a win in the Group 3 Sky Sports Racing Winter Hill Stakes, contested on August 24 at Windsor.
Desert Encounter's final engagement before the International was a one-length triumph in the Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup - also a Group 3 event - on September 21 at Newbury.
Simcock was especially pleased with the Legacy Cup performance, a familiar race for Desert Encounter.
"It was very much used as a prep race (for the International), as it was last year. The fact that he won was a bonus."
The bay gelding, who sports a record of 11-4-7 from 30 career starts, ships into Woodbine today.
"He's been very consistent this year," praised Simcock. "And he seems to be in good order."
Desert Encounter will look to become the first horse since Joshua Tree (2012-13) to win consecutive runnings of the International. The pair share some things in common: Desert Encounter became the first six-year-old to win the race since Joshua Tree (who also won in 2010) accomplished the feat six years ago, and they're both Irish-breds.
In 2014, Simcock enjoyed a banner day at Woodbine. He watched Trade Storm win the turf Mile at Woodbine, and another trainee, Sheikhzayedroad, took the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf earlier on the card.
He's hoping this Saturday is also twice as nice.
"We're very fond of him - he's an old boy, and he's done us a lot of favours," Simcock noted after the Sky Sports Racing Winter Hill Stakes. "He's been around so long, so you know him so well. You know the first part of the season is going to be a little bit of a disaster, and then he comes good end of July onwards."
Which is why an October date at Canada's Showplace of Racing is an ideal spot.
"He's a kind horse and very straightforward to deal with," said Simcock. "I would say his general constitution with regards to travel and racing is what impresses me the most."
Although Jamie Spencer was in the irons for the past three races, Andrea Atzeni, who was aboard for last year's International win, will be in the saddle on Saturday.
TIZ A SLAM TO TAKE ANOTHER CRACK AT PATTISON CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL
October 4, 2019 - It has been 20 years since a Canadian-bred took home the top prize in the Pattison Canadian International at Woodbine Racetrack.
Thornfield, bred and owned by Knob Hill Stable and trained by Phil England, was the horse of the hour on that October 17, 1999 afternoon as he scored by a length under Richard Dos Ramos at odds of almost 19-1.
Next Saturday (October 12), another pure local product will look to hold the fort as Tiz a Slam, a Chiefswood Stable homebred trained by Roger Attfield and ridden by Steven Bahen, goes postward for the 82nd running of the Grade 1 Canadian International over a 1 ½ miles on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
"I'd love to win it," said Attfield, whose Hall of Fame portfolios do not include a victory in the Canadian International. "I've been second, a few times."
The Attfield runners-up were Spice Route, in 2008; Alywow, in 1994; and Steady Power, beaten just a head in the 1989 renewal.
Whether Tiz a Slam is able to go one better will be decided during the long stretch run as he figures to employ the front-running style which has produced his best performances.
"He's always been a very easy horse to train," said Attfield. "He has a lovely nature to him. He just was a horse that took quite a long time to actually get mature, and get some balance to him. He's very coordinated now.
"In his early days, you couldn't get him eased on, or checked, or covered up because he couldn't get going again. A big, long galloping stride-that's what he has."
Tiz a Slam, now five years old, has blossomed since adopting the free-running style and teaming up with Bahen last summer.
Although he came up short in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer and the Pattison Canadian International, the Ontario-bred was far from disgraced.
"It's possible he was tailing off a bit," said Attfield. "He'd had a long year."
And, the Tiznow horse reasserted himself this year with front-running victories in the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap at Churchill Downs and Woodbine's Grade 3 Singspiel and Grade 2 Nijinsky.
"He's still a big galloping type horse but he's showing a lot more speed than he did in his younger days," said Attfield. "I think he's at his best right now. He's doing very well, feeling very well."
Tiz a Slam not only would give Attfield great satisfaction but also could mark a crowning achievement for the Chiefswood outfit, which is riding the crest of back-to-back Sovereign Awards as Outstanding Owner.
Chiefswood Stables Limited, the moniker adopted for the racing and breeding operations of Bob and Mark Krembil, topped the Woodbine standings in money won last year with almost $2.6 million (Canadian), its best result since being formed in 2002.
With more than $2 million in the bank already this season, Chiefswood is on pace to set a new personal Woodbine record and the $576,000 winner's share of the Canadian International purse (including Ontario-bred bonus) would take care of that in one fell swoop.
Defending champion Desert Encounter tops Pattison Canadian International nominees
September 26, 2019 - Defending champion Desert Encounter tops the list of stars from around the world nominated to the 82nd running of the $800,000 Pattison Canadian International.
The Grade 1 stakes event for horses three years old and up, contested over 1-1/2 miles on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 12 at Woodbine Racetrack.
Based in Newmarket, England with trainer David Simcock, Desert Encounter is expected to return to the Toronto turf for the chance to defend his Pattison Canadian International title and continue his winning momentum for owner Abdulla Al Mansoori. The seven-year-old Irish-bred son of Halling and La Chicana has earned a Group 3 triple in Great Britain this summer with recent victories in the Lormarins Queens Plate Glorious Stakes, the Sky Sports Racing Winter Hill Stakes and the Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup. He boasts a seven-figure bankroll and a career record reading 11-4-7 from 30 starts.
The Canadian International has attracted a contingent of highly-regarded European turf specialists including Kew Gardens and Communique.
A dual Group 1 winner last year courtesy of top performances in the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris and the William Hill St. Leger Stakes, Kew Gardens is campaigned by Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien, who has won the Canadian International twice before with Ballingary (2002) and Joshua Tree (2010). Owned by Mr. Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Mr. Michael Tabor, the Galileo-Chelsea Rose colt is poised to make his North American debut after beginning his four-year-old season with three runner-up efforts - his most recent in the Group 1 Cormer Group International Irish St. Leger. A five-time winner from 16 starts, he is approaching $1.5 million in lifetime earnings.
Trained by England-based horseman Mark Johnston, Communique is a two-time Group 2 stakes winner over 1-1/2 miles on the turf in Great Britain and was runner-up in the Group 1 Longines Grosser Preis von Berlin in Germany while finishing ahead of Old Persian, who went on to win the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes at Woodbine two weeks ago. Elarquam, winner of the Group 2 Sky Bet York Stakes this summer, and King's Advice are other nominees hailing from the Johnston stable.
Returning contender Tiz a Slam, who finished fourth in last year's Pattison Canadian International, leads the local hopefuls for Canadian Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield. Earlier this year, the multiple graded stakes winner strung together a three-race win streak that included the Louisville Stakes at Churchill Downs, as well as the Singspiel and Nijinsky over the Canadian International course and distance, before coming up just short in a three-horse photo for place in the Northern Dancer last time out. The five-year-old millionaire son of Tiznow and Flaming Rose was bred in Ontario by Chiefswood Stables and will attempt to end a two-decade drought for Canadian-breds in the race while going after his 10th career win.
The U.S. is well-represented with nominees including Kentucky-bred rivals Zulu Alpha and Arklow, who finished 1-2 in the Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes at Kentucky Downs earlier this month after each coming up just a neck short in Grade 1 events. Zulu Alpha, trained by Michael Maker, was collared late in the United Nations at Monmouth Park, while the Brad Cox-trained Arklow just missed in the Man `o War at Belmont Park. Both are multiple graded stakes winners with more than $1 million banked in career earnings.
The lucrative October 12 race card, which is the highlight of the turf racing season at Woodbine, also features the $600,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes (Grade 1) over 1-1/4 miles for fillies and mares and the $250,000 Nearctic Stakes (Grade 2), a six-furlong sprint for three-year-olds and up.
PATTISON CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL POST POSITION DRAW SET FOR WEDNESDAY, OCT 9
The field for the 82nd running of the $800,000 Pattison Canadian International (Grade 1) will be finalized at the post position draw and media conference on Wednesday, Oct. 9, with Toronto Maple Leafs alum Carlo Colaiacovo serving as guest drawmaster. The media event will begin at 12 noon.
PROBABLE FIELD FOR THE $800,000 PATTISON CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL AT WOODBINE
Horse - Trainer - Owner - Jockey
Alounak (FR) - Waldemar Hickst - Darius Racing - Clement Lecoeuvre
Desert Encounter (IRE) - David Simcock - Abdulla Al Mansoori - Andrea Atzeni
Nessy - Ian Wilkes - Sierra Farm - Chris Landeros
Pivoine (IRE) - Andrew Balding - King Power Racing Co. Ltd. - Rob Hornby
Pumpkin Rumble - Kevin Attard - Al and Bill Ulwelling - Eurico Rosa Da Silva
Tiz a Slam - Roger Attfield - Chiefswood Stables Limited - Steven Bahen
Ziyad (GB) - Carlos Laffon-Parias - Wertheimer et Frere - Maxime Guyon