Pattison Canadian International at Woodbine anchors final Breeders' Cup Challenge weekend With the 28th Breeders' Cup fast approaching at Churchill Downs November 4 and 5, Woodbine Racetrack outside of Toronto is set to host the final three Breeders' Cup Challenge races Sunday over its world class turf course.
The highlight of the weekend is the grade I, $1.5 million Pattison Canadian International, which will award an automatic starting berth into the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf. Under the enhanced conditions of the Breeders' Cup Challenge, the International winner will have their $90,000 entry fee into the Turf paid for and their connections will receive a $10,000 travel allowance for a North American winner and $20,000 for an overseas runner.
Run at 1 1/2 miles, the International figures to be led by K K Al Nabooda and R A Albahou's JOSHUA TREE (IRE), who won the International last year, when he was in trainer Aidan O'Brien's barn. The 4-year-old son of Montjeu (IRE) was sold last winter and now resides with trainer Marco Botti. While Joshua Tree enters just 1-for-6 on the year, he does exit a third-place finish behind subsequent Arc de Triomphe winner Danedream (GER) in the group I Grosser Preis von Baden at Baden Baden.
Catherine O'Flynn's MORES WELLS (GB) should also receive plenty of support. The 7-year-old son of Sadler's Wells has been a world traveler throughout his career and was second in the International last year when trained by Richard Gibson. Now in the barn of Mike Delzangles, Mores Wells enters off a second-place finish in the group III Stockholm Cup at Taby, a race the 8-for-39 lifetime runner won last year before heading to Woodbine.
Juddmonte Farm's REDWOOD (GB) won the grade I Northern Dancer over the course and distance last year and then returned to finish third in the International. The 5-year-old son of two-time Breeders' Cup Turf winner High Chaparral (IRE) is winless in three starts this year and is 4-for-15 overall for trainer Barry Hills.
Breeders' Cup betting from Churchill Downs at Off-Track Betting
O'Brien could be back this year with a pair for Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Susan Magnier in TREASURE BEACH (GB) and ST NICHOLAS ABBEY (IRE). The former, a 3-year-old son of Galileo who won Arlington Park's grade I Secretariat in August and the latter, a 4-year-old son of Montjeu (IRE), who won the group I Coronation Cup at Epsom in June and was fifth in the Arc.
Robert Courtney's RAHYSTRADA is a multiple graded stakes winner and comes to Woodbine off a win in the grade III Kentucky Cup Turf at Kentucky Downs for trainer Byron Hughes. The 7-year-old son of Rahy is 12-for-34 lifetime and also won the Colonial Cup Turf in June.
Mr. and Mrs. Bert Firestone's WINCHESTER would offer the North Americans their best hope should he start for trainer Christophe Clement. The 6-year-old son of 1987 Breeders' Cup Turf winner Theatrical (IRE) is a multiple grade I winner and won Saratoga's grade I Sword Dancer in August, for his lone win from three 2011 starts. The 6-for-24 lifetime runner was fifth in Belmont's "Win and You're In" Joe Hirsch Turf Classic in his last start and is 6-for-24 lifetime.
KARA'S ORIENTATION, who won the local grade II Sky Classic over the course in August and MUSKETIER, a multiple graded stakes winner who won the local grade III Singspiel in June, could provide the best hope for the Canadian contingent. ARCTIC COSMOS, BRONZE CANNON, GALILEO'S CHOICE (IRE), HAILSTONE, QUEST FOR PEACE (IRE), SIMMARD and STORMY LORD could also start.
The grade I, $1 million E.P. Taylor will offer a guaranteed spot into the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf. Run at 1 1/4 miles, the Taylor is shaping up with a deep field that could be led by Haras D'Etreham's DREAM PEACE (IRE) for trainer Robert Collet. The 3-year-old daughter of Dansili (GB) won the group II Prix de la Nonette in her last start at Deauville in August and is 4-for-9 lifetime.
Augustin Stable's DYNA WALTZ, who has placed in several graded stakes this year for Jonathan Sheppard and the trio of MEKONG MELODY, MISS KELLER (IRE) and PERFECT SHIRL for local trainer Roger Attfield, would also warrant respect should they meet the starter. Miss Keller won the local grade II Canadian last year before finishing second in the Taylor.
The grade I, $500,000 Nearctic gives the winner an automatic starting berth into the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. Run at six furlongs, the Nearctic could be led by Juddmonte's BATED BREATH (GB), who just missed by a nose to Dream Ahead in the group I Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock September 3. That runner returned to defeat three-time TVG Breeders' Cup Mile winner Goldikova (IRE) in Longchamp's group I Prix de la Foret. Bated Breath, a 4-year-old son of Dansili (GB) is 5-for-12 lifetime and will look for his first career group/graded stakes score in the Nearctic.
Ghislaine Head's RIGHT ONE (FR) missed in a photo in the grade I "Win and You're In" Woodbine Mile for Clement and would offer stiff opposition. The 6-year-old son of Anaaba won Belmont's grade III Jaipur in July and is 5-for-21 lifetime.
AWAKINO CAT, GRAND ADVENTURE, HEROS REWARD, SIGNATURE RED and YIELD BOGEY would also warrant respect should they start.Woodbine horse racing betting at Off-Track Betting