Pat Valenzuela, California's leading rider this year, will be aboard Falcon Flight in $1.5 million Canadian International (Can-IT) at Woodbine on Sept. 29, according to trainer Don Burke.It will be the first time that the 39-year-old jockey has ridden the 6-year-old French bred son of Persian Bold. Last year, Falcon Flight finished sixth (placed fourth through disqualification) to Mutamam in the 1 1/2-mile event.Owned by Gary Tanaka, Falcon Flight won the Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) in his seasonal debut in late July before finishing a close-up fifth to Beat Hollow in the Arlington Million (gr. IT) August 17, encountering traffic problems through the stretch.Falcon Flight is expected at Woodbine on Tuesday.Paolini, runner-up to Mutamam in last year's Canadian International, is expected to arrive at Woodbine from Germany on Sunday.According to his trainer Andreas Wohler, Paolini is even better than last year, despite being winless in his three starts."He's improved from three to four (years old) and from four to five," Wohler said.The five-year-old German-bred son of Lando comes into the International off a sixth-place finish to Beat Hollow in the Arlington Million August 17, but was just three-quarters of a length behind the winner in a blanket finish as he, like Falcon Flight, also had a troubled trip.Regular rider Andreas Suborics will be aboard in the International.
Other potential challengers include the locally based Full of Wonder, Perfect Soul, and Portcullis, and from outside Canada Ballingarry, Bowman Mill, Whitmore's Conn, Yavana's Pace, and Zindabad.The post position draw will be held Thursday.