Seven evenly-matched starters, including Marsh Side , Spice Route, and Windward Islands are set to contest the $250,000 Sky Classic Stakes (Can-IIT) Aug. 22 at Woodbine.
A field of seven will travel 1 1/4 miles on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, listed as race 8 on the program. Post time is set for 4:35 p.m. EDT.
Last year, Marchfield took the Sky Classic for trainer Mark Casse. The Canadian-based conditioner is back for another try this year with Pool Play
, but he is listed as the fourth choice on the morning line.
Marsh Side was pegged as the 9-5 favorite for owner-breeder Robert Evans and trainer Neil Drysdale. The 7-year-old Gone West horse was entered in but scratched out of the Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) last weekend at Saratoga. He was also entered in the Aug. 21 Arlington Million (gr. IT) but Drysdale opted to send him to Woodbine where he has captured both of his grade I victories—the 2008 Canadian International and 2009 Northern Dancer. Marsh Side was disqualified from first to fourth in the 2009 Northern Dancer, but the Ontario Racing Commission earlier this year overturned the disqualification and restored the original order of finish.
Marsh Side, who will be guided by Edgar Prado, posted his last win in that Northern Dancer, as he rides a five-race losing streak into this event. In his last race, the July 17 Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT), Marsh Side was beaten less than two lengths when fourth.
The 2-1 second choice is three-time graded stakes winner Spice Route. The 6-year-old gelded son of King's Best enters off one of those graded victories, as he scored the July 4 Singspiel (Can-IIIT) by nearly fourth lengths at Woodbine for trainer and co-owner Roger Attfield. Mike Smith was aboard for that win and will be in the irons again. A win would make Spice Route a millionaire. He was third in this race in 2008.
The 5-2 third choice is Sam-Son Farms’ Windward Islands, who picked up the first graded win of his career last out in the July 24 Nijinsky (Can-IIT) over a yielding turf, his season debut. The 6-year-old Cozzene gelding rides a two-race win streak into the event, as he ended his 2009 season with an optional claiming win at Woodbine. The Mark Frostad trainee was fourth in the 2008 Sky Classic.
$250,000 Sky Classic (Can-IIT, Race 8, 4:35 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/4 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Pool Play (ON), J McAleney, 117, M E Casse, 6/1
2. Your Round (KY), P Husbands, 117, G de Gannes, 15/1
3. Cobotown Ron (ON), T Pizarro, 117, A M Delmas, 20/1
4. Spice Route (GB), M E Smith, 121, R L Attfield, 2/1
5. Windward Islands (KY), C Sutherland, 123, M R Frostad 5/2
6. Casual Dude (ON), E Wilson, 117, P Nielsen, 20/1
7. Marsh Side (KY), E S Prado, 117, N D Drysdale, 9/5