Field Commission , fast-closing winner of the Nearctic Stakes (Can-IIT) on the Woodbine lawn last month, takes on Polytrack specialist El Brujo in the $150,000 Kennedy Road Stakes (Can-III) at the Toronto track Nov. 21.
The six-furlong Polytrack event drew a field of 10, led by the Daniel Vella-trained Field Commission, who is also the co-owner with Edward Seltzer. One of the leading turf sprinters in Canada, the 4-year-old son of Service Stripe is also adept on synthetics, winning the Vigil (Can-III) at Woodbine in May 2008 and running a close second to Kennedy Road rival Jungle Wave in the Play the King (Can-II) in August.
His win in the Oct. 17 Nearctic, when the Ontario-bred closed from ninth after finding running room at the top of the lane, was Field Commission's second victory in seven starts this year. James McAleney takes over the riding duties from Julien Leparoux. Field Commission, who finished fourth in last year's Kennedy Road, breaks from post 8 under 121 pounds.
El Brujo, a 3-year-old from the Malcolm Pierce barn for owner/breeder Windways Farm, makes his first start against older horses as the 123-pound high weight. Well-beaten in both the Plate Trial and Queen's Plate this spring, the gelded son of Candy Ride has thrived in two Polytrack sprints since, winning the Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. II) at Turfway Park in September and Keenland's seven-furlong Perryville (gr. III) by 1 1/4 lengths in his most recent start Oct. 17.
Patrick Husbands, who rode the bay in most of his Canadian races, takes the assignment. El Brujo has compiled a 6-4-1 record in 13 starts and earnings of $557,290, all on Polytrack.
Bogue Chitto finished second at 21-1 odds in the Nearctic for trainer Ian Howard, 1 1/2 lengths behind Field Commission. He returns to Woodbine, where he has made all 10 of his starts. The 5-year-old Crafty Prospector gelding has raced eight times on Polytrack. He has never been out of the money in his career, compiling a 4-5-1 overall record. He is seeking his first stakes win.
Also coming out of the Nearctic is the hard-hitting 4-year-old Jungle Wave, a winner of seven of 12 lifetime starts over two seasons of racing. Trained by Sid Attard for Tucci Stables, the Hold That Tiger gelding was claimed for $62,500 in May and has done little wrong for his current connections. Prior to finishing third in the Nearctic, he ran fourth in the prestigious Woodbine Mile (Can-IT).
Attard also entered Signature Red and Smokey Fire, both coming off wins over optional claiming allowance foes and stepping into stakes action for the first time.
Former American Triple Crown hopeful Storm Treasure ran third in last year's Kennedy Road for trainer Steve Asmussen.
You Don't Pass won a Canadian-bred stakes for trainer Robert Tiller Sept. 7. Grazettes Landing brings back-to-back allowance victories for Melnyk Racing Stables and trainer Mark Casse. Home for Harlan, out of action for 11 months, makes his second start on the comeback trail for Reade Baker.
$150,000 Kennedy Road Stakes (Can-III, Race 8, 4:23 p.m.), 3 & Up, 6 Furlongs (Polytrack)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Jungle Wave (KY), E Ramsammy, 119, S C Attard
2. Storm Treasure (KY), L Contreras, 115, S M Asmussen
3. Signature Red (KY), E Ramsammy, 114, S C Attard
4. Home for Harlan (KY), E R Da Silva, 115, R Baker
5. Smokey Fire (ON), E Wilson, 115, S C Attard
6. Grazettes Landing (ON), C Fraser, 115, M E Casse
7. Bogue Chitto (FL), G Olguin, 115, I Howard
8. Field Commission (ON), J McAleney, 121, D J Vella
9. El Brujo (ON), P Husbands, 123, M Pierce
10. You Don't Pass (ON), C Sutherland, 118, R P Tiller
Blinkers On: Home for Harlan