A 10-horse field, including the talented sophomore Mrs. Lindsay, invading from France, and older American-based distaffers Safari Queen, Hostess, and Barancella, are set to contest the 1 1/4-mile E.P. Taylor. Rain is in the forecast all week at Woodbine leading up to race day.
Racing for trainer Mark Casse and owner/breeder Eugene Melnyk, Sealy Hill would put a capper on the 2007 Sovereign Award as Canada's top 3-year-old filly with a win in the Taylor. She gave Melnyk his first win in the 1 1/8-mile Oaks, run on Woodbine's Polytrack June 10, by 4 1/4 lengths.
The daughter of Point Given --Boston Twist, by Boston Harbor, went on to win all three jewels of Canada's Triple Tiara for 3-year-old fillies—becoming the first to accomplish that—although she was disqualified and placed third for interference in the second leg, the Bison City. She became the retroactive winner of the Bison City when the Ontario Racing Commission later upheld her 1 1/2-length victory. Sealy Hill went on to prove her dominance over the division with a 2 1/4-length triumph in the Wonder Where Stakes at 10 furlongs on the Woodbine turf July 28.
In her only start since, the dark bay or brown filly faced older competition for the first time in the Canadian Stakes (Can-IIT) at about nine furlongs at Woodbine. Though she closed stoutly under regular rider Patrick Husbands, she fell a neck short to runaway pacesetter Essential Edge, a 9-1 upsetter.
The Ontario-bred Sealy Hill brings a 6-2-1 record from 10 lifetime starts into the Taylor. She has earned US$870,360, all but $129,405 of it coming this year. Husbands rides once again. They start from post three.
The 4-year-old filly Essential Edge figures to control the pace once again for Jono Jones but the question of the added distance will need to be answered. Eric Coatrieux trains the daughter of Storm Cat for Ontario owner and breeder Chiefswood Stable. Essential Edge, whose dam Rose of Tara was purchased by Chiefswood Stable for $2 million, has won three of 14 starts.
The Pennsylvania-bred Mrs. Lindsay will surely get a lot of attention in the Taylor. She easily captured the Prix Vermeille Lucien Barriere (Fr-I) at Longchamp Sept. 16. Johnny Murtagh, who rode her to victory in France, gets the call once again. Mrs. Lindsay, a daughter of Theatrical—Vole Vole Monamour, by Woodman, is owned by Bettina Jenney, widow of Marshall Jenney, the founder of Derry Meeting Farm in Pennsylvania.
The Malcolm Pierce trained 5-year-old mare Elle Runaway ran third in the Dance Smartly (Can-II) when beaten by a neck by Masseuse and May Night in July. She also ran fourth behind Strike Softly in the Nassau Stakes (Can-II) for owners Live Oak Plantation.
Graded winner Safari Queen, as well as Hostess and the French-bred Barancella, are all capable on their best days.
Three-year-olds carry 118 pounds, five less than their older rivals.
$1-Million E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-IT), Woodbine, Oct. 21, race 5, 2:59 p.m.), fillies and mares, 3-yea-rolds and up, 1 1/4 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Elle Runaway, 123, Eddie Castro
2. The Niagara Queen, 123, Emma-Jayne Wilson
3. Sealy Hill, 118, Patrick Husbands
4. Mrs. Lindsay, 118, John Patrick Murtagh
5. Four Sins, 118, Michael J. Kinane
6. Sans Souci Island, 118, Mike E. Smith
7. Safari Queen, 123, John R. Velazquez
8. Essential Edge, 123, Jono C. Jones
9. Hostess, 123, Channing Hill
10. Barancella, 123, Javier Castellano