13 Entered in Woodbine's Breeders' Stakes
by Jack Shinar
Date Posted: 7/30/2009 5:20:56 PM
Last Updated: 8/2/2009 2:15:37 PM
Queen's Plate winner Eye of the Leopard tries turf in the Breeders' Stakes at Woodbine.
Attention on the top 3-year-olds in Canada switches to the turf Aug. 2 when 13 line up for a contentious renewal of the $500,000 Breeders' Stakes at Woodbine. The final jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown attracted the winners of the first two events: Eye of the Leopard , who captured the Queen's Plate, and Prince of Wales Stakes victor Gallant.
Considering their lack of turf experience, both Sam-Son Farms' Eye of the Leopard, who ran third in the Prince of the Wales, and Woodford Racing's Gallant could be considered question marks in the 1 1/2-mile Breeders'. But though he's never started on the grass, Eye of the Leopard remains easily the most accomplished horse in the field.
Trained by Mark Frostad, the son of A.P. Indy put together a three-race win streak this summer that included neck victories in both the Plate Trial and the June 21 Queen's Plate on Woodbine's Polytrack. In the Prince of Wales at Fort Erie July 12, the bay colt was gaining on the front-running Gallant while charging on the outside but came up a half-length shy. Eye of the Leopard has won three of his five starts, all coming since April 15, and has earned $693,613.
Eurico Rosa da Silva, who has ridden Eye of the Leopard throughout the Triple Crown campaign, remains on board. They'll break from post 4, one slot to the outside of Gallant.
Gallant was coming off a maiden victory when he valiantly held off the sharp filly Milwaukee Appeal by a nose in the Prince of Wales after leading for most of the 1 3/16-mile journey. The son of Aptitude makes his second attempt on turf. His first try came on a yielding course at Woodbine as a 2-year-old when he was beaten 14 lengths while running fourth in the Cup & Saucer Stakes at odds of 44-1.
From the Mark Casse barn, both of Gallant's victories in an eight-race career have come by a nose. Corey Fraser, who rode the gray/roan colt for the first time at Fort Erie, has the return engagement.
Bettors not sold on either of those two have a number of options, but many of them will require a steep step forward to be successful.
Mr. Foricos Two U gave way grudgingly in the Queen's Plate after leading most of the way and finished second by a neck to Eye of the Leopard. He was never a factor in the Prince of Wales, however, and finished a fading fifth in the six-horse field without an apparent excuse. Flip for the Coin and Keino West ran in the first two races of the series as well, but without much success. None of the trio has any turf experience to speak of.
Reservoir posted a nice win by a head on the Woodbine lawn May 31. He could easily bounce back from an 11th-place showing in the Queen's Plate, though he is stuck in the far outside post for the Breeders' with a short run into the first turn. The Sky Classic gelding set the early pace in the Queen's Plate while under pressure and faded.
Trained by Julia Carey, he was undefeated in his only two starts prior to that, including his aforementioned gate-to-wire triumph over a full field of first-level allowance foes on grass at nine furlongs. James McAleney rides once again.
There are three other turf winners in the field.
Genius Kinshasa won his turf debut at 10 furlongs July 10 at Woodbine, setting a controlled pace and inching away in the drive for a one-length victory in an allowance race for Ontario breds. Trained by Vito Armata, the gelded son of Kinshasa has won two of his past three starts. Armata saddles Flip for the Coin as well.
Parabola also won his turf debut in his most recent start for trainer Barbara Minshall, that coming against state breds at 1 1/16 miles July 8 at Woodbine. The Trajectory gelding, to be ridden by Chantal Sutherland, won a restricted stakes at Woodbine on the Polytrack as a 2-year-old.
The other turf winner in the field is Guipago, who broke his maiden in his 12th start for trainer Analisa Delmas July 9 when stretched out to 11 furlongs.
There are three maidens entered -- Hisaki, Full Throttle and Mensch -- plus Perfect Shower, who won for the first time July 17 for trainer Roger Attfield on Polytrack.
$500,000 Breeders' Stakes (Race 8, 4:37 p.m.), Canadian-Foaled 3-Year-Olds, 1 1/2 MIles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Hisaki (ON), J Baird, A M Delmas
2. Full Throttle (ON), T Kabel, M Keogh
3. Gallant (ON), C Fraser, M E Casse
4. Eye of the Leopard (ON), E R Da Silva, M R Frostad
5. Genius Kinshasa (ON), E Ramsammy, V Armata
6. Guipago (ON), T Pizarro, A M Delmas
7. Parabola (ON), C Sutherland, B J Minshall
8. Mensch (ON), R Dacosta, A M Delmas
9. Keino West (ON), G Olguin, S Attard
10. Flip for the Coin (ON), E Wilson, V Armata
11. Mr. Foricos Two U (ON), P Husbands, C Day Phillips
12. Perfect Shower (ON), J C Jones, R L Attfield
13. Reservoir (ON), J McAleney, J Carey
Each assigned 126 pounds.
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