Stellar Field Expected for Woodbine Mile
Three-time grade I winner Court Vision turned in an easy six-furlong work Sept. 13 at Saratoga in his final preparation for the $1 million Woodbine Mile (Can-IT) Sept. 19.
The 5-year-old son of Gulch was clocked in 1:18 on the firm turf and will enter the Woodbine Mile off a more than three-month layoff. It will be his first start since finishing sixth in the Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) June 5 at Belmont Park.
The dark bay colt, who has earned more than $1.9 million from 23 starts, won the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (gr. IT) in his seasonal debut and finished runner-up in his next two starts—the Maker’s Mark Mile (gr. IT) and Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT).
“He's doing good,” trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. said. “Couldn't be training any better as far as we know. We think he's sitting on another big race. He has been very happy with himself. He's coming off a freshening again. I'm hoping he likes that grass (at Woodbine), and I'm hoping he'll like the one-turn (mile).”
Court Vision is owned by IEAH Stables and Resolute Group Stable. They also raced 2006 Woodbine Mile runner-up Rebel Rebel, while IEAH and partners owned Kip Deville, who finished second in the 2007 edition before winning the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) that year. Both were also trained by Dutrow.
Robby Albarado, who has been aboard Court Vision in his last six outings, will retain the mount.
The Woodbine Mile is shaping up to be a sensational race, as Court Vision will likely meet a couple of other East Coast rivals, at least five locally-based challengers, a European invader, as well as three shipping in from California, including millionaire The Usual Q. T. A field of as many as 13 could go to post.
The local contingent is expected to be led by Sam Son Farm’s Grand Adventure. Last year’s running of the race, won by Ventura, wasn't exactly a memorable one for the son of Grand Slam, who finished ninth. But since then he has racked up two graded-stakes scores, along with a pair of second-place finishes in two other graded events.
“He showed in his training that he had talent,” said Mark Frostad, a three-time Sovereign Award winner as Canada's top trainer. “He was very athletic and well put together.”
The dark bay heads into the Mile off a runner-up effort to stablemate Windward Islands in the Nijinsky Stakes (Can-IIT) at Woodbine July 24.
Sam-Son has won the Mile on two previous occasions, the first with Quiet Resolve in 1999 and five years later with Canada's eventual Horse of the Year, Soaring Free.
Other Woodbine-based contenders expected to enter the Sept. 16 draw are Auteur, Signature Red, Smokey Fire, and Woodbourne.
The Usual Q. T., who reeled off six straight wins last season, has won two of five this year including the Eddie Read (gr. IT) at Del Mar in July. The James Cassidy trainee is expected to arrive at Woodbine, as are California shippers Crowded House and Victor's Cry, on Sept. 14.
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