A field of 10 made up almost exclusively of European bred and based fillies and mares will contest the $1 million E. P. Taylor Stakes (Can-IT) Oct. 16 at Woodbine.
All but one of the entrants in the 1 1/4-mile turf race were bred in Europe, while eight of the 10 are based overseas. All of them will be seeking a berth in the Nov. 5 Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs, as the race is a “Win and You’re In” event.
The E. P. Taylor is one of three grade I races on a Woodbine card that is headlined by the $2 million Pattison Canadian International (Can-IT).
Returning to the race is last year’s 44-1 upset winner, Lahaleeb, a 4-year-old Irish-bred filly who has not been close in any of her five starts since pulling off the shocker under William Buick for trainer Paul D’Arcy. The daughter of Redback, who has earned just over $1 million from 21 starts, has not hit the board in any of her efforts in 2010, which have included starts in Europe and Dubai.
Owned by Khalid Rahim, Lahaleeb will be ridden this time by John Egan.
Though she is also winless this season, the Aga Khan’s Shalanaya was made the 5-2 morning-line favorite. The 4-year-old daughter of Lomitas won the group I Prix de l’Opera last season at Longchamp and was runner-up in the group I Prix Ganay in May over the same course. The Irish-bred filly has been off the board in her last two starts for trainer Mikel Delzangles. Christophe Lemaire will have the mount.
Also likely to take significant money is Irish-bred Contredanse, one of a trio of 3-year-old fillies in the race. The daughter of Danehill Dancer won the Italian Oaks (Ity-I) in May and last out missed by only a head in the Prix de la Nonette (Fr-I) at Deauville. Garrett Gomez will ride Contredanse for the first time for trainer Luca Cumani, who won this race in 1998 with Zomaradah.
The fourth and sixth-place finishers of the Prix de la Nonette, Silver Grey and Gallic Star, respectively, also come back for the E. P. Taylor.
Both locally-based entrants are entering off victories. David Egan’s Mekong Melody, based at Woodbine for Roger Atffield, won the listed Flaming Page Stakes for the second straight season in her last start. The 5-year-old Cape Cross mare scored her biggest triumph in the Dance Smartly (Can-IIT) in July on the Woodbine turf course.
Three Chimneys Racing’s Miss Keller, bred in Ireland but based at Woodbine for Attfield, won the Canadian Stakes (Can-IIT) on Sept. 19 for her third victory in six starts this season. The 4-year-old Montjeu filly will be ridden by Javier Castellano, who has been in the irons for each of her wins in 2010.
$1,000,000 E. P. Taylor Stakes (Can-IT, Race 9, 5:03 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Shalanaya (IRE), C P Lemaire, 124, M Delzangles
2. Lahaleeb (IRE), J F Egan, 124, P D'Arcy
3. Mekong Melody (IRE), P Husbands, 124, R L Attfield
4. Silver Grey (IRE), R Havlin, 120, R Ingram
5. Reggane (GB), C Soumillon, 124, A De Royer-Dupre
6. Miss Keller (IRE), J Castellano, 124, R L Attfield
7. Contredanse (IRE), G K Gomez, 120, L M Cumani
8. Gallic Star (IRE), C B Catlin, 120, M R Channon
9. Pachattack (KY), C Sutherland, 124, G A Butler
10. Akarlina (FR), T Thulliez, 124, N Clement