Turf Runners Battle in Highlander, Singspiel

Turf Runners Battle in Highlander, Singspiel
Photo: Michael Burns
Signature Red defeated Heros Reward by a neck in last year's Highlander.

Veteran grass runners take the stage in a pair of stakes earlier on the Queen's Plate card in the $200,000 Highlander (Can-IIT) and the $150,000 Singspiel (Can-IIIT) at Woodbine June 26.

The six-furlong Highlander finds defending champion Signature Red, who defeated returning 2008 Highlander winner Heros Reward by a neck last year. The 1 1/2-mile Singspiel brings back the popular Canadian champion Rahy's Attorney, who will face a strong field that includes grade II winners Windward Islands, Grassy and Musketier  .

The Highlander is set to go as the fifth race at 2:27 p.m. EDT, while the Singspiel is two races later at 3:45 p.m. EDT.

Signature Red, trained by Sid Attard for Norseman Racing Stable, is winless in seven starts since edging 9-year-old Heros Reward in last year's Highlander. The 5-year-old son of Bernstein gets back on the turf after four consecutive races on Woodbine's Polytrack. He was most recently third in the seven-furlong Vigil Stakes (Can-III) May 8.

Attard also entered Tucci Stable's 6-year-old Jungle Wave, attempting to snap a 10-race losing streak since taking the Play the King Stakes (Can-IIT) at Woodbine in August 2009.

Heros Reward, from the Dale Capuano barn for owners Rob Ry Farm and Jayne Marie Slysz, has won 12 of 43 lifetime starts and earned $1,135,889, but the Partner's Hero senior citizen hasn't won since 2009.

Another leading contended is Stormy Lord, coming off a front-running three-length triumph in the Connaught Cup (Can-IIT) on a soft Woodbine turf course May 29. Owned by his breeder Kinghaven Farms and partner Hat Trick Stable, the 4-year-old Stormy Atlantic   gelding is trained by Ian Black.

Eight-year-old Silver Timber, a multiple graded winner from the Chad Brown barn, attempts to rebound from a sixth-place showing in Keeneland's Shakertown Stakes (gr. IIIT) on yielding ground April 16.

In the Singspiel, Rahy's Attorney is a 14-time winner in 39 races with earnings of more than $2.1 million. The Crown Attorney gelding is developing nicely into a distance turf performer at age 7 after specializing in intermediate distances for trainer Black. Ellie Boje Farm's homebred won the 12-furlong Pan American Stakes (Can-IIIT) at Gulfstream Park in March and is coming off a neck victory over allowance foes going 11 furlongs back at Woodbine June 3.

In between those two races, Rahy's Attorney finished fifth in the Elkhorn Stakes (gr. IIT) over yielding turf at Keeneland April 29. The race was won by 9-year-old Musketier, who also won the Elkhorn in 2010 on firm going. Roger Attfield trains the German-bred gray horse for Johanna Louise Glen-Teven.

Sam-Son Farms' Windward Islands, winner of Woodbine's Nijinsky Stakes (Can-IIT) on yielding turf last summer, was third in the Elkhorn last time for trainer Mark Frostad. That was the first start for the 7-year-old son of Cozzene this year.

Grassy invades Woodbine for the first time for trainer Christophe Clement and owners/breeders Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider. The 5-year-old son of El Prado won Aqueduct's Red Smith Handicap (gr. IIT) last November on soft going.

$200,000 Highlander Stakes (Can-IIT, Race 5, 2:27 p.m.), 3 & Up, 6 Furlongs (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Silver Timber (NY), R Albarado, 121, C C Brown
2. Heros Reward (MD),  S Russell, 117, D Capuano
3. Signature Red (KY), L Contreras, 123, S C Attard
4. Paso Doble (KY), P Husbands, 119, M E Casse
5. Nordic Truce (KY), G K Gomez, 121. C Clement
6. Jungle Wave (KY), G Olguin, 117, S C Attard
7. Stormy Lord (ON), J McAleney, 123, I Black
8. Essence Hit Man (ON), J C Jones, 119, A Cappuccitti
9. Riding the River (KY), R A Dos Ramos, 117, D Cotey
10. Fiddlers Patriot (NY),  J R Velazquez, 117, G Weaver

$150,000 Singspiel Stakes (Can-IIIT, Race 7, 3:45 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/2 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Solitaire (ON), L Contreras, 118, H J Bond
2. Rahy's Attorney (ON), E Wilson, 125, I Black
3. Simmard (KY), P Husbands, 118, R L Attfield
4. Windward Islands (KY), C Sutherland, 122, M R Frostad
5. Miami Deco (ON), R A Dos Ramos, 122, B A Lynch
6. Grassy (KY), G K Gomez, 124, C Clement
7. Musketier (GER), J R Velazquez, 125, R L Attfield
 

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