Sharp winner of the Durham Cup (Can-III) last month, City Wolf puts his four-race winning streak at Woodbine on the line against a strong field in the $150,000 Autumn Stakes (Can-II) Nov. 12.
The Stronach Stables' Kentucky homebred, a 4-year-old son of Giant's Causeway , carries 121 pounds in the Autumn, contested at 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack. Other leading contenders among the 10 entrants are King Edward Stakes (Can-IIT) winner Court of the Realm, the 123-pound high weight; James Street, who captured the Seagram Cup (Can-III) Aug. 6; defending Autumn victor Stunning Stag; and 3-year-old standout Pender Harbour, who won two jewels of the Canadian Triple Crown.
The Autumn Stakes is the eighth on the Woodbine program with a probable post of 4:26 p.m. EST.
Trained by Reade Baker, City Wolfe was making his stakes debut in the 1 1/8-mile Durham Cup Oct. 2, which the chestnut colt won in stalking fashion by 2 1/4 lengths over James Street. City Wolf broke his maiden going seven furlongs in his sixth start May 7 and hasn't lost since.
City Wolf drew the far outside post and will be ridden by Emma-Jayne Wilson, who has been aboard for each of his wins.
Court of the Realm won the one-mile King Edward on Woodbine's turf course by a half-length at 12-1 odds in June. But he has generally fared better on Woodbine's Polytrack, winning four of six starts. Trained by Peter Berringer for Aurora Meadows and Oxbridge Farm, the 4-year-old Powerscourt colt had a five-race win streak halted in the Seagram Cup (Can-III) as the even-money choice. He has not been out since running last of 12 in the Play the King Stakes (Can-IIT) on turf Aug. 28.
Melnyk Racing Stable's homebred James Street has three wins and two seconds in his past five starts in 2011, all on Woodbine's Polytrack, for trainer Josie Carroll. The 4-year-old El Prado colt registered his first graded stakes score in the Seagram Cup at the Autumn distance, nipping Stunning Stag by a head in a terrific stretch duel. In his lone start since, James Street rallied well for second in the Durham Cup but could not make an impact on City Wolf.
Stunning Stag, owned by Janice Attard, roared to a late-running 3 3/4-length triumph in last year's Autumn for trainer Sid Attard. Given the winter off, the 7-year-old Ontario-bred Running Stag gelding returned five months later to tally in the Vigil Stakes (Can-III) by three lengths in May. He has lost three in a row since then, however, most recently finishing third in the $250,000 Presque Isle Mile in Pennsylvania Sept. 9.
Pender Harbour scored nose victories in both the Prince of Wales and Breeders' Stakes, the final two legs of Canada's Triple Crown, following a third in the Queen's Plate. After an eighth-place debacle in the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II), the gelded son of Philanthropist went gate-to-wire for a 4 1/4-length victory in the one-mile Bunty Lawless Stakes Oct. 22. That was his second try against older horses at Woodbine for trainer Michael De Paulo.
Gustav Schickedanz's homebred Artic Fern, winner of the King Corrie Stakes at six furlongs Sept. 21, has captured five of six starts over Woodbine's Polytrack and is gunning for his first graded score for trainer Michael Keogh.
$150,000 Autumn Stakes (gr. II, Race 8, 4:26 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Straight Story (NY), J M Campbell, 121, A E Goldberg
2. Court of the Realm (KY), E Ramsammy, 123, P Berringer
3. Stunning Stag (ON), G Olguin, 121, S C Attard
4. James Street (KY), P Husbands, 121, J Carroll
5. Hotep (ON), J Stein, 117, M R Frostad
6. Mobilizer (ON), T Pizarro, 117, R L Attfield
7. Pender Harbour (ON), S Callaghan, 116, M P De Paulo
8. Artic Fern (ON), D Clark, 117, M Keogh
9. Unbridled Kimanchi (KY), L Contreras, 114, B A Lynch
10. City Wolf (KY), E Wilson, 121, R Baker