John Menary and Gail Cox's two-time Connaught Cup (CAN-IIT) victor Something Extra heads the $200,000 Highlander Stakes Presented by Pizzaville (CAN-IIT) July 7 at Woodbine and is the 2-1 favorite on the morning line for a 13-horse field that includes grade I winner Next Question.
Race 9 on a 12-race Queen's Plate program, the six-furlong Highlander for 3-year-olds and up immediately precedes the Queen's Plate with an approximate post time of 4:53 p.m. EDT.
Something Extra is a 5-year-old son of Indian Charlie
who led throughout to earn both of his Connaught Cup victories. In winning the race for the first time in 2012 he fractured a splint bone, which sent him to the sidelines from May 27 until October. He won the Mt. Sassafras Stakes then and ran third in the Kennedy Road Stakes (CAN-III) before heading to the U.S. to register runner-up efforts in the Gulfstream Park Turf Stakes and in the Shakertown Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland
this spring. He won the seven-furlong Connaught Cup on May 26 by three-quarters of a length in 1:20.54.
Trainer Gail Cox sends her runner from post 10 in the Highlander, with Eurico Da Silva in the irons as part of a 123-pound impost.
Next Question is the highweight in the field, toting 126 along with jockey Shaun Bridgmohan from the outside. But Three Diamonds Farm's 5-year-old Stormy Atlantic
gelding seeks a return to winning ways, having gone without a score since he earned his first grade I in the Oct. 14 Nearctic Stakes (CAN-IT).
Since then, trainer Mike Trombetta has sent Next Question out four times; he was seventh in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IT), then got a break until the Shakertown in April, where he was fifth. His best finish thus far was a third in the May 16 Around the Cape Stakes at Belmont Park
, after which he ran fifth in the June 7 Jaipur, also at Belmont, last time out.
Kendel D. Standlee and Richard L. Shultz's Big Band Sound
was runner-up in last year's edition of the Connaught Cup, and won the Play the King Stakes (CAN-IIT) last August. Recently the 6-year-old Bernstein
runner was fifth in a June 15 allowance in his first start off a layup dating back to October. He was fourth in the Nearctic for trainer Daniel Vella, one position behind Bear Tough Tiger
, who came off that third to win the 2012 Kennedy Road Stakes (CAN-III).
Bear Tough Tiger, a 5-year-old Roar of the Tiger
gelding who started the season for Bear Stables with a runner-up effort in the Jacques Cartier Stakes, is one of four contenders trained by Reade Baker. He and Bear No Joke
will need to rebound off respective eighth- and sixth-place finishes in the Connaught Cup last time out, while stablemates Fatal Bullet
and Go Blue or Go Home
have shown better recent form.
Bear Stable's Fatal Bullet, a hard-knocking 8-year-old son of Red Bullet
, comes off a June 15 win in the 6-furlong turf prep for the Highlander when making his 2013 debut. Jim and Susan Hill's Go Blue Or Go Home, a 4-year-old gelded son of Bluegrass Cat
, took the June 10 Karl Boyes Memorial Stakes on Tapeta at Presque Isle Downs
last time out.
$200,000 Highlander Stakes Presented by Pizzaville (CAN-IIT, Race 9, approximate post 4:53 p.m. EDT), 3YOs & Up, 6 furlongs (turf)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, Odds
1. Night Officer (MD), J. Rosario, 117, B R Brown, 4-1
2. Rothko (KY), J.R. Velazquez, 121, S M Asmussen, 12-1
3. Dan the Tin Man (FL), A.O. Solis, 115, R Griffith, 20-1
4. Big Band Sound (KY), E. Wilson, 123, D J Vella, 10-1
5. Bear Tough Tiger (FL), J. Stein, 121, R Baker, 20-1
6. Fatal Bullet (FL), J. Stein, 117, R Baker, 12-1
7. Super Chunky (FL), S. Russell, 117, K M Cox, 20-1
8. Paso Doble (KY), G. Boulanger, 119, M E Casse, 15-1
9. Go Blue Or Go Home (VA), L. Contreras, 119, R Baker, 6-1
10. Something Extra (KY), E.R. Da Silva, 123, G Cox, 2-1
11. Bear No Joke (ON), J.M. Campbell, 117, R Baker, 30-1
12. Executive Five (ON), T. Pizarro, 117, A D Katvan, 30-1
13. Next Question (NY), S. Bridgmohan, 126, M J Trombetta, 8-1
Equipment Changes: 12—Executive Five—Blinkers off