Evan Hammonds recaps the weekend races that could impact the 2012 Breeders' Cup races including a performance by Wise Dan in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile Stakes.
Wise Dan has earned his way into the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) this fall and would be one of the favorites after his smashing win as the 1-2 choice in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile (Can-IT) Sept. 16 on the Woodbine grass course.
Rebounding from a seventh-place showing in the Travers Stakes (gr. I), favored Stealcase registered his first stakes victory with a late-running effort in the $158,934 Ontario Derby (Can-III) Sept. 16 at Woodbine.
Wigmore Hall, winless since last year's Northern Dancer Stakes Presented by Vtech (Can-IT), successfully defended his crown when he outfought favored Al Khali in the homestretch over Woodbine's turf course Sept. 16.
Stalking Barefoot Lady, making her North American debut, seized the lead near mid-stretch and held on well to capture the $323,217 Canadian Stakes (Can-IIT) by 1 1/2 lengths on the Woodbine turf Sept. 16.
Champion jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson collected her 1,000th lifetime score aboard D'wildcat Gold in the first race at Woodbine Sept. 16.
I'm Boundtoscore upset the $258,205 Summer Stakes Presented by TVG (gr. IIT) at odds of 10-1 Sept. 15 at Woodbine, earning an automatic trip to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IT) Nov. 3 at Santa Anita Park.
Versatile gelding Wise Dan goes for his first grade I victory on grass as the 6-5 morning line favorite in the $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile (gr. IT) Sept. 16 in Toronto.
Laughing returns to Woodbine for the first time since last fall's E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-IT) as the likely favorite in the $300,000 Canadian Stakes (Can-IIT) on the turf Sept. 16.
Trainer Mark Casse entered Prospective and Stealcase in the $150,000 Ontario Derby at Woodbine Sept. 16, but only expects one to run. Casse will also send out Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber's Patrioticandproud.
Defending victor Wigmore Hall, recent grade II winner Forte Dei Marmi, and Woodbine Oaks heroine Irish Mission top a field of eight for the $500,000 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes Presented by Vtech at Woodbine Sept. 16.
Champion Big Brown could be represented by the second stakes winner of his first juvenile crop if 2-year-old Archer Hill gets the job done in the $250,000 Summer Stakes (gr. IIT) Presented by TVG at Woodbine Sept. 15.
The starting gate for the $250,000 Natalma Stakes (Can-IIT) on the Woodbine lawn Sept. 15 will be packed with promising 2-year-old fillies, 14 in all, with an automatic Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf berth at stake.
Uncaptured remained unbeaten in four starts as a 2-year-old with a smart 3 1/4-length victory over three opponents in the $172,565 Swynford Stakes Sept. 9 at Woodbine.
Grade I winner Wise Dan, currently ranked second on the NTRA's list of North America's top Thoroughbreds in training, is to arrive at Woodbine on the morning of Sept. 14 for the $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile (Can-IT).
Woodbine Entertainment Group received Ontario Racing Commission approval Sept. 7 to drop 11 Thursday afternoon cards from the Toronto track's 2012 live Thoroughbred racing calendar.
A cloud of uncertainty hovered over the first session of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society's (Ontario division) annual selected yearling sale Sept. 3 at the Woodbine sales pavilion in Rexdale, Ontario.
Back on her favorite track, Tu Endie Wei engaged 1-2 favorite Roxy Gap along the inside and refused to give way en route to a one-length victory in the $170,843 Seaway Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine Sept. 1.
Roxy Gap, a three-time graded stakes winner at Woodbine this season, is the 124-pound high weight in a field of five entered for the $150,000 Seaway Stakes (Can-III) Sept. 1 at the Toronto track.
Citing uncertainty due to the scheduled end of its slots-at-racetracks program in March 2013, Woodbine has submitted a request to the Ontario Racing Commission to cancel 11 Thoroughbred Thursday afternoon programs.
Ending a spate of runner-up finishes at Woodbine, Big Band Sound spurted away from the field at mid-stretch and held sway to win the Play the King Stakes (Can-IIT) on the turf Aug. 26.
Jockey Joe Rocco Jr., making his first visit to Woodbine Aug. 25, guided favorite Colonial Flag to a one-length victory in the $162,559 Ontario Colleen Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the turf.
Big Band Sound, second in four consecutive Woodbine stakes races since this spring, looks to finally break through as the 3-1 morning line pick in the $200,000 Play the King Stakes (Can-IIT) Aug. 26.
Forte Dei Marmi unleashed a devastating turn of foot in the homestretch to register an upset in the $266,930 Sky Classic Stakes (Can-IIT) for his first North American added-money victory Aug. 19 at Woodbine.
Trainer Roger Attfield is hoping a stretch-out to 1 1/4 miles in the $250,000 Sky Classic (Can-IIT) will enable Forte Dei Marmi to land his first North American stakes victory Aug. 19 at Woodbine.
Fillies accounted for two-thirds of the 2012 Canadian Triple Crown when the late-running Irish Mission outfought Aldous Snow to capture the $506,739 Breeders' Stakes by a half-length on the Woodbine turf Aug. 5.
Alpha Bettor produced a 23-1 upset in the $152,202 Seagram Cup (Can-III) when he edged City Wolf by a half-length for his first stakes victory Aug. 4 at Woodbine.
When trainer Lisa Lewis brings turf horses to Saratoga from her base at Woodbine, she means business. She scored last year at the Spa with two first-time starters at big prices on the grass and struck twice again recently.
Dixie Strike, impressive winner of the Prince of Wales last month, is the 5-2 morning line favorite from a field of 14 entered for the Breeders' Stakes, the final jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown at Woodbine Aug. 5.
James Street is back to defend his title in the $150,000 Seagram Cup (Can-III) against six opponents over the Polytrack Aug. 4 at Woodbine.
Queen's Plate winner Strait of Dover, who would have been favored in the Breeders' Stakes on turf at Woodbine Aug. 5, is out for the season with a leg injury.
Awesome Fire, under a brilliant ride from Chantal Sutherland, unleashed her closing kick rounding the far turn and overcame traffic problems en route to a game half-length victory in the $249,599 Wonder Where Stakes.
Roxy Gap defeated Atlantic Hurricane in a determined stretch duel to secure her first stakes win on turf by a half-length in the $186,402 Royal North Stakes (Can-IIIT) July 29 at Woodbine.
John Oxley's Spirited Miss rallied from off the pace to take the Duchess Stakes at Woodbine July 28, earning her first stakes score.
Former Canadian rider Chantal Sutherland, now based in Southern California, returns to Woodbine July 29 to ride Awesome Fire in the $250,000 Wonder Where Stakes, final leg of the triple tiara series for 3-year-old fillies.
Roxy Gap, enjoying a solid campaign so far this year with a pair of graded wins and two seconds in her past four starts, tries to transfer her form to turf against a good field in the $150,000 Royal North Stakes (Can-IIIT).
Shut off while making a move for the lead in the stretch, Riding the River dipped to the inside for racing room and emerged with a 9-1 upset win in the $318,180 Nijinsky Stakes (Can-IIT) July 22 on the Woodbine turf course.
Favored Stars to Shine, making her second start of the year, overcame some traffic issues to run down pacesetter Hooh Why in the stretch, winning the $151,072 Ontario Matron Stakes (Can-III) July 22 at Woodbine.
Pender Harbour, last year's 3-year-old Canadian champion, takes an undefeated record on the Woodbine turf course into the $300,000 Nijinsky Stakes (Can-IIT) July 22.
Stars to Shine and Bear It's Time bookend the $150,000 Ontario Matron Stakes as co-highweights at Woodbine July 22, but grade I winner Hooh Why has the most impressive resume in the field of nine.
Essence Hit Man showed what champions are made of when he staved off the equally determined challenger Eternal Rule through the long Woodbine homestretch to win the $172,801 Bold Venture Stakes (Can-III) July 18.
Essence Hit Man, last year's Canadian champion sprinter, should get a stern test from undefeated Eternal Rule in the $150,000 Bold Venture Stakes (Can-III) on the night of July 18 at Woodbine.
Late-running Patrioticandproud took the overland route to his first stakes victory in the $148,833 Toronto Cup at Woodbine July 14.
Marketing Mix continued her recent dominance of Canada's female turf ranks when she used a seam along the inside to capture the $352,020 Dance Smartly Stakes (Can-IIT) as the 3-5 choice July 8 at Woodbine.
Marketing Mix, winner of five of seven starts since trainer Tom Proctor switched her to the turf one year ago, heads the field for the $300,000 Dance Smartly Stakes (Can-IIT) July 8 at Woodbine.
Odds-on choice Hunters Bay had no problem with the 1 1/4-mile distance in his first try, putting away Pender Harbour in deep stretch to post a one-length victory in the $204,961 Dominion Day Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine.
Blue Heart, getting a textbook ride from Alex Solis, overtook front-running Casa Loma and favored Black Bird Rock in deep stretch to capture the $245,875 Bison City Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths at Woodbine July 1.
Two fillies from leading Woodbine trainer Mark Casse's stable are among the favorites in the $250,000 Bison City Stakes July 1, the second jewel of Canada's triple tiara for 3-year-old fillies at the Toronto oval.
Pender Harbour, Canada's champion 3-year-old male of 2011, will try to make it two straight when he takes on five rivals in the Dominion Day Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine July 1.
Smokey Fire, making his first start in nearly 20 months, overcame traffic problems in upper stretch to sweep past the leaders close to home for a 1 1/4-length win in the $230,726 Highlander Stakes (Can-IIT) at Woodbine.
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