Something Extra will look to avenge a tough loss from last year when he goes to post in this year's edition of the $200,000 Connaught Cup (Can-IIT) at Woodbine May 30.
The 7-year-old gelding by Indian Charlie set the pace in last year's Connaught Cup before being run down by Excaper, settling for second-best beaten just a half-length. He was trying to win the race for the third year in a row after taking the 2012 and 2013 editions.
It was one of six starts in 2014 for Something Extra, who won once, while earning $207,637 for owners John Menary and Gail Cox.
Bred in Kentucky by Gulf Coast Farms, Something Extra began this year with a victory in the April 4 Shakertown Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland, before weakening to third in the Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs May 1.
LEWYN: Something Extra Gate to Wire in Shakertown Woodbine, Saturday, May 30, 2015, Race 8
Something Extra has won nine of 30 career starts, with earnings of $879,906, and was made the 123-pound starting high weight in the grassy seven-furlong contest. He will break from the rail under jockey Eurico Da Silva.
Since taking last year's Connaught Cup, Excaper hasn't found the winner's circle, dropping his next seven starts for owners Richard Kaster and Frederick Wietin.
The 6-year-old horse did finish second in three of those starts, however, including the June 22 King Edward Stakes (Can-II), the Oct. 26 Labeeb Stakes, and the Dec. 13 El Prado Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
He's failed to hit the board in both starts this year, when fifth in the Canadian Turf (gr. IIIT) Feb. 21 and sixth in the Appleton Stakes (gr. IIIT) March 28. Both races were at Gulfstream.
In his career, Excaper has won five of 24 starts with earnings of $748,282, with his best performance coming in the 2011 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IT) at Churchill, where he finished second behind Wrote .
Excaper will carry 118 pounds, two more pounds than he carried when taking the Connaught Cup last year, and will break from post 8 under jockey David Moran.
Phil's Dream enters the Connaught Cup in top form, having hit the board in his last 12 starts, winning six times during the stretch that dates back to September.
This 7-year-old gelding won the 2013 Sovereign Award for top sprinter in Canada and has won 10 of 21 career starts for owner Buttigieg Training Centre.
Phil's Dream has won two of three career grass starts including the 2013 Neartic (Can-I) over the Woodbine turf course and will carry 118 pounds with jockey Justin Stein back aboard.
Golden Sabre drew post 3 and is followed out by Chart Topper, Conquest Top Gun, Eminent Force, River Seven, Excaper, Dimension, who weakened to ninth as the favorite in last year's Connaught Cup, and Lockout.
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L 1 1Something Extra (KY) Eurico Rosa Da Silva 122 Gail Cox - 2 2Phil's Dream (ON) Justin Stein 118 Paul M. Buttigieg - 3 3Golden Sabre (ON) Alan Garcia 116 Malcolm Pierce - 4 4Chart Topper (KY) Tyler Pizarro 116 Ricky Griffith - 5 5Conquest Top Gun (KY) Patrick Husbands 118 Mark E. Casse - 6 6Eminent Force (ON) Gerry Olguin 116 Paul Nielsen - 7 7River Seven (ON) Jesse M. Campbell 118 Nicholas Gonzalez - 8 8Excaper (KY) David Moran 122 Ian Black - 9 9Dimension (GB) Luis Contreras 116 Conor Murphy - 10 10Lockout (KY) Gary Boulanger 116 Mark E. Casse -
Woodbine, Saturday, May 30, 2015, Race 8