Something Extra takes on 12 in the Highlander Stakes.

Something Extra takes on 12 in the Highlander Stakes.

Michael Burns

Something Extra Heads Highlander Field

Connaught Cup victor is favorite in 13-horse field for July 7 stakes at Woodbine.

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.
Graded stakes winner Rothko, stakes winners Night Officer, Dan the Tin Man, Paso Doble, and allowance winners Super Chunky and Executive Five complete the field.
$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: 12Executive FiveBlinkers off