Champion Big Brown could be represented by the second stakes winner of his first juvenile crop if Archer Hill gets the job done over seven other 2-year-olds in the $250,000 Summer Stakes (gr. IIT) Presented by TVG at Woodbine Sept. 15.
The Summer Stakes, race nine on a 10-race card, is slated for approximate post time of 5:21 p.m. EDT and will air on TVG and MSG+. It is a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" event, with the victor earning an automatic berth in the Nov. 3 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IT) at Santa Anita Park.
Big Brown is a son of Boundary who won the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) as well as the Florida Derby (gr. I), the Haskell Invitational (gr. I), and the Monmouth Stakes on the way to Eclipse Award 3-year-old honors in 2008. He broke his maiden by 11 1/4 lengths at first asking going 1 1/16 miles on the lawn at Saratoga Race Course before moving to dirt for his sophomore season.
Standing at Three Chimneys Farm since 2009, Big Brown was represented by his first stakes winner Aug. 4 when Brown Almighty took the $50,000 Sunny's Halo at Louisiana Downs.
Archer Hill, a New York-bred out of the Grand Slam mare La Femme Galante, went the same distance on the same surface at the same track as his sire's debut and also won, albeit by a smaller margin, Aug. 2. The $150,000 purchase from the Fasig-Tipton New York Saratoga 2011 select yearling sale cleared nine other maidens by 1 1/2 lengths after taking the overland route with a rally from eighth to get the victory for owner William Schettine and trainer Lisa Lewis.
Archer Hill is the 5-2 favorite on the Ontario morning line and will be ridden by Alex Solis, who returns after the successful maiden voyage, from post 4.
I'm Boundtoscore and Bear's Furr are the only horses in the field to have previously started in stakes company, with the former the sole stakes winner in the field. I'm Boundtoscore, by Even the Score, won the July 21 Chenery Stakes going 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf at Colonial Downs by 2 1/4 lengths in spite of racing rankly, then finished second in the Aug. 5 Tyro Stakes going five furlongs on the Monmouth Park lawn. Troy Rankin trains and owns the colt in partnership with Joe Davis.
Bear's Furr won his debut going 4 1/2 furlongs at Woodbine June 10, then finished fourth in the six-furlong Colin Stakes there July 14. He was officially placed third after the original runner-up was disqualified for bumping him in the stretch. The Langfuhr colt makes his turf debut in the Summer for trainer Reade Baker and Danny Dion's Bear Stable.
Dominion Bloodstock's Mercenary also tries turf for the first time after breaking his maiden Aug. 26 going six furlongs on the all weather surface at Woodbine in his second outing for trainer David Cotey.
Mark Dodson's The B's and E's comes off a July 15 maiden victory second time out, going seven furlongs on the Belmont Park turf for trainer Wesley Ward. John Oxley's Indiano Jones, a son of A.P. Indy, won Aug. 19 going seven furlongs on turf at Woodbine for trainer Mark Casse.
Local contender Are You Kidding Me has two straight recent victories over the Woodbine lawn for Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield. The Run Away and Hide colt races for an ownership contingent of Ronald Kirk, John Bates, Michael Riordan, Aaron Sones, et al.
Best Play, a son of Speightstown still seeking his initial score after a runner-up finish behind Indiano Jones for owner Robert Evans and trainer Mark Frostad, completes the field.