James Street won the 2011 Seagram Cup by a head over Stunning Stag.

James Street won the 2011 Seagram Cup by a head over Stunning Stag.

Michael Burns

James Street to Defend Seagam Cup Title

Six opponents, including Stephen Foster winner Pool Play, set for Woodbine test.

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.

Eugene Melnyk's 5-year-old homebred by El Prado won last year's Seagram Cup by a head over the charging Stunning Stag, who also returns for the 2012 renewal of the 1 1/16-mile event. The race highlights the Saturday program at Woodbine and goes off as the eighth event on the card with a scheduled 4:50 p.m. EDT post.

Trained by Josie Carroll, James Street has lost three in a row since posting his mild upset in last year's Seagram Cup. The bay horse has been out just once in 2012, finishing fifth in the Eclipse Stakes (Can-III) over the track and distance May 26. Justin Stein retains the mount.

Stunning Stag, now 8, has finished in the money in 26 of 34 starts while totaling $989,435 in earnings. Sid Attard trains the 8-year-old Running Stag gelding for his wife, Janice. Stunning Stag is coming off a narrow half-length victory in the Ontario Jockey Club Stakes on turf July 2, his first win in three starts this year. Regular pilot Gerry Olguin is aboard.

Pool Play, trained by Mark Casse for owner William Farish Jr., ran fourth in the Ontario Jockey Club, his first start since capturing the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) on dirt at 36-1 odds in June 2011. Pool Play suffered a tendon injury preparing for last summer's Whitney Handicap (gr. I) and was sent to the sidelines with his career thought to be likley over.

Now 7, the son of Silver Deputy has a 6-6-5 record in 29 races and earnings of $940,518. Patrick Husbands rides the 121-pound co-high weight.

Also carrying 121 is Stronach Stables' City Wolf , who had a four-race winning streak last year for trainer Reade Baker including a victory in last fall's Durham Cup (Can-III) at Woodbine. The 5-year-old son of Giant's Causeway  has dropped three straight since that win and is coming off a fourth-place effort tin the 1 1/2-mile Singspiel (Can-III) June 24. City Wolf will race with blinkers.

Incredicat, a 3-year-old who ran second in both the Plate Trial and Achievement stakes this year, makes his first start against older horses. The son of Discreet Cat, trained by Ian Black for breeder Kinghaven Farms and partners, won the Wando Stakes during the spring.

$150,000 Seagam Cup Stakes (Can-III, Race 8, 4:50 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Pool Play (ON), P Husbands, 121, M E Casse
2. Medidocihospisurg (ON), J M Campbell, 117, S Chircop
3. Stunning Stag (ON), G Olguin, 117, S C Attard
4. James Street (KY), J Stein, 119, J Carroll
5. Alpha Bettor (KY), T Pizarro, 117, D J Vella
6. Incredicat (ON), A O Solis, 116, I Black
7. City Wolf (KY), L Contreras, 121, R Baker
Blinkers On: City Wolf