Pender Harbour was Canada's champion 3-year-old male of 2011.

Pender Harbour was Canada's champion 3-year-old male of 2011.

Michael Burns

Pender Harbour One to Beat in Dominion Day

Two-time Canadian classic winner won the Steady Growth in his last outing.

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.

The son of Philanthropist will carry 119 pounds, compared to 123 for co-highweights Newsdad and Straight Story and 121 for Hunters Bay .

The Dominion Day is the eighth race and is scheduled to go off at 4:49 p.m. (ET) over the Polytrack surface.

Pender Harbour, owned by Dennis Andrews, Sandra Lazaruk, and Bob and Roberta Giffin, should have no problem getting the distance. He won last year’s classic Breeders’ Stakes at 1 1/2 miles at Woodbine but that was on grass. His other classic score came in the Prince of Wales at 1 3/16 miles at Fort Erie.

The sole millionaire in the field, Pender Harbour has run twice this year. He began the season running ninth in the Eclipse (Can-III) and then won the Steady Growth at Woodbine June 17. Luis Contreras rides again.

James S. Karp’s Newsdad is another contestant familiar with distance racing. At Gulfstream Park this year, he won the Pan American Stakes (gr. IIT) at 1 1/2 miles at Gulfstream Park following a nose loss in the Mac Diarmida (gr. IIT) at 1 3/8 miles. Newsdad enters the Dominion Day after running fifth in the Elkhorn (gr. IIT) at Keeneland. Alex Solis rides the Arch colt for the first time.

Hunters Bay will be trying for his third straight triumph and consecutive stakes wins. The son of Ghostzapper  owned by Stronach Stables won a Woodbine optional claimer/allowance in late April and then took the Eclipse (Can-III) May 26. Emma-Jayne Wilson will ride again.

Another son of Ghostzapper, grade I winner Stately Victor, is trying for his first victory since the Ontario Derby in September 2010. Owned by Jack and Thomas Conway, Stately Victor came close in both of his starts this year, beaten a neck at Keeneland and by a nose at Arlington Park last time out. Jockey Rosie Napravnik rides for the first time.

Straight Story, winner of Woodbine’s Autumn Stakes (Can-II) in November in his last start of the year, will be making his second start this year. He finished seventh, but beaten just 4 3/4 lengths in the Dixie (gr. IIT) at Pimlico Race Course in his 2012 debut. J.M. Campbell rides the son of Giant's Causeway  for owner Richard Santulli.

Completing the field is trainer Steven Chircop and Joe Petrella’s Medidocihospisurg, a son of Thunder Gulch who has made all 40 of his starts at Woodnine and sports a stakes win in the Elgin Stakes last September.

$200,000 Dominion Day Stakes (gr. III, Race 8, Post 4:49 p.m. ET), 3-Year-Olds and Up, 1 1/4 MilesPost  Horse  Jockey  Weight  Trainer
1. Straight Story  J M Campbell  123  A E Goldberg
2. Newsdad  A O Solis  123  W I Mott
3. Stately Victor  R Napravnik  117  M J Maker
4. Hunters Bay  E Wilson  121  R Baker
5. Medidocihospisurg  T Pizarro  119  S Chircop
6. Pender Harbour  L Contreras  119  M P De Paulo