Bourbon Bay faces 7 in the Northern Dancer Turf.

Bourbon Bay faces 7 in the Northern Dancer Turf.

Northern Dancer Turf Ripe for the Taking

All eight entered in the 1 1/2-mile race enter off losing efforts.

California shipper Bourbon Bay and European invader Wigmore Hall are among eight older horses entered in a wide-open edition of the $500,000 Northern Dancer Turf presented by VTech (Can-IT) Sept. 18 at Woodbine.

The 1 1/2-mile race is the second of three graded races on a Woodbine card that is headlined by the $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile (Can-IT). Post time is scheduled for 4:34 p.m. EDT and the race will be televised by TVG.
None of the eight entered in the Northern Dancer won in their last start, but David and Jill Heerensperger’s Bourbon Bay was beaten only a head in the Aug. 28 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) as the 7-10 favorite. The Neil Drysdale trainee won the Cougar II Handicap (gr. III) on Polytrack in his previous start to notch his fifth lifetime graded stakes win. The 5-year-old gelded son of Sligo Bay  also won the San Marcos (gr. IIT) earlier this season at Santa Anita.
He has a pair of career starts at Woodbine, including a third-place finish in an allowance contest. Joe Talamo will have the mount once again on Bourbon Bay, who is the 123-pound high weight. Drysdale won this race in 2009 with Marsh Side.
Mark Hawtin’s Wigmore Hall was never a factor when finishing fourth in the Aug. 13 Arlington Million (gr. IT), but made up ground in the late stages. The 4-year-old High Chaparral gelding won the Jebel Hatta sponsored by Emirates Airline (UAE-II) at Meydan Racecourse in March for his lone win of the season in five tries. The Michael Bell trainee was runner-up in the Secretariat (gr. IT) at Arlington last year in his only other U.S. start. Jamie Spencer has the mount on the millionaire.
William S. Farish’s Seaside Retreat hasn’t won in more than a year but was third, beaten only a half-length, in this race last year. The 8-year-old gelding recorded his biggest victory on the Woodbine turf in 2008 when taking the Nijinsky (Can-IIT). He is 0-for-2 this year for trainer Mark Casse, who will also send out Hailstone, the third-place finisher of the Sky Classic (Can-IIT) on Aug. 21.
Trainer Mark Frostad has won the Northern Dancer Turf a record six times and has another chance with Hotep, who missed by a neck in the Aug. 13 With Approval Stakes at Woodbine. The 4-year-old son of A.P. Indy will make just his third start on turf after spending much of his career racing on the Woodbine Polytrack. He races for Sam-Son Farms, who has won the event seven times.

$500,000 Northern Dancer Turf (Can-IT, Race 8, 4:34 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/2 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Hotep (ON), E Wilson, 119, M R Frostad
2. Bourbon Bay (KY), J Talamo, 123, N D Drysdale
3. Hailstone (KY), J R Leparoux, 119, M E Casse
4. Wigmore Hall (IRE), J P Spencer, 123, M L Bell
5. Simmard (KY), P Husbands, 119, R L Attfield
6. Seaside Retreat (KY), L Contreras, 119, M E Casse
7. Laureate Conductor (KY), J Stein, 119, M P De Paulo
8. Al Khali (KY), A Garcia, 121, W I Mott