Ellie-Boge Farm’s homebred Rahy's Attorney, a grade II winner in Canada twice this season, will shoot for his third straight victory in the $250,000 Sky Classic Stakes (Can-IIT) Aug. 23 at Woodbine.
A 5-year-old gelding, Rahy’s Attorney will face as many as seven in the Sky Classic, a 1 3/8-mile turf contest for older horses. Trainer Mark Casse has three entered, while Bobby Frankel will try to get multiple grade I winner Champs Elysees back on track. Post time for Woodbine’s feature is set for 4:38 p.m. EDT.
Bred in Ontario, Rahy’s Attorney began his season by missing just a head in the May 24 Connaught Cup (Can-IIIT), an event he won in 2008. The son of Crown Attorney—Rahy’s Hope, by Rahy, then went wire-to-wire in the nine-furlong King Edward Handicap (Can-IIT) June 27 and led most of the way when winning the Nijinsky (Can-IIT) July 26—both on Woodbine’s turf. In fact, Rahy’s Attorney has made all but two of his 22 career starts on either the Woodbine turf or Polytrack, winning nine times for earnings of more than $1.45 million. Included in those was a victory the 2008 Woodbine Mile (Can-IT).
Rahy’s Attorney, who is also co-owned by Read Peters, and Jim and Jean MacLellan, will be ridden by regular rider Slade Callaghan for trainer Ian Black. He will carry top weight of 123 pounds while giving eight pounds to all but Marchfield
, who carries 121.
Black will also saddle Hillsbrook Farm’s longshot Cool Gator
, who has won just once in 15 career starts, that coming back in September of 2007.
Melynk Racing’s homebred Marchfield looks to be the strongest of Casse’s triumvirate. A two-time graded stakes winner over synthetic surfaces, Marchfield returned to grass in the 10-furlong Nijinsky, where he steadily closed on Rahy’s Attorney only to come up 1 3/4-lengths short. A 5-year-old son of A.P. Indy, Marchfield won the Breeders’ Stakes on the Woodbine turf back in 2007. Since the summer of 2008, he has raced mainly over the Woodbine Polytrack or Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface.
Casse’s other two entrants are Equine Prep Management’s Medjool
and Melynk’s Woodbourne
, who is there mainly to ensure some pace for Marchfield.
"I was pretty pleased with Marchfield (in the Nijinsky) because he ran on a soft turf course, which I didn't know if he'd like," said Casse, who said he thought about bringing the horse to Saratoga for the grade I Whitney, on dirt. "He'll run on anything though--turf, dirt, or Polytrack. But the thing he enjoys most is at least 10 furlongs or more. He's a horse who takes a little while to get going and likes a long stretch like the one (at Woodbine).
"He's coming into the race well, we just need some racing luck."
Patrick Husbands will ride Marchfield, winner of the July 1 Dominion Day Handicap (Can-III).
Juddmonte Farms’ homebred Champs Elysees rides a four-race losing streak into the Sky Classic. Winner of the Northern Dancer Turf Stakes Presented by VTech (Can-IT) at Woodbine last September and the Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT) in December, 6-year-old Champs Elysees has not been at his best for most of 2009. His best try in four efforts came when finishing runner-up to Einstein in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) on the Pro-Ride in March. Last out, he was third, beaten 7 1/2 lengths by Rahy’s Attorney in the Nijinsky.
$250,000 Sky Classic (gr. IIT, Race 8, 4:38 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Catch the Luck (ON), E R Da Silva, 115, M R Frostad
2. Champs Elysees (GB), T Kabel, 115, R J Frankel
3. Marlang (ON), R A Dos Ramos, 115, D England
4. Cool Gator (ON), E Wilson, 115, I Black
5. Rahy's Attorney (ON), S Callaghan, 123, I Black
6. Medjool (KY), C Fraser, 115, M E Casse
7. Marchfield (ON), P Husbands, 121, M E Casse
8. Woodbourne (ON), S P Husbands, 115, M E Casse