Larry Carter’s Monsoon Rain, a winner of five consecutive races, ships to Woodbine to try graded stakes company for the first time in the $150,000 Durham Cup (Can-III) Oct. 11.
Monsoon Rain will face eight older horses in the 1 1/8-mile test on Polytrack. The Durham Cup is race 8 on Woodbine’s 10-race card and goes to post at 4:34 p.m. EDT.
Originally owned by Godolphin and trained by Saeed bin Suroor, Monsoon Rain began his racing career in 2004 in England, where he broke his maiden at second asking. The son of Old Trieste was then shipped to the U.S., where he raced twice at Belmont for Eoin Harty and finished third in allowance company both times. After being bought privately by Carter, the bay gelding was shipped to Canada, where he has made his last eight starts – all at Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg. The last seven were for current trainer Martin Drexler.
Monsoon Rain’s last three triumphs have been in stakes company and in each one he took over at the half-mile and never relinquished the lead. Last out in the $50,000 Gold Cup Stakes, the 6-year-old turned in a spectacular performance, winning by 11 1/4 lengths in the 1 1/8-mile dirt contest Sept. 21. Regular rider Carlos Marquez Jr. will get the call in the Durham Cup.
One of the local contenders is Tucci stables’ Artie Hot, winner of the $150,000 Seagram Cup (Can-III) two starts back at Woodbine. The 4-year-old Black Minnaloushe gelding has won four of 13 starts in Toronto, including the Ontario Derby last year. Emma-Jayne Wilson rides for trainer Nick Gonzalez.
The lone multiple graded stakes winner in the field is Roger Attfield trainee Palladio, who was seventh in the $1-million Woodbine Mile (Can-I) last out. The 6-year-old horse won the Ohio Derby (gr. II) in 2005 and Eclipse Stakes (Can-III) last year. He was fourth in last year’s Durham Cup.
Stronach Stables’ Ghost Hour tries graded company for the second time and could be a big factor based on his recent form. The 4-year-old Awesome Again colt has won three of six starts this season, including a 2 3/4-length score in optional claiming company Sept. 4 at Woodbine. Two starts back he finished seventh in the grade II Nijinsky Stakes. It was his only time off the board in his last five efforts. Emile Ramsammy will be aboard.
$150,000 Durham Cup (gr. III, Race 8, 4:34 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Polytrack)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Head Chopper (ON), 121, Chantal Sutherland
2. Marchfield (ON), 117, Patrick Husbands
3. Can't Beat It (KY), 115, James McAleney
4. Ghost Hour (FL), 117, Emile Ramsammy
5. Artie Hot (KY), 121, Emma-Jayne Wilson
6. Royal Challenger (ON), 117, Jono C. Jones
7. Palladio (FL), 115, Richard Anthony Dos Ramos
8. Monsoon Rain (KY), 117, Carlos L. Marquez
9. Torquay (KY), 115, Eurico Rosa Da Silva