Le Cinquieme Essai

Le Cinquieme Essai

Michael Burns

Le Cinquieme Essai Goes for Threepeat

William Scott’s 9-year-old iron horse Le Cinquieme Essai will try to win the Play the King Stakes (Can-IIT) for the third consecutive year, as he takes on 10 rivals in the $200,000 turf event Aug. 23 at Woodbine.

Bred in by Scott in Ontario, Le Cinquieme Essai is very lightly raced at this point in his career, having started just four times in the past 13 months. The Fastness gelding has taken the same path to the Play the King as he did in 2007, with his lone prep start of the season coming in the July 19 Ontario Jockey Club Stakes. He finished second to Mulmar this year, while coming in third last year.

Le Cinquieme Essai has run in the seven-furlong Play the King for the last three years. In 2005, he finished second by a head. He won the last two runnings by less than a length under Steven Bahen.

Trained by Paul Nielson, Le Cinquieme Essai has a 12-8-3 mark from 31 lifetime starts. Seven of those wins have come in stakes company. He has earned more than $1.3 million in his career. Le Cinquieme Essai, who is out of the Regal Classic mare Words of Royalty, will carry a 121-pound impost and get Bahen once again.

Sam-Son Farms’ Mulmur won the Ontario Jockey Club by two lengths for his first stakes victory. The 5-year-old Smart Strike gelding has won just twice in his last 11 starts. He is trained by Mark Frostad.

Godolphin Racing will send out the coupled entry of Tam Lin and Emirates to Dubai, both trained by Saeed bin Suroor. Tam Lin figures to have the better chance of the two, as the English-bred gelding has been competitive in good company this year. He beat Cosmonaut by a nose in the one-mile Scottish Monk Stakes at Belmont June 14, then was runner-up to Kip Deville in the July 13 Poker Handicap (gr. IIIT). Patrick Husbands will get the mount on the 5-year-old son of Selkirk.

Emirates to Dubai, a 5-year-old son of Storm Cat, won the Red Wing Dream Stakes May 21 at Belmont.

Just Rushing and Awesome Action, second and third, respectively, in last year’s Play the King, are also entered. Although Just Rushing has not won since taking the Vigil Stakes (Can-IIIT) last year, he has been no worse than third in eight of nine starts since then.

This year’s running of the seven-furlong Vigil went to Disfunction, who is also entered here. The 4-year-old gelding has won three of five starts in 2008, but will be making his turf debut.

Off Duty makes just his second start on grass, but should improve after finishing second to Mr. Nightlinger in the Taylor’s Special Stakes at Arlington Park July 26. The Lynn Whiting trainee won the Phoenix (gr. III) on the Keeneland Polytrack last fall.

$200,000 Play the King Stakes (gr. II, Race 8, 4:52 p.m.), Three-Year-Olds & Up, Seven Furlongs (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Emirates to Dubai (KY), 115, Jono C. Jones
2. Last Gran Standing (IL), 115, David Clark
3. Disfunction (BC), 121, Chantal Sutherland
4. Off Duty (FL), 119, Larry Melancon
5. Just Rushing (ON), 119, James McAleney
6. Wollemi Pine (KY), 115, Emma-Jayne Wilson
7. Tam Lin (GB), 115, Patrick Husbands
8. Le Cinquieme Essai (ON), 121, Steven Ronald Bahen
9. Awesome Action (ON), 115, Robert C. Landry
10. Mulmur (ON), 117, Eurico Rosa Da Silva
11. Morada Key (KY), 115, Corey Fraser