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Go Deputy wins Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga Aug. 12.
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Go Deputy Favored in Canadian International

(from Woodbine report)
The Todd Pletcher-trained Go Deputy is the morning line favorite for the $2 million Pattison Canadian International (Can-I), Canada's richest race, Sunday on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course at Woodbine.

A well-matched field of 10 has been entered in the 1 1/2-mile event, with the grade I winner Go Deputy, to be ridden by John Velazquez, the morning line favorite at odds of 5-2.

Also on Sunday's Woodbine card is the $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-I) for fillies and mares, at 1 1/4 miles on the grass, and the $500,000 Nearctic Stakes (Can-II) at six furlongs on the lawn, at six furlongs.

Go Deputy enters the Pattison off a near-miss second-place finish to Breeders' Cup Turf-bound Cacique in the Man O' War Stakes (gr. IT) Sept. 9 at Belmont Park. Owned and bred by Wertheimer et Frere, the ultra consistent Kentucky-bred 6-year-old chestnut son of Deputy Minister, has won three of eight starts this year, including the Sword Dancer (gr. IT) Aug. 12 at Saratoga. He hasn't been worse than third in his last nine outings.

"I think he ran a huge race (in the Man O' War)," said Pletcher. "Cacique got through on the inside and we had to go around a few horses, but he just got beat. Showing Up (who finished third, a nose behind Go Deputy) is a really nice horse, too."

For Pletcher, North America's leading conditioner, who last Saturday established a seasonal record with his 93rd stakes win of the year, Go Deputy, with career earnings of $763,120, will be his first International starter.

Sky Conqueror, pegged as the 4-1 second choice, is seeking to become the first Canadian-bred to win the International since Thornfield in 1999. Jambalaya and Last Answer are also Canadian breds in this year's race.

Sky Conqueror, owned and bred by Bill Sorokolit and trained by Darwin Banach, has won three of his five starts this year, including the Northern Dancer Stakes (Can-II) July 23 at the same distance as the Pattison. The 4-year-old chestnut son of 1991 International winner Sky Classic tuned up for Sunday's race by winning a one mile allowance tilt on Oct. 8. The career earner of $791,295 will be ridden by six-time Sovereign Award winner Todd Kabel, who has won virtually every major stakes race at Woodbine during his career except the International.

Kastoria, another Irish-bred, will try to become just the sixth filly or mare to win the International since 1958. She's trained by John Oxx, who last visited Woodbine in 1995 when he won the E.P. Taylor Stakes with Timarida for owner H.H. Aga Khan. The 5-year-old daughter of Selkirk arrives from Ireland after defeating heavily-favored Yeats in the Irish St. Leger Stakes (Ire-I) Sept. 16 at The Curragh over 1 3/4 miles.

To be ridden by Mick Kinane, who scored with Ballingarry in the 2002 International, Kastoria, the 9-2 third choice has won six of 11 career starts, with four seconds, after not racing at 2 or 3.

Moyglare Stud Farm's Relaxed Gesture, who won last year's Pattison over a yielding turf course as an 11-1 outsider, returns to defend his title, seeking to become just the second horse to win back-to-back Internationals since it became a turf race in 1958. George Royal accomplished the feat in 1965-66. The only other horse to win consecutive Internationals was Shepperton, in 1942-43, when the race was conducted at one and one-sixteenth miles on the dirt.

Trained by Christophe Clement and to be ridden by Garrett Gomez, the Irish-bred 5-year-old, while winless in five starts since his International triumph last October, will also be trying to keep a streak alive. The last four International winners were also bred in Ireland. The second-leading money winner in the field, with over $1.7 million, Relaxed Gesture's best race this year was a second-place finish to Cacique in the June 10 Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) at Belmont Park, again over a yielding turf.

$2 Million Pattison Canadian International (Can-I, Race 7, 4:30 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/2 Miles (Turf)
PP/HORSE (Weight)/Owner/Trainer/Jockey/Odds
1/Sky Conqueror (126 lbs.)/William Sorokolit/Darwin Banach/Todd Kabel/4-1
2/Kastoria (123 lbs.)/H.H. Aga Khan/John Oxx/Michael Kinane/9-2
3/Blue Monday (126 lbs.)/Mountgrange Stud/Roger Charlton/Steve Drowne/6-1
4/Jambalaya (126 lbs.)/Kingfield Racing Stable/Catherine Day Phillips/Jono Jones/10-1
5/Last Answer (126 lbs.)/Gus Schickedanz/Michael Keogh/Emile Ramsammy/15-1
6/Meteor Storm (126 lbs.)/Horizon Stable/Wally Dollase/Javier Castellano/12-1
7/Go Deputy (126 lbs.)/Wertheimer et Frere/Todd Pletcher/John Velazquez/5-2
8/Collier Hill (126 lbs.)/R. Hall, D. Abell & R. Crowe/Alan Swinbank/Dean McKeown/12-1
9/The Last Drop (119 lbs.)/J. Hanson, Cavendish Inv. & A. Patrick/Barry Hills/Richard Hills/20-1
10/Relaxed Gesture (126 lbs.)/Moyglare Stud Farm/Christophe Clement/Garrett Gomez/10-1