Shillelagh Slew Returns in Breeders' Stakes

(from Woodbine Notes)
Shillelagh Slew will attempt to win his second Canadian Triple Crown event in a row on Sunday in the $500,000 Breeders' Stakes, a 1 ½-mile event over Woodbine's E.P. Taylor Turf Course.

The 3-year-old son of Chief Seattle finished second in the Prince of Wales Stakes but received the victory by virtue of a steward's ruling that disqualified Malakoff from first to fifth position. The ruling is pending an Ontario Racing Commission owner's appeal by Stronach Stables.

Shillelagh Slew, who finished fifth in the Queen's Plate, is one of only two runners in the field (Ascot Bill the other) that competed in the first two jewels of the Canadian Triple Crown.

A field of 11 entered the Breeders' Stakes, with Shillelagh Slew, breaking from the inside, the 3-1 second choice on the morning line.

Trainer Mike DePaulo anticipates a strong effort from the David James charge who will be partnered with regular rider Dino Luciani.

"He should still be fairly fresh because the Plate was his first race in two months," said DePaulo. "With a couple of big races going 1 1/4 miles and 1 3/16 miles, we hope we're tight enough to go 1 1/2 miles. I think that will be a big question mark for a lot of them, (especially) carrying 126. That's a big equalizer."

In addition to bearing the brunt of a roughly run stretch drive in the Prince of Wales, DePaulo said Shillelagh Slew also returned without a shoe.

"How much that really bothered him, I don't know. (Malakoff) came over on him. That didn't help things, either."

Morning line favorite at 5-2 is French Beret. Most recently, the son of Broad Brush became the 10th Sam-Son Farm-owned 3-year-old to win the Toronto Cup Stakes July 15.

The half-length triumph was the first stakes win for the bay gelding in nine career starts.

"I thought he ran a good race in the Toronto Cup," said trainer Mark Frostad, who seeks his fourth Breeders' score. "He gets a little lazy when he gets up on the lead. That gave us a little concern at the end."

French Beret, who will be ridden by Todd Kabel, went 1-for-5 as a 2-year-old and earned $71,901. He finished third in the Cup & Saucer Stakes but was 11th in the Coronation Futurity.

"He was disappointing to us as a two-year-old because we thought he had a lot more ability than he was showing," said Frostad. "He was very green, and it took him a long time to figure it out. He's run a lot better this year. He's more focused.

"On paper, he should get the 1 1/2 miles," said Frostad. "His dam (Misty Mission) won going 1 1/4 miles, and his sire has sired classic horses. He should be able to get the distance."

Royal Challenger, 9-2 on the morning line, represents Stronach Stables.

$500,000 Breeders' Stakes (Race 9, 5:07 p.m.), 3-Year-old Canadian Breds, 1 1/2 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, ML Odds
1. Shillelagh Slew (PQ), Dino Luciani, 3/1
2. Bravest Approval (ON), David Clark, 15/1
3. Skipped Bail (ON), Robert Landry, 15/1
4. Uncle Max (ON), Jono Jones, 12/1
5. Royal Challenger (ON), Patrick Husbands, 9/2
6. Pyramid Park (ON), Slade Callaghan, 10/1
7. Looktotherainbow (ON), Corey Fraser, 15/1
8. Young Dom (ON), Richard Anthony Dos Ramos, 30/1
9. Ascot Bill (ON), Justin Stein, 10/1
10. Kisseroo (ON), James McAleney, 20/1
11. French Beret (ON), Todd Kabel, 5/2
Each assigned 126 pounds.