Earle Mack's Electrocutionist, fresh from a victory in the Juddmonte International (Eng-I) Aug. 16 at York, heads a well-matched field of 10 for Sunday's $2 million Pattison Canadian International (Can-I), Canada's richest race, at Woodbine Racetrack.Five grade I winners are among those entered for the 68th edition of the race, to be contested at 1 1/2 miles over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course. Post time is 4:35 p.m. ET. Electrocutionist, a winner of six of seven career starts and unbeaten in three outings this season, drew post 3. In the Juddmonte International he defeated 2004 Japan Cup (Jpn-I) winner Zenno Rob Roy. The highly-regarded 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Red Ransom is trained by Valfredo Valiani and will be ridden by Mick Kinane, who won the 2002 International aboard Ballingarry. Last year, Godolphin's Sulamani also won the Juddmonte prior to an electrifying win in the International. Electrocutionist has earned $979,203 in his brief career and will be seeking a third group I win. His other tally came in the Gran Premio de Milano June 19 at San Siro Racetrack in Italy. "He was perfect this morning," said trainer Valiani. "He's an easy horse to ride. He needs a bit of pace. But if there is no pace he can do it himself, like he did a couple of times in Italy. If there is enough pace, he can sit behind like he did at York in the Juddmonte Stakes."
Yeats, trained by Aidan O'Brien, who won the 2002 International with Ballingarry and was third the last two years with Brian Boru, is the second choice at 3-1 from post 9. He scored his biggest win in the Coronation Cup (Eng-I) at Epsom in June. Owned by Mrs. John Magnier and Mrs. David Nagle, the Irish-bred 4-year-old is bidding to become the fourth consecutive Irish-bred to win the International (Sulamani in 2004, Phoenix Reach in '03 and Ballingarry in '02). He was favored to take last year's famed Epsom Derby (Eng-I) but was injured a week before the race. He was put away for the year, but has returned to prominence this season and was most recently a close fourth to Collier Hill in the Irish St. Leger (Ire-I) Sept. 17 at the Curragh. "In the Irish Leger, he got into a bit of trouble," said T.J. Comerford, O'Brien's assistant. "Kieren (Fallon) checked him a couple of times. He admitted himself he should have won. He only got beat a length and a quarter. He's a good horse and we do hope he's good enough. But it's a very tough race. Electrocutionist is a very good horse. He's the one everybody has to beat." Gary Tanaka's King's Drama, an Irish-bred 5-year-old son of King's Theatre who is trained by five-time Eclipse Award winner Bobby Frankel and ridden by North America's leading jockey John Velazquez, will leave from post 7 as the 4-1 third choice. Last month, Frankel and Velazquez teamed to win the $1 million Atto Mile (Can-I) at Woodbine with heavily-favorred Leroidesanimaux. Last year, King's Drama finished fifth to Sulamani in the International, but is an improved horse this season, having won two of three starts, including the 12-furlong Sword Dancer (gr. IT) Aug. 13 at Saratoga. In his most recent outing, the 1 3/8-mile Man O'War (gr. IT) at Belmont Park Sept. 10, he lost by a neck to 2004 Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner Better Talk Now. Murry Rose Bloodstock's Grey Swallow (Post 2, 8-1), trained by Dermot Weld, is another International starter who has been competing against the finest in Europe throughout his career. Winner of the Irish Derby (Ire-I) last year over Epsom Derby winner North Light, the 4-year-old Irish-bred son of champion Daylami won the Tattersalls Gold Cup (Eng-I) in his first start of 2005, defeating, among others, the 2004 Arc (Fr-I) winner, Bago. He'll be ridden as usual by Pat Smullen and boasts career earnings of over $1.3 million. English-bred Meteor Storm (Post 10, 15-1), owned by The Horizon Stable and trained by Wally Dollase, won the Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) in June of 2004 at Belmont Park and is approaching the $1 million mark in career earnings with $903,382. To be ridden by Javier Castellano, the 6-year-old son of Bigstone has finished fourth and second in his last two starts to the unbeaten Shakespeare, one of the favorites for the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) Oct. 29 in New York. The Canadian contingent is composed of Strut the Stage, Jambalaya and Last Answer. Canadian-breds have won the International on six occasions, with Thornfield being the last to do so in 1999. This year's renewal of the Pattison, which was increased in value by $500,000, is also the ninth (of 13) leg in the World Racing Championships, which comprises the globe's top turf classics.In addition to the Pattison, the $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-I) for fillies and mares and the $500,000 Nearctic Stakes (Can-II) for sprinters will also be contested on Sunday, bringing the total purse value for the day's 11 races to more than $3.9 million.It is the richest day in Canadian Thoroughbred racing history, behind only the 1996 Breeders' Cup. Heading the 12-horse E.P. Taylor (at 3:25 pm), for fillies and mares, at 1 1/4 miles on the turf are Punctilious, last year's runner-up, who'll be ridden by Frankie Dettori, along with Barancella, Cassydora, Honey Ryder and several locals, including Classic Stamp, Ambitious Cat and Noble Stella. The Nearctic (at 1:53 pm), at six furlongs on the turf, has also drawn a field of 12, with Vanderlin and Steel Light the likely favorites.
$2 million Pattison Canadian International (Can-I), 3 & up, 1 1/2 miles (turf)
1/Simonas/Gary Tanaka/Andreas Wohler/Eduardo Pedroza/12-1
2/Grey Swallow/Murry Rose Bloodstock/Dermot Weld/Pat Smullen/8-1
3/Electrocutionist/Earle Mack/Valfredo Valiani/Mick Kinane/2-1
4/Relaxed Gesture/Moyglare Stud/Christophe Clement/Corey Nakatani/8-1
5/Jambalaya/Kingfield Racing Stable Ltd./Catherine Day Phillips/Jono Jones/20-1
6/Last Answer/Gus Schickedanz/Mike Keogh/Corey Fraser/30-1
7/King's Drama/Gary Tanaka/Robert Frankel/John Velazquez/4-1
8/Strut the Stage/Sam-Son Farm/Mark Frostad/Todd Kabel/20-1
9/Yeats/Mrs. John Magnier & Mrs. David Nagle/Aidan O'Brien/Kieren Fallon/3-1
10/Meteor Storm/The Horizon Stable/Wally Dollase/Javier Castellano/15-1