Sulamani Headlines Canadian International

(from Woodbine report)
Godolphin's Sulamani, one of the best turf horses in the world during the past three seasons, has been established as the 2-1 morning line favorite in an outstanding field of 11 for the $1.5 million Pattison Canadian International (Can-I) Sunday at Woodbine.

The 1 1/2-mile 'International,' the ninth leg (of 13) in the World Series Racing Championship, features challengers from Ireland, Germany, England and United States. They are coming to tackle three local hopefuls in the 67th edition of Canada's richest Thoroughbred race.

Older horses carry 126 pounds while 3-year-olds get in with 119 pounds. Post time is scheduled for 5:07 p.m. ET.

Sulamani, a five-time group/grade I winner trained by Saeed bin Suroor, drew post three and comes in as the field's leading money earner with over $4.3 million. The 5-year-old Irish-bred son of Hernando most recently scored in the Juddmonte International (Eng-I) Aug. 17 at York. He'll be piloted, as usual, by Frankie Dettori, looking to score a second International win for the connections. They teamed to take the 2000 renewal with Mutafaweq.

This year, the bay horse has finished first, second, third and fourth in his four outings, following a spectacular 2003 campaign which saw him win the Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I), Arlington Million (gr. IT) and Belmont's Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT). He finished fifth in the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) at Santa Anita.

"Since he got here, he's done everything we've asked of him," said Tony Howarth, an assistant with Godolphin. "He's eaten well. He seems happy in the shed row. He has traveled before so he is a horse that pretty much adapts quickly. He seems fine. He seems in good shape."

Five-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Bobby Frankel will saddle Gary Tanaka's King's Drama, the 4-1 second choice breaking from post two. To be ridden by the continent's leading money-winning jockey John Velazquez, the Irish-bred 4-year-old most recently finished third to Breeders' Cup-bound Magistretti in the Man O'War (gr. IT) at Belmont Park Sept. 11.

Back for another crack at the $900,000 winner's share is Mrs. John Magnier's Brian Boru, trained by Aidan O'Brien, who is listed as the 9-2 third choice from post five. Last year, the chestnut son of Sadler's Wells went postward as the 6-5 favorite and closed much ground down the stretch but finished third, three-quarters of a length behind winner Phoenix Reach.

To be ridden once again by Jamie Spencer, the British-bred 4-year-old $1 million earner shows only one win in sevens starts this year. But he comes into the race off a solid second-place finish to multiple stakes winner Vinnie Roe in the Irish St. Leger (Ire-I) Sept. 18 at The Curragh.

Shadwell Stable's Mubtaker, a 7-year-old son of Silver Hawk, drew the rail and is the 6-1 fourth choice. He will try to become the oldest horse to win the International since 1958, when it became a turf contest. Shadwell's Mutamam is currently the oldest when winning at age 6 in 2001.

In just 19 career starts, Mubtaker, trained by Marcus Tregoning, has been worse than third only once, when he was seventh in the Sept. 5 Grosser Preis von Baden (Ger-I). Last year, he won three of four startsand finished second in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) to the much-heralded Dalakhani. Richard Hills, who also rode Mutamam in his 2001 International score, retains the mount.

"I've been very, very happy with him," Tregoning said. "He's in great form. He's been galloping this week. He's taken to Woodbine very well."

Three-time Eclipse Award-winning conditioner Bob Baffert, making his first appearance at Woodbine since the 1996 Breeders' Cup, has shipped Bob and Beverly Lewis' Senor Swinger, pegged at 12-1 from post six. The grey 4-year-old son of El Prado exits a win in the Belmont Breeders' Cup (gr. IIT) Sept. 18. Edgar Prado, the second leading rider in North America in purse earnings, has the call.

Sam-Son Farm and trainer Mark Frostad send out a pair, although separate wagering interests, in Colorful Judgement and Burst of Fire.

Recent Sky Classic Stakes (Can-II) winner Colorful Judgement, listed at 15-1 from post seven, will be ridden by Woodbine's leading rider Todd Kabel. Burst of Fire, to be handled by Slade Callaghan, drew post nine and is a 30-1 outsider. The Smart Strike gelding, one of only two 3-year-olds in the race, is on a two-race win streak after finishing second to A Bit O'Gold in the Breeders' Stakes, the third leg in the Canadian Triple Crown, in early August.

Sam-Son has won the International twice, with Sky Classic in 1991 and with Chief Bearhart in 1997. Frostad trained Chief Bearhart, the last favorite to win the race.

The other local hopeful is Richard Jukosky's Lenny the Lender, who was claimed for $7,500 almost three years ago but has been stakes-placed on several occasions in his 27 subsequent starts for his owner-trainer. Listed at 30-1 from post four, he's the oldest horse in the field, at 8, and will be ridden by Chantal Sutherland, who becomes only the third female jockey to contest the International, following Julie Krone in 1995 and Robyn Smith in 1973.

The German-bred 6-year-old Sabiango, now owned by Monty Roberts and trained by Tim Yakteen, drew the outside post 11 and is listed at 12-1. A winner in two of his last three starts, the Charlie Whittingham (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park in June and the Kentucky Cup Turf (gr. IIIT) at Kentucky Downs in September, he'll be ridden by Brice Blanc.

$1,500,000 Pattison Canadian International (Can-I), 3 & up, 1 1/2 miles (turf)
1/Mubtaker/Shadwell Stable/Marcus Tregoning/Richard Hills
2/King's Drama/Gary Tanaka/Robert Frankel/John Velazquez
3/Sulamani/Godolphin/Saeed Bin Suroor/Frankie Dettori
4/Lenny The Lender/Richard Jukosky/Richard Jukosky/Chantal Sutherland
5/Brian Boru/Mrs. John Magnier/Aidan O'Brien/Jamie Spencer
6/Senor Swinger/Robert & Beverly Lewis/Bob Baffert/Edgar Prado
7/Colorful Judgement/Sam-Son Farm/Mark Frostad/Todd Kabel
8/Ecomium/Fieldspring Racing/Jeremy Noseda/Michael Kinane
9/Burst of Fire /Sam-Son Farm/Mark Frostad/Slade Callaghan
10/Simonas/Turf Syndikat 2001/Andreas Wohler/Kieren Fallon
11/Sabiango/Monty Roberts/Tim Yakteen/Brice Blanc