Fantastic Day Possible in Woodbine Opener

(from Woodbine report)
Opening day Saturday at Woodbine could turn out to be a Fantastic Day for Robert Tiller, last year's champion conditioner in Canada, who sends out a prominent pair in the $133,950 Jacques Cartier Stakes, a seven-horse race that features tons of speed.

Tiller, who won three of the first four Woodbine stakes races in 2003, sends out Fantastic Day, a dark bay who'll contest his first added-money event, and Forever Grand, an accomplished 5-year-old veteran who has six stakes victories on his resume.

"They aren't winter-raced, but this was a good place for them to start," said Tiller, who won last year's Jacques Cartier courtesy of Rare Friends, who took top prize of $80,925 for the triumph. "Fantastic Day has won three of his last four races and is a very sound horse. Forever Grand is crabbier than ever, very nasty. He's trained very well recently."

While they sport distinctly different personalities and racing styles, close-to-the-pace Fantastic Day, a son of Slew City Slew, and late-flying Forever Grand, a son of War Deputy, share a great deal of success at six furlongs. Both have won three times in six starts at the distance.

Among the seven contesting the main track event include Chris's Bad Boy, who holds the course record (1:08.05) for six furlongs, I'm The Tiger, who posted a 109 Beyer figure on Jan. 8 at Gulfstream, and 2002 Queen's Plate runner-up Anglian Prince.

Patrick Husbands, a four-time Sovereign Award-winning jockey who ranked second in wins at the Toronto oval last season, gets the call on Fantastic Day. David Clark, 25 wins away from 2,500 for his career, is aboard Forever Grand, who lost the 2003 Top Older Male Sovereign by one vote to Phantom Light.

$133,950 Jacques Cartier Stakes, 4 & up, 6 furlongs
PP / Horse / Trainer / Jockey
1 / Anglian Prince / Mort Hardy / James McAleney
2 / I'm The Tiger / Dan Vella / Todd Kabel
3 / Chris's Bad Boy / Vito Armata / Jono Jones
4 / Fantastic Day / Robert Tiller / Patrick Husbands
5 / Slim Dusty / Abraham Katryan / Emile Ramsammy
6 / Dawn Watcher / Abraham Katryan / Emile Ramsammy
7 / Forever Grand / Robert Tiller / David Clark