Hi Dubai Leads Euro Raiders in E.P. Taylor

(from Woodbine report)
Seven imports were entered for Sunday's $750,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-I) for fillies and mares on the same Woodbine card as the Pattison Canadian International (Can-I).

The E.P. Taylor, over 1 1/4 mile, has drawn a field of 11 seeking the $450,000 first place prize. Three-year-olds carry 118 pounds, while older horses must lug 123. Seven of the last 10 renewals have been captured by 3-year-olds. Post time will be 2:53 pm ET.

The morning line 2-1 favorite is Godolphin's Hi Dubai, a 3-year-old British-bred daughter of Rahy. While a winner only once in five career starts, the chestnut filly has been competing with some of the best sophomore fillies in England and France. In her last outing Aug. 2, she was fourth, 5 1/2 lengths behind the well-regarded Russian Rhythm in the Nassau Stakes (Eng-I) contested at Goodwood at the same distance as the E.P. Taylor.

Russian Rhythm most recently finished second to Breeders' Cup-bound Falbrav in the Queen Elizabeth (Eng-I) and is slated to tackle the boys again tomorrow (Saturday)at Newmarket in the Champion Stakes (Eng-I), facing, among others, Alamshar and Nayef.

Hi Dubai was also fifth to Casual Look and Yesterday, another Breeders' Cup entrant, a start before in the English Oaks (Eng-I) June 6 at Epsom. Frankie Dettori, who won the E.P. Taylor in 1995 with Timarida, has been named to ride.

The 3-1 second choice is Walzerkoenigin, trained by Peter Schiergen. The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred Kingmambo filly has acquitted herself very well in two recent starts in United States after competing in England, Italy, France and her home base, Germany.

Most recently, she was second to Dimitrova in the Flower Bowl (gr. IT) Sept. 27 at Belmont Park, just a length behind the winner, but a nose in front of Heat Haze, both of whom are also headed to the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

Owned by Gestut Schlenderhan, Walzerkoenigin will once again have the services of Edgar Prado, currently the second leading money-wining jockey in North America, with over $16.5 million in purses, behind only Jerry Bailey.

Heading the local contingent, as the 6-1 third choice, is Stronach Stables' Diadella, to be ridden for the first time by Patrick Husbands. While winless in three starts this year, Diadella is coming up to the E.P. Taylor in fine shape, according to trainer Malcolm Pierce.

"She couldn't be training any better," said Pierce. "Right now, we're on target. I wouldn't trade places with anybody. We just need some racing luck and the weather to stay decent because I know she prefers the turf to have a little firmness to it. She's on top of her game right now."

Two years ago, Diadella competed in the E.P. Taylor, finishing eighth, almost five lengths behind the winner Choc Ice, after having to check hard in late stretch.

"I guess the Canadian Stakes two years ago when she set the track record was probably her most impressive race. (In her next start), she was looking to be first, second or third in the E.P. Taylor. (Jockey David) Clark was coming up the rail but there was no room. He just got sawed off. He had to stand up and it probably cost her second money."

Other starters include Inish Glora, winner of the Victoriana and Canadian Handicap for trainer Mac Benson; New Economy, recent third place finisher to another Breeders' Cup starter, Bien Nicole, in the Win Star Galaxy at Keeneland; Heyahohowdy, winner of the Belle Geste and Flaming Page Stakes for trainer Abraham Katryan; Tigertail, recent fourth place finisher to Islington in the Aug. 20 Yorkshire Oaks; and Volga, who was second to Choc Ice in the 2001 E.P. Taylor, then third to Fraulein in last year's renewal.

This year, Woodbine Entertainment Group has initiated a $50,000 award to the trainer who saddles the highest-placed horses in both the E.P. Taylor and Pattison Canadian International, based on a 10-6-4-2-1 (first through fifth place) points system.

Three trainers are eligible to claim the bonus this year. Kiaran McLaughlin sends Lunar Sovereign postward in the International and Volga in the E.P. Taylor. Mark Frostadhas two in the International with Portcullis and Shoal Water, and has Baie in the filly stake. John Hammond saddles Gruntled in the International and Mer de Corail in the E.P. Taylor.

The E.P. Taylor, which has been contested since 1956, was switched from the main track to turf in 1968 and with recent purse increases, is now the fourth richest race in Canada, behind only the Canadian International, Queen's Plate and Atto Mile. Over the years, it has been won by such prominent fillies as Belle Geste, Momigi, Hatoof, Timarida, Zomaradah and Insight.

$750,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-I), fillies & mares, 3 & up, 1 1/4 mile on turf
PP/Horse/Trainer/Jockey/ML Odds
1/Inish Glora/Mac Benson/Todd Kabel/10-1
2/Baie/Mark Frostad/Mike Smith/15-1
3/New Economy/Graham Motion/Shaun Bridgmohan/20-1
4/Hi Dubai/Saeed bin Suroor/Frankie Dettori/2-1
5/Mer de Corail/John Hammond/Jamie Spencer/20-1
6/Diadella/Malcolm Pierce/Patrick Husbands/6-1
7/Tigertail/Rodolphe Collet/Brice Blanc/8-1
8/Heyahohowdy/Abraham Katryan/Emile Ramsammy/12-1
9/Walzerkoenigin/Peter Schiergen/Edgar Prado/3-1
10/Volga/Kiaran McLaughlin/Richard Migliore/8-1
11/Byzantine/Bruce Pollock/Jono Jones