While there won't be a Canadian Triple Crown champion this year, Prince of Wales Stakes winner Cool Catomine will vie for his second jewel of the series in the $400,000 Breeders' Stakes (G3T), the third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown at Woodbine Aug. 20.
The 1 1/2-mile event for 3-year-olds, run on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, drew a field of 10 of Ontario-breds, including Queen's Plate Stakes runners Channel Maker and King and His Court, as well as Prince of Wales Stakes fourth-place finisher Woodbridge.
Owned by Jack of Hearts Racing and J.R. Racing Stable, Cool Catomine has not yet raced on the turf, but an Aug. 9 work on the surface showed trainer John Ross that the supplemental entry is a contender.
"The way he's training and what he's doing right now, he's on top of his game again," Ross said. "He came out of the Prince of Wales a very happy horse, so these are all good things. We did have (a) turf work and that helped me make my decision to go forward, so that's our plan right now."
Cool Catomine will be ridden by Luis Contreras from the outside post.
Contreras will aim for his own personal sweep of the Triple Crown races in the Breeders' Stakes after winning this year's Queen's Plate with filly Holy Helena. It's a feat the jockey also accomplished in 2011, with Queen's Plate champion Inglorious and Pender Harbour, who won the Prince of Wales and Breeders' Stakes.
Woodbine's leading trainer Mark Casse has a pair entered with recent stakes-placed Conquest Lemonraid and King and His Court, the 2016 Sovereign Award champion 2-year-old colt.
Gary Barber's Conquest Lemonraid is coming off a pair of second-place stakes finishes on the Woodbine turf in the July 2 Charlie Barley Stakes at one mile and the Toronto Cup Stakes at 1 1/8 miles July 23.
King and His Court finished third behind his stablemate in his first turf test this year, last time out in the Toronto Cup.
Owned by Barber and the Wachtel Stable, the Court Vision gelding is the richest of the contenders with more than $337,000 in earnings. His last victory was in the Wando Stakes at Woodbine May 7.
Chiefswood Stable homebred Final Copy, one of three Breeders' Stakes entries for trainer Roger Attfield, enters off a victory in the Toronto Cup. The grey Malibu Moon gelding is riding a three-race win streak over the Woodbine turf course.
Major Eclipse was also a turf winner last time out for Attfield and Chiefswood Stable, breaking his maiden in his fourth start July 16 at Woodbine in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight race.
Channel Maker, trained by Bill Mott for Joey Gee Thoroughbreds, Wachtel Stable, and Gary Barber, placed in a pair graded stakes and earned his only win on the Woodbine turf in last year's Vandal Stakes going 6 1/2 furlongs on the turf. Most recently, Channel Maker finished fourth in the Queen's Plate July 2.
In the sixth race Sunday, six older horses will contest the $175,000 Sky Classic Stakes (G2T) going 1 3/8 miles on the turf.
Dragon Bay has been made the highweight of the group off his win in the Nijinsky Stakes (G2T) at Woodbine July 29. Carrying 123 pounds, he will be giving four to six pounds to the rest of the field
Trained by Stuart Simon, the 4-year-old Parading gelding defeated Can'thelpbelieving and Pumpkin Rumble, second and third respectively, in the Nijinsky July 29. Both return to try and turn the tables.
Kevin Attard trains both Pumpkin Rumble and the only filly entered in the Sky Classic, Starship Jubilee. The Indy Wind 4-year-old filly has won her last five starts. Her most recent effort resulted in a dead heat with Rainha Da Bateria in the Dance Smartly Stakes (G2T) at Woodbine July 2.
"We've been having kind of a hard time finding a spot for her so this race is kind of a 'Plan C' really, but it's local, she doesn't have to ship anywhere, and she'll get (a weight advantage) because she's running against the boys," Attard said. "The 1 3/8 miles might be a little bit farther than she wants to go—I think that's going to be her biggest hurdle—so we're just going to try to ride her accordingly and hope she can prevail."