As Canada’s richest horse race, it is only fitting that the $2 million Pattison Canadian International (Can-I) will include some of the most talented turf routers in the world. The 70th edition of the mile-and-a-half event will take place Oct. 21 on Woodbine’s E.P. Taylor Turf Course and will be contested by a field of 12.

There will be no shortage of gifted runners in the International, as half the field has earned a group or graded stakes victory in 2007. Last year, the prestigious race went to British-bred Collier Hill.

The oldest contestant in the field will be the battle-tested Cloudy’s Knight, a 7-year-old gelding who won the Sky Classic (Can-II) at Woodbine last month. A winner of nine of 31 starts in his career, the son of Lord Avie-Cloudy Spot has been very consistent in 2007, placing in six of eight starts, all but one of them in stakes competition.

Trained by Frank Kirby, Cloudy’s Knight has earned $828,023 for S J Stables but has never contested a grade I event. Jockey Ramsey Zimmerman will likely stalk the pace with Cloudy’s Knight, who leaves from post eight and is 12-1 in the morning line.

The only Canadian-bred in the race is 5-year-old Sky Conquerer, a William Sorokolit homebred who will try to become the first Canadian to win the event since Thornfield did it in 1999. Sky Conquerer was named Canada’s top turf horse last year and is the son of Sky Classic, who won the International in 1991.

This year, Sky Conquerer won the Northern Dancer Breeders’ Cup Turf (Can-II) at Woodbine for the second consecutive year and also has an impressive victory in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, in which he rallied from well back to get up by a nose. Most recently, he was eighth in the Sept. 16 Woodbine Mile (Can-I). Javier Castellano will be aboard the 4-1 second choice.

Coming off a narrow loss in the Sept. 8 Man o’ War Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park, Sunriver may be the least experienced but most talented runner in the field. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the 4-year-old Saint Ballado colt has been competitive in every race since switching to the grass only four starts ago, winning a pair. One of them was in July, a 1 1/4-length victory in the Bowling Green Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont, in which he went gate-to-wire.

Sunriver, who made the first 11 starts of his career on the dirt, will likely be the pace-setter. The Aaron and Marie Jones’ homebred will be ridden by Garrett Gomez and will leave from post 11. Although also pre-entered in the $3 million John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I) at Monmouth Park next weekend, Sunriver is expected to contest the International.

There are several very tough European contenders in the field, led by German-bred Quijano, who is coming off of a score in the Grosser Preis von Baden (Ger-I), where he defeated the country’s top 3-year-old, Adlerflug, by a neck.

Trained by Peter Schiergen, the 5-year-old Quijano has won a remarkable 12 of 15 lifetime starts, a big reason he is the 3-1 morning line favorite despite leaving from post 12.

Also shipping in is Ask, a talented 4-year-old colt by Sadler's Wells, who has sired two International winners. Bred in Great Britain, Ask enters off a pair of group III wins, his only two starts this year. The latest score was Sept. 30 in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes (Eng-III), where he defeated current challenger Honolulu. Last year’s top British jockey, Ryan Moore, will ride in the U.S for the first time.

Also likely to receive a lot of consideration is the French-bred Irish Wells, who earned his first victory of the campaign in the Aug. 26 Grand Prix de Deauville (Fr-II), the second straight year the 4-year-old won the event.

Linda’s Lad, Marsh Side, Oracle West, Stream of Gold, and Windward Islands complete the field.

$2 Million Pattison Canadian International (gr. IT, Race 7, 4:05 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds & Up, 1 1/2 Miles (Turf)
PP, Weight, Jockey
1. Marsh Side (KY), 126, Emma-Jayne Wilson
2. Oracle West (SAF), 126, John Patrick Murtagh
3. Windward Islands (KY), 119, Todd Kabel
4. Sky Conqueror (ON), 126, Javier Castellano
5. Stream of Gold (IRE), 126, Eddie Castro
6. Irish Wells (FR), 126, Olivier Peslier
7. Honolulu (IRE), 119, Michael J. Kinane
8. Cloudy's Knight (KY), 126, Ramsey Zimmerman
9. Ask (GB), 126, Ryan L. Moore
10. Linda's Lad (GB), 126, John R. Velazquez
11. Sunriver (KY), 126, Garrett K. Gomez
12. Quijano (GER), 126, Andrasch Starke

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