Dream Peace and Adventure Seeker, a pair of 3-year-old fillies invading from France, are among the top contenders for the $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-IT) Oct. 16 at Woodbine.
An internationally-loaded field of 11 was drawn for the 1 1/4-mile race, which is the second of three grade I races on Woodbine’s Sunday card. The E.P. Taylor was won by European-based horses the last four years, and eight off the 11 entrants are based in Europe this year. The winner will get an automatic berth in the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) next month.
Haras d’Etreham’s Dream Peace enters off a half-length victory in the group II Prix de la Nonette Shadwell Aug. 23 at Deauville, which was her third win in five starts in 2011. The daughter of Dansili is also graded stakes-placed in two other starts this year.
Gerald Mosse will ride Dream Peace for trainer Robert Collet, who won the E.P. Taylor with 3-year-old Choc Ice in 2001.
Ecurie Wildenstein’s Adventure Seeker won the Prix de Liancourt going 10 furlongs Sept. 2 at Longchamp in her last start. Unraced as a juvenile, the Bering filly is 2-1-1 from five starts this year. Trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre has assigned Christophe Soumillon to ride the chestnut filly. They teamed up last year to win the event with Reggane.
Another winner at Longchamp last out was 4-year-old Sea of Heartbreak. The daughter of Rock of Gibraltar scored in the group II Qatar Prix de Royallieu at 1 1/2 miles Oct. 1. She has won two of her last three starts for trainer Roger Charlton, who assigned Garrett Gomez to ride.
Other European invaders include I'm a Dreamer, who won a group III event at Newmarket in May; Australian-bred Mahbooba, a group I winner in South Africa; Strawberrydaiquiri, group I-placed in her most recent start; and Laughing, entering off a two-race win streak in Ireland.
Two of the three North American-based entrants make their home at Woodbine. Miss Keller, a 5-year-old daughter of Montjeu, is still seeking her first win of the season after five off-the-board finishes. Her lone graded stakes victory came in the Canadian (Can-IIT) last year at Woodbine. She was runner-up in the 2010 E.P. Taylor. John Velazquez will ride for Roger Attfield.
Mekong Melody is winless in five 2011 tries too but also counts Woodbine as the site of her biggest career win—the 2010 Dance Smartly (Can-IIT). The daughter of Cape Cross was third in that event this year.
The lone U.S.-based entrant is Dyna Waltz, who runs for George Strawbridge’s Augustin Stable and trainer Jonathan Sheppard. The daughter of Dynaformer is graded stakes placed twice this year and has been runner-up in four of her six starts without a win.
$1 million E.P Taylor Stakes (Can-IT, Race 8, 4:35 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer, Weight 1. Kinky Afro (IRE), Hills, Moore S, 124
2. Mahbooba (AUS), Spencer, de Kock M, 124
3. I'm A Dreamer (IRE), Buick, Simcock D, 124
4. Strawberrydaiquiri (GB), Dwyer, Meehan B, 124
5. Mekong Melody (IRE), Husbands, Attfield R, 124
6. Laughing (IRE), Rosario, O'Brien C, 119
7. Adventure Seeker (FR), Soumillon, De Royer-Dupre A, 119
8. Dyna Waltz (GB), Leparoux, J Sheppard, 124
9. Dream Peace (IRE), Mosse, Collet R, 119
10. Sea of Heartbreak (IRE), Gomez, Charlton R, 124
11. Miss Keller (IRE), Velazquez, Attfield R, 124