Something Extra will face a tough field of competitors, including two past Breeders' Cup World Championships contenders, when he attempts to capture the Connaught Cup (Can-II) for a third consecutive time at Woodbine May 31.
The seven-furlong turf event for 4-year-olds and up attracted nine entrants. The eighth race on the card, it is slated for 4:39 p.m. EDT.
Something Extra is trained by Gail Cox, who owns the 6-year-old dark bay or brown gelding in partnership with John Menary. The son of Indian Charlie, who won the past two editions of the Connaught Cup in gate-to-wire fashion, will make his second start of 2014.
In his last outing he was third, beaten just a length by Marchman, in the April 12 Shakertown Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland. Eurico da Silva, who was aboard for Something Extra's two Connaught Cup victories, has the riding assignment on Saturday. The pair will break from post 6.
Bred in Kentucky by Gulf Coast Farms, Something Extra is out of the Mt. Livermore mare Our Mariah.
Among Something Extra's foes are Breeders' Cup starters Excaper and Laugh Track, who respectively posted second-place finishes in the 2011 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IT) and 2013 Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
Excaper is looking to break through with his first graded victory in the Connaught Cup. He has fared well at Woodbine over the years, finishing second in four stakes at the Toronto track including the 2013 Play the King Stakes (Can-IIT) (behind fellow Connaught Cup entrant Dimension) and the 2011 Summer Stakes Presented by TVG (Can-IIIT).
Trained by Ian Black for Richard Kaster and Frederick Wieting, the 5-year-old son of Exchange Rate will have to overcome the rail post under jockey Justin Stein.
Laugh Track also has a good record at Woodbine, winning or placing in all six of his starts including a gutsy half-length score in the 2013 Vigil Stakes (Can-III). Campaigned by breeder WinStar Farm and Gary Barber, the son of Distorted Humor will attempt to break a six-race losing streak when he returns to the Ontario, Canada oval for the first time since last June. Jockey Patrick Husbands will ride Laugh Track, making his third start on turf, from post 2.
Bobby Trussell's 6-year-old gelding Occasional View also appears to be in good form heading into the Connaught with a victory in the April 12 Commonwealth Stakes (gr. I) over the Keeneland Polytrack and a close runner up effort as the favorite last time in the May 11 Vigil Stakes. Trained by Ken McPeek, he will be ridden by Luis Contreras from post 8.
Rounding out the field is multiple graded stakes winner River Seven; stakes victor Mr. Online; stakes-placed Run to the Bank; and allowance winner Seekingthediamond. The latter horse established a course record at Woodbine last year when he covered about eight furlongs on turf in 1:35.15.
$200,000 Connaught Cup Stakes (gr. II, approximate post time 4:39 p.m. ET), 4YOs & Up, seven furlongs (turf)
1. Excaper (KY), J Stein, 116, I Black
2. Laugh Track (KY), P Husbands, 120, M E Casse
3. Dimension (GB), D Moran, 122, C Murphy
4. Run to the Bank (KY), G Boulanger, 116, N Nosowenko
5. Seekingthediamond (KY), C Sutherland Kruse, 116, R L Attfield
6. Something Extra (KY), E R Da Silva, 122, G Cox
7. Mr. Online (ON), M G Pino, 118, M V Pino
8. Occasional View (ON), L Contreras, 120, K G McPeek
9. River Seven (ON), J M Campbell, 120, N Gonzalez