09/16/2010 3:20PM

Top European Yards Raid Woodbine


Two of Europe's biggest stables will be represented at Woodbine on Sunday, and all three of the horses they are sending over have good chances in their respective races. Coolmore has Latin Love in the 1 1/8-mile Canadian Stakes, while Juddmonte has Redwood in the Northern Dancer Turf and Famous Name in the Woodbine Mile..
David Wachman may be a name unfamiliar to racegoers on this side of the Atlantic. He is, basically, Coolmore's second string trainer in Ireland after Aidan O'Brien. He is also John Magnier's son-in-law. In Latin Love, Wachman (pronounced Watchman) saddles a Danehill Dancer filly who is in the form of her life, having earned a Racing Post Rating of 108 for her recent win in the listed Kilboy Estates Stakes at the Curragh at the Canadian distance of 1 1/8 miles. She has picked up the services of Garrett Gomez and would love to see some rain as her best form has always come on good to soft or soft ground.
Latin Love finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of one of her main rivals on Sunday, Miss Keller, when second in last year's Kilboy Estate. In her previous effort going 1 1/8 miles, she was second in the Group 3 Dance Design Stakes to Chinese White, who closed out her career in June by winning the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes while in foal.
Latin Love and Miss Keller should both be running late and could make a nice, cold exacta.
Trained by Barry Hills, Redwood is at Woodbine testing the waters for the Candaian International on Oct. 16. By two-time Breeders' Cup Turf winner High Chaparral, he too is in the best form of his career, having beaten Group 1 Eclipse Stakes runner-up in the 1 1/2m, Group 3 Glorious Stakes two back, then narrowly failing in the 1 9/16-mile, Group 2 Grand Prix de Deauville. Prior to the Glorious, Redwood was second in the Group 2 Princess of Wales's Stakes to Sans Frontieres, the recent winner of the Group 1 Irish St. Leger.
Lightly raced, Redwood has defending champ and recent Sky Classic winner Marsh Side to beat, but as he still has room for improvement, he is the confident selection, regardless of the state of the ground. Michael Hills, son of trainer Barry, flies in for the ride.
Famous Name had not been out of the first three since his 2-year-old season in 2007 until his latest start when he showed nothing in the Irish Champion Stakes. Second in the 2008 French Derby, the Dansili 5-year-old has done most of his running in Group 3 and listed races since then as trainer Dermot Weld has generally played it safe, disdaining quality races in his search for the soft ground Famous Name apparently requires.
He will not be facing the likes of Cape Blanco, Rip Van Winkle or Twice Over, the first tree in the Irish Champion, in the Woodbine Mile, so this Grade 1 event is actually a drop in class for him. The Usual Q.T. looks like the horse to beat while Crowded House is suspect at a mile. Famous Name, who will be ridden by Weld's first string rider Pat Smullen, is something of an enigma at this stage of his career. If he runs to his best, he should win, especially as he is getting 5 lbs. from The Usual Q.T., but I wouldn't go to the bank on him.