09/12/2014 11:12AM

Aldous Snow might opt out of Northern Dancer Turf if course comes up soft

Michael Burns
Aldous Snow (6) wins the Grade 3 Singspiel Stakes on July 6 at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Aldous Snow will look to bounce back after finishing sixth in the Grade 2 Sky Classic Stakes when he takes on eight others in Sunday’s Grade 1, $300,000 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes at Woodbine.

The winner of the Grade 3 Singspiel Stakes at this distance earlier this year, Aldous Snow was affected by a slow pace in the Sky Classic on Aug. 16.

“[The pace] sure didn’t help us last time,” said trainer Malcolm Pierce.

Aldous Snow could be scratched out of the 1 1/2-mile Northern Dancer Turf after heavy rains Wednesday night and with more rain in the forecast for Saturday.

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“We’re going to have to assess the situation on Sunday morning,” Pierce said. “I would hate wasting races for him because I know he doesn’t like soft turf. He likes the course firm. At this point, I’d say we’re 50-50 on running him, but we’ll know more on Sunday.”


Aldous Snow (Last 3 Beyers: 87-92-95)

◗ The Sky Classic is the lone blemish during Aldous Snow’s 2014 campaign. Since being gelded in the winter, Aldous Snow set a 1 1/16-mile turf-course record in an optional claimer and won the Singspiel Stakes in his first two starts of the season. If he does run on a soft turf course Sunday, he could be vulnerable from off the pace.

The Pizza Man (Last 3 Beyers: 99-98-93)

◗ The Pizza Man enters the Northern Dancer Turf on a five-race winning streak and has won 12 of his 16 starts on turf. He defeated Dandino, who finished second behind Joshua Tree in the 2012 Canadian International, in the American St. Leger Stakes at Arlington Park in his last start Aug. 16.

◗ Jockey Florent Geroux has already won two stakes at Woodbine this season with Pirate’s Trove.

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Karibu Gardens (Last 3 Beyers: 96-89-90)

◗ Karibu Gardens stalked the pace and pounced late to win the Sky Classic last time, two starts after being pulled up in a second-level optional claimer on Polytrack on July 1. Expect a similar running style in this event.

Perfect Timber (Last 3 Beyers: 82-92-79)

◗ Perfect Timber nearly caught Aldous Snow in the final strides of the Singspiel and then came back to run seventh in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga on Aug. 17. He’ll be well off the pace early, but watch out for his late kick.