10/02/2008 11:00PM

Cast reflects International's name


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - World traveler Doctor Dino will make a stop at Woodbine on Saturday in the $2 million Canadian International, and he should be favored in the 1 1/2-mile event.

The Grade 1 International is one of four Breeders' Cup Challenge Series Win and You're In turf stakes on the 11-race card. The others are the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor for fillies and mares, the Grade 2 Nearctic for sprinters, and the Grade 3 Summer for 2-year-olds. The International winner will earn a guaranteed spot in the BC Turf. The four stakes will be televised on an ESPN broadcast from 4-6 p.m. Eastern.

Doctor Dino's main challengers include the stalwart German runner Quijano, who was third in last year's International; the Bobby Frankel-trained Champs Elysees; and locally based Seaside Retreat.

Doctor Dino has banked more than $2.7 million, and his most recent victory came in the Grand Prix de Chantilly in June. He carried a staggering 136 pounds last time when second to Getaway in another Groupo2 stakes in France, the Grand Prix de Deauville.

Trainer Richard Gibson said Doctor Dino had his work cut out for him at Deauville.

"I don't think we met Getaway in the right conditions," Gibson explained. "He was giving us weight, and the ground was a bit soft for our liking. The track was very tired [worn out] after a month's racing. The horse ran well, and the good news is he didn't have a hard race. We feel we have him in good shape for his autumn campaign."

Doctor Dino is no stranger to North American racing. Four weeks after finishing third in the 2007 Arlington Million, he won the Grade 1 Man o' War with a 108 Beyer Speed Figure at Belmont.

Quijano was arguably best in the 2007 International, in which he rallied wide from off slow fractions to finish third. He subsequently ran second to Doctor Dino in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase, and has a win from six starts this year.

Quijano was beaten a nose after saving ground in the local prep for the International, the 1 1/2-mile Northern Dancer BC Turf, which was contested over a course labeled yielding.

Jockey Andrasch Starke said he had a good trip on a laid-back Quijano in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer.

"I had a perfect run," said Starke. "Normally, he's a bit keen, but he was very relaxed all the way. He was definitely too relaxed. Halfway down the straight when I asked him to run, I was just fighting for fifth or second money, but then he really started to fight the last furlong."

Champs Elysees ended a two-race slide when he captured the Northern Dancer under a textbook off-the-pace ride from Garrett Gomez, much to the delight of Frankel.

"I thought he ran well, but his two previous races were very disappointing," said Frankel. "He had excuses - physically, he wasn't at his best, but he got healthy again. He's very good right now."

Seaside Retreat lowered Woodbine's 1 1/4-mile course record while winning the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes in August.

Seaside Retreat made the lead briefly in the stretch in the Northern Dancer, before weakening to end up a close third under Patrick Husbands.

"I thought it was a good race," said trainer Mark Casse. "He got bothered a little at about the three-sixteenths pole. Patrick said he lost his action for a second, and that's why he dropped back. He came back on again, and galloped out in front. For him to run as well as he did after breaking a course record, I think it was another feather in his cap."

European invaders Lucarno and Mourilyan are both going on Lasix.

Lucarno was beaten by double digits in each of his two most recent outings, both in Group 1 company, but he took the Group 2 Princess of Wales's Stakes in July.

Mourilyan wound up third following a layoff in his last start in the Group 3 September Stakes at 1 1/2 miles on Polytrack.

Marlang made all the running in each of his last two starts against 3-year-olds, in the Gradeo3 Saranac at Saratoga and in the third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the 1 1/2-mile Breeders' Stakes.

The inconsistent Marsh Side rallied wide from well back to finish a close fourth in the Northern Dancer. He trailed the field in the 2007 International.