09/13/2017 1:46PM

Deauville the 5-2 favorite in field of 12 for Woodbine Mile

John Bambury
Deauville, winning last year's Belmont Derby, has kept top company in Europe this season.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Off a flat third in the 10-furlong Arlington Million, Deauville will turn back in distance as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in Saturday’s $800,000 Woodbine Mile, a Win and You’re In qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

An accomplished millionaire trained by Aidan O’Brien, Deauville drew post 6 in the 12-horse field and will be ridden by Jamie Spencer. He has been competitive in top company in England, where he was a close third to Europe's top miler, Ribchester, in the Group 1 Queen Anne at Royal Ascot. He also was a close second earlier in the year to Ulysses, one of the top 12-furlong horses in Europe, in a Group 3 stakes.

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World Approval, the 7-2 second choice under John Velazquez, has won 3 of 4 starts this year. His trainer, Mark Casse, captured last year’s Woodbine Mile with champion Tepin. A handsome gray/roan gelding, World Approval is exiting a decisive score in the Grade 1 Fourstardave at Saratoga.

Casse also entered Conquest Panthera (12-1), who won the local prep for the Woodbine Mile, the Grade 2 Play the King.

The O’Brien-trained Lancaster Bomber (9-2) will try to become the first 3-year-old to win the race. He’s been keeping some tough company in England and should be close to what figures to be a moderate pace.

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Dutch Connection (6-1) is coming off a victory in the Group 3 Supreme Stakes at Goodwood.

The stretch-runner Mondialiste is a generous 8-1 under Jose Ortiz. A world traveler trained by David O’Meara, Mondialiste is making his first trip back to Canada since he took the 2015 Woodbine Mile. He won last year’s Grade 1 Arlington Million over Deauville but is winless in his last five starts, all in England.

“He takes a few runs to get going,” groom Fearghal Davis said. “This track really suits him. He goes on any ground. It’s the pace of the race that’s more important than anything.”

Long On Value (15-1) has been campaigned as a sprinter this year by trainer Bill Mott, who took the inaugural Woodbine Mile with Geri.

Arod (20-1) is returning from a five-month layoff, which began after several lackluster performances in Australia.

Rounding out the local contingent are Tower of Texas (12-1), Glenville Gardens (20-1), Dragon Bay (20-1), and Best Bard (50-1).

Tower of Texas was beaten just a half-length by Tepin when second in last year’s Woodbine Mile. He has experienced poor racing luck since landing his season opener in the Grade 2 Connaught Cup.

Glenville Gardens wound up third in the Play the King for trainer Sid Attard, who took captured the 2001 Woodbine Mile with Numerous Times.