09/10/2010 3:04PM

Europeans to ship in for Woodbine turf stakes

Michael Burns
Roxy Gap, winning an allowance last time out, is headed for next Saturday's Natalma.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario − The fields are beginning to take shape for next Sunday’s three graded turf stakes, and each will have a European presence.

Three overseas shippers are expected to arrive Tuesday, Woodbine stakes manager Julie Bell said: Famous Name for the Grade 1, $1 million Woodbine Mile; Redwood for the Grade 1, $750,000 Northern Dancer; and Latin Love for the Grade 2, $300,000 Canadian.

Famous Name, trained by Dermot Weld, finished last of six in the recent Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes at 1 1/4 miles, but he was beaten 1 1/2 lengths for second money.

Redwood, trained by Barry Hills, finished second last time out in the Group 2 Grand Prix de Deauville over 1 9/16 miles on soft turf.

Latin Love, trained by David Wachman, is coming off a fourth-place finish in a listed stakes over one mile on turf at The Curragh.

American shippers expected for the Woodbine Mile include Court Vision, Victor’s Cry, Riviera Cocktail, Straight Story, and Zifzaf. The Usual Q T and Violon Sacre are under consideration.

The local contingent should include Grand Adventure, Smokey Fire, Woodbourne, and Auteur.

Marsh Side, the defending champion in the Northern Dancer, is slated to return from California for trainer Neil Drysdale. Grand Couturier, who was entered in Saturday’s Bowling Green at Belmont, could opt out in favor of a trip to Woodbine.

Spice Route, trained by Roger Attfield, and Windward Islands, trained by Mark Frostad, loom as the only local contestants for the Northern Dancer.

Mike Smith, who rode Spice Route to victory in the Grade 3 Singspiel here July 4, is slated to return for the Northern Dancer, and Chantal Sutherland retains the mount on Windward Islands.

Attfield probably will run Miss Keller and Ave in the Canadian, and Mekong Melody is also a possibility.

Ave and Mekong Melody breezed five furlongs in company over the turf training course here Friday. Ave went in 1:00.40 under exercise rider Melanie Giddings, and Mekong Melody in 1:00.60 under Patrick Husbands.

Ave finished a troubled eighth last time out in the Grade 1 Beverly D. over 1 3/16 miles on “good” turf.

Miss Keller and Mekong Melody last raced in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa at 1 1/16 miles on firm turf at Saratoga, with Miss Keller finishing a closing third and Mekong faltering to last in the field of 10.

Other locals who are Canadian-bound include Magic Broomstick and Lemon Twirl.

Several U.S.-based horses are under consideration but not committed to the Canadian.

Roxy Gap works for Natalma

Roxy Gap breezed five furlongs in 1:02.60 on the main track here Friday in preparation for Saturday’s $200,000 Natalma, the supporting feature on a card that also includes the $300,000 Summer Stakes.

Both are Grade 3 races at one mile on turf, with the Natalma for 2-year-old fillies and the Summer for 2-year-olds.

Although jockey Corey Fraser ridden Roxy Gap to a 3 for 3 record, Patrick Husbands was aboard for Friday’s workout.

“It was perfect,” Casse said. “The track was slow. She worked head-and-head. She’ll go slow when she does that and work fast when she goes alone.”

Roxy Gap is coming into the Natalma off a 4 3/4-length score here in the one-mile turf prep for the Natalma.

Casse also said he plans to run Breaking Ball in the Summer. A maiden after two starts, Breaking Ball finished third in the Summer prep over one mile on turf.

Silverleo, who recorded his second straight turf stakes win in the prep for trainer Greg De Gannes, is expected back for the Summer. De Gannes could also be represented in the Summer by Midway Train, a maiden winner here over seven furlongs on turf in his debut.

Attfield also has candidates for the Summer and Natalma. Stormy Rush, undefeated in two starts, is Summer-bound, and Sheba’s Secret, a maiden who finished second to Roxy Gap in the prep, is headed for the Natalma.

Charlie Barley dies at 24

Charlie Barley, a multiple stakes winner who was Canada’s champion turf horse in 1989, died of infirmities associated with old age Thursday morning at the nearby Woodlands Farm of Gail Woods. He was 24.

A Kentucky-bred who raced for owner John Haney and Scott Abbott, Charlie Barley won eight stakes, including the Dominion Day, Toronto Cup, and Summer at Woodbine; the Fort Harrod at Keeneland; and the Sea O Erin at Arlington.

Charlie Barley retired following his 1990 campaign with a record of 10 wins, seven seconds, and three thirds for earnings of more than $900,000 from 24 career starts.

One of Charlie Barley’s most memorable performances came in defeat when he finished second, beaten a half-length by the invading Prized, here in the 1990 Molson Export Milllion.

Charlie Barley went on to sire multiple stakes winners such as Barlee Mist, Charlie’s Dewan, and Wings of Erin. One of his sons, Bo Barley, won 26 races from 112 starts.

Callaghan fined for whip violation

Jockey Slade Callaghan was fined $1,500 for striking his mount, Don’s Folly, more than three times in succession in last Monday’s Kenora Stakes.

This marked the first whip offense for Callaghan, but his hefty fine was issued under an Ontario Racing Commission rule that earmarks 20 percent of a jockey’s winning share in a stakes race worth $100,000 or more.

Don’s Folly earned $75,000 after capturing the $125,000 Kenora by a neck.