09/29/2009 11:00PM

Marchfield injured, done for season

Email

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Marchfield, Canada's champion older male last year who was heading for an appearance in the Oct. 17 Canadian International, is through for at least the season after being injured while training here Tuesday morning.

"He was galloping, and when a horse kind of galloped past him, he started bucking," trainer Mark Casse said. "He's always bucking, but when he did this time he came down wrong.

"His rider felt something and pulled him up right away. Otherwise, it might have been fatal."

Marchfield underwent surgery Tuesday night.

"They put some screws in his pastern," Casse said. "It looks like he's going to be okay - there's even an outside chance he might make it back to racing."

Marchfield, an Ontario-bred 5-year-old horse who is owned and was bred by Eugene and Laura Melnyk, won the Grade 3 Dominion Day at 1o1/4 miles here July 1 and then was switched to turf with an eye toward the Grade 1, $2 million Canadian International.

After running second in the Grade 2 Nijinsky at 1 1/4 miles, Marchfield captured the Grade 2 Sky Classic at 1 3/8 miles and then finished a troubled fifth in the Grade 1, 1 1/2-mile Northern Dancer.

Marchfield has won 7 of 23 starts and finished second 8 times for total earnings of $1,135,401.

Familiar foes to meet in stakes

There will be plenty of stakes action on tap here this weekend, with doubleheaders set for both the Saturday and Sunday programs.

Saturday's features will be the $125,000 Victorian Queen, a six-furlong race for Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies, and the $100,000 Avowal, an open seven-furlong overnight stakes for fillies and mares.

The Grade 3, $150,000 Durham Cup, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds and up, and the $150,000 Carotene, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for fillies and mares, will headline the Sunday program.

Both the Victorian Queen and the Avowal will feature rematches between previous stakes combatants.

Oistins, Shesadozer, and Peploe, the 1-2-3 finishers in the restricted Nandi at six furlongs here Aug. 2, will meet again in the Victorian Queen.

The sleeper this time around could be Peploe, who encountered traffic problems when beaten a total of one length in the Nandi and came back to miss by a neck in the seven-furlong allowance prep for the Grade 3 Natalma.

David Bell, who trains Peploe, elected to pass up trying the Natalma over one mile of turf.

"I didn't think that prep was a tough race, and the stake looked a lot tougher," Bell said. "Running a mile on turf and then coming back sprinting didn't seem the right way to go."

Peploe instead prepped for the Victorian Queen with a fifth-place finish in an open first-level allowance race at six furlongs here Sept. 18.

Justin Stein, who was aboard for the first time that day, retains the mount.

Meanwhile, Oistins will be making her first start since the Nandi, and Shesadozer came back to be beaten two lengths as the fourth-place finisher in the Muskoka, a seven-furlong yearling sales stakes.

The 13-horse field for the Avowal includes Mullins Beach, Hello Maggie May, Glitter Rox, and Saskawea, all winners of turf sprint stakes who already have crossed swords this season.

Mullins Beach captured the Ontario Damsel when facing fellow Ontario-foaled 3-year-olds at 6 1/2 furlongs here July 5, while Hello Maggie May won the seven-furlong Belle Geste, Glitter Rox prevailed in the six-furlong Royal North, and Saskawea captured the six-furlong Zadracarta.

Fipke watches stakes runners work

Owner Charles Fipke was trackside here Wednesday morning to watch Lady Shakespeare and Perfect Shower breeze on the main track.

Lady Shakespeare, a Kentucky-bred 3-year-old filly who has won four straight races, including the Ontario Colleen at one mile on turf here last time out, breezed four furlongs in 49 seconds under Emma-Jayne Wilson.

Fipke is hoping that Lady Shakespeare will make her next start in the Grade 1, $1 million E.P. Taylor, a 1 1/4-mile turf race for fillies and mares here Oct. 17.

Perfect Shower, who has not seen action since upsetting the Breeders' Stakes at 1 1/2 miles on turf here Aug. 2, was clocked in 1:02 for five furlongs under Jono Jones.

Musketier and Spice Route, a pair of Attfield-trained candidates for the Canadian International, both breezed five furlongs in 1:01 here Wednesday.

Jones was aboard Musketier, while Jim McAleney did the honors on Spice Route.

The Grade 1, $2 million Canadian International, a 1 1/2-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up, also goes on Oct. 17 along with the E.P. Taylor and the Grade 2, $500,000 Nearctic.