09/01/2008 11:00PM

Marchfield tops strong field of six


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Marchfield, the 2007 Breeders' Stakes winner, heads a classy six-horse field in Thursday's Woodbine feature, a third-level optional claimer over 1 1/16 miles.

Marchfield ran in all three legs of the 2007 Canadian Triple Crown, finishing sixth in the Queen's Plate and fifth in the Prince of Wales Stakes. He rallied from far back to win his turf debut in the 1 1/2-mile Breeders'.

Marchfield had a terrible trip, stuck in traffic, when he returned from an extended layoff at Keeneland in April. He went on to win a second-level allowance on the grass at Churchill Downs, but then was soundly defeated here in the Grade 3 Singspiel Stakes at 1 1/2 miles.

"He had trained good into that race," trainer Mark Casse said. "I have absolutely no idea what happened."

Most recently, Marchfield lost in a close finish to Ice Bear in the 1 1/8-mile With Approval Stakes.

Patrick Husbands will ride Marchfield, a nicely-bred son of A.P. Indy and stakes winner Pico Teneriffe.

Ghost Hour trailed the field in seventh last time out in the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes on the grass. He nearly upset the Nijinsky winner, Seaside Retreat, in the allowance prep for that race, which was run at 1 1/4 miles on the Polytrack.

Ghost Hour won twice earlier in the year, in a first-level allowance over the Gulfstream turf, and in an optional claimer on the Poly here in June.

Emile Ramsammy retains the mount on Ghost Hour.

Executive Choice, a multiple stakes winner in Ontario-sired company, ended a drought in a recent $80,000 optional claimer, setting a moderate pace on a clear lead en route to a comfortable victory.

No Dilettante could link up with Executive Choice on the front end. He failed to stay 1 1/16 miles last time, after setting slow fractions in a $100,000 optional claimer.

Cobotown Ron, who is seeking his first win of the year, has performed well in two of his last three races.