10/12/2009 11:00PM

Marsh Side ready for repeat attempt

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Michael Burns
Marsh Side, here training at Woodbine last week, worked five furlongs Tuesday for the $2 million Canadian International.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Marsh Side, who will be looking to become the first back-to-back winner in the modern history of the Canadian International, tuned up for Saturday's $2 million race with a five-furlong breeze here Tuesday morning.

The Grade 1 Canadian International, a 1 1/2-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and upward, will headline a program which also includes the Grade 1, $1 million E.P. Taylor for fillies and mares at 1 1/4 miles on turf and the Grade 2, $500,000 Neartic over six furlongs on the same course.

The Canadian International, E.P. Taylor, and Nearctic all are Breeders' Cup Win and You're In races.

Working over a main turf course rated good with the dogs well out, Marsh Side was clocked in 1:02.40 under jockey Luis Contreras.

"He went very well, same as last time," said trainer Neil Drysdale, who arrived from his Southern California base on Tuesday morning and will be staying on through race day.

Marsh Side had breezed five furlongs in 1:03.60 on the turf course four days before the , in which he finished first but was disqualified and placed fourth. The Kentucky-bred 6-year-old horse also breezed four furlongs in 49.20 on the main track here last Thursday.

"That was just to let him stretch his legs," Drysdale said.

Drysdale sees Marsh Side coming into the Canadian International in comparable condition to last year, when he came into the race off a close fourth in the Northern Dancer.

"I'd say he's very similar," said Drysdale, who conditions the homebred for owner Robert S. Evans.

Drysdale had expressed concern over how Marsh Side would handle the turf prior to this year's Northern Dancer, and despite the result he still is hoping for more give in the course.

"I think it was very hard last time," said Drysdale. "As long as there's some cut in it he'll be fine."

Javier Castellano, who was aboard Marsh Side for his and for his three most recent outings, retains the mount.

Castellano also has the call on Salve Germania for the E.P. Taylor.

Salve Germania was purchased privately by IEAH Stable after winning Saratoga's in her North American debut.

Trainer Todd Pletcher, who will be starting Salve Germania for the first time, won the 2005 running of the E.P. Taylor with Honey Ryder.