Updated on 09/16/2011 8:18AM

'Mulligan' takes easy road


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Mulligan the Great, Praise from Dixie, Jab, and Estonia, all nominated to Sunday's Grade 3 Highlander Handicap, have shown up in Wednesday's $72,200 Woodbine feature for 3-year-olds and up.

Lakefield rounds out the five-horse field in the $80,000 optional claimer, which will be run at six furlongs.

Mulligan the Great should be well backed off his upset score over Rare Friends on Sept. 2 in the restricted Kenora Stakes. A 3-year-old trained by Cliff Hopmans, Mulligan the Great won the six-furlong Kenora using a strong stretch kick, earning a lifetime best Beyer Speed Figure of 96.

Mulligan the Great was second in each of his two previous outings, including the one-mile Vice Regent Stakes on turf, and has banked $190,376 this year for owner Charles Simmons. Todd Kabel retains the mount.

Praise From Dixie captured the Kennedy Road Stakes by disqualification on the final day of the 2001 Woodbine meeting, but has not been a stakes-caliber runner this year. He finished third in his second start this year, against $62,500 opposition, and was claimed by Colebrook Farm and trainer Norm McKnight. He then captured an $80,000 optional claimer Aug. 10.

Most recently, in the allowance prep for the Highlander, Praise from Dixie battled up front with Olympian and Wake at Noon, before giving way to end up 6 1/2 lengths back in third.

Jab, a quick 6-year-old, has won 4 of 7 starts at the meeting for trainer Scott Fairlie, who acquired him in the spring.

Jab beat $40,000 claimers in March, lost for $32,000, and then won for a $47,500 tag. He beat $80,000 opponents on June 28, but faded to fourth after shaking loose on the early lead in the July 20 Bold Venture Handicap.

Jab finished a close third behind Praise From Dixie and Cheap Talk in an $80,000 optional claimer two starts ago, and is coming off a gate-to-wire score over $62,500 claimers.

Estonia is winless in 10 starts since taking the 2001 Kenora, a race in which he was sixth this year. He was a well-beaten seventh in the Highlander prep, and looks to be up against it here.

Lakefield was mired in a slump until he upset heavily favored Soaring Free at 51-1 in winning a Sept. 8 allowance for non winners of two other than. He does his optimum running when fresh, and is running back on relatively short rest.

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