10/18/2007 11:00PM

Race name fits nicely

EmailThe Canadian International, in its 70th year in 2007, is truly an international event.

The Grade 1 turf marathon has been won by a British- or Irish-bred horse for six consecutive years.

Last year was the first of those six runnings that European-breds did not sweep the top three placings, as Go Deputy, from the United States, was second, and Sky Conqueror, a Canadian who is back for this year's race, was third behind Collier Hill.

In addition, the last six runnings of the race have been contested on

1 1/2 miles of turf that has been less than firm, and that scenario is possible again for this year's edition.

There are many pedigree similarities in these and other International winners, suggesting that certain bloodlines lend themselves not just to marathon turf events but those run over demanding ground.

Sadler's Wells has made his mark on the race as the only stallion to have sired two International winners: French Glory in 1990 (soft turf) and Ballingarry in 2002 (yielding turf).

A 25-year-old son of Northern Dancer, Sadler's Wells had a yearling filly sell for a world record of about $5.3 million earlier this month. He has two sons in this year's International and is the paternal grandsire of two others.

The 4-year-old Ask is out of a Rainbow Quest mare, Request. Linda's Lad, another 4-year-old by Sadler's Wells, is a longshot in the race but a Group 1 winner in France as a juvenile.

Irish Wells, a Group 2 winner, is a French-bred son of Poliglote, a Group 1-winning son of Sadler's Wells who made the trip to Canada for the International in 1995 and finished 15th.

And an Aidan O'Brien trainee, Honolulu, is a son of Sadler's Wells's best son Montjeu (also the sire of this year's Epsom Derby winner, Authorized). Honolulu, an improving 3-year-old, has other clues in his pedigree that he could win on Sunday.

His dam, Cerulean Sky, was second in the E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine in 1999, and her sire, Darshaan, sired the 2001 International winner, Mutamam.

Local hopes for Barancella

Lois Keays is not only the biggest fan of Barancella, one of the favorites for the $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes on International Day, she also has significant rooting interests.

Keays, who resides near Wiarton, Ontario, and operates Hales Farm Thoroughbreds, owns Barancella's "aunt," Mosella, a half-sister to Baranciaga, the dam of Barancella. The 17-year-old Mosella is by Lord at War and was a winner on the track.

She has five winning foals from seven foals to race, including Group 2-winning hurdler Malhado Island, who is still racing at the age of 9 with more than $540,000 in earnings.

Mosella's latest winner was Bella Mosella (by Bold n' Flashy) for Julia Carey two years ago.

Keays has three offspring of Mosella, including Madalayna (Ciano Cat), a 2-year-old filly in training with Danny O'Callaghan, and Parthian Shot, a yearling colt by Lost Soldier.

Alumni Hall coming to Ontario

Alumni Hall, a Grade 3 stakes-winning son of A.P. Indy, has been retired and will stand the 2008 breeding season at Norse Ridge Farm in King City, Ontario.

A full brother to the Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Status, Alumni Hall won 9 of 28 races, including the Ben Ali and Fayette stakes in 2005, and earned $747,756. He raced once in 2007, finishing unplaced in the Da Hoss Stakes at Colonial Downs.

His fee will be $5,000.