07/03/2015 10:16AM

Something Extra seeks repeat in Highlander

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Michael Burns
Something Extra wins last year's Highlander Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Something Extra will try to win the Grade 2, $200,000 Highlander Stakes for the second year in a row on the Queen’s Plate undercard at Woodbine on Sunday.

Something Extra would surpass the $1 million mark in earnings with a victory in the six-furlong turf sprint. The front-runner defeated Lockout and Phil’s Dream in last year’s Highlander after putting away an outsider on the early lead.

Something Extra took the Grade 3 Shakertown in his April 1 season opener at Keeneland and went on to finish third in the Grade 3 Turf Sprint at Churchill.

Trainer Gail Cox skipped the Grade 2 Connaught Cup here May 30 because she believes seven furlongs is now farther than the optimal distance for Something Extra. She ended up sending him to Belmont Park on June 6 for the Grade 3 Jaipur and was pleased when he finished a valiant second to Channel Marker in that six-furlong event.

“The horse ran huge,” said Cox. “The ground was a bit soft and maybe not to his liking. Brian Lynch’s horse didn’t break that well and then was sent up there. He had to deal with him the whole way. I was really happy with the race.”

Highlander Stakes, Race 10

KEY CONTENDERS

Something Extra (Last 3 Beyers: 96-96-101)

◗ Cox said she believes six furlongs over this expansive course is ideal for the 7-year-old.

“He loves that,” said Cox. “I think it should be a good race for him. He’s doing great.”

Katie’s Eyes (Last 3 Beyers: 95-95-82)

◗ One of two females in the lineup, she’s based at Arlington with trainer Mike Stidham, who sent her out to win her last four outings at three different tracks.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: Stidham has a 20 percent strike rate at Woodbine over the past five years, with a $1 return on investment.

◗ The 4-year-old is versatile in terms of running style and was victorious over Free as a Bird last out at Churchill in the Unbridled Sidney Stakes.

:: Woodbine: Get PPs, watch Sunday’s card live

Sharp Sensation (Last 3 Beyers: 91-96-91)

◗ He had a terrific 2014 campaign, winning stakes on turf, dirt, and synthetic. He has been idle since running second to Calgary Cat here Nov. 23 in the Grade 2 Kennedy Road, a loss that may have cost him the award for Canadian champion sprinter.

Shrinking Violet (Last 3 Beyers: 90-95-85)

◗ The 5-year-old won her penultimate start in the Grade 2 Monrovia going down the hill at Santa Anita. She dead-heated for third following a layoff in her last start May 16 in The Very One Stakes at Pimlico. She was supplemented by trainer Wesley Ward for $4,000.