07/04/2014 10:41AM

Something Extra shortens up in Highlander Stakes

Michael Burns
Something Extra, shown winning the Connaught Cup in 2013, finished second in the 2014 edition of that race last out.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Something Extra rushed out to a quick early lead and nearly held on for the win after a terrific stretch duel against Excaper in the Grade 2 Connaught Cup over seven furlongs here May 31. He’ll shorten up and start from the rail in Sunday’s Grade 2 Highlander Stakes as part of the Queen’s Plate undercard.

“I thought he ran a huge race,” said trainer Gail Cox. “He was giving six pounds to the horse that won, and that’s a lot of weight. Three-quarters might be his favorite distance.”

Something Extra has come back from the Connaught Cup with two works, including a five-furlong breeze in 1:00.00 on the turf training track here last Sunday.

“He’s been training great. I’m really happy with him,” Cox said. “He had a great breeze on the turf, and he’s doing well.”

Fourth-place finisher Mr. Online and eighth-place finisher Occasional View also exit the Connaught Cup and will run in the Highlander.

Phil’s Dream will return to turf in the Highlander for the first time since winning the Grade 1 Nearctic Stakes last October. He’s recorded two stakes wins already this season, the first against Ontario-sired competition in the New Providence Stakes on May 19 before defeating last year’s Highlander winner, Go Blue Or Go Home, in the Ontario Jockey Club Stakes on June 21.

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Havelock has won on the Woodbine turf course before, capturing the Play the King Stakes in 2011. He’s yet to hit the board in three graded stakes starts this season but finished just 3 1/4 lengths behind the winner in his most recent start in the Grade 3 Hanshin Cup Stakes at Arlington Park on May 24.

Stormy Rush, a regular in Woodbine’s turf-sprint division last season, has already run in five turf sprints in 2014. He won the Lincoln Stakes two starts back at Gulfstream Park on April 19 and most recently finished fifth behind Tightend Touchdown in the Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup at Penn National on May 31.

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Lockout and Awesome Eclipse have each defeated the other in allowance races at Woodbine in their last two starts. Lockout won on turf two starts back, while Awesome Eclipse won the most recent meeting June 13 in a race taken off the turf.

Rounding out the field is Sparrowhawk, who recently won a first-level Ontario-sired allowance event on grass.