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Strong Woodbine Mile list
ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The Woodbine Mile nominations were released Friday, and a total of 23 horses are listed for the Grade 1, $1 million turf race for 3-year-olds and up on Sept. 20.
The probable shippers from south of the border include Ventura, the filly who finished second in last year's Woodbine Mile; Bribon, who prepped with an impressive score in a $100,000 claiming/classified allowance over one mile of turf at Saratoga on Aug. 9; and Ferneley, winner of last Saturday's Grade 2 Del Mar Mile.
Daylight Express, a Barbadian invader, has been on the grounds since last weekend.
Locals eyeing the Woodbine Mile include last year's winner, Rahy's Attorney, who finished sixth last time out in the 1 3/8-mile Sky Classic; Jungle Wave and Field Commission, the one-two finishers in last Saturday's Play the King over seven furlongs of turf; Sterwins, who defeated Rahy's Attorney when winning the Connaught Cup over 1 1/16 miles of grass here this spring; and Grand Adventure, a 3-year-old who was an impressive winner under second-level allowance terms in his return from a 10-month layoff.
Parabola heads Vice Regent
There have been more downs than ups this year for Parabola, who became a stakes winner in the 1 1/16-mile Kingarvie here last fall and was considered a long-term candidate for the Queen's Plate.
Now, after a campaign that was compromised by illness and has yielded one allowance win in five starts, Parabola could find himself back in the stakes winner's circle following Sunday's $125,000 Vice Regent, a one-mile turf race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds.
Parabola, a homebred gelding owned by Janet Jeanpierre and trained by Barbara Minshall, finished 6 1/2 lengths behind upset winner Perfect Shower when seventh last time out in the Breeders', the 1 1/2-mile turf race that is the final leg of Canada's Triple Crown.
"It was a hard race to evaluate, being that kind of distance," Minshall said. "It looked like he was going to make a run, but he just flattened out a bit the last part."
Parabola's win this year came in his turf debut, which was a 1 1/16-mile second-level allowance for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds in his start prior to the Breeders'.
"He's trained well for this race," Minshall said. "I've sharpened him up a bit; he's in good order."
Chantal Sutherland, who was aboard Parabola for his allowance score and the Breeders', will be back in the irons for the Vice Regent.
Dance for Us looks to rebound
Minshall also is looking for good things from Dance for Us in Monday's Algoma, the 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares that is one of six $125,000 stakes on the Labor Day program.
Dance for Us, owned by the Minshall Farm of the trainer's stepson, Shawn, became a stakes winner in the 1 1/16-mile Bison City here June 28 but then finished sixth in the Wonder Where over 1 1/4 miles of soft turf.
"She's kind of a big, muscular filly, and I just don't think she handled that going," Minshall said. "She'd run well on firm turf earlier."
Dance for Us has trained smartly since the July 25 Wonder Where, with her latest move a five-furlong breeze in 59.60 seconds here Monday.
Sutherland rode Dance for Us in both the Bison City and Wonder Where but is going with another of her regular mounts, Roses 'n' Wine, for the Algoma.
Todd Kabel picks up the mount on Dance for Us.
Keino West back quick for Elgin
Keino West, another 3-year-old who was expected some make some noise at the top of the division this year, competed in all three legs of the Canadian Triple Crown, with his best finish a fourth in Fort Erie's Prince of Wales.
Now, after running second in a first-level allowance over 1 1/8 miles here Aug. 29, Keino West will be swinging right back in Monday's Elgin, the 1 1/16-mile yearling sales stakes for colts and geldings, 3 and up.
"He finally ran the way we thought he could," trainer Steve Attard said. "I was starting to worry, myself."
Keino West, with jockey Jim McAleney in the irons for the first time, was beaten a length in his latest after momentarily lacking a seam turning into the stretch.
"The horse ran into some traffic problems, but McAleney gave him a good ride," Attard said. "He's training really well, so we're going to take a shot."
Keino West's lone win came over 1 1/16 miles in a maiden race here last fall.
Anne's Purse opts for Halton
The 4-year-old filly Anne's Purse had plenty of options this weekend.
Winner of Fort Erie's Rainbow Connection over five furlongs of turf in her last start, Anne's Purse was nominated to Saturday's Seaway plus the Algoma, Kenora, and Halton on Monday.
The Seaway was a graded stakes for fillies and mares, and Anne's Purse would have faced older males in both the six-furlong Kenora and the Halton, a one-mile turf race.
In the end, trainer Earl Barnett opted to keep Anne's Purse on the turf in the Halton.
"I'd considered her for the Seaway, until I saw the probable field," Barnett said. "Polytrack for her right now is pushing it - I'd rather try her long on the grass. I've got to test her at some point, and I think this is a good spot."
Barnett also nominated You Will Love me to both the Algoma and the Halton and has entered her in the main-track race.
You Will Love me finished second last time out in the Victoriana, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for Ontario-sired fillies and mares that was won by her stablemate San Nicola Whiskey.
"She's equally good on Polytrack," Barnett said. "I think this is her race to lose, the way she is right now."
Careless Jewel gets back to work
Careless Jewel breezed five furlongs in 59.40 here Friday morning under regular rider Robert Landry in her first workout since winning Saratoga's Grade 1 Alabama on Aug. 22.
"She worked unbelievably," Landry said. "She was a little strong early but she did it well within herself.
"To be perfectly honest, it's probably the best she's every worked. She was very, very happy."
Careless Jewel, trained by Josie Carroll, is slated to use either Woodbine's Sept. 26 Selene or Philadelphia Park's Oct. 3 Cotillion as her final stepping-stone to the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic.