09/15/2016 9:36AM

Strut the Course now healthy to defend title in Canadian Stakes

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Michael Burns
Strut the Course earned one of the highest Beyer Speed Figures of her career for her 2015 Canadian Stakes win.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Strut the Course will return from a layoff to defend her title in Saturday’s Grade 2, $300,000 Canadian Stakes over about 1 1/8 miles on Woodbine’s turf course. The winner of the Canadian will earn a fees-paid berth in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 5.

Strut the Course most recently was second to Lexie Lou in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly Stakes on July 3. Trainer Barb Minshall said Strut the Course missed training time after the Dance Smartly due to an illness.

“After the last race, she got really anemic,” she said. “That’s why we missed a couple of races that we might have liked to have gone in. It took her a while to come around. She’s back on track now.”

Minshall said Strut the Course has been training well since getting over her illness and recently breezed with Stacked Deck, who won the Ontario Jockey Club Stakes last Sunday with a 100 Beyer Speed Figure.

Minshall said Strut the Course likely will run in the Canadian, the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes on Oct. 16, and the Grade 3 Maple Leaf Stakes on Nov. 5 before being entered in the Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

Canadian Stakes, Race 8

Key Contenders

Strut the Course, by Strut the Stage
Last 3 Beyers: 89-92-90

◗ Strut the Course won this race last year over a yielding turf course with a 97 Beyer. Minshall said she was not concerned that rain is in the forecast for Saturday.

“A little rain wouldn’t hurt my feelings at all,” she said.

Dacita, by Scat Daddy
Last 3 Beyers: 101-97-93

◗ She carries a two-race win streak into this spot after rallying strongly from off the pace to win the Grade 1 Diana Stakes at Saratoga on July 23.

◗ Irad Ortiz Jr. will travel up from New York to retain the mount for trainer Chad Brown.

Rainha Da Bateria, by Broken Vow
Last 3 Beyers: 101-95-95

◗ Like Dacita, she rallied from off the pace in the Diana but just missed after she was bumped in deep stretch.

◗ She’s also trained by Brown, who is just 1 for 17 in graded stakes at Woodbine over the past five years, with a return on investment of $0.50.

Steip Amach, by Vocalised
No Beyers

◗ She’ll cut back in distance after running third in the Group 1 Darley Prix Jean Romanet over 1 1/4 miles at Deauville in France on Aug. 21. Prior to that, she was third in another Group 1 event over a mile.

:: WOODBINE MILE: Get PPs, watch Saturday's card live