10/16/2015 11:06AM

Strut the Course seeks first Grade 1 win in E.P. Taylor

Michael Burns
Strut the Course will start in Sunday's $500,000, Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Strut the Course has won graded stakes the last two times she’s raced on Woodbine’s turf course and will be in search of her first Grade 1 victory in Sunday’s $500,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes over 1 1/4 miles on grass at Woodbine.

Strut the Course won the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes on Sept. 13 from off the pace after waiting for racing room at the top of the stretch under Luis Contreras. Trainer Barb Minshall said coming from off the pace has proven to be an effective running style for Strut the Course.

“It’s going to be the same kind of feel because you’ve got a lot of Europeans,” she said. “Their style is to run home, and it’s going to be a dash to the finish, that’s for sure.”

Minshall said everything she has seen from Strut the Course since the Canadian leads her to believe that the 5-year-old mare can deliver another big race Sunday.

“I haven’t seen any drop-off in her at all,” she said. “She’s just really keen, and she’s been doing really well. We’re really happy with her, and we’re just hoping for racing luck at this stage.”


Strut the Course (Last 3 Beyers: 97-92-93)

◗ There was some rain in the Toronto area on Thursday that could soften up the turf course, but Minshall said she won’t be concerned if the ground has some give to it.

“In the Canadian, it came up kind of soft,” she said. “That’s the first time she ran on that kind of condition, and obviously she handled it really well.”

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Curvy (Beyer: 87)

◗ She disappointed as the favorite in her North American debut in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont Park on Oct. 3 but could rebound in this spot. She reeled off three straight wins this summer overseas, including a Group 3 win at The Curragh and a Group 2 victory at Royal Ascot.

Talmada (North American debut)

◗ She earned a strong 107 rating from the Racing Post for her win last out in a listed stakes at Yarmouth over 1 1/4 miles, which appears to be her preferred distance.

Button Down (Last 3 Beyers: 96-91-84)

◗ Her Beyer Speed Figures have improved in her past three starts as she’s moved from the maiden ranks into graded stakes company. She recorded a career-best 96 Beyer when second by a half-length to Strut the Course in the Canadian.