Updated on 09/15/2011 1:07PM

Sunday's field is, well, international


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - England, France, Germany, the United States, and Canada will be represented here in Sunday's 12-horse field for the Grade 1, $1.5 million Canadian International.

Not to be outdone, Sunday's 13-horse field for the Grade 1, $500,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes, for fillies and mares, will feature contestants from the same five countries.

The draw for the Canadian International was conducted here Thursday.

Post positions should not be a critical factor in the International, run over one full 1 1/2-mile circuit of the E.P. Taylor turf course, and Mutamam, who is one of three English invaders along with Daliapour and Zindabad, should be a slight choice despite drawing the outside post.

"We'd have been happier with a lower draw," said Wayne Tanner, an assistant to Mutamam's trainer, Alec Stewart. "It's not a big inconvenience; he was drawn high in the Breeders' Cup."

A 6-year-old trained by Alec Stewart, Mutamam broke from post 9 in a field of 13 and finished a close fourth in last fall's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs.

Mutamam prepped for the Canadian International with a win in the Group 3 September Stakes at Kempton and will have his regular rider, Richard Hills, in the irons.

Daliapour, a beaten favorite when third in last year's running, again will be well backed under returning rider Johnny Murtagh. A 5-year-old, Daliapour was purchased by Hong Kong owner Robert Ng after winning the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase last fall and was sent back to his former trainer, Sir Michael Stoute, this spring.

Jim Scott, assistant to Stoute, was pleased with Dalipour's draw of post 5, as opposed to post 11 last year. "It's a lot better than the wide draw," said Scott. "He [Murtagh] had to make a lot of use of him last year - he bounced out, to get a good spot. It didn't do him a lot of good."

Zindabad, who will have his regular rider Kevin Darley aboard, is trained by Mark Johnston, who sent out Fruits of Love to finish second here in the 1999 International.

The other European raiders are Germany's Paolini, a two-time Group 1 winner in Italy this year, and France's Slew the Red, who is coming off a third-place finish to Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe-bound Hightori in the Group 2 Prix Foy at Longchamp Sept. 16.

Williams News, who came out on the short end of a shocking photo finish here in last fall's International, will be seeking revenge.

Slew the Red, based in Maryland with Michael Dickinson, and Falcon Flight, who checked in from California Thursday morning along with his trainer, Don Burke, are the other American entrants. Slew the Red also was entered in Saturday's Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont.

Strut the Stage, owned by Sam-Son Farm and trained by Mark Frostad, looks best of the four locally based hopefuls and should vie with Mutamam for favoritism.

A 3-year-old owned by Sam-Son Farm and trained by Mark Frostad, the team behind 1997 Canadian International winner Chief Bearhart, Strut the Stage is coming off a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Secretariat at Arlington.

Rounding out the home team will be River Boat, who was the top finisher among the locals when fifth in last year's International; Dawson's Legacy, who will be making his third appearance in the race after finishing last of 12 in 2000 and seventh of nine in 1999; and Lodge Hill, who will be seeking his first win since capturing the Breeders' here in August of last year.

Strut the Stage, the only 3-year-old in the field, gets in with 118 pounds. The others carry 126.

French fillies dangerous in Taylor

The French 3-year-old fillies Volga, Spring Oak and Choc Ice, who checked in from Paris Thursday afternoon along with Slew the Red, will command plenty of respect in the Taylor.

Abitara, from Germany, and Cayman Sunset, who arrived from England early this month and tuned up with a third-place finish in the Canadian Handicap here Sept. 9, are the other European shippers.

Keemoon, who has been racing in California but currently is in New York with Neil Drysdale, is the lone American entrant.

The local contingent consists of Free Vacation, Canada's champion turf filly in 1999 and seeking her third straight victory; Diadella and Nymphenburg, 1-2 finishers in the Canadian; Alexis, a hard-luck fourth in this race last year; Only to You, coming off a fourth-place finish in Arlington's Beverley D., the multiple stakes-winning Bristol Pistol; and longshot Bonnie's Prize.

Free Vacation and Alexis both will be making their second E.P. Taylor appearances, with Free Vacation having finished last of seven in 1999 and Alexis an unlucky fourth, beaten just 1 1/2 lengths, last year.