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Woodbine: European horses arriving for Woodbine Mile, Northern Dancer, Canadian
ETOBICOKE, Ontario — Barring any last-minute changes, the European contingent should check in during the wee hours of Sunday morning for the Woodbine Mile, Northern Dancer, and Canadian.
The Grade 1 Woodbine Mile, Grade 1 Northern Dancer, and Grade 2 Canadian all are turf races scheduled here at Woodbine for Sept. 16 and will be joined for the first time by the Ontario Derby, a 1 1/8-mile Polytrack race for 3-year-olds.
The probable overseas invaders for the $1 million Woodbine Mile are Dance and Dance, Cityscape, and Worthadd.
Dance and Dance, beaten 1 3/4 lengths when an unlucky sixth behind Turallure in last year’s Woodbine Mile, returns for trainer Ed Vaughan and is scheduled to have a new rider in Julien Leparoux.
Cityscape, second in the Group 1 Prix de Jacques le Marois at Deauville on Aug. 12, is trained by Roger Charlton and is to have regular rider James Doyle in the irons.
Worthadd, second in a one-mile stakes in Germany on July 15 last time out, is trained by Mark Prescott and local rider Luis Contreras has picked up the mount.
Wigmore Hall, last year’s winner, is slated to return for the 1 1/2-mile, $500,000 Northern Dancer.
Trained by Michael Bell, Wigmore Hall came into last year’s Northern Dancer off a fourth-place finish, beaten 3 1/4 lengths, in the Grade 1 Arlington Million over 1 1/4 miles of turf on Aug. 18.
Wigmore Hall finished seventh in this year’s Arlington Million but was beaten just 3 1/2 lengths.
Scalo, a Group 1 winner in Germany, arrived at Woodbine last month and finished third in the Grade 2 Sky Classic over 1 1/4 miles of turf.
Andreas Woehler, who trains Scalo, also plans to have Kapitale in the Grade 2, $300,000 Canadian for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on the turf.
Kapitale, who has been at Arlington since finishing a close fourth in the Beverly D. over 1 3/16 miles of turf on Aug. 18, will be vanning north and is scheduled to arrive here Saturday morning.
Barefoot Lady, fourth when facing males in the Group 3 Strensall Stakes at Newmarket over 1 1/18 miles of turf last time out, is scheduled to be on the European flight with her target being the Canadian. Her trainer is Richard Fahey.
English import targets Natalma
Fearless Jacq, winner of her only start, which came over six furlongs of turf in England for trainer David Simcock, is scheduled to arrive with an eye toward the Natalma Stakes.
The Natalma is a Grade 2, $250,000 stakes for 2-year-old fillies here Sept. 15 and will share top billing that day with the Grade 2, $200,000 Summer Stakes for 2-year-olds.
Both races go over one mile of turf and are part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Win and You’re In series.
Bear’s Furr preps for turf debut
Bear’s Furr, who is heading for the Summer, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.80 from the starting gate under jockey Jose Contreras on the main track here Thursday.
“He works better from the gate,” said Reade Baker, who trains Bear’s Furr for Danny Dion’s Bear Stable and sends most of his morning exercisers to the dirt training track.
Bear’s Furr has raced twice, winning his debut at 4 1/2 furlongs and then running fourth in the six-furlong Colin Stakes on July 14.
Bred in Kentucky, Bear’s Furr was sired by Langfuhr, and Baker believes the colt will adapt to the new surface.
“I don’t think there’s ever been a Langfuhr who didn’t handle turf,” said the trainer.
Buttigieg confident Memories of Love will handle turf
Trainer Bob Tiller has strength in numbers, with four entrants in Saturday’s $125,000 La Prevoyante for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies. But Paul Buttigieg, who will be sending out Memories of Love for the one-mile stakes for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies, believes he has the one who can spring the upset.
Memories of Love, owned, trained and bred by Buttigieg, will be racing on the grass for the first time in the La Prevoyante.
“I think she’ll like the turf,” said Buttigieg. “She handled it real good when she worked in 1:02 and change the other week.”
Memories of Love was stakes-placed at 2, ending the runner-up in the restricted South Ocean at 1 1/16 miles on the main track..
Returning to action this spring, Memories of Love finished second in a first-level allowance and then third in the Lady Angela, with both restricted races at seven furlongs, but then went back to the farm.
“She wasn’t sore, or anything,” said Buttigieg. “She just wasn’t acting right so I took her home for three weeks.”
On Aug. 12, making her first start in 12 weeks, Memories of Love rallied for a two-length score in a restricted first-level allowance at six furlongs.
“I loved her that day,” said Buttigieg. “The only thing that scared me was that it might be too short.”
Buttigieg will have no such worries in the La Prevoyante.
“I think the mile should suit her,” he said.
Dan the Tin Man looks to rebound in Swynford
It wasn’t that Dan the Tin Man lacked heart in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special, a 61/2-furlong stakes in which he finished a distant last in the field of six on Aug. 12. It was more a case of Dan the Tin Man being run off his feet through an opening quarter of 21.35 seconds in his first try over the Saratoga surface, and then being eased through the final furlong by his jockey, Javier Castellano.
“I think part of it was an error on my part,” said Ricky Griffth, who trains the Florida-bred gelding Dan the Tin Man for the Debmar Stable of Glenn Harvey and Steve Duffield. “He didn’t get there until three days before the race. I know when you’re going to Saratoga it helps to get there early and have a work over the track. He was up with the pace, got dirt kicked in his face, and just backed out.”
On Sunday, Dan the Tin Man will be looking to display his mettle in the $150,000 Swynford, an open seven-furlong race for 2-year-olds which attracted a field of five, including three from the barn of Mark Casse.
Dan the Tin Man had come into the Hopeful off an impressive 5 1/2-furlong maiden win in his second career start.
In his debut, Dan the Tin Man had finished last of four in the five-furlong Victoria Stakes which was won by his stablemate, Rays Away.
“He worked well on Sunday,” said Griffith, who had sent out Dan the Tin Man to breeze five furlongs in 1:00.20 under jockey Corey Fraser, who was aboard for his starts here and regains the mount for the Swynford.
Essence Hit Man will await Kennedy Road
Essence Hit Man, who had been scheduled to travel to Philadelphia for last Monday’s Turf Monster, was derailed by a pus pocket and went to the farm on Wednesday.
“I’ll probably give him three weeks, and then bring him back and get him ready for the Kennedy Road,” said Audre Cappuccitti, who trains the 5-year-old gelding Essence Hit Man and is his owner and breeder in partnership with her husband, Gord.
Essence of Hit Man, the reigning champion male sprinter, already has won three main-track sprint stakes this year and will be looking to duplicate his success in last year’s Kennedy Road.
The Kennedy Road, a six-furlong race here Nov. 25, offers Grade 3 status and a purse of $150,000.