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Woodbine: Europeans arriving for Woodbine Mile
By Bill Tallon
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Cityscape, Dance And Dance, and Worthadd checked in from Europe late Saturday night with an eye toward Sunday’s Grade 1, $1 million Woodbine Mile.
Arriving on the same flight were Wigmore Hall, who will be seeking a repeat in Sunday’s Grade 1, $500,000 Northern Dancer; Barefoot Lady, a candidate for Sunday’s Grade 2, $300,000 Canadian; and Fearless Jacq, whose target is Saturday’s Grade 2, $250,000 Natalma for 2-year-old fillies.
Cityscape, trained by Roger Charlton, brings the most impressive credentials for the Woodbine Mile, having captured the Grade 1, $5 million Dubai Duty Free this March and finishing second in the Grade 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville last time out. Regular rider Peter Doyle has the call.
Dance And Dance will be making his second appearance in the Woodbine Mile after finishing a troubled sixth, beaten just 1 3/4 lengths, in last year’s edition.
Garrett Gomez is slated to ride Dance And Dance for trainer Ed Vaughan.
Worthadd, conditioned by Mark Prescott, is coming off a second-place finish in the Group 2 Hanover Meilen Trophy in Germany.
Woodbine-based rider Luis Contreras has picked up the mount on Worthadd.
Wise Dan to arrive Friday
Wise Dan, who will be favored in the Woodbine Mile off his smashing victory in Saratoga’s Fourstardave, has been training at Keeneland and is not expected to arrive until early Friday morning.
Big Band Sound and Riding the River, the 1-2 finishers in the Grade 2 Play the King over seven furlongs on turf here Aug. 26, both tuned up for the Woodbine Mile with five-furlong breezes on the main track here Sunday.
Tyler Pizarro was aboard Big Band Sound, whose 59.20-second clocking was the fastest of 76 works at the distance.
“We wanted a decent work,” trainer Danny Vella said. “We’ve been babying him a little for the last two weeks.”
Riding the River, who had put together back-to-back Grade 2 turf stakes wins in the one-mile King Edward and 1 1/8-mile Nijinsky prior to the Play the King, was clocked in 1:03 under his regular rider Todd Kabel.
Hunters Bay to make turf debut
Hunters Bay breezed five furlongs in 1:00 on the dirt training track here Sunday with his regular rider, Emma-Jayne Wilson, in the irons. Trained by Reade Baker, Hunter’s Bay would be making his turf debut in the Woodbine Mile and has never worked on the grass.
Rounding out the probable field for the Woodbine Mile will be the locally based Artic Fern and Hollinger.
Artic Fern is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Play the King, while Hollinger ended fourth when making his last start in the King Edward.
Grass is Greener- You read the race absolutely perfect- you deserve all the plaudits. Fair play to you- I hope that you made plenty of $$$. We shall meet again at the Breeders Cup Mile where i shall beat you with Moonlight Cloud :)
Jordan- at last a true post- Could not agree with you more. In no way am I belittling Wise Dan- It is just plain to see that Cityscape is one of the best 'invaders' in a long long time to come over to Woodbine for this prestigious race- I really hope that he wins so that in the future the race will attract more of the same calibre horses. Even more confident on Cityscape than I was yesterday :)
Attended the Woodmile Mile from 03-07, and 09'. The Mile typically attracted a few solid Euros, but off hand I can't think of a Euro during that span with the credentials of Cityscape. If Cityscape displays his overseas form, we'll know by this weekend exactly how good a turf miler Wise Dan is.
Wise Dan is tough but the Euros are always tough over here so Citiscape has a big chance!!!
Grass is Greener - You are deluded. Please tell me what Wise Dan has beaten over a turf surface as opposed to what Cityscape has beaten. Here's a pointer for you- google- Prix Jacques Le Marios - Have a look at the race, the calibre of opponents and then put that next to the "Fourstar Dave" - oh, and while you are watching the race- maybe you can kindly point out where the "headstrong" comment comes from?? Have you even seen Cityscape race to come up with such a nonsensical comment as "He is more headstrong than Wise Dan" - Only bet- Cityscape - Maximum Win.
With no temporary rail, the Woodbine Mile is once again set up to be won by a closer. Focus on the jockey and a horse whose strategy this Sunday is closing. The best performing American jockeys at Woodbine in the past 5 years have been Garrett Gomez, John Velazquez, Julien Leparoux and Javier Castellano. 2009: With Garrett Gomez up, Ventura closed from last to win stylishly. Co-favorite Bribon had no closing kick after Alan Garcia chose to track a strong pace. 2010: Court Vision closed from last. Favored The Usual QT was sent by California rider Victor Espinoza too early, made a flashy wide run to the lead but faltered late in the daunting 1477ft long Woodbine stretch. 2011: Turralure closed from last, expertly handled by Julien Leparoux to just catch even money favorite Courageous Cat at the wire. Another California rider PVal sent his mount way too early to collar the pacesetter. Courageous Cat fought on bravely for every yard of the long Woodbine Stretch, put away 4 serious challengers but failed to notice the winner who closed widest in the middle of the track. This year I believe Johnny V will have done his homework. He will produce Wise Dan from midpack and kick away powerfully to win. I believe Cityscape will be sent off a close second choice behind Wise Dan but this horse is even more headstrong than Wise Dan and his rider will not be anywhere near as good as Johnny V at Woodbine. Cityscape is bound to challenge for the lead and falter late. Bet to win: Wise Dan Exacta: Wise Dan over Riding the River, Worthadd
Note that Wise Dan is 4 for 5 since Charlie pulled that mucksack down off of him... Not to cast asperity in any way.
Let's hope the Stewards stay away from the betting windows and the hooch this Sunday. The betting rings would be in their glory. God forbid we have another disgraceful decision this Sunday.
Peter Doyle is an Irish bloodstock agent working closely with trainer Richard Hannon. Not sure he would be able to do the weight on Cityscape but it is an interesting booking. Geir Stabell / globeform.com
I will wager a few gold coins on the horse from Dubai "Dance And Dance". I believe the odds will be 10 to 1 or better. Great trainer, great owner. Always a good race. This year again could be a blanket finish.
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