09/10/2012 2:35PM

Woodbine: Europeans arriving for Woodbine Mile

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Michael Burns
From left to right, Dance And Dance, Worthadd, and Cityscape enter the track Monday morning at Woodbine to train for Sunday's Woodbine Mile.

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.

[WOODBINE MILE: Get PPs, watch Sunday's full card live]

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.

Scott Roberts More than 1 year ago
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 :)
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Not so fast, I might pick Moonlight Cloud too since it will be very hard for Morton Fink to pass up a legitimate run at the Breeders' Cup Classic and a shot at Horse of The Year with Wise Dan. Wise Dan is a gelding so he will be back next year, but now is the time to take a shot at the BCC, the Mile can wait till next year if it doesn't work out. If a horse can get 9 furlongs on dirt at other tracks, he can probably get 9.5 or 10f on the high clay content main track at Santa Anita, that's why a borderline 10f horse like Game on Dude is so good there. Morton Fink has waited 40 years, he doesn't have much longer.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Are you sure you don't like Excelebration or Elusive Kate more?
Scott Roberts More than 1 year ago
Hey! I think that the tight turns of Santa Anita on the turf course will suit Moonlight Cloud more as I think her best distance is 7f. I think the Mile will race more like the shorter distance and her potent turn of foot could make the difference. Couple that with the assistance of Freddy Head - She could take some beating in a race that I think will cut up as i agree with you - some of the better milers may take a shot at the classic (Excelebration included) we know that Coolmore are dying to win the BCC and I think Excelebration is more likely than Camelot (Who i think is headed for the arc). Gonna be a great occasion- Really looking forward to "The Fugue" coming over from the UK as well!! It's gonna be bloody fantastic!!
Scott Roberts More than 1 year ago
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 :)
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
That's nonsense. Cityscape was a handicap horse (as opposed to graded stakes runner) in Europe as recently as 2010. He owns one major win in this year's Dubai Duty Free, a slowly run race in a comparatively weak Duty Free field historically speaking. Don't tell me that you cannot come up with a Euro participant in the Woodbine Mile in the past years that sported a more impressive resume. Cityscape's current running line is 6 wins out of 20 starts at this point, 1x G1 and 3x G3 Wise Dan: 1x G1, 3x G2, 3x G3 I'm liking Wise Dan even more now.
Scott Roberts More than 1 year ago
Oh Dear, Each time you write you get more ridiculous. I have bad news for you, the Woodbine Mile is taking place this Sunday in the year 2012 (not 2010) - Unfortunately the handicapper that you remember so well from 2010 just finished 2nd in a TOP CLASS Group 1 on TURF in 2012 - If this was 2010 then I would probably be looking for Wise Dan at Turfway or Presque Isle Downs. Isn't it strange how somehow horses improve with age..... Thanks for bringing to our attention the fact that Cityscape could 'only' beat a $2 million - 15 runner Group 1 field on turf - (On the bridle) by 4 1/2 lengths ...it surely pales in comparison to Wise Dan beating Jimmy Sims at Presque Isle.... Polytrack would probably get Wise Dan a little closer but last time I checked Woodbine was turf. Cityscape beats Wise Dan.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately you have much too learn. I am the international handicapping star, and have been doing this long enough to learn the humility not to talk too much until after the race. The payout isn't great but I'm not afraid to push chalks. $14k win bet but blew about $1200 in exotics.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
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.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Duh, Woodbine Mile
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
History shows that the Woodbine is most likely to be won by closers from midpack or the back of the pack. Wise Dan has shown the ability to pass multiple horses in a race throughout his career, Cityscape hasn't.
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
Wise Dan is tough but the Euros are always tough over here so Citiscape has a big chance!!!
Scott Roberts More than 1 year ago
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.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
My opinion about Cityscape vs. Wise Dan's running style and the need to race among the leaders is easy to show. Just watch the BMW Champions Mile at Sha-Tin in which Cityscape missed the break and tried to join the leaders anyway, and compare that to Wise Dan's races after he became a gelding. For someone who speak with such authority and certainty, you shouldn't need me to point out any specific races to you. I have been in this game long enough to learn how not to insult someone else before a race - everyone is entitled to their own opinion, anything can happen in this game - I would do it after the race. Yes, I follow British, Irish and French racing weekly, almost daily. I happened to push chalk in the 2012 Prix Jacques le Marois, the properly quoted name for the race that you mentioned. I tend to do better at Deauville than Longchamp so this is one of the favorite time of the year with regards to French racing. I did bet Euro in last year's BC Mile. I was wary of Turallure whom I foolishly did not box with my top pick Courageous Cat in last year's Woodbine Mile, but I would have laughed at anyone who told me that I was going to get beat by Court Vision in the 2011 BC Mile, a race with several European horses of similar capability as Cityscape. Court Vision lost to Euros by open lengths 2 years in a row in the BC Mile, but turned around and beat them all at 50-1? Yes, Goldikova wiping out half the field helped, so come back after the race and we'll see whose opinion stinks less.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Ouch. Good thing you didn't attempt to save place, would have hurt a lot more. Wise Dan is a special horse. They'll have to send Frankel here to beat him, second stringers will get blown away.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
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
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Note that Wise Dan is 4 for 5 since Charlie pulled that mucksack down off of him... Not to cast asperity in any way.
Thorobred Racing More than 1 year ago
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.
Geir Stabell More than 1 year ago
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
Grazyna Mianska More than 1 year ago
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.