10/09/2012 1:33PM

Woodbine: Foreign arrivals still to assemble for Canadian International Day

Michael Burns
Joshua Tree canters around the track at Woodbine at sunrise on Tuesday.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – With the French contingent having been due to arrive late Tuesday afternoon and the Irish to follow on Wednesday, all the pieces of the puzzle have yet to fall into place for Sunday’s Canadian International Day program.

Three Grade 1 turf stakes will be on tap, with the 1 1/2-mile Canadian International, the 1 1/4-mile E.P. Taylor, and the six-furlong Nearctic all part of the Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In program.

[BREEDERS' CUP 2012: DRF top 10 lists, video replays, latest news]

The Grade 3 Durham Cup, a 1 1/8-mile Polytrack race, also will be offered on an 11-race card that will begin at 1 p.m.

Joshua Tree, winner of the 2010 Canadian International and second in last year’s running, and Imperial Monarch, winner of the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris over 1 1/2 miles at Longchamp this summer, are expected to be the top choices when a field of as many as 12 horses is entered Thursday.

Keith Williams, here with Joshua Tree for trainer Marco Botti, said the 5-year-old shipped well and cantered on the Polytrack on Tuesday under Wayne Goldsborough.

Joshua Tree is to be ridden by Frankie Dettori, who won both the Canadian International with Sulamani and the E.P. Taylor with Folk Opera in 2009.

Dettori also was aboard 2008 Canadian International winner Mutafaweq and 1995 E.P. Taylor with Timarida.

Imperial Monarch is based in Ireland with Aidan O’Brien.

[CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DAY: Get PPs, watch Sunday's full card live]

O’Brien trained Joshua Tree when that horse won here in 2010 and also trained the 2002 Canadian International winner, Ballingarry.

The ceremonial post position draw will be held here in the trackside tent beginning at 12 p.m., and Canada’s Summer Mortimer, a gold and silver medalist in swimming at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, will be the guest drawmaster.

In other Canadian International Day developments:

◗ Trainer Roger Attfield has named John Velazquez as the rider of Forte De Marmi, who is coming off a third-place finish here in the Northern Dancer.

Velazquez also will ride Kissable for Attfield in the E.P. Taylor and was in the irons when the 4-year-old won the 1 1/2-mile Waya and finished third in the Grade 3 Glens Falls in her last two starts on Saratoga’s turf course.

Attfield and Velazquez won last year’s E.P. Taylor with Miss Keller, and the jockey also rode E.P. Taylor winners Honey Ryder in 2005 and Commercante in 2004.

Forte dei Marmi finished 10th when ridden by Velazquez in last year’s Woodbine Mile, which was the gelding’s North American debut.

In five previous Canadian International appearances, the best result for Velazquez was a second-place finish with Go Deputy in 2006.

The Hall of Fame jockey is a three-time winner of the E.P. Taylor.

◗ Stormy Lord has been entered in Saturday’s Knickerbocker, a 1 1/8-mile turf race at Belmont on Saturday that offers Grade 3 status and a purse of $150,000 and attracted a field of eight. As of Tuesday morning, however, trainer Ian Black was holding his option of staying here for the Canadian Internatiional.