10/12/2012 1:11PM

Woodbine: James Street comes into Durham Cup at top of his game

Michael Burns
James Street, here winning the 2011 Seagram Cup, comes into the Durham Cup off a victory in the allowance prep.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – James Street was a game winner of the 1 1/16-mile allowance prep for the Durham Cup and will be looking to duplicate that success in the main event here Sunday.

The Grade 3, $150,000 Durham Cup, a 1 1/8-mile Polytrack race for 3-year-olds and upward, is being run on the Canadian International Day card for the first time and attracted a field of six.

James Street, a 5-year-old who is trained by Josie Carroll, had a solid campaign last year with a victory in the Grade 3 Seagram Cup at 1 1/16 miles and second-place finishes in the 1 1/4-mile Dominion Day and the Durham Cup. This year, however, James Street has seen action just three times, all at 1 1/16 miles, with gaps of 10 and then seven weeks between his appearances.

“It took quite a while to get him ready this year,” said Carroll. “It took him longer than unusual to get himself fit going to two turns off a layoff. I thought he ran a great race last time. He’s a horse who absolutely needed to run. He’s doing so well. He’s just a nice horse; easy to deal with.”

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Carroll found herself in search of a rider when Patrick Husbands, who has been in the irons for each of James Street’s five victories, elected to partner Delegation in the Durham Cup. The trainer fared well in that regard by securing the services of John Velazquez, who is here to ride for trainer Roger Attfield in the Canadian International and E.P. Taylor.

Delegation, an impressive winner in an off-the-turf race over a mile and 70 yards when knocking out his second allowance condition here Sept. 23, hails from the formidable barn of Mark Casse and is the only 3-year-old in the Durham Cup lineup.

“I thought his last race was very impressive,” said Casse. “He has such a beautiful way of going.”

Alpha Bettor became a stakes winner in the Seagram Cup and finished second behind James Street in the Durham Cup prep. He figures to make his presence felt again Sunday.

“He seems to be at the same level he’s been at the last few months,” said Danny Vella, who trains Alpha Bettor and is a part-owner under the Bulldog Racing banner. “He’s sharp and happy.”

Vella will give regular rider Tyler Pizarro a leg up on Alpha Bettor. The trainer is concerned over the prospect of Delegation establishing an easy lead.

“We’re not far out of it, but we’re not a speed horse,” said Vella.

City Wolf, winner of last year’s Durham Cup but fifth in the prep, will be looking to redeem himself here as he takes off blinkers.

Mobilizer, who was the fourth-place finisher in the Durham Cup prep, and the invading Vertiformer round out the field.