10/27/2013 7:14PM

Woodbine: Joshua Tree wins Canadian International for third time

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Michael Burns
Joshua Tree and jockey Ryan Moore win the Grade 1 Canadian International by three-quarters of a length Sunday at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The world traveler Joshua Tree made quite a splash in one of his final starts Sunday at Woodbine, winning the Grade 1 Canadian International for a record third time under a textbook ride from Ryan Moore.

Joshua Tree ($15.30) broke last in the 1 1/2-mile turf marathon before moving up to stalk Stormy Len in second on the backstretch. Slumber, the 8-5 favorite from New York, also took up the chase as Stormy Len set moderate fractions over a soggy course labeled “yielding.”

Stormy Len drifted out exiting the far turn, and Joshua Tree darted up the rail to take a clear lead early in the stretch. Joshua Tree’s advantage diminished in the final sixteenth, but he held on to score by three-quarters of a length over Hyper in 2:35.45.

“He was a little slow to begin, but we had a nice spot,” Moore said. “[Stormy Len] was hanging right the whole way, and I saw [Slumber] was going to come around. I didn’t want to move too soon, but I know this horse is tough, and he stays.”

Seismos rallied in unison with Hyper to finish third, and Now We Can wound up fourth. Completing the order of finish were Temeraine, Slumber, Forte Dei Marmi, Stormy Len, Lucayan, and Perfect Timber. 

Joshua Tree took the 2010 International as a 3-year-old for trainer Aidan O’Brien. He ran second in the race the next year before winning it again in 2012 for trainer Marco Botti. This year, he was sent out by Ed Dunlop, whose assistant, Andrew Stringer, made the trip. 

“As soon as he hit the front and opened up three or four lengths, it was game over,” Stringer said. “There was no way he was going to get beat. He’s so game. He’s won three Canadian Internationals for three different trainers. He’s been trained three different ways and fed three different ways. For him to do that, it’s quite remarkable.”

Stringer said Joshua Tree might start next in Hong Kong before going to stud next year in France.

Joshua Tree earned $600,000 of the $1 million purse for the partnership of Khalid Kalifa al Nabooda and Kamel Albahou.