09/13/2011 12:41PM

Woodbine: Lopresti makes first trip to Canada for Woodbine Mile

Michael Burns
Turallure gets a bath after training Tuesday at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Trainer Charles Lopresti has never been to Canada, nor has he ever been represented by a starter here at Woodbine.

But Lopresti will be looking to correct those oversights this week as he was scheduled to check in Wednesday to put the finishing touches on Turallure’s preparations for the Woodbine Mile.

Turallure, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old colt, is coming off the best race of his career as he captured Saratoga’s Grade 2 Bernard Baruch over 1 1/8 miles of turf by 2 1/4 lengths.

Julien Leparoux was recording his second win in as many partnerships with Turallure, who earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 103.

Turallure arrived here in advance of his trainer, checking in early Monday morning along with Julia Helbling, who took the 4-year-old colt out for a spin on the main track Tuesday morning.

“He loved it; he felt great,” said Helbling, who also is a first-time visitor to Canada. “He’s used to training on Polytrack at Keeneland.

“He’s an amazing horse; he came out of his trip just fine. He’s so interested in the world. He loves to graze, he’d spend hours out there.”

Bred in Kentucky by his owner, Donna Arnold, Turallure is a son of the local icon Wando, who won the Canadian Triple Crown, was Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2003, and will be looking for his first Grade 1 stakes winner as a stallion.

“Mrs. Arnold races her own horses,” Lopresti said. “I’ve had him since he was a yearling.”

Turallure, unraced at 2, was winless in three starts in spring 2010, but was a solid runner-up in his second outing over seven furlongs of Polytrack at Keeneland in April of his first year at the races.

Switched to turf later in that campaign, Turallure put together a triple consisting of his maiden win and the Cliff Guilliams Stakes at Ellis Park, both over 1 1/16 miles, and a second-level allowance win over one mile at Keeneland.

Turallure has continued to improve this year, winning the 1 1/16-mile Opening Verse at Churchill and then becoming a graded stakes winner in the Bernard Baruch.

Lopresti, whose charges also include the talented miler Wise Dan, began looking north after Turallure’s victory at Saratoga.

Speaking from his Keeneland base the other morning, Lopresti cited two major factors that influenced his decision to bring Turallure to Woodbine.

“It’s a Win and You’re In race and Leparoux thinks he’ll like it up there,” Lopresti said.

“It’s a one-turn mile, the turns are really wide, and it’s a very, very long stretch.

“I have another nice turf horse in the barn, Wise Dan, and I’m looking at the Shadwell Mile for him.”

The Grade 1, $600,000 Shadwell Mile will be run at Keeneland on Oct. 8, four weeks before the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill Downs.

“Obviously, it would be easier to run them both there, since I’m here in Kentucky,” Lopresti saud. “But I’m trying to give each owner a fair chance to be in a Win and You’re In race.

“The timing works well for them both, too.”

Wise Dan raced in Pennsylvania last Friday evening, winning the $250,000 Presque Isle Mile with Woodbine shipper Stunning Stag ending two lengths back in third place.

Turallure will be coming back just over three weeks after the Bernard Baruch and would have seven weeks to regroup for the Breeders’ Cup.

“I’ve trained him pretty lightly, kept him fresh,” Lopresti said. “He’s a pretty easy horse to ride. You just let the pace dictate where he is.”

Leparoux has ridden in two previous Woodbine Miles, finishing fifth on Zilzal last year and ninth with Art Master in 2007. His one win in 12 previous starts here came aboard Field Commission in the 2009 running of the Grade 2 Nearctic over six furlongs of turf.

Pender Harbour works for Pa. Derby

Pender Harbour breezed six furlongs in 1:12.40 on the training track here Tuesday morning and is scheduled to make his next start in the Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing on Sept. 24.

Regular rider Luis Contreras was aboard for the drill, in which Pender Harbour went his first-half mile in 48.40 seconds and galloped out seven furlongs in 1:26.60.

“He was going easy and picked it up the last part,” said Mike DePaulo, who trains Pender Harbour for the partnership of Denny Andrews, Sandra Lazaruk, and Bob and Roberta Giffin.

Pender Harbour is scheduled to leave on the Thursday prior to the Pennsylvania Derby, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds that offers Grade 2 status and a purse of $1 million.

The Ontario-sired gelding finished third in the Queen’s Plate and then captured the final two legs of the Canadian Triple Crown, scoring in the Prince of Wales over 1 3/16 miles of dirt at Fort Erie and in the Breeders’ Stakes over 1 1/2 miles of grass here at Woodbine.

Stormy Lord heading to Parx Racing

Stormy Lord will be making the trek to Philadelphia this weekend for Saturday’s $250,000 PTHA President’s Cup, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up.

The field for the President’s Cup was drawn Monday, and Stormy Lord will face nine rivals in the stakes race in which his recently retired stablemate, Rahy’s Attorney, finished second last year.

“I think the one horse who will be hard to beat is Smart Bid,” said Ian Black, who trains Stormy Lord for David Willmot and partners. “I think we fit with the rest of them.”

Stormy Lord is coming off an 11th-place finish here in the Grade 2 Play the King, a seven-furlong turf race that was the major local prep for the Woodbine Mile.

“I think the mile and an eighth is good for him,” Black said. “There won’t be so much early speed. He’ll get a chance to relax, and I think he will sit in behind horses.

“Trying to sprint really didn’t work out that well.”

Jeff Bowen, who is Black’s son-in-law and assistant, will accompany Stormy Lord to Philadelphia, and Justin Stein will travel down for the mount.

Stein rode Stormy Lord to two victories in his first four career starts here as a 2-year-old.

◗ Don Parente is acting as the interim agent for jockey Corey Fraser, whose regular representative Lorne Spearman has taken a temporary leave of absence. Parente also books mounts for Jose Contreras, a younger brother of leading rider Luis Contreras.