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Woodbine notes: Town Prize sitting out Kennedy Road
By Bill Tallon
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Town Prize, a talented 3-year-old trained by Darwin Banach, had been under serious consideration for Sunday’s Grade 3 Kennedy Road Stakes at six furlongs.
And Town Prize’s presence would have been welcomed by the connections of many starters in the Kennedy Road, with hopes that his freshness and high turn of early foot would make the task of favorite Essence Hit Man more difficult.
That scenario became moot when entries came out for the Kennedy Road on Thursday and Town Prize was not in the lineup.
“He coughed a couple of times,” said Darwin Banach, who trains the Kentucky-homebred Town Prize for owner Bill Sorokolit.
“We’re just going to be on the very cautious side.’
Town Prize has seen action just once this season, winning the six-furlong Woodstock in eye-catching, front-running fashion here on April 15.
Slated to make his next appearance in Pimlico’s Chick Lang, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds on May 19, Town Prize instead wound up on the shelf.
“He whacked the back of his ankle, in a nasty spot,” said Banach. “It took a long time to heal. He missed about two months.”
Classic Bryce done for the year
Banach also reports that Classic Bryce, who was stakes-placed here in the Wando, Marine, and Plate Trial this spring before being well beaten in both the Queen’s Plate and Prince of Wales, is not scheduled to return to action until next year.
Bred in Ontario by Sorokolit, Classic Bryce was freshened after Fort Erie’s July 15 Prince of Wales and returned to breeze seven furlongs in 47.20 seconds on the training track turf course here Sept. 2
“He came back just a little off, in behind,” said Banach. “We X-rayed him and X-rayed him and X-rayed him and finally found a spiraling fracture, in his back cannon bone.
“We were very fortunate that it didn’t blow up on him. We’re not too sure how long it might have been affecting him.”
Classic Bryce will have another two months of stall rest before beginning his journey back to the racetrack.
“Hopefully we’ll have a sound horse next year, and get him on the turf,” said Banach. “That’s what he was bred to do.”
Carroll weighing next for Inglorious
Inglorious, Canada’s champion 3-year-old filly and runner-up in the Horse of the Year balloting for 2011, breezed six furlongs in 1:12.80 under jockey Patrick Husbands on the main track here Friday morning.
Away since finishing third here in the July 8 Dance Smartly over 1 1/8 miles on turf, Inglorious is under consideration for the Grade 2, 1 1/16-mile Bayakoa at Hollywood Park on Dec. 8.
“She’s doing very well,” said trainer Josie Carroll, adding that she would making her final decision on the Bayakoa in the next few days.
In the meantime, Carroll runners are slated to compete in stakes next Saturday in Florida and here at Woodbine.
Clarinet left Friday morning for Florida and Calder’s Grade 3, 1 1/2-mile La Prevoyante Stakes for fillies and mares on Dec. 1.
The Kentucky-bred Clarinet, owned by Earle Mack, became a stakes winner in her first start for Carroll, the Flaming Page Stakes at 1 1/2 miles on the grass here Sept. 29.
Clarinet then shipped to Aqueduct for the Nov. 10 Long Island Handicap but was scratched because of the very soft turf and returned to Woodbine.
Avie’s Quality, an impressive maiden winner in his last start, is heading for Woodbine’s Display, an open 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds.
“I think that was the race we’d been waiting for from him,” said Carroll, who had watched Avie’s Quality rally from just off the pace and graduate by five lengths with Husbands aboard in a 1 1/16-mile Polytrack race here Nov. 14.
In his two previous starts, Avie’s Quality had finished third behind Star Contender in an off-the-turf maiden race at a mile and 70 yards and second, beaten a head by Sky Commander, in a 1 1/16-mile turf race.
Star Contender, trained by Mark Casse, came back to capture the Cup and Saucer over 1 1/16 miles on turf and then finish second in the Coronation Futurity at 1 1/8 miles on the main track.
Sky Commander is one of two Casse-trained runners eyeing the Display, along with last-out maiden winner Gunderman.
Others eyeing the Display include Mercenary and My Name is Michael, both trained by Dave Cotey; Clearly Now, who is 2 for 2 sprinting for trainer Brian Lynch; and Bear Fabulous Son, who graduated at seven furlongs last time out for Reade Baker.
Stakes twin bill
A stakes doubleheader, comprised of the Sir Barton and Kingarvie, will be on tap here next Sunday.
Both the Sir Barton and Kingarvie are $125,000, 1 1/16-mile races for Ontario-sired horses, with the Sir Barton for 3-year-olds and upward and the Kingarvie for 2-year-olds.
Leading contenders for the Sir Barton include Moonlit Beauty, Bobcaygeon, and Courtville.
Moonlit Beauty, winner of the restricted Victoriana and Classy ‘n Smart for owner/breeder Bill Gierkink and trainer John LeBlanc here this season, is looking to take on males for the first time in the Sir Barton.
In her last start, Moonlit Beauty tried open fillies and mares in the 1 1/4-mile Maple Leaf and set the pace before finishing third.
Bobcaygeon would be making his stakes debut after finishing a solid second in an open first-level allowance at seven furlongs.
A 4-year-old gelding trained by Julia Carey, Bobcaygeon has yet to finish worse than third in eight career starts.
Courtville would be seeking his third straight win after landing his second allowance condition at 1 1/16 miles and then doubling up in an open first-level allowance at seven furlongs.
Tiller team works for Kingarvie
Jade Dragon and Power Phil, both trained by Bob Tiller, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.20 in company on the main track here Friday in preparation for the Kingarvie.
“I was real happy with them,” said Tiller.
Jockey Tyler Pizarro was aboard Jade Dragon, while Neil Husbands, who works as an exercise rider for Tiller, guided Power Phil.
Jade Dragon and Power Phil were the two-three finishers in the restricted Frost King Stakes at seven furlongs here Nov. 7 and would be trying two turns for the first time.
Smells Like Gold, who graduated in a $32,000 claiming race at a mile and 70 yards in his second start here Nov. 3, also is slated to represent the Tiller stable in the 2-year-old stakes.
Others eyeing the Kingarvie include Top Rod, third in his last start, the restricted Bull Page at six furlongs here Oct. 8; Niigon’s Glory, a first-out winner of a restricted maiden race at 1 1/16 miles on Nov. 11; and Pyrite Mountain, a rallying second when debuting in an open maiden race at seven furlongs Nov. 4.
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