08/01/2011 12:01PM

Woodbine: Pender Harbour gears up for Breeders'

Pender Harbour, with Luis Contreras riding, wins the Prince of Wales.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Pender Harbour, winner of Fort Erie’s Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie in his last start, heads a field of 15 expected for Sunday’s $500,000 Breeders’ Stakes here at Woodbine.

The Breeders’, a 1 1/2-mile turf race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, is the third leg of Canada’s triple crown, following the Queen’s Plate and the Prince of Wales.

Pender Harbour, who finished third in the Queen’s Plate, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.60 on the training track turf course here Sunday under returning rider Luis Contreras.

“We just let him roll the last eighth of a mile or so,” said trainer Mike DePaulo. “I was happy with the way he went.”

Pender Harbour is one of six Breeders’ candidates who would be making their turf debuts in the race.

“I figured he’d handle the turf,” said DePaulo. “He has the pedigree.”

Also prepping for the Breeders’ on the training turf here Sunday were Delawana, Stunning Split, Runaway Whiz, and Kurogane.

Coming off a 1 1/4-mile maiden win on the turf for trainer Mike Keogh, Delawana breezed in 1:27.60 under regular rider David Moran while drawing off from workmate Woodland Flute in the closing stages.

Stunning Split, beaten 2 3/4 lengths when fifth behind Delawana as the favorite in that July 16 race, breezed with Malcolm Pierce-trained stablemate El Sombre and was timed in 1:00.60

Patrick Husbands was aboard Stunning Split, but trainer Malcolm Pierce had not named a jockey for the Breeders’ as of Monday.

Runaway Whiz, second in a restricted first-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles in his latest, worked in 1:01 under new rider Corey Fraser and will be making his turf debut in the Breeders’ for trainer Mark Frostad.

Kurogane, coming off an impressive restricted first-level allowance win over 1 1/16 miles also would be first-time turf in the Breeders’ and breezed six furlongs in 1:13.20 under his usual rider, Emma-Jayne Wilson.

Crown’s Path, a maiden winner over 1 1/8 miles on turf in his last start, tuned up for the Breeders’ on the main track here Sunday with five furlongs in 1:00.60 under regular pilot Jesse Campbell.

Tune-up time for four Breeders' hopefuls

Celtic Conviction, Control, Blackstone Bay, and Nanaimo all had their major Breeders’ tune-ups by breezing five furlongs on the main track here last Saturday.

Winner of the 1 1/16-mile Cup and Saucer here on the turf last year and a close second on the surface in the open 1 1/8 mile Toronto Cup in his latest, Celtic Conviction was clocked in 1:01.80.

Control and Blackstone Bay, both trained by Mark Casse, went in 1:01.40 and 1:02.20 in separate moves.

In his turf debut here July 8, Control finished second behind the 4-year-old Cojac in a first-level allowance at 1 1/8 miles. Quincy Welch worked Control, but Omar Moreno has picked up the mount for the Breeders’.

Blackstone Bay, winner of a $50,000 maiden claiming race over one mile on turf in his latest, breezed under Husbands, who has the mount for the Breeders’.

Hippolytus, fourth in the Prince of Wales after finishing second in the Queen’s Plate, also is slated to contest the Breeders’ for Casse but was not scheduled to breeze this week.

Rounding out the probable Breeders’ field are Queen’splatekitten, Seawatch, and Head Honcho, who finished fifth and eighth, respectively, in the Queen’s Plate, and Molinaro Remarks, who is coming off a fourth-place finish in a restricted first-level allowance over 1 1/4 miles on turf.

Both Hippolytus and Head Honcho would be making their turf debuts in the Breeders.’