07/05/2013 1:46PM

Woodbine: Something Extra cuts back for Highlander run


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Something Extra, who wired a quality field in the Connaught Cup Stakes, will cut back from seven to six furlongs in Sunday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Highlander Stakes, a top-notch supporting feature on Queen’s Plate Day at Woodbine.

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Something Extra fractured a splint bone in winning last year’s Connaught Cup. He was off until the fall, when he won the Mt. Sassafras and ran third here in the Grade 3 Kennedy Road, both Polytrack races.

Trainer Gail Cox felt that an easy winter/spring campaign was logical for Something Extra, who was a troubled second in the Grade 3 Shakertown at Keeneland on April 13.

“He had such a light campaign last year that we wanted to run him through the winter a little bit,” Cox said. “There’s not that many races for him on the turf. Five-eighths is a little short for him.”

Something Extra won the Grade 2 Connaught Cup for the second year in a row May 26. One of his main strengths is his tactical speed, according to Cox. Both the Connaught Cup and the Highlander are turf races.

“He’s extremely fast, but he’s quite happy to come from off the pace,” Cox explained. “He can pretty much do whatever you want, depending on how fast everybody else goes. He came out of his last race really well.”

Big Band Sound, victorious in the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes last August, was a flat fifth following a 7 1/2-month layoff in the allowance prep for the Highlander.

“We figured right from the start that he was going to be a little rusty first-time back,” said trainer Danny Vella. “That’s why we wanted to get a prep into him. There was no pace in front of him, and he needs a little pace. He’s been very sharp since the race, and I think he’ll run big.”

Trainer Reade Baker entered three Bear Stable runners, Fatal Bullet, Bear No Joke, and Bear Tough Tiger, along with Go Blue Or Go Home.

The durable 8-year-old Fatal Bullet, Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2008, set soft fractions en route to a determined win in the six-furlong Highlander prep.

Go Blue Or Go Home was an authoritative winner of the 5 1/2-furlong Karl Boyes Memorial Stakes on the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs on June 10. That was his first start since he romped in a five-furlong turf allowance at Churchill Nov. 8.

Two shippers were supplemented for $4,000 apiece, Next Question and Night Officer.

Next Question is winless since he led throughout the Grade 1 Nearctic Stakes going six furlongs over good ground here in October.

Stretch-runner Night Officer won a six-furlong overnight stakes in his next-to-last outing, at Belmont Park.

Rothko, a son of successful turf sire Arch, is making his first start on the grass off a front-running third in the Grade 3 Aristides over a sloppy track at Churchill.

Super Chunky rallied on the outside for second in the Karl Boyes, after finishing fourth in back-to-back five-furlong turf stakes.