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Woodbine: Tu Endie Wei headed to Alcibiades at Keeneland
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Tu Endie Wei, undefeated in two starts for trainer Reade Baker and owner/breeder Brereton C. Jones, is slated to make her next appearance in the Oct. 7 Alcibiades at Keeneland.
The Alcibiades, a 1 1/16 mile for 2-year-old fillies, offers Grade 1 status and a purse of $400,000.
Tu Endie Wei is a Kentucky-bred and a half-sister to Biofuel, who was last year’s Canadian Horse of the Year for Baker and Jones.
After winning the five-furlong My Dear with an eye-catching rally in her debut here at Woodbine on June 25, Tu Endie Wei stretched out to 6 1/2 furlongs for the Ontario Debutante and pressed the pace en route to a half-length score.
Baker initially had stated that Tu Endie Wei would make her next start here in the Oct. 8 Mazarine, a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-old fillies which is worth $200,000 but is not graded.
“We need to get some points for the Breeders’ Cup,” said Baker, who gave Tu Endie Wei a break after the Ontario Debutante and started her back galloping on Wednesday morning.
Two next-race options for Moonshine Mullin
Baker also is pondering his next move with Moonshine Mullin, who ended 8 1/2 lengths back as the sixth-place finisher in last Saturday’s Grade 1 Travers at Saratoga.
“He’ll run either here in the Ontario Derby or in the Pennsylvania Derby at Philadelphia,” said Baker, who trains Moonshine Mullin for Dick Johnson’s Viking Farm.
Both races are 1 1/8 miles for 3-year-olds on Sept. 24 with the Ontario Derby worth $150,000 and the Pennsylvania worth $1 million and carrying Grade 2 status.
Moonshine Mullin, ridden by Emma-Jayne Wilson, had come into the Travers off a second-place in Saratoga’s 1 1/8-mile Jim Dandy, with both races being won by Stay Thirsty.
“I had him too sharp for the Travers,” said Baker. “I might take the blinkers off him next time.”
No definite plans for Don Cavallo
Don Cavallo, another Grade 1 road warrior who was off the board in last Sunday’s Pacific Classic at Del Mar, was on his way back to Woodbine on Wednesday.
“I was surprised he wasn’t close to the pace,” said Roger Attfield, who trains the homebred 4-year-old Don Cavallo for Stronach Stable. “He seems to be better that way. But, they ran pretty fast.”
Don Cavallo finished seventh in the nine-horse field, beaten 9 1/2 lengths under jockey Luis Contreras.
Attfield said there have been no discussions concerning Don Cavallo’s next engagement.
Valli With A Vow gets tightener for Seaway
Valli With A Vow, conditioned by Josie Carroll, breezed three furlongs in 36.60 seconds on the main track here Wednesday and has been entered in Saturday’s Seaway Stakes.
The Grade 3, $150,000 Seaway, a seven-furlong race for fillies and mares, attracted a field of nine, headed by Embur’s Song, who will be shipping in from Saratoga in search of her third win in as many appearances here this season.
Valli With A Vow, a 4-year-old who was bred in Kentucky by her owners Darrell and Lendy Brown, will be making her first start since finishing seventh in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly over 1 1/8 miles of turf here July 10.
“I think she really didn’t get the mile and an eighth there,” said Carroll. “She’s been really effective at seven-eighths, and won here on Poly, so we thought we’d switch back to it.”
Valli With A Vow won her maiden over seven furlongs on Keeneland’s Polytrack surface in the spring of 2010.
After knocking out her first allowance condition over seven furlongs of turf here last October, Valli With A Vow journeyed to the Fair Grounds in New Orleans with Carroll and doubled up in the Pago Hop over one mile of turf.
In her two starts here this year prior to the Dance Smartly, Valli With A Vow scored while competing under open allowance terms in a 6 1/2-furlong off-the-turf race and then finished a good third n the Grade 2 Nassau over 1 1/16 miles on the grass.
David Clark will be riding Valli With A Vow for the first time.
Notacloudinthesky sharpens for Muskoka
Carroll also sent out Notacloudinthesky to breeze five furlongs in 1:01.40 here Wednesday in preparation for Monday’s Muskoka, which is one of six yearling sales stakes on the Labor Day program..
The 6 1/2-furlong Muskoka, for 2-year-old fillies, and the 6 1/2-furlong Simcoe, for 2-year-old colts and geldings, offer enhanced purses of $200,000 this year.
Notacloudinthesky, owned by the Donver Stable of Donna and Verne Dubinsky, is 2 for 3 with her latest a win in the six-furlong Nandi for Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies here Aug. 7.
Rose and Shine, another leading candidate for the Muskoka, breezed four furlongs in 48.00 here Wednesday for trainer Ralph Biamonte.
Monday’s other yearling sales stakes, all worth $125,000, will be the 1 1/16-mile Algoma for fillies and mares, the 1 1/16-mile Elgin for colts and geldings, the six-furlong Kenora, and the Halton over one mile of turf.
Contreras’s younger brother hooks up with Parente
Jockey agent Don Parente, who was left without a client after his longtime rider Eurico Rosa Da Silva moved his book to Tom Patton this summer, is back in business with Jose Contreras.
The 22-year-old Contreras, who is a younger brother of Woodbine’s leading jockey Luis Contreras, began his career in 2008 and had a productive campaign the following year.
Contreras rode at Golden Gate, Emerald Downs, Stockton, Pleasanton, Zia Park, and Sunland Park and compiled a record of 36-53-74 for earnings of almost $600,000.
Last year’s campaign was cut short when Contreras broke his collarbone in midsummer and he had galloped horses here for several months before launching his comeback.
Due to his current immigration status, Contreras can ride only for foreign owners.
Bannon earns broadcasting award
Jim Bannon, a Woodbine television analyst and commentator, has received the Gemini Award in the category “best sports analyst” for 2010.
The Geminis, which honor the best in Canadian broadcasting, were announced on Tuesday evening and the ceremony will be televised on Sept. 7.
Bannon had been nominated for his role in last year’s Queen’s Plate telecast, which also earned the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation a Sovereign Award in the film/video/broadcast category.