THOROUGHBLOG is ready to be on top of the WOODBINE MILE this week, however, it’s also press week for CANADIAN THOROUGHBRED MAGAZINE…
plus our resident handicapper JAKE has been sick and has needed some care…we hope for Jake’s speedy recovery (he picked Rise and Shine to win the Muskoka stakes on Labour day!)
11 or 12 SET TO COMPETE, Northern Dancer stakes a doozy too
An intriguing mix of Americans and Euro’s will knock heads with the locals in the $1 million WOODBINE MILE on Sunday.
The long range forecast is for cool weather – in the 13Celcius range (that’s like high 50s F) and sun, so the course should be okay – some rain this week will make it nice.
The number of entrants is at 11 but the likelihood that KARA’S ORIENTATION is running in starting to increase daily.
Trainer Steven Chircop is also considering the Northern Dancer Stakes for the Max Berketa/Pinnacle Racing dude but a turn-back to 1 mile for the winner of the 1 1/8 mile Sky Classic Stakes, a Grade 2.
The Mile may have less speed in the field than one would think and perhaps Kara will enjoy stalking and pouncing.
JAMES REIMER, the goalie for the TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS, is the host at the draw on Thursday at Woodbine’s trackside tent.
WOODBINE MILE DRAW AVAILABLE ON WEBSITE
A reminder that Thursday’s Woodbine Mile draw from the VIP tent will be streamed live at www.woodbinemile.com. Further information and event details for Mile day are available there.
Shoemaker Mile (G1) winner COURAGEOUS CAT (Storm Cat) is among 11/12 probables for Sunday’s C$1 million Woodbine Mile (Can-G1). As of Monday, his prospective rivals include defending champion COURT VISION (Gulch), winless since his triumph at Woodbine last year; Bernard Baruch H. (G2) hero TURALLURE (Wando); Jaipur S. (G3) victor RIGHT ONE (Fr) (Anabaa); and the progressive English shipper SIDE GLANCE (GB) (Passing Glance).
Likely favorite Courageous Cat represents Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who won the inaugural Woodbine Mile in 1997 with an 8-1 outsider named Geri. A homebred campaigned by Pam and Martin Wygod, Courageous Cat has started just 13 times in his career, but has won six of them. The lightly-raced five-year-old is two-for-two this season, taking the June 10 Poker S. (G3) at Belmont Park by 2 1/4 lengths, and the July 2 Shoemaker at Hollywood Park by a neck, both at one mile.
“There’s nothing not to like about them,” Mott said of the winning efforts. “They were both good races. The Poker was very good, and he came back on short rest and ran very well in the Shoemaker (beating Caracortado [Cat Dreams]). He held him safe. It looked they could have gone around again and he would have still won.
“As of right now, we’re happy with the progress he’s made since, so we’re cautiously optimistic. We’ve got to hope that things stay good for another week.”
Courageous Cat put the finishing touches on his preparation by breezing five furlongs in a bullet :59 4/5 over Saratoga’s firm Oklahoma training turf on Sunday. He will be ridden by veteran Pat Valenzuela, who won the 2006 Woodbine Mile aboard Becrux (Ity).
NOTES ON….SIDE GLANCE
from Andrew Balding’s website:
Side Glance has been a relentless improver throughout his career. He was successful on just his second start in Group company with victory in the Group 3 Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury. Though he is probably not ideally suited to the track there, he beat what looked a very competitive field quite cosily and will now step up to Group 1 company in Canada later this month.
KEENELAND SESSIONs 1 and 2, CANADIAN BUYERS
0071 CH.C. Lemon Drop Kid — Heat Lightning Cam Allard 300,000
Bluegrass Thor. Services, Inc. (J. Stuart), Agent I
*0118 CH.C. Distorted Humor — Stormy Bear Cam Allard 140,000
*Also a Canadian-bred
HOW’S THAT FOR A WEDDING PRESENT?
STAG 3RD AT PRESQUE ISLE
Wise Dan pulls away to win in Presque Isle Mile
By BOB JARZOMSKI, Erie Times-News
Wise Dan got the victory in the race that his half-brother just missed winning in 2010.
Stalking the pace and turning it on when asked to run, Wise Dan dashed past Jimmy Simms and captured the fifth running of the $250,000 Presque Isle Mile on Friday night at Presque Isle Downs & Casino.
Under the guidance of veteran jockey Jon Kenton Court and trained by Charles Lopresti, the 4-year-old gelding prevailed in the race that half-brother Successful Dan finished second a year ago behind record-setting Gayego.
“We went with Plan ‘A’, and had him in the right spot,” said Court, who raced for the first time at Presque Isle Downs. “Any time you execute Plan ‘A’ and end up in the winner’s circle, you have to be delighted.”
Lopresti was ecstatic about the performance of Wise Dan, who won the Grade 2 Firecracker Stakes at Churchill Downs on July 4 the last time out.
“It was a carbon copy of that race, when he stayed off the pace on the backside, then when he was asked to run, he came running,” Lopresti said of the horse, who is based at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. “Jon did a great job with him tonight. He’s a world-class rider.”