Favourite moments from the CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL, a 75-year-old race that has brought together some really cool horses from all over the world. How about Canadian-breds SKY CLASSIC IN 1991 for Sam-Son Farms and his son THORNFIELD, who currently lives at Old Friends Retirement Farm? Owned and bred by Steve Stavro, Thornfield paid $39 when he won in 1999. he was trained by Phil England who was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame this year. Richard Dos Ramos rode the big chestnut. SKY CLASSIC may be the OLDEST LIVING WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL.he’s 26
Photo of THORNFIELD from www.horse-races.net
WET TURF AWAITS BIG FIELDS FOR CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL AND E.P. TAYLOR
With so much rain in the last two weeks, the Woodbine grass does not figure to dry out much come Sunday when the two big turf stakes races are run.
The races are now just one week from the Breeders’ Cup and has lured the rung of the ‘next best’ long distance grass horses from all parts of the world.
Horses like HYPER, owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey (a rare horse they own without the name Kitten!) will be at Woodbine since he failed his final Breeders’ Cup Turf test in his previous start.
Trainer ROGER ATTFIELD will have 2 horses in each race including Dick Bonnycastle’s No Explaining in the EP Taylor. No Explaining was withdrawn from the River Memories last weekend, which had been scheduled for one mile on turf but was taken off as the rain had been going on all day. The Labeeb, for older horses, had been run 2 races earlier on the grass and was very, very soft.
“She’s okay on Polytrack, but she’s better on turf,” Attfield said to Daily Racing Form. “The turf should be soft Sunday, which she’d like.
FORTE DEI MARMI is arguably going for the HORSE OF THE YEAR IN CANADA 2013 honour with a big effort in the International. He’s already cruised theough 3 graded stakes races on the grass this year, dominating his division.
It’s wild, and a bit unusual, that JOSHUA TREE, who has raced in this event 3 times, is coming back over only 2 weeks after fading in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. The Arc winners often came to Woodbine for the International, greats such as the mighty mare DAHLIA….
Horse/Owner/Trainer/Jockey – RECENT RACES
Forte Dei Marmi/Stella Perdomo/Roger Attfield/Eurico Rosa da Silva
3 STRAIGHT GRADED sw
Hyper/Ken & Sarah Ramsey/Chad Brown/Joel Rosario
BOWLING GREEN-GRADE 2
Irish Mission/Robert Evans/Mark Frostad/TBA
4TH TO FORTE last time
Joshua Tree/K. K. Al Nabooda & K. Albahou/Ed Dunlop/Ryan Moore
WON 2 OF LAST 3 RUNNINGS
Lucayan/Pandora Stud/Neil Drysdale/Stephane Pasquier
California shipper, first try at 12 furlongs
Now We Can/W. Englebrecht-Bresges/ Nicolas Clement/Thierry Thulliez
won first 5 races, dull last 2 in France
Perfect Timber/Charles Fipke/Roger Attfield/John Velazquez
lightly raced Ontario bred, 2nd Northern Dancer to Forte
Seismos/Gestut Karlshof/Andreas Wohler/Andrea Atzeni
German Group 1 winner
Slumber/Juddmonte Farms/Bill Mott/Mike Smith
Juddmonte allowance winner, 4th Grade 1 to Little Mike
Stormy Len/Leonard Leveen & Mike Shanley/David Donk/TBA
2 wins, 3rd Northern dancer
Temeraine/Niall Racing/Tom Proctor/Luis Contreras
won Kentucky Turf Cup
Twilight Eclipse/West Point Thoroughbreds/Tom Albertrani/Julien Leparoux
world record holder 1 1/2 miles, soft turf?
ATTFIELD HAS TWO BULLETS FOR PATTISON
Trainer Roger Attfield, one of only a handful of horsemen inducted into both the Canadian and U.S. Racing Hall of Fame, will send out two hopefuls for Sunday’s $1 million Pattison Canadian International.
Stella Perdomo’s Forte Dei Marmi and Charles Fipke’s Perfect Timber will try to give the 73-year-old conditioner his first Pattison win. He’s been second on three occasions – with Steady Power in 1989, with Alywow in 1994 and with Spice Route in 2008.
Forte Dei Marmi enters the turf classic on a three-race win streak, including the Grade 1 Northern Dancer on September 15, when he defeated his stablemate by a neck in the mile and one-half event, the same distance as the Pattison.
The British-bred seven-year-old gelded son of Selkirk-Frangy also finished third to Joshua Tree, who he’ll face again on the weekend, in last year’s edition of the International.
“He’s in great shape. Both horses are really, really doing well,” said Attfield. “It would appear that Forte Dei Marmi has been in good form for a little while now. I just hope we can keep him there. But it’s hard to keep that kind of form going.”
Eurico Rosa da Silva, who has been aboard Forte Dei Marmi for his last two victories in the Sky Classic and Northern Dancer, retains the mount, his first ride in the Pattison.
Perfect Timber, an Ontario homebred by Perfect Soul-Timber Ice, only got to the races this year as a four-year-old, winning his debut at Gulfstream Park in April. He has finished behind Forte Dei Marmi in his last three outings, but he’s cutting the margin in each race, after most recently finishing a neck behind in the Northern Dancer.
“Slow-maturing, a big, big horse,” recalled Attfield. “I never even worked him as a two-year-old. He didn’t even breeze. I just took my time with him because he was so big and backward. He was coming around in the fall of last year. So when he came to the races, he came the right way. He’s been improving all the time.”
He’ll try to become just the sixth different Canadian-bred to win the Pattison. The last to do so was Thornfield in 1999 while the first, George Royal, was a two-time consecutive winner in 1965-66. The other Canadian-breds are Chief Bearhart (1997), Sky Classic (1991) and He’s A Smoothie (1967).
Fellow Hall of Famer John Velazquez rides Perfect Timber for the second consecutive time, also seeking his first Pattison score.
Velazquez, Attfield and Fipke have combined to enjoy past success, capped by Perfect Shirl’s shocking 27-1 victory in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Churchill Downs.
REMEMBER ALL ALONG? 1983’S WINNER AND A SUPERSTAR WORLDWIDE
ALBERTRANI OVER THE MOON WITH TWILIGHT ECLIPSE
Look all you like, but you won’t find a horse with a faster clocking for the mile and a half distance of Sunday’s $1-million Pattison Canadian International than West Point Thoroughbred’s Twilight Eclipse.
Sent to post at odds of 5-1 in the Grade 2 Pan American Stakes at Gulfstream Park on March 23, Twilight Eclipse, trained by Tom Albertrani, settled off the pace in the early running and then exploded up the rail in the stretch run, stopping the clock in a world record time of 2:22.63.
“We liked the horse leading up to the race but never would have imagined we’d break a world record that day. It was a great achievement for the horse to put in an effort like that,” said Albertrani.
Although he failed to find the winner’s circle in his summer campaign, Twilight Eclipse more than held his own hitting the board in a number of races while tackling top turf horses such as Point of Entry, Optimizer, Boisterous, Big Blue Kitten and Little Mike.
Albertrani believes that Twilight Eclipse should enjoy the expansive stretch of Woodbine’s E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
“He probably tips about 16.2 hands. He’s a nice leggy horse that likes to stretch out and relishes firm ground,” said Albertrani. “I think he’ll be well suited on that track and he’ll appreciate the long stretch…that’s when he puts in his best running and it should be a course that suits him well. If we can get all that and have his best race in front of him, the horse looks like he could be very competitive.”
Julien Leparoux, who has a Grade 1 win at Woodbine, having guided Turallure to a score in the 2011 Ricoh Woodbine Mile, gets the call Sunday.
INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING SCHEDULE
Based at Woodbine
FORTE DEI MARMI
Arrives on Monday
Arrives on Tuesday
NOW WE CAN
Arrives on Wednesday
Arrives on Thursday
EARLY LOOK AT THE E.P. TAYLOR (11)
Colonial Flag – 2nd Canadian S. to Miakshi
Fitful Skies – maiden from France
Minakshi – Canadian S.
Moment in Time – maiden winner overseas
Moment of Majesty – 3rd Canadian S.
Nancy O – maiden winner, graded stakes placed
No Explaining – graded winner
Qushchi – 4th Flower Bowl to Tannery
Samba Brazil – Group 3 winner Germany Sept. 15
Strathnaver – Grade 3 Bewitch Keeneland April
WE CELEBRATE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF SECRETARIAT’S INTERNATIONAL – A MUST-WATCH FILM of his last race
Things to watch for…his arrival by plane, familiar faces like Mike Burns Sr., Jim Coleman, Clarke Whittaker and Avelino Gomez. Kennedy Road (who had raced the week before!) and trash talking by the locals who somehow thought Secretariat would lose…
WOODBINE LAST WEEKEND
The weather was not great, the High 5 Jackpot was not won ($59,000 carryover for tomorrow night’s last race) and Mother Nature played havoc with some good events on the grass, 2 of which stayed on turf and 2 of which were taken off the grass.
105 Beyer Figure! Labeeb Stakes only Sat. race on turf.
It was, however, easy to be happy for RIVER SEVEN as he won the Labeeb Stakes on a horrible turf course by 10 lengths for his first win of the year. Tucci Stables’ 3yo has been a warrior all year. Nick Gonzalez trains and Bill Graham, who also bred MATADOR, was the breeder.
The grass was so bad that some jockeys were overheard suggesting they would not ride should the next stake, the River Memories, stay on turf. It was taken off and it was John Oxley and Mark Casse winning with SKY HIGH LADY.
On Sunday, the 2yos trudged through deep grass in the Cup and Saucer (see photo) and then the Bunty Lawless was taken off the grass and it was ULTIMATE DESTINY winning for Alec Fehr over a brave Pender Harbour.
That beyer was a fat 97.
OTHER WINNERS on SUNDAY included FIRST TIME STARTING 2YO NORQAY (ski resort in Alberta) who posted a 74 Beyer to win her debut for Rick Mah, Roger Fortier and Reade Baker.
MY CONQUESTADORY AND EURICO PREP FOR BREEDERS’ CUP
My Conquestadory, winner of Keeneland’s Grade I Darley Alcibiades after beating boys in a graded turf stakes in her racing debut, is “99 percent” to go in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, though trainer Mark Casse said she likely would be pre-entered as well in the $2 million Juvenile Fillies.
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