Honourary Drawmaster for the Canadian International was Jalen Rose of the Toronto Raptors. Rose is also know as a philanthropist.
On Sunday, a classy field of ten will go to post in the 68th running of the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International, a 1 1/2 mile trip around the E.P. Taylor Turf Course for a purse of $2 million (Canadian), or about $1.7 million U.S. The International is the ninth leg of the World Racing Championship. For a full list of the entries for the day, including the International, check here. Daily Racing Form has free past performances for the Canadian International.
Heading the well-matched line-up is the 2-1 morning line favourite Electrocutionist, a winner of six of seven career starts and unbeaten in three outings this season, who drew post 3. Fresh from a victory in the Group 1 Juddmonte International at York in England, when he defeated 2004 Japan Cup winner Zenno Rob Roy, the highly-regarded four-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Red Ransom is trained by Valfredo Valiani and will be ridden by Mick Kinane. ?He was perfect this morning," said trainer Valiani. "He?s precisely the weight for his best form, which is 505 kg (1,113 lb). He ships all right. He?s an easy horse to ride. He needs a bit of pace. But if there is no pace he can do it himself, like he did a couple of times in Italy. If there is enough pace, he can sit behind like he did at York in the Juddmonte Stakes."
Aidan O'Brien trainee Yeats (pronounced Yates) is the second choice at 3-1 from post 9. He scored his biggest win in the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom in June. Owned by Mrs. John Magnier and Mrs. David Nagle, the Irish-bred four-year-old was favoured to take last year's famed Epsom Derby but was injured a week before the race. He was put away for the year, but has returned to prominence this season and was most recently a close fourth to Collier Hill in the Irish St. Leger at The Curragh. "He's a very good horse," said assistant trainer T.J. Comerford. "He won well in Epsom (Coronation Cup). In the Irish (St.) Leger, he got into a bit of trouble. Kieren (Fallon) checked him a couple of times. He admitted himself he should have won. He only got beat 1 1/4 lengths. He's a good horse and we do hope he's good enough. But it's a very tough race. Electrocutionist is a very good horse. He's the one everybody has to beat." The homebred son of champion Sadler's Wells will be ridden once again by Kieren Fallon.
King's Drama was 5th in last year's Canadian International
Gary Tanaka's King's Drama, an Irish-bred five-year-old son of King's Theatre who is trained by five-time Eclipse Award winner Bobby Frankel and ridden by North America's leading jockey John Velazquez, will leave from post 7 as the 4-1 third choice. Last month, Frankel and Velazquez teamed to win the $1 million Atto Mile at Woodbine with heavily-favoured Leroidesanimaux. Last year, King's Drama finished fifth to Sulamani in the International, but is an improved horse this season, having won two of three starts, including the 1 1/2 mile Grade 1 Sword Dancer, August 13 at Saratoga. In his most recent outing, the 1 3/8 mile Man o'War at Belmont Park, September 10, he lost by a neck to 2004 Breeders' Cup Turf winner Better Talk Now.
Murry Rose Bloodstock's Grey Swallow (Post 2, 8-1), trained by Dermot Weld, is another International runner who has been competing against the finest in Europe throughout his career. Winner of the Group 1 Irish Derby last year over Epsom Derby winner North Light, the four-year-old Irish-bred son of champion Daylami won another Group 1, the Tattersalls Gold Cup, in his first start of 2005, defeating, amongst others, the 2004 Arc winner, Bago. He'll be ridden as usual by Pat Smullen and boasts career earnings of over $1.3 million.
Punctilious and Frankie Dettori are back for the E.P. Taylor Stakes after finishing 2nd last year as the favorite.
In addition to the International, the Grade 1 $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes and the Grade 2 $500,000 Nearctic Stakes will also be contested on Sunday, bringing the total purse value for the day's 11 races to over $3.9 million, making it the second richest day in Canadian thoroughbred racing history, behind only the 1996 Breeders' Cup.
Heading the 12-horse E.P. Taylor (at 3:25pm), for fillies and mares, at 1 1/4 miles on the turf are Punctilious, last year's runner-up, who'll be ridden by Frankie Dettori, along with Barancella, Cassydora, Honey Ryder and several locals, including Classic Stamp, Ambitious Cat and Noble Stella. The Nearctic (at 1:53pm), at 6 furlongs on the turf, has also drawn a field of 12, with Vanderlin and Steel Light the likely favourites.
The International will go to post at 4:35pm ET. The Score will televise a special two-hour live presentation across Canada from 3:00 - 5:00pm, and the race will be available via simulcast across North America.
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