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Honourary Drawmaster for the Canadian International was Eric Lamaze, individual show jumping gold medal winner and part of the silver medal winning Canadian equestrian jumping team at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

2008 Canadian International

Date: 10/01/2008


On Saturday, a classy field of 10 will go to post in the 71st running of the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International, a 1 1/2 mile trip around Woodbine's E.P. Taylor Turf Course for a purse of $2 million with the winner earning a berth in the Breeders' Cup Turf. It is one of four Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" races to be run over the turf that afternoon. Not counting the 1996 Breeders' Cup Championships, it will be the richest card of Thoroughbred racing in Canadian history.

Track announcer Dan Loiselle, Eric Lamaze, and Steve Lym draw the entries for the Canadian International

On Wednesday, entries were taken and post positions were drawn for this historic race, made famous in 1973 by the legendary Secretariat. Eric Lamaze, Olympic gold and silver medal winner for Canada in the equestrian competition at the 2008 Games in Beijing, was the honorary drawmaster assisting racing secretary Steve Lym with the proceedings.

For a full list of the entries for the day, including the International, the E.P. Taylor Stakes, the Nearctic Stakes, and the Summer Stakes check here. The Daily Racing Form has free past performances for the Canadian International as does BRISnet.

Doctor Dino winning the 2007 Hong Kong Vase
Doctor Dino ships in from France and is the morning line favorite at 2-1 out of post 3. The well-travelled son of Muhtathir comes to Woodbine off a runner-up finish in the Grand Prix de Deauville (G2), a third place finish in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (G1), and a win in the Grand Prix de Chantilly (G2). Last year he won two Grade 1 events, the Man O'War at Belmont and the Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin. The Richard Gibson trainee gets a new jockey in Frankie Dettori on Saturday, replacing regular rider Olivier Peslier. Gibson said, "Every time I wake up and see him, he's just as impressive on the training track and he is in his races. He's a remarkable athlete that he can put out of the box every day with a big smile on his face. He loves his work, he loves what he does. His professionalism is unique. " Asked about his defeat at Deauville, he added, "He was up against (Getaway) who was at one stage the highest rated turf horse in Europe. I don't think we met him in the right conditions. The track was very soft. The good news is that he didn't have a hard race that day."

Champs Elysees after winning the 2008 Northern Dancer Turf
New York-based Champs Elysees, winner of the Northern Dancer Turf (G1), the major local prep for this race, drew post 5 and is the 7-2 second choice. Before winning here last out, he had not won since the San Marcos (G2) at Santa Anita in January. Garrett Gomez will be in the irons again on Saturday for trainer Bobby Frankel and owner-breeder Juddmonte Farms. Frankel said, "I thought he ran well (in the Northern Dancer) but his previous 2 races were very disappointing, he had excuses. He's very good right now. I think he's going to run an even better race.

J'Ray in the winner's circle after the 2008 Canadian Stakes.
There are 3 other graded stakes on the undercard, all on the turf and all Win and You're In races. The distaff counterpart to the Canadian International is the $1 million Emirates Airline E.P. Taylor Stakes (G1) with a field of nine older fillies and mares going 1 1/4 miles looking for a spot in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf field. New York bred J'ray is the 5-2 favorite on the morning line, exiting a win in the major local prep for this race, the Canadian Stakes (G2) after winning the Matchmaker (G3) at Monmouth. Joe Bravo, who was aboard for both wins, gets the return call for trainer Todd Pletcher. Toque de Queda, third in the Beverly D at Arlington last out, is the 7-2 second choice for trainer Mikel Delzangles and new jockey Garrett Gomez. Godolphin Racing will be represented by 4-1 third choice Folk Opera, exiting a poor 8th place showing in the Prix Vermeille (G1) at Longchamp after winning the Prix Jean Romanet (G2) at Deauville. Regular rider Frankie Dettori will be aboard the daughter of Singspiel for trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

Free past performances for the E.P. Taylor Stakes are available here from BRISnet.

Heros Reward winning the 2007 Nearctic Stakes.
The $500,000 Nearctic Stakes (G2), a 6 furlong sprint for older horses, is a Win and You're In race for the new Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. Last year's winner Heros Reward, who this year has won the Baltimore Turf Sprint at Pimlico, the Scotts Highlander(G3) at Woodbine, and the Pennsylvania Governor's Cup Handicap at Penn National, is the 5-2 favorite exiting a runner-up finish in the Turf Monster Handicap at Philadelphia Park. Regular rider Javier Castellano will be in the irons for Maryland-based trainer Dale Capuano. 4-1 second choice Just Rushing, winner of the Play the King(G2) before finishing third in the Woodbine Mile(G1), leads the local contingent, with Emma Jayne Wilson getting the call for trainer Sid Attard. Free past performances for the Nearctic Stakes are available here from BRISnet.

Kicking off the stakes action on Saturday is the $300,000 Summer Stakes (G3) at 1 mile for 2-year-olds, with the winner earning a spot in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. Utterly Cool, undefeated in 2 starts for trainer Sid Attard, is the 7-5 morning line choice. Regular rider Richard Dos Ramos will be aboard the son of Smoke Glacken. Mark Casse trainee Skipadate is the 5-2 second choice, exiting a runner-up finish in the With Anticipation after winning his debut, both at Saratoga. New jockey Patrick Husbands will be aboard the grey son of Skip Away. Free past performances for the Summer Stakes are available here from BRISnet.

The Canadian International is the 10th race in an 11-race card at Woodbine on Saturday, going to post at 5:48 PM EDT. ESPN will be broadcasting all four Woodbine stakes races live, along with the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity and the Shadwell Mile from Keeneland, in a special 2 hour telecast from 4:00 - 6:00 PM ET, in High Definition. The Score sports network will carry the ESPN feed for Canadian viewers, also in HD. As always, the race will be available at simulcast outlets across North America. The Summer is race 7 with a 4:04 PM post time, followed by the Nearctic, race 8 at 4:35 PM, and the E.P. Taylor, race 9 at 5:16 PM.

Here are the entries for the 2008 Canadian International with their connections and odds. All horses will carry 126 pounds except Marlang who will carry 119 pounds because he is a 3-year-old.

The Canadian International Trophy
1MourilyanRamzan KadyrovHerman BrownJohn Egan15-1
2MarlangGus SchickedanzDebbie EnglandRichard Dos Ramos15-1
3Doctor DinoJavier Martinez SalmeanRichard GibsonFrankie Dettori2-1
4QuijanoGestuet FahrhofPeter SchiergenAndrasch Starke4-1
5Champs ElyseesJuddmonte FarmsRobert FrankelGarrett Gomez7-1
6Marsh SideRobert EvansNeil DrysdaleJavier Castellano15-1
7LauroGestuet IttlingenAndreas WohlerEduardo Pedroza20-1
8Seaside RetreatWilliam Farish Jr.Mark CassePatrick Husbands10-1
9LucarnoAugustin StableJohn GosdenJimmy Fortune8-1
10Spice RouteHarlequin RanchesRoger AttfieldJim McAleney20-1

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