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2017 Canadian International Entries

horse racing
Honorary Drawmaster for the Canadian International retired jockey Sandy Hawley
Date: 10/11/2017

On Sunday, a classy field of 10 older horses will go to post in the 80th running of the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International, a 1 1/2 mile trip around Woodbine's E.P. Taylor Turf Course for a guaranteed purse of $800,000. Final entries were taken and post positions were drawn at a special lunch event held on Thursday afternoon. Retired Hall of Fame jockey and local racing ambassador Sandy Hawley was on hand to assist racing secretary Stuart Slagle and track announcer Robert Geller as the honorary drawmaster. Hawley talked about his Canadian International rides, winning 2 (Youth in 1976 and Golden Act in 1979), but he was aboard 4th place finisher Presidial in the 1973 running, the final race of Secretariat's career. he rode in Southern California in the 80's against greats such as Bill Shoemaker and Laffit Pincay Jr., and said he first met future Hall of Famer Mike Smith when the two rode at Canterbury Park in Minnesota. Seeing the young Smith in action he told his agent about this new rider who is headed for greatness.

Woodbine's CEO Jim Lawson gave a "summary" of the year, how the Queen's Plate and Woodbine Mile broke handle records and how plans to redevelop the property are underway now that a gaming operator (Great Canadian) has been decided upon to run the on-site casino. He talked about the new 7 furlong turf course (replacing the harness track, with construction beginning in sprng 2018) will allow Woodbine to card 5 or 6 turf races per day, in hopes of promoting Woodbine as the top turf racing facility on the continent.

horse racing
Erupt winning of the 2016 Canadian International
Idaho is the 5-2 morning line favorite out of post 4. He was 5th as the favorite in last year's International, and after winning the Hardwicke Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot he was 6th as the favorite in the Sword Dancer (G1) and then 8th in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1). Ryan Moore will be in the irons for trainer Aidan O'Brien. In to challenge him include 7-2 second choice and last year's winner Erupt. He is winless since that score, finishing 5th in the Sword Dancer (G1) last out. Junior Alvarado will be in post 9 for new trainer Graham Motion, who took over from Francis-Henri Graffard after Saratoga. Chemical Charge is the 5-1 morning line third choice and drew the outside post 10 in his North American debut. He followed up his 3rd place effort in the Hardwicke (G2) with a 2 race winning streak, a $12,900 handicap at Musselburgh followed by the September Stakes (G3) at Kempton. Oisin Murphy gets the call for trainer Ralph Beckett. The top local hope is 12-1 Johnny Bear. He comes here off a 2 race win streak, the Halton Stakes and the Northern Dancer (G1). Luis Contreras rides out of gate 5 for Ashlee Brnjas.

horse racing
Al's Gal winning the 2016 E.P. Taylor Stakes.
The distaff counterpart to the International is the $500,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes (G1), featuring a field of 9 older fillies and mares going 1 1/4 miles on the turf and is carded as race 9 at 5:30pm, immediately before the International. Dance Smartly (G2) dead-heat winner Rainha da Bateria is back for trainer Chad Brown and jockey Julien Leparoux, off her 4th place finish in the Beverly D (G1). Aidan O'Brien sends out Rain Goddess, winner of the Snow Fairy Stakes (G3) but third in the Blandford (G2) last out, both at Curragh after finishing 8th in the Beverly D. Ryan Moore will be in the irons Sunday. Canadian Stakes (G2) winner Quidura is back for trainer Graham Motion, finishing in the money in her last 6 starts. Junior Alvarado gets the call. Finally, Blond Me is the richest mare in the field with $780,000 in earnings, after winnng the Middleton (G2) at York and 2nd in the Nassau (G1) at Goodwood, but was 11th in the Prix Vermeille (G1) last out at Chantilly. Oisin Murphy rides for trainer Andrew Balding.

horse racing
Calgary Cat (outside) winning the 2016 Nearctic Stakes
There are 2 other graded stakes on the undercard. Kicking off the stakes quartet is the $250,000 Nearctic Stakes (G1) featuring a field of 8 older horses sprinting 6 furlongs on the turf, carded as Race 6 going to post at 3:48pm ET. Charlie Hills ships in Cotai Glory, a close second in the Dubai International Airport World Trophy (G3) at Newbury, with Oisin Murphy in the irons out of post 7. He takes on top local hope Yorkton, winner of the Charlie Barley and the King Corrie Stakes, with Jesse Campbell getting the call in post 6 for Stuart Simon, and American invader White Flag, winner of 3 in a row including the Allied Forces at Belmont, with Joel Rosario breaking from the 2 hole for Christophe Clement.

Finally, the $125,000 Ontario Derby (G3) features a field of nine 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles on the Tapeta main track, the 7th race of the card at 4:21pm ET. The first two finishers in this year's Queen's Plate and the winner of the Prince of Wales are here for the rematch. Woodbine Oaks and Queen's Plate winner Holy Helena is here off her disappointing 8th place finish in the Alabama (G1) at Saratoga. Luis Contreras rides for trainer Jimmy Jerkens out of post 8. Queen's Plate runner-up Tiz a Slam is still winless in 2017, finishing 5th in the Prince of Wales at Fort Erie and 4th in the Centaur Stakes at Indiana Downs. Regular rider Eurico Rosa da Silva rides out of post 6 for Roger Attfield. In addition, Prince of Wales winner and Breeders' Stakes last place finisher Cool Catomine drew the outside post 9 for jockey Gary Boulanger and owner-trainer John Ross.

The full list of the entries for the day, including the International, the E.P. Taylor Stakes, and the Nearctic Stakes, are available from Equibase. Free past performances are available online from BRISnet here:
Canadian International (search for Erupt)
E.P. Taylor Stakes (search for Quidura)
Nearctic Stakes (search for Yorkton)
Ontario Derby (search for Tiz A Slam)

Here are the entries for the 2017 Pattison Canadian International (G1). All horses will carry 126 pounds (there are no 3-year-olds nor distaffers entered this year). The International goes off at 6:10pm ET as the 10th race on Sunday, and will be shown live on TSN5 in Canada from 4:30-6:00pm. The full card at Woodbine will be shown on both HPItv in Canada and TVG in the United States, as well as at simulcast sites across North America, and online via free live streaming.

Canadian International links:

1Oscar NominatedMichael J. MakerJulien Leparoux8-1
2FlamboyantPatrick GallagherJoel Rosario6-1
3EnterprisingMichael J. MakerRafael Hernandez20-1
4IdahoAidan O’BrienRyan Moore5-2
5Johnny BearAshlee BrnjasLuis Contreras12-1
6PostulationEdward L. GrahamJorge Vargas Jr.12-1
7Bullards AlleyTim GlyshawEurico Rosa da Silva20-1
8MessiGraham MotionJose Ortiz20-1
9EruptGraham MotionJunior Alvarado7-2
10Chemical ChargeRalph BeckettOisin Murphy5-1
horse racing
The Canadian International trophy

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