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2017 Woodbine Mile and Northern Dancer Turf Entries


Honourary Drawmaster and former track announcer Dan Loiselle poses with the trophy

Date: 09/13/2017

One of the biggest races on the Woodbine racing calendar is the $800,000 Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1). Celebrating its 21st renewal in 2017, the Mile is run around one turn of the E.P. Taylor Turf Course for older horses under allowance weights. Past winners such as Tepin, Wise Dan, Leroidesanimaux, Labeeb, Geri, and Shakespeare adding to the race's short but already colorful history. Again the Mile is part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" program, with the winner earning an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) field at Del Mar on November 4th.


Drawing the posts with racing secretary Stuart Slagle, drawmaster Dan Loiselle, and track announcer Robert Geller.
Final entries were taken and post positions were drawn in a special lunchtime ceremony at the trackside tent at Woodbine on Wednesday, with special guest Dan Loiselle on hand as the honorary drawmaster. Loiselle called Thoroughbred races at Woodbine from July 1986 to May 2015, a stretch that included calling the last 5 Canadian Triple Crown winners. Interviewed on stage by his successor, Robert Geller, Loiselle said that the Woodbine Mile is one of the toughest races to call all year, since the field (consisting of many foreign shippers with unfamiliar silks) is spread out as much as 9 wide at the top of the stretch and the winner often coming from well off the pace. Given the location of the E.P. Taylor Turf Course relative to the announcer booth, the stretch run is viewed almost head-on, adding to the difficulty.


2015 Woodbine Mile winner Mondialiste is back to try again.
Woodbine's Vice President of Thoroughbred Racing Operations, Jonathan Zammit, took the microphone to discuss current developments at the track. This year the "Turf Endurance Series" was introduced, a series of 4 turf races at increasing distances under starter handicap conditions, with the first 5 finishers earning points and the leader at the end will be crowned Turf Endurance Champion. Two legs have already been run, with the 3rd being run on September 23 at 1 5/8 miles, and the finale on October 22 at 2 1/4 miles, as the longest turf race in North America. As already announced, the harness track will be replaced with a new turf course to allow more turf races to be carded every day. Although TSN2 will be on hand to broadcast the race on Saturday (hosted by Jim Bannon and Brian Williams), Breeders' Cup will send its own crew to broadcast the two Win and You're In turf races on Sunday via live online streaming (hosted by Jill Byrne and Jason Portuondo), a first for Woodbine. Woodbine's Jackpot Hi-5 was suspended after September 10, with a carryover of almost $1.5 million carrying over to the final race on Saturday's card. Normally there is a carryover if there is only 1 single winning ticket, but this Saturday's race will have a mandatory payout, so the normal payout rules would apply. And finally, there will be a special all turf Pick 5 between Woodbine and Belmont Park, consisting of the Canadian (G2), Belmont race 7 (allowance), the Northern Dancer (G1), the Sands Point (G2), and the Woodbine Mile (G1), with a 20 cent minimum and 15% takeout.


Favorite Deauville after winning the 2016 Belmont Derby Invitational
A field of 12 older horses made final entry for the 21st Woodbine Mile. Deauville is the 5-2 morning line favorite and drew post 6 for trainer Aidan O'Brien. Winless since the Huxley Stakes (G3) at Chester on May 11, he comes to Woodbine off a close 3rd in the Arlington Million (G1) after finishing second buy a head in the Meld Stakes (G3) at Leopardstown. New jockey Jamie Spencer gets the call on Saturday. T.J. Comerford, assistant to O'Brien said, “He has tons of experience—nothing seems to both him. He’s a very talented horse.”

The second choice on the morning line is 7-2 World Approval and drew the rail. He won the Fourstardave Handicap (G1) at Saratoga and the Dixie (G3) at Pimlico, but was 5th in the Manhattan (G1) at Belmont. New rider John Velazquez will be in the irons for trainer Mark Casse. Casse said, “It looks like this race has some speed in it. It looks like there’s some speed in there. He just wants to kind of have something to run at. We’ve got a good rider, and I’m sure he’ll figure it.”

Lancaster Bomber, stablemate of Deauville, is the 9-2 third choice out of post 10. Winless so far in 2017 after finishing second in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), the 3-year-old comes here off a 2nd place finish in the St. James's Palace (G1) at Royal Ascot followed by a 6th place finish in the Sussex (G1) at Goodwood. Wayne Lordan rides for Aidan O'Brien. 2015 winner Mondialiste is back for trainer David O'Meara and is 8-1 morning line out of post 8. Fearghal Davis, assistant to O'Meara said, “He loves this track, the long stretch. He’ll be holding up, and then come on and pick up the pieces. He’s in good form; he looks fantastic.” New rider Jose Ortiz Jr. gets the call Saturday.


World Approval, shown here winning the Longines Dixie Stakes (G2), is the second choice on the morning line for the Woodbine Mile.
The undercard feature is the $300,000 Northern Dancer Turf (G1) for older horses going 1 1/2 miles on the turf, carded as race 10 with a post time of 5:31pm ET, the major local prep for the Canadian International (G1) to be run on October 15. Charlie Appleby ships in Hawkbill who drew the outside post 8. He comes here off a second place finish in the Grosser Preis von Berlin (G1) at Hoppegarten after winning the Princess of Wales's Arqana Racing Club Stakes (G2) at Newmarket. Colm O'Donoghue gets the call on Saturday.

Kicking off the stakes action on Mile day is the $120,000 Bold Venture Stakes (G3) for older horses sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs on the Tapeta main track, carded as race 6 going to post at 3:27pm. Ontario Jockey Club Stakes winner Circle of Friends drew post 7 and takes on Arlington Park shopper Good Bye Greg, here off a 3 race win streak in allowance company, out of post 4.

The first turf race on Saturday afternoon is the $250,000 Canadian Stakes (G2) with 7 older fillies and mares going about 1 1/8 miles around one turn of the turf, carded as race 8 at 4:29pm Eastern, as the major local prep for the E.P. Taylor Stakes also on October 15. Locally based Starship Jubilee, winner of the Dance Smartly (G2) for trainer Kevin Attard out of post 3, takes on Quidura, second in both the New York (G2) and Diana (G1), who drew the rail for trainer Graham Motion.

The Woodbine Mile will be on Saturday September 16 at Woodbine, with the first race going to post at 1pm and the Woodbine Mile going off as race 12 at 6:34pm ET. The full card will be available via simulcast across North America, as well as on HPI-TV in Canada and TVG Network in the USA. In addition, the big race will be shown on TSN2 network in Canada from 6:00-7:00pm Eastern.

Here are the entries with post positions and morning line odds for the Woodbine Mile. Full entries for the day are available from Equibase. Past performances are also available from BRISnet for the Woodbine Mile, just search for "Tower of Texas." For the Northern Dancer, and Canadian Stakes, search for Messi and Moonlight Sky respectively. For the Bold Venture search for Unbridled Juan.

The Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1) $1,000,000
PostHorseTrainerJockeyOdds
1World ApprovalMark CasseJohn Velazquez7-2
2Tower of TexasRoger AttfieldEurico Rosa da Silva12-1
3Long on ValueBill MottJoel Rosario15-1
4Best BardNorman McKnightRafael Hernandez50-1
5Dragon BayStuart SimonGary Boulanger20-1
6Deauville (IRE)Aidan O’BrienJamie Spencer5-2
7Conquest PantheraMark CassePatrick Husbands12-1
8MondialisteDavid O'MearaJose Ortiz8-1
9Arod (IRE)David SimcockHarry Bentley20-1
10Lancaster BomberAidan O'BrienWayne Lordan9-2
11Dutch Connection (GB)Charlie HillsMickael Barzalona6-1
12Glenville GardensSid AttardLuis Contreras20-1

Woodbine Mile info online:

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