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2018 Woodbine Mile and Northern Dancer Turf Entries

Honourary Drawmaster Andre De Grasse, a three-time Olympic sprint medalist, poses with the trophy

Date: 09/12/2018

One of the biggest races on the Woodbine racing calendar is the $800,000 Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1). Celebrating its 22nd renewal in 2018, 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 make up 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 Churchill Downs on November 3.

Drawing the posts with racing secretary Stuart Slagle, drawmaster Andre De Grasse, and track announcer Robert Geller.
Final entries were taken and post positions were drawn in a special lunchtime ceremony at the paddock tent at Woodbine on Wednesday, with special guest Andre De Grasse on hand as the honorary drawmaster. De Grasse, a native of Toronto who grew up and still lives in Markham, Ontario, burst into the international spotlight during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, taking the silver in the 200 m and bronze in both the 100 m and 4x100 m relay, making him the first Canadian sprinter to win 3 medals in one Olympics.

Delta Prince, winner of the King Edward Stakes (G2) on Queen's Plate day, is the morning line favorite.
Woodbine's Vice President of Thoroughbred Racing Operations, Jonathan Zammit, took the microphone to discuss current developments at the track. He mostly welcomed the foreign connections to the track and highlighted the ongoing installation of the inner turf course which will host racing next year. Unlike most media events at the track in recent years, no mention was made of the redevelopment of the facility nor of the expansion of the casino, Zammit choosing to highlight horse racing only.

Oscar Performance, who was pulled up in the Arlington Million last out, is the second choice on the morning line for the Woodbine Mile.
A field of just 8 older horses (including 1 filly) made final entry for the 22nd Woodbine Mile. The 5-2 favorite on the morning line is Delta Prince out of post 3. Regular rider Javier Castellano will be in the irons for trainer Jimmy Jerkens and owner-breeder Frank Stronach. He started the season with a near course record performance winning the King Edward (G2) on Queen's Plate day, and then was a close second in the Fourstardave Handicap (G1) last out at Saratoga. Jerkens said, "The first time he ran on turf he ran off the screen, so I've kept him on turf ever since. The (Saratoga) course was softer than he likes and be hroke flat-footed. He had to make a big long run and that's hard on soft turf. Since he's come back he's the best he's ever been for a long time."

The second choice on the morning line is 7-2 Oscar Performance and drew the 7. Jose Ortiz rides for trainer Brian Lynch. Sent off as the 9-5 favorite in the Arlington Million (G1) last out, he took a bad step and was pulled up in the stretch by Ortiz. In his previous start he won the Poker (G3) at Belmont Park. Ortiz said, "Oscar loves his job and is the perfect combination of speed and stamina. I think he'll love the big long stretch at Woodbine and I look forward to riding him there." Lynch added, "He's a trainer's dream, certainly one of the best."

Lord Glitters is the 4-1 third choice from post 6 for trainer David O'Meara. After finishing 2nd in the Queen Anne (G1) and Summer Mile (G2) both at Ascot, he was 3rd in the Sussex (G1) at Goodwood before winning the Strensall (G3) at York last out. O'Meara said, "It's a road we've taken before (with Mondialiste) and I was looking for somewhere to rin between now and Ascot Champions Day and this race fits well. It was either here or Ireland and the money in Canada is better. He's got a huge engine in him, he's well able to quicken up in his races." Jamie Spencer, who rode both Ascot starts, gets the return call on Saturday.

Last year's Northern Dancer Turf (G1) winner Johnny Bear (outside) is back to defend his title along with second place finisher Hawkbill.
The undercard feature is the $300,000 Northern Dancer Turf (G1) for older horses going 1 1/2 miles on the turf, the major local prep for the Pattison Canadian International (G1) to be run on October 13, and is scheduled as race 11 at 6:36pm. Defending champ Johnny Bear is back, and drew post 4 for jockey Eurico da Silva and trainer Ashlee Brnjas. Hawkbill ships in from England for trainer Charlie Appleby and jockey Jamie Spencer drawing post 5. He won the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) in March and comes here off a 4th place finish in the Coral Eclipse (G1).

Scheduled to go immediately after the Woodbine Mile is the $250,000 Canadian Stakes (G2) Presented by the Japan Racing Association for older fillies and mares going about 1 1/8 miles around one turn of the turf as the major local prep for the E.P. Taylor Stakes also on October 13. Carded as the 9th race at 5:27, Chad Brown has two of the possible favorites entered, New Money Honey out of post 5 with Javier Castellano aboard, and Inflexibility in post 3 with Jose Ortiz. New Money Honey won the Belmont Oaks (G1) last year and comes here off a disappointing 6th place finish in the Diana (G1) at Saratoga. Stablemate Inflexibility was 2nd in the Dance Smartly (G2) and 5th in the Beverly D (G1).

There are 2 sprint stakes both contested over 6 1/2 furlongs on the Tapeta main track. The $125,000 Bold Venture (G3) for older horses goes off at race 10 at 6:02pm, with Horse of the Year Pink Lloyd out of post 3 for trainer Bob Tiller and regular rider Eurico da Silva. The $100,000 Sweet Briar Too for older fillies and mares kicks off the stakes quintet as race 6 at 3:42pm. Seaway (G3) and Hendrie (G3) winner Code Warrior drew post 2 for jockey Jesse Campbell and trainer Mike De Paulo.

The Woodbine Mile will be on Saturday September 15 at Woodbine, with the first race going to post at 1pm and the Woodbine Mile going off as race 8 at 4:48pm 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 4:00-5:00pm 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. Free past performances are available from BRISnet for the Woodbine Mile, just search for "Mr Havercamp" For the Northern Dancer, and Canadian Stakes, search for "Mekhtaal" and "Mythical Mission" respectively. For the Bold Venture search for "Battle in Seattle", while for the Sweet Briar Too search for "Malibu Bonnie".

The Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1) $800,000
1Good SamaritanBill MottJoel Rosario10-1
2La SardaneNeil DrysdaleRafael Bejarano15-1
3Delta PrinceJames JerkensJavier Castellano5-2
4VanishVito ArmataAdemar Santos20-1
5Mr HavercampCatherine Day PhillipsEurico Rosa Da Silva6-1
6Lord GlittersDavid O’MearaJamie Spencer4-1
7Oscar PerformanceBrian LynchJose Ortiz7-2
8DivisideroKelly RubleyJevian Toledo8-1
9Stormy AntarcticE.C.D WalkerGerald Mosse8-1

Woodbine Mile info online:

There is a new Waterford crystal trophy this year

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