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2019 Woodbine Mile and Northern Dancer Turf Entries

Honourary Drawmaster Norman Powell of the Toronto Raptors poses with the trophy

Date: 09/11/2019

One of the biggest races on the Woodbine racing calendar is the $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1). Celebrating its 23rdd renewal in 2019, 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 World Approval 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 Santa Anita on November 2.

Drawing the posts with racing secretary Scott Lane, drawmaster Norman Powell, and track announcer Robert Geller.
Final entries were taken and post positions were drawn in a special lunchtime ceremony at the Trackside Clubhouse at Woodbine on Wednesday, with special guest Norman Powell of the 2019 NBA Champion Toronto Raptors on hand as the honorary drawmaster. Powell, a native of San Diego, played for UCLA before being drafted in 2015 by the Milwaukee Bucks but was immediately traded to the Raptors, where he has remained ever since. The versatile Powell plays both shooting guard and small forward but says "I can play point guard, power forward... wherever they need me!" He said he hasn't attended live racing yet, but mentioned that growing up in San Diego his mother and other members of the family went to Del Mar regularly. After the draw, Powell tried out the "Woodbine Turf Cup" video game where he "rode" against Rafael Hernandez and Eurico Rosa da Silva in a virtual race.

Toronto Raptors player Norman Powell with jockeys Gary Boulanger, Luis Contreras, Eurico Rosa da Silva, and Rafael Hernandez at the post position draw.
Woodbine's president and CEO Jim Lawson spoke at length about recent developments in the industry, including a recent run of misfortune where Woodbine has experienced a spike in on-track equine fatalities. He said that Woodbine would rather take a pro-active approach on changes rather than have changes imposed on it by regulators. After the Pattison Canadian International, overhead whipping of horses will be prohibited at Woodbine, and he suggested that race day medication restrictions and enforcement may be strengthed in the near future. Specifically addressing cheaters, he said, "There are always a few horsepeople always ahead of the regulator. The culture has been, if you can get away with it it must be okay. This has to stop." He said the new inner turf course has been a success but the E.P. Taylor course has some damage that needs addressed, adding that Lane 1 (for the Woodbine Mile) has held up all season.

Got Stormy, winner of the De La Rose and the Fourstardave (G1) at Saratoga, is the morning line favorite for the Woodbine Mile.
A field of 11 older horses (including 2 fillies) made final entry for the 23rd Woodbine Mile. The 8-5 favorite on the morning line is Got Stormy from post 5. Regular rider Tyler Gaffalione rides again for trainer Mark Casse and owner Gary Barber. After winning the restricted De La Rose Stakes at Saratoga, she came back 1 week later to defeat males in the Fourstardave Handicap (G1). Casse said, "I initially had planned going right from the De La Rose to the Woodbine Mile, but Gary pushed so hard for the Fourstardave. And as the week went on she just got bigger and stronger, she started thriving. Turf racing so many times is getting a good trip and when you have a horse that has enough speed to put you into the race but also has the ability to shut off when you need them to, that's extremely important."

Synchrony, winner of the King Edward Stakes (G2) on Queen's Plate day, is the 6-1 third choice on the morning line.
The second choice on the morning line is 3-1 Raging Bull and drew the 7. Joel Rosario rides for trainer Chad Brown and owner Peter Brant. Winless since the Hollywood Derby (G1) at Del Mar in December, he comes here off a 3rd place finish in the Manhattan (G1) and a 2nd place finish in the Fourstardave (G1). Brown said, "He ran a good race (in the Fourstardave)." Asked if Raging Bull would prefer the one-turn mile, "I think so, that's my hope anyway. He's doing really well."

Synchrony is the 6-1 third choice from post 4 for trainer Mike Stidham and owner-breeder Pin Oak Stable (Josephine Abercrombie). After finishing a close second in the Monmouth Stakes (G2), he came up to Woodbine to win the King Edward (G2) on Queen's Plate day, before shipping back to his home barn at Fair Hill, Maryland. Stidham said, "The one thing we've learned about him is that he's always run bery well off a freshening. That was the idea of not trying to run him between the King Edward and the Woodbine Mile. We're just hoping that the turf is going to be pretty firm." New jockey Flavien Prat comes in from California for the mount.

Nijinsky Stakes (G2) winner Tiz a Slam is the likely favorite for the Northern Dancer Turf.

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 12, and is scheduled as race 10 at 6:47pm, immediately after the Mile. Local hope Tiz a Slam should be the favorite in the field of 6 off a 3 race win streak including the Louisville (G3) at Churchill followed by the Singspiel (G3) and Nijinsky (G2) at Woodbine, the latter setting a new course record for the distance. Regular rider Steven Bahen gets the call for trainer Roger Attfield and owner-breeder Chiefswood Stables from the outside post 6. The powerful Godolphin team and trainer Charlie Appleby ship in Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) winner Old Persian off his 3rd place finish in the Grosser Preis von Berlin (G1) at Hoppegarten. New jockey Jamie Spencer gets the call on Saturday and drew the rail.

Dance Smartly Stakes (G2) winner Holy Helena is the likely favorite for the Canadian Stakes.
An hour before the 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 12. Carded as the 7th race at 4:30, Holy Helena drew post 2 in the 7 horse field, off her win in the Dance Smartly (G2). New jockey Rafael Hernandez gets the call for trainer Jimmy Jerkens and owner-breeder Stronach Stables. Trainer Chad Brown ships in Competitionofideas off her 3rd place finish in the Beverly D (G1). Joel Rosario rides from post 5 for owner Klaravich Stables.

Kicking off the Saturday stakes quartet is the $125,000 Bold Venture Stakes (G3) at 6 1/2 furlongs on the Tapeta. Canada's 2017 Horse of the Year Pink Lloyd should be heavily favored in the field of 7 older horses, coming in off a 5 race winning streak including the Vigil (G3) in July and the Kenora last out. Regular rider Eurico Rosa da Silva gets the call for trainer Bob Tiller and owner Entourage Stable from post 2.

The Woodbine Mile will be on Saturday September 14 at Woodbine, with the first race going to post at 1:05pm and the Woodbine Mile going off as race 9 at 5:42pm 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 TSN3 network in Canada from 5:00-6:00pm 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 "Got Stormy" For the Northern Dancer, and Canadian Stakes, search for "Tiz a Slam" and "Dixie Moon" respectively. For the Bold Venture search for "Curlin's Honor".

The Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1) $800,000
1El TormentaGail CoxEurico Rosa Da Silva20-1
2LucullanKiaran McLaughlinLuis Saez8-1
3Silent PoetNicholas GonzalezGary Boulanger15-1
4SynchronyMichael StidhamFlavien Prat6-1
5Got StormyMark CasseTyler Gaffalione8-5
6Awesometank (GB)William HaggasJohn Egan8-1
7Raging Bull (FR)Chad BrownJoel Rosario3-1
8American GuruMichael DoyleRafael Hernandez30-1
9Made You LookChad BrownLuis Contreras12-1
10Emmaus (IRE)Conor MurphyChanning Hill20-1
11Admiralty PierBarbara MinshallPatrick Husbands30-1

Woodbine Mile info online:

It is back to the original porcelain trophy this year

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