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Post Time: Breeders’ Cup looms, big weekend at Woodbine

Breeders’ Cup Notes

Working towards a climactic Breeders’ Cup (BC) in three weeks, where some major match-ups are looming in several of the most important divisions in racing. The Win and You’re In races are complete and the fields will start coming together over the next two weeks with pre-entries due by Monday Oct. 23.

The fields for the 13 BC races, with purses totaling $28 million, are limited to a maximum of 14 starters. All of the races will be drawn one week later on Oct. 30. On Friday Nov. 3 the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club will host the first four BC races, with nine to follow on Saturday Nov. 4, culminating in the $6 million BC Classic, scheduled for 5:35 p.m. PT (8:35 p.m. in prime time on the East Coast).

The News will once again be onsite at the inaugural Breeders’ Cup to be held at Del Mar covering the Classic with undercard coverage online of the 12 other BC races. With several stars such as Bolt d’Oro (Juvenile) and Unique Bella (Filly & Mare Sprint) cruising in their prep races prior to the Cup, it should once again be one of the best betting days of the year.

The Longines Distaff is shaping up to be quite the race, one that should be an interesting one to keep an eye on the tote board. The field is loaded with stars, including Kentucky Oaks winner Abel Tasman, Santa Anita Oaks winner Paradise Woods, and Alabama winner Elate from the 3-year-old ranks. The three sophs will take on older horses Stellar Wind, Forever Unbridled and possibly, Champagne Room. This will be one of the most hotly-contested races of the weekend.

International Weekend

Woodbine will be hosting a big weekend with three graded races on Sunday afternoon, highlighted by the $800,000 Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International.  The $500,000 E.P. Taylor (G1), $250,000 Nearctic (G2) and the Ontario Derby (G2) represent the graded undercard races leading up to the International.

The International has 10 entries, including several from overseas. Chemical Charge (IRE), Erupt (IRE), Idaho (IRE), Eruption (FR), Flamboyant (FR) and Protectionist (GER) all have arrived from over the pond to contend in the 1 ½-mile race on the E.P. Taylor turf course. Of the six internationals, Idaho, is your 5-2 favorite looking to rebound from disappointing finishes in the Arc in France and the Sword Dancer in Saratoga. He’ll try to upend last year’s winner Erupt (7-2).

Oscar Nominated (8-1), a winner at Kentucky Downs last month will try to bring the win south of the border. Johnny Bear (12-1) is the local hopeful who won the Northern Dancer on the Woodbine Mile undercard. Johnny Bear looks to become the first locally-based and trained winner since Thornfield in 1999.

European shippers have won the last six runnings of the International.  It is Race 10 on the 12-race card and goes to post at 6:12 p.m. EDT.

Keep an eye out for the #WoIntl hashtag for news and tweets on the big Woodbine weekend.

Here is the complete field in post position order for the $800,000 Pattison Canadian International (Grade 1):

Horse – Trainer – Jockey - Morning Line Odds
1. Oscar Nominated - Michael Maker - Julien Leparoux - 8-1
2. Flamboyant - Patrick Gallagher - Joel Rosario - 6-1
3. Enterprising - Michael Maker - Rafael Hernandez - 20-1
4. Idaho - Aidan O'Brien - Ryan Moore - 5-2
5. Johnny Bear - Ashlee Brnjas - Luis Contreras - 12-1
6. Postulation - Edward Graham - Jorge A. Vargas Jr. - 12-1
7. Bullards Alley - Tim Glyshaw - Eurico Rosa da Silva - 20-1
8. Messi - H. Graham Motion - Jose Ortiz - 8-1
9. Erupt - H. Graham Motion - Junior Alvarado - 7-2
10. Chemical Charge - Ralph Beckett - Oisin Murphy - 5-1

Gene Kershner, a Buffalo-based turf writer, is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and tweets @EquiSpace.

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