Thursday, October 15, 2009

Video Preview: Counting the Contenders for Woodbine's E.P. Taylor Stakes

Of the three Breeder's Cup Win and You're In races at Woodbine on Saturday, the E.P. Taylor Stakes might well be the most compelling. Rainbow View, a three-year-old filly by Dynaformer, is listed as the 8-5 morning-line favourite off of an impressive Group One win at Leopardstown. However, Epsom Oaks winner Look Here is one of many who will be sure to offer a strong challenge in the mile and a quarter turf tilt.

(For a review of the Pattison Canadian International contenders, please see yesterday's post. )

STAKES E. P. Taylor S. (Grade I)

Purse $1,000,000. For Fillies And Mares, Three-Year-Olds And Upward. One And One Fourth Miles. (Turf)
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer

1 Treat Gently (GB) 4/F L G K Gomez 124 R J Frankel
2 Rainbow View (KY) 3/F L1* J R Leparoux 118 J H Gosden
3 Lahaleeb (IRE) 3/F W T Buick 118 M R Channon
4 Eastern Aria (UAE) 3/F L1* R L Ffrench 118 M S Johnston
5 Princess Haya (TX) 4/F L R Bejarano 124 M R Matz
6 Look Here (GB) 4/F L1* J Crowley 124 R Beckett
7 Roses 'n' Wine (ON) 4/F L C Sutherland 124 D R Bell
8 Salve Germania (IRE) 4/F L J Castellano 124 T A Pletcher

Let's take a closer look at the field.

Treat Gently, a Juddmonte Farms four-year-old now trained by Bobby Frankel, arrives from winning an allowance event at Belmont on the turf. That effort was Treat Gently's first race of the season. The daughter of Cape Cross raced overseas previously and had an excellent 2008 campaign with two firsts and two seconds in just six starts. Treat Gently put in an extraordinary effort against Zarkava last Fall in the 1 1/2M Group One Prix Vermeille finishing third before being disqualified.

Treat Gently finishes third versus the brilliant Zarkava

Rainbow View was undefeated in four starts as a two-year-old graduating through the ranks to win the Group One Stud Mile at Ascot. Through her first four starts of 2009, Rainbow View struggled to find her previous form but finally showed promise in a second place finish in the Group One Nassau against older competition. Last out, Rainbow View captured the one mile Group One Matron with an impressive turn of foot into the stretch galloping out a strong winner. Julien Leparoux takes over from Jimmy Fortune. Like Treat Gently and Look Here, the John Gosden trained filly gets the benefit of first-time Lasix.

Rainbow View wins the Group One Matron

Three-year-old Lahaleeb has a wealth of experience with four Group One tries in fifteen lifetime starts. The Irish-bred by Redback has been in tough lately trying older horses on soft turf she wasn't handling well. It will be interesting to see how Lahaleeb enjoys her first trek over a mile. The Mick Channon trainee opened her 2009 campaign with a Group 3 victory in the Fred Darling Dubai Duty Free but her best effort came in a hard-fought second place finish to Again in the Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh. William Buick gets the call.

Lahaleeb loses a head-bob to Again in the Irish 1000 Guineas

Eastern Aria will make her sixteenth start of 2009 in the E.P Taylor. The Mark Johnston trainee has seven wins, four seconds and a third for earnings of just over $150K. Last out, Eastern Aria won the mile and a half Joubert in France which is a listed event. Though yet to start a Group race, the connections feel strongly that a mile and a quarter is the right distance for Eastern Aria. Royston Ffrench will hope to steer the three-year-old daughter of Halling to Vvictory.

Due to lack of video of Eastern Aria, please enjoy the Queen Victoria Handicap instead

Princess Haya nosed out well-regarded Forever Together last out at odds of 15-1 in the G2 1 1/8M Canadian Stakes at Woodbine. The four-year-old Michael Matz trainee has four wins, two seconds and a third in ten turf starts but that latest result was her best ever performance garnering a first stakes win. Rafael Bejerano returns to ride the daughter of Street Cry. How does the expression go? 'Fool me once, shame on you...fool me twice, shame on me.' Punters will be kicking themselves if Princess Haya scores at long odds again.

Princess Haya defeats Forever Together in the G2 Canadian at Woodbine

Look Here has finished out of the money just once in eight starts. Conditioned by Ralph Beckett, the filly has two wins to her name including a 33-1 shocker in the Epsom Oaks. The four-year-old by Hernando has a flair for the dramatic losing by a nose last out to Doctor Fremantle in the G3 Arc Trial and a narrow loss in the Group One BC Win & You're In Pretty Polly Stakes to Dar Re Mi and Beach Bunny. The latter horse was really hopping down the lane. Jim Crowley steered Look Here last out and will be back in the irons on Saturday at odds of 3-1.

Look Here finished third in the BC W&YI Pretty Polly at the Curragh

Roses 'n' Wine is a four-year-old Ontario-bred by Broken Vow who will enter this race off an eight-length romp in the restricted Algoma Stakes on the Woodbine polytrack. The David Bell trainee has placed twice in four starts on the turf and would appear to be in tough here. Chantal Sutherland gets the call and has won three times already this year with Roses n Wine.

Woodbine locals hope Chantal will look this happy following her E.P. Taylor trip on Roses 'n' Wine

Salve Germania arrived at Saratoga this past August from Ireland with just one win in eight lifetime starts. Summarily dismissed by the Spa punters, the four-year-old filly by Peintre Celebre trailed the field of seven to the top of the stretch before stirring an almighty stretch run to nail Rutherienne at the wire by a head. That victory, at 24-1, came over a soft turf on a miserable afternoon. It looks to be dry here on Saturday but that doesn't mean Salve Germania will not be a factor. The lightly raced filly has made six of her nine lifetime starts against Group/Graded competition and has been within four lengths of the winner in six straight starts. Castellano returns for trainer Todd Pletcher and new owners IEAH.

On a miserably wet day at the Spa, Salve Germania shocked punters at 24-1 to win the G2 Ballston Spa

A preview of the Nearctic field will be posted on Friday.

If you plan to be at Woodbine on Saturday, be sure to check out Woodbine oddsmaker Jennifer Morrison's seminar on betting the International which will commence at 11AM and promises to include some special guests.

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