Saturday's International card at Woodbine offered a little something for everyone. A chance to meet the jockeys; have a special Secretariat book signed by Kate Chenery Tweedy; and most importantly, watch three special Breeders' Cup Win & You're In races on the infamous E.P. Taylor turf course.
I'll let the pictures do the talking.
(As always, please double left click the photo to enlarge the photo and then use your "Back" button to return to the blog post. Enjoy!)
Star rider Corey Fraser
Caroline Duquet wearing a giant hint as to which horse to wager on in the International
'ello, 'ello, 'ello - it must be International Day!
Did you know Secretariat ran his last race at Woodbine in the International?
Flyin' high at Woodbine
Bet the folks up there would rather Fly Emirates
For Justin Stein International day is a family affair
A kiss for luck!
The first big race of the afternoon was the $500K Nearctic Stakes which featured twelve amped up thoroughbreds sprinting six furlongs on the E.P Taylor turf course. Hometown heroes Fatal Bullet, Grand Adventure, Bogue Chitto, Woodbourne, Signature Red and Field Commission offered the locals a chance to cheer but it would be the Irish-bred filly Serious Attitude that "OMG Whatevered" her way to the wire first.
Look out! Alan Garcia is Sneaking Uponyou
Amico Fritz hoped to give 'em fits in the Nearctic
Chantal Sutherland and Woodbourne weave their way through the paddock
The fast-closing Bogue Chitto looking neat-o
Patrick Husbands off on another Grand Adventure
Jockey Luke Morris says never look a Balthazaar's Gift horse in the mouth
Luis Contreras in his Signature Red silks
Can't catch me! Serious Attitude takes the Nearctic
Serious Attitude wins the 2010 Nearctic Stakes
The E.P. Taylor Stakes on the namesake turf course boasted a quality ten horse field of the finest fillies and mares. Contredanse and Miss Keller were expected to lead the way but some very sharp punters made good money when they realized Christophe Soumillon wasn't flying all this way for nothing!
Salut, ca va? Akarlina!
Ooh la la! Reggane is ready to rock!
Contredanse gets ready to rumble
Gallic Star knows where the camera is
The colourful Silver Grey
Mekong Melody tunes up for the E.P Taylor
Brown horse in the ring...Shalanaya
The lovely Miss Keller
There would be no upset for 2009 E.P Taylor winner Lahaleeb on this day
Isn't she lovely? Group One winner Shalanaya parades before the party
Pachattack figured the jump in class was no great leap
Despite the full field there was no stopping Reggane on her day
Jockey Javier Castellano looks and wonders 'what went wrong' after a great ride on Miss Keller
This french picture had a happy ending
Happy connections rejoice in the gagnant's circle
Allez les bleus!!
Reggane wins the 2010 E.P. Taylor Stakes
A warm October afternoon wilted into splendid shadows offering photographers a washed-out palette of seasonal colours for Woodbine's fall classic - the Canadian International. Nine horses from Canada, America and overseas would do battle for twelve furlongs over a turf course rated good and a finish rated great. Ontario-bred Fifty Proof led the way under the patient ride of jockey Justin Stein whose internal clock must have Swiss craftsmanship. Stein's masterful early fractions of :26, :52, and 1:18 metered a field only too happy to chase Ian Black's big train.
As Fifty Proof led the pack into the lane, Stein found his steed had plenty left in the tank and raged the length of the 1400ft stretch more than holding his own. But as the sun sank into the turf, Irish invader Joshua Tree put Fifty Proof under a shadow and headed out a win over the hard chasing Mores Wells and Redwood, not least to mention the hard-luck Al Khali. Fifty Proof would hold on for fifth place beaten a head, a nose, a half-length and three quarters of a length. The difference between fifth place Fifty Proof and sixth place Chinchon was but a neck - but the difference in payout for their positions was $72,000 compared to $400.
Joshua Tree may be off to the Breeders's Cup Turf but many Woodbine fans won't soon forget the thrill provided by Fifty Proof.
An autumnal Al Khali
The weeping willows cry for the trip Al Khali is about to receive
The instantly recognizable white face of Fifty Proof
Edgar Prado and Alan Garcia wonder who the Belmont bettors were backing
Simmard steps toward the track
Ian Black offers last minute instructions to Justin Stein
Marsh Side loves Woodbine but the turf didn't love him back on this day
Nervous handlers watch the post parade from up close
Can you say it five times fast? Chinchon Chinchon Chinchon Chinchon Chinchon!
Mores Wells would end well in the Canadian International finishing second
Joshua Tree would leave the gate from lucky stall seven
The gate opens but Redwood is in no hurry to leave
Fifty Proof leads the field into the setting sun
Joshua Tree surges past Fifty Proof
A close finish about to happen - check out the head-on video screen shot
Steps later Joshua Tree emerges the victor
Joshua Tree basks in the blanket of a Canadian classic
Joshua Tree went petals to the metal to win
Woodbine's Glenn Crouter and winning jockey Colm O'Donoghue
Joshua Tree wins the 2010 Canadian International
Congratulations to the excellent Joshua Tree
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