Sunday, October 14, 2012

Imperial Monarch and Reliable Man headline Canadian International #WoIntl

A fantastic card lined up at Woodbine today with three Grade 1, Breeders' Cup Win & You're In races including the $1.5-million Canadian International, the $1-million E.P Taylor and the $500,000 Nearctic Stakes.
Despite rain during the evening and early this morning, the Woodbine turf course is currently (1PM EST) listed as 'GOOD'.  The big note of the day is that Al Khali is out of the International, with the Daily Racing Form's David Grening reporting the Bill Mott trainee scratched due to the possibility of soft ground.

Imperial Monarch trains on the Woodbine Polytrack
If you're just starting to study now for the big races today, including a guaranteed $100,000 Early Pick 4 and a $200,000 Late Pick 4, don't worry...there's plenty of information out there starting with Expert Selections from the Canadian International microsite. 

Also, on the Canadian International homepage, you'll find free analysis of all the day's races provided by BRISNet.

If you're on Twitter, be sure to click into our #WOIntl hashtag which will provide you with a listing of news, video, photos, analysis and more of everything related to International day here at Woodbine.

From a personal perspective, this is my favourite racing day of the year.  I've been coming to the International since All Along took the 1983 edition of the Rothman's Canadian International.

Speaking of great french fillies...the buzz around the Woodbine backstretch this week has been about the great expectations for French-based fillies Siyouma, Pagera and Trois Lunes in the E.P Taylor Stakes.  In particular, note the 20-1 morning line on Pagera...I suspect with Arc winning rider Olivier Peslier aboard, that you won't get 20-1 on Pagera at post time, so consider playing a Pick 3 ending on the EP Taylor to protect the price.
Is Reliable Man ready?
With regard to the Canadian International, I tossed and turned all night trying to decide between French-based four-year-old Reliable Man and Aidan O'Brien's Irish-bred Imperial Monarch.

Reliable Man was an impressive fourth,defeated less than two lengths, in the Group 1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes on July 21 at Ascot.  That race came at the mile and a half distance of the International and the three horses in front of him that day - Danedream, Nathaniel and St Nicholas Abbey - would all be considered top choices if here today. 

1. Lay Time (GB) 4/F J Fortune 123 A Balding 20/1
2. Dandino (GB) 5/H J Crowley 126 J R Fanshawe 8/1
3. Forte Dei Marmi (GB) 6/G L J R Velazquez 126 R L Attfield 15/1
4. Scalo (GB) 5/H L A Starke 126 A Woehler 12/1
5. Prince Will I Am (KY) 5/R L R A Dominguez 126 M Nihei 20/1
6. Wigmore Hall (IRE) 5/G L J P Spencer 126 M L Bell 6/1
7. Reliable Man (GB) 4/C O Peslier 126 A De Royer-Dupre 4/1
8. Joshua Tree (IRE) 5/H L1 L Dettori 126 M Botti 5/1
9. Al Khali (KY) 6/R L G K Gomez 126 W I Mott 10/1
10. Imperial Monarch (IRE) 3/C L1 R L Moore 119 A P O'Brien 3/1
11. Air Support (KY) 4/C L J Castellano 126 C R McGaughey III 10/1  

Reliable Man was freshened following that effort and returned on September 21 to be second in a Group 3 event in France. He likely needed that race and should be primed for a top effort today with Peslier in the irons.   Imperial Monarch is definitely a buzz horse around the grounds. He's won three of four starts including a smashing effort in the Group 1 Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp on July 14. He's a three-year-old, but it's late in the year now and he just might be mature enough to defeat an impressive group of older foes. Ryan Moore is here to ride.

Trainer Michelle Nihei and Prince Will I Am
Joshua Tree, who took this event in 2010 and was runner-up in 2011, is in peak form and racing at his favourite time of year. He must be included in the exotics.

As a longshot, I'd suggest German-based Scalo who adds blinkers for this event following a pair of even performances at Woodbine. The dark bay son of Lando has trained well all week and top German rider Andrasch Starke has shipped over to ride.

1. Imperial Monarch
2. Reliable Man
3. Joshua Tree
4. Scalo

1. Siyouma
2. Pagera
3. Stars to Shine

1. Next Question
2. Artic Fern
3. Grand Adventure

Best of luck with your wagers today and be sure to follow along with all the action via my Twitter account - @TripleDeadHeat

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