A record field of 16 horses will go to the post Sunday in the $1.5 million, Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International.
The Score will provide special two-hour live coverage across Canada of the Pattison and the Group 1 E. P. Taylor and Neartic Stakes.
Dennis Rodman, the former NBA player, was the guest drawmaster for post positons on Thursday.
The ultra-competitive field includes the Pattison defending champion Joshua Tree, the second and third place finishers from last year--Mores Wells and Redwood. At least three other highly-regarded Europeans come in: dual Group 1 winner Treasure Beach, and Quest For Peace and Arctic Cosmos, one-two finishers in the recent Group 3 Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot.
The field also includes 4-year-old filly Sarah Lynx, as she attempts to become the sixth female in 74 runnings, and first since Infamy in 1988, to win the International. Overall, nine of the 16 starters are from Europe, one is from the United States, and the remaining six are locally-based.
All horses carry 126 pounds, except three-year-olds Celtic Conviction, Quest For Peace and Treasure Beach at 119 and Sarah Lynx at 123. The previous record of 15 horses went postward in the 1988 and 1995 renewals of the International.
Juddmonte Farms’ homebred Redwood, trained by Charles Hills, is the field’s leading money winner with over $2.3 million. He’s won four of 15 career starts, including last year’s Group 1 Northern Dancer at Woodbine. This year, he’s been second in the Grade 1 Dubai Sheema Classic in March at Meydan and runner-up in the Group 2 Princess of Wales’s in July at Newmarket. He comes into the International off a fourth place finish in the Group 3 Glorious Stakes in late July at Goodwood.
The 5-year-old British-bred son of two-time Breeders’ Cup Turf winner High Chaparral will be ridden once again by Michael Hills. A victory would give Juddmonte a record fourth International win, following Champs Elysees in 2009, stakes record-holder Raintrap in 1994 and French Glory in 1990.
When Joshua Tree sprung won last year at 9-2, he was trained by Aidan O’Brien. However, early this year, the four-year-old was purchased by K.K. Al Nabooda and R. A. Albahou and was campaigned in Qatar, before being sent to trainer Marco Botti’s stable in Newmarket this summer.
To be ridden by Adam Kirby, the 4-year-old Irish-bred son of Montjeu, a winner in three of nine lifetime outings, with earnings of over $1.4 million, has started twice under Botti’s care. Most recently, he was third to Danedream in the Group 1 Grosser Preis von Baden on Sept. 4. Danedream, a three-year-old filly, went on to crush the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe field two weeks ago.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien, who seeks a record-tying third International win after winning with Ballingarry in 2002 and Joshua Tree last year, is sending British-bred Treasure Beach, one of three sons of champion Galileo in the field.
Jockey Colm O’Donoghue, who was aboard for Joshua Tree’s victory last year, will partner Treasure Beach, who has enjoyed a banner campaign this season. He's won two Group 1’s – the Irish Derby at The Curragh and the Secretariat at Arlington Park for owners Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor. The $1.8 million earner was also a close second in the Epsom (English) Derby, but enters off a 14th place finish in the Prix d’Arc de Triomphe. He’ll try to become the 14th 3-year-old to win, the latest being Joshua Tree in 2010.
Trainer Luca Cumani, who won the International in 1988 with Infamy, the last filly to do so, will be represented by Quest For Peace, a 3-year-old son of Galileo who enters off a two-length victory in the Cumberland Lodge, Oct, 1 at Ascot, his third consecutive victory. Now owned by OTI Racing, an Australian syndicate, Quest For Peace will be ridden by Kieren Fallon, who has twice finished second in the International – with Simonas in 2004 and with Fruits of Love in 1999.
Arctic Cosmos, owned by Rachel Hood and Robin Geffen and trained by John Gosden, was second to Quest For Peace in the Cumberland Lodge in his only start this year. The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of North Light spent the last 12 months recovering from a leg injury suffered just before he was supposed to ship to Woodbine to contest last year’s International, after winning the Group 1 English St. Leger. He’ll be ridden by William Buick.
Catherine O’Flynn’s Mores Wells, a British-bred 7-year-old son of the legendary Sadler’s Wells, was a troubled second to Joshua Tree in last year’s International, falling a head short at 20-1. Now trained by Mikel Delzangles, the eight-time winner in 39 starts and over $1.2 million will be ridden again by Sebastien Maillot.
Irish-bred Sarah Lynx, a 4-year-old daughter of champion Montjeu, was most recently fourth to Galikova in the Group 1 Prix Vermeille Sept. 11 at Longchamp, for trainer John Hammond and owner Mrs. Robert Ehrnhooth. She’ll be ridden by top French jockey Christophe Soumillon, who won last year’s E.P. Taylor aboard Reggane.
Trainer Herman Brown will send out Bronze Cannon and Mikhail Glinka for owner Ramzan Kadyrov, the president of Chechen Republic. Six-year-old Kentucky-bred Bronze Cannon, a dual Group 2 winner, will be ridden by Tom Queally, who will be on Frankel at Ascot on Saturday, while 4-year-old Mikhail Glinka, another Irish-bred Galileo colt, will be handled by Bernard Fayd’Herbe.
The lone U.S. representative is Rahystrada, winner of the Grade III Kentucky Cup at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 10 for trainer Byron Hughes and owner Robert Courtney. The 7-year-old gelded son of Rahy will be ridden by Julien Leparoux.
The local contingent consists of Simmard, Musketier, Laureate Conductor, Celtic Conviction, Kara’s Orientation and Miami Deco.
Roger Attfield will saddle Simmard, most recently second, a neck behind Wigmore Hall in the Northern Dancer, and multiple stakes winner Musketier, owned by Stella Perdomo, as he tries for his first International win in a decorated career. Attfield has been second on three occasions – with Spice Route in 2008, with Kinghaven Farms’ Alywow in 1994 and Steady Power in 1989.
The German-bred 9-year-old Musketier, with John Velazquez up, would become the oldest horse to win the race, eclipsing eight-year-old Collier Hill, who won the 2006 renewal. Six-year-old Kentucky-bred Simmard, also co-owned by Attfield and William Werner, will be ridden by Patrick Husbands. Simmard finished second in the 2000 International aboard Williams News, a nose behind Mutafaweq.
Celtic Conviction will try to become the sixth Canadian-bred to win the International, the last being Thornfield in 1999. Last year’s winner of the Cup and Saucer will be ridden by Emile Ramsammy for trainer Mike Doyle and co-owner Dura Racing.
Bear Stables’ Laureate Conductor, trained by Mike DePaulo and ridden by Luis Contreras, was most recently fourth to Wigmore Hall in the Northern Dancer.
Kara’s Orientation, co-owned by Max Berketa and Pinnacle Racing, won the Grade 2, mile and one-quarter Sky Classic Aug. 21 for trainer Steven Chircop, then was 11th to Turallure in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile last month. Joel Rosario rides.
Another Canadian-bred, Miami Deco, trained by Brian Lynch for Jim and Susan Hill, won last year’s Breeders’ Stakes at 65-1 and was most recently third to Rahystrada in the Kentucky Cup and will be ridden by Corey Nakatani, who won the 2005 International aboard Relaxed Gesture.
Since 1958, U.S.-breds have captured 27 editions, followed by Irish-breds (10) and British-breds (seven).
The stakes record for the mile and one-half over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course is 2:25 3/5, set by Juddmonte Farms' Raintrap in 1994. The largest winning margin still belongs to Secretariat, when 'Big Red' coasted home by 6 1/2 lengths in his farewell appearance in 1973. He is also the shortest-priced winner in history, paying $2.40.
Favorites have won the International 21 of 53 times (39.6%) since 1958, the last to do so being Champs Elysees, at 5-2 in 2009, and before him, Sulamani, the 4-5 choice in 2004.
Post time for the 74th edition of the International is 5:42 pm ET.
The Grade 1, $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes, presented by Fly Emirates, will go postward at 4:35 pm and has drawn a field of 11, headed by France’s Dream Peace and Adventure Seeker.
The Grade 1, $500,000 Nearctic Stakes, at 2:59 pm ET pm, also attracted 13 hopefuls, including England’s Bated Breath and 2008 Canadian Horse of the Year Fatal Bullet.
1/Sarah Lynx/Mrs. Robert Ehrnrooth/John Hammond/Christophe Soumillon/15-1
2/Arctic Cosmos/Rachel Hood & Robin Geffen/John Gosden/William Buick/6-1
3/Musketier/Stella Perdomo/Roger Attfield/John Velazquez/15-1
4/Simmard/Atttfield & Werner/Roger Attfield/Patrick Husbands/15-1
5/Quest For Peace/OTI Racing/Luca Cumani/Kieren Fallon/8-1
6/Mores Wells/Catherine O’Flynn/Mikel Delzangles/Sebastien Maillot/15-1
7/Joshua Tree/Nabooda & Albahou/Marco Botti/Adam Kirby/5-1
8/Celtic Conviction/Dura Racing & M.J. Doyle Racing Stable/Mike Doyle/Emile Ramsammy/30-1
9/Rahystrada/Robert Courtney Jr./Byron Hughes/Julien Leparoux/12-1
10Redwood/Juddmonte Farms/Charles Hills/Michael Hills/4-1
11/Laureate Conductor/Bear Stables Ltd./Mike DePaulo/Luis Contreras/30-1
12/Mikhail Glinka/ Ramzan Kadyrov/Herman Brown/Bernard Fayd’Herbe/30-1
13/Treasure Beach/Smith, Tabor & Magnier/Aidan O’Brien/Colm O’Donoghue/9-2
14/Kara’s Orientation/Max Berketa & Pinnacle Racing/Steven Chircop/Joel Rosario/30-1
15/Bronze Cannon/Ramzan Kadyrov/Herman Brown/Tom Queally/20-1
16/Miami Deco/Jim & Susan Hill/Brian Lynch/30-1
--Edited Woodbine release