The Pizza Man edges World Approval (rail) and Wake Forest to win the Northern Dancer Stakes
The two biggest cards this weekend feature a rematch between Catch a Glimpse and Time and Motion at Keeneland on Saturday and the Pattinson Canadian International card Sunday at Woodbine.
Kicking things off on Friday is Keeneland’s G3 Franklin County Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs over the turf course. The full field of 12 fillies and mares is led by Saratoga stakes-winner Fair Point, though she will face tough competition from graded winner Miss Ella and multiple graded stakes-placed Mississippi Delta.
On Saturday, the action kicks off with Belmont Park’s G3 Futurity Stakes, held over six furlongs on the main track for 2-year-olds. Impressive maiden victory Theory has been installed as the morning-line favorite in the five-horse field, with Moves Like Ali and Reckling making a good impression on the oddsmakers as well.
The big stake of the day on Saturday is Keeneland’s G1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, a race restricted to sophomore fillies and held over nine furlongs on the turf. Catch a Glimpse and Time and Motion will face off once again, with Time and Motion just getting the better of that rival in their last meeting to end her eight-race win streak. In the nine-horse field, several others pose a valid threat to the two favorites, but the most interesting of those appears to be Mokat, who was very impressive winning over the turf in Del Mar’s San Clemente Handicap, and had poor racing luck to finish fourth in the Del Mar Oaks.
On Sunday, the G3 Matron Stakes kicks off the action at Belmont Park, held over six furlongs on the dirt for juvenile fillies. Cherry Lodge leads the Todd Pletcher-trained duo, while Amapola will line up as the second choice for trainer Bill Mott.
Woodbine’s card gets underway with the G3 Ontario Fashion Stakes, for fillies and mares over six furlongs on the Tapeta. River Maid is the heavy favorite in the seven-horse field, with She’s Explosive, second behind Lady Shipman two starts back, holding second-choice on the morning line.
Up next is the G2 Nearctic Stakes, with Full Mast leading the charge over six furlongs on the Turf. A Group 1 winner overseas, Full Mast has not finished better than third in US stakes company. Conquest Enforcer will likely be the second choice off a listed win at Belmont last out, and both Stacked Deck and Passion for Action have been putting together respectable seasons at Woodbine this year. Another interesting entrant is Liam Benson’s Expected Ruler, who on his best day should be able to compete with this field.
The G1 E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine is for fillies and mares over 1 1/4 miles on the turf. A field of 13 is scheduled to take the course, with Aidan O’Brien’s Best in the World, a full sister to Found, will look to prove herself in North America. The Chad Brown-trained Rainha da Bateria is the second choice on the morning line after her victory in the G2 Canadian Stakes over the same course last out. Other major challengers include Swiss Range, Banzari, and Al’s Gal.
Closing out the weekend is the G1 Pattison Canadian International, over 1 1/2 miles on Woodbine’s turf course. Irish Derby runner-up Idaho has shipped over to be the morning-line favorite in the $ 1 million contest, though it is a well-match field of nine that will face him on Sunday. German Group 1 winner Protectionist has drawn the outside stall, and Her Majesty the Queen’s own Dartmouth has been made third choice on the morning line. Top American hope is The Pizza Man, who won a G1 at Woodbine last out, and he is followed up by both World Approval and Wake Forest to be tough rivals.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2016 Paulick Report.