Full Mast owns class edge in King Edward

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

June 29th, 2016

Full Mast made a favorable impression in his U.S. debut June 5 at Belmont Park, rallying from behind a sizzling pace to beat third-level allowance company. The Juddmonte Farms homebred seeks to add to that North American success Saturday at Woodbine in the C$200,000 King Edward (G2).

An early turf prep for the Woodbine Mile (G1) in September, the King Edward is one of several graded turf stakes at the Toronto course over Queen's Plate weekend.

One of France's leading two-year-olds in 2014, with victories in the Prix La Rochette (G3) and Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1), the latter via the disqualification of future dual classic winner Gleneagles, Full Mast had an abbreviated sophomore campaign.

Second by a neck in the Prix Paul de Moussac (G3) in his 2015 debut, Full Mast next dueled for the lead in the Prix Jean Prat (G1) and wound up beating only one horse in the eight-horse field.

"Full Mast choked, he went too fast," former trainer Criquette Head-Maarek said of the performance at the time.

Now with Bill Mott, Full Mast was 1 1/4 lengths best in the aforementioned allowance going seven furlongs, and will step up to a mile for the King Edward.

Last year's King Edward winner Tower of Texas is back to defend his title, but has not raced since finishing seventh in the Woodbine Mile last September. However, bettors should note that he won off a similarly long layoff in his 2015 debut, the first of three straight wins culminating in the King Edward.

Smokem Kitten, who held off subsequent Grade 3 scorer Middleburg in the Miami Mile (G3) at Gulfstream last out, has won three of his five lifetime outings. More seasoned is Commute, a dull eighth in the Jaipur (G3) last out but in strong form earlier in the year. Also capable of better is Solemn Tribute, who landed the Tropical Park Derby late last year before a weakening ninth in the Tampa Bay (G3) in his lone outing this term.

The aging warrior Dimension prevailed in the Connaught Cup (G2) last time at odds of 20-1, but may find this field too difficult to pull off another upset.

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