Natalma attracts overflow field; Conquest Farenheit heats up Summer

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Jen Caldwell

September 15th, 2016

One day after the Woodbine Mile (Can-G1), juveniles will get their turn in the spotlight at Woodbine on Sunday when lining up in the C$250,000 Natalma Stakes (Can-G1) and C$200,000 Summer Stakes (Can-G2).

Each one-mile turf race will award the winner an automatic berth to the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park on Friday, November 4. The Natalma is restricted to fillies and its victress will earn a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) gate, while the Summer will give its hero a place in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) line up.

The Natalma drew an overflow field of 15 and features last-out Colleen Stakes winner Red Lodge. That Wesley Ward trainee is the only stakes scorer in the field and one of just four entered with prior stakes experience.

Red Lodge broke her maiden by 3 3/4 lengths on May 27 at Belmont Park and then shipped overseas for a go in the Norfolk Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot. The Midshipman filly weakened to ninth in that event on June 16 but returned August 6 to take the Colleen Stakes at Monmouth Park. John Velazquez has the call on Sunday.

Tapa Tapa Tapa will be tough in this spot after beating others in here while making her turf bow at Woodbine on August 27. The Timothy Hamm-conditioned lass broke her maiden on Woodbine’s all-weather surface by 4 1/4 lengths in late July and returned last month to take an allowance over the re-opposing Victory to Victory and Stormy Perfection.

Black Canary and Beat the Benchmark both earned 80 BRIS Speed ratings when gutting out close debut wins at Saratoga. The former did so for trainer Mark Casse while Beat the Benchmark is saddled by Chad Brown. The duo will be ridden Sunday by brothers Irad Ortiz Jr. and Jose Ortiz, respectively.

Casse has three other entrants in the Natalma – maiden winner Thora Barber as well as maidens Enstone and Victory to Victory.

While he’ll saddle a total of four in the Natalma, Casse only has a pair of runners in the Summer Stakes two races prior.

Conquest Farenheit and Conquest Sure Shot are part of a seven-horse field entered in the Summer. The former is the one to beat in the race after taking his maiden debut by five lengths on August 26 over a yielding course at Woodbine. The Scat Daddy colt earned a 94 BRIS Speed rating for that effort and retains Patrick Husband for piloting duties.

Conquest Sure Shot broke his maiden at Saratoga in his second try and then ran second in his August 28 Woodbine bow. In front of him that day was the re-opposing Tiz a Slam, who enters the Summer unbeaten from two starts for trainer Roger Attfield.

Harlan’s Harmony is also undefeated from two starts and boasts a win in the Skidmore Stakes. Channel Maker actually earned his first win in the Vandal Stakes last out while making his second career try.

Red Lodge photo courtesy of Bill Denver/Equi-Photo