Woodbine’s Canadian International Day living up to name with shippers galore

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Jen Caldwell

October 16th, 2015

A field of 11 will line up on Sunday at Woodbine in the C$1 million Canadian International (Can-G1) going 1 1/2 miles on the turf, and there’s no true standout in the competitive field.

Second Step, Cannock Chase and Sheikhzayedroad all ship in from overseas for the race, and the first two are the shortest prices on the morning-line at 3-1 and 7-2, respectively.

Second Step is a Group 1 winner in Germany but is exiting a well-beaten fourth in the Irish St. Leger (Ire-G1) on September 13. Cannock Chase, who will be getting first-time Lasix, just earned his first win of the season when taking the Godolphin S. at Newmarket on September 25.

Sheikhzayedroad is no stranger to Woodbine, having captured last year’s Northern Dancer S. (Can-G1) for trainer David Simcock, and is listed at 6-1 on the morning-line after finishing off-the-board in all but two of his seven 2015 starts.

Jockeys Andrea Atzeni, Ryan Moore and Martin Lane follow Second Step, Cannock Chase and Sheikhzayedroad, respectively, from across the pond.

Interpol, Habibi and Triple Threat finished in that order in the September 13 Northern Dancer over course and distance. Interpol had a half-length to spare on Habibi, while Triple Threat was another 3 1/4 lengths back in third.

Interpol currently boasts a 4-2-0 mark from nine starts on Woodbine’s turf and is 2-1-0 from three starts at the 12-furlong distance. The English Channel four-year-old broke his maiden last September and has gone 4-0-0 from six races in 2015 thus far. Emma-Jayne Wilson has the call aboard the Sid Attard trainee.

Habibi surprised when second in the Northern Dancer at 17-1 and will attempt to put together another startling performance with Robby Albarado in the saddle for the first time.

Triple Threat shipped to join trainer Bill Mott’s shedrow after being campaigned overseas by Andre Fabre last year, and captured his first stateside start, the Monmouth Cup (G2), by a nose on June 7. The five-year-old was no factor when 11th in the Arlington Million (G1) on August 15, but rebounded to be third in the Northern Dancer last out under Joel Rosario, who retains the mount.

Other contenders in the Canadian International include Danish Dynaformer, a 7 3/4-length winner of the Breeders’ S. who faded to sixth in the Northern Dancer last out, and Up With the Birds, the 2013 Canadian Horse of the Year who was fourth in both the Commonwealth Cup (G2) and Arlington Million his last pair.

One race before the Canadian International, a field of 12 fillies and mares will go in the C$500,000 E. P. Taylor S. (Can-G1) at 10 grassy furlongs.

Half of the field has shipped in from overseas for the race, though one of those, 3-1 morning-line favorite Curvy, was already in the United States after running fifth in the Flower Bowl S. (G1). The David Wachman trainee faces the likes of Canadian champion and last-out Canadian S. (G2) heroine Strut the Course as well as Glens Falls S. (G3) victress White Rose in the race.

Earlier on the card, 11 have been entered for the C$300,000 Nearctic S. (Can-G2) at six furlongs on the turf while 10 will go in the C$150,000 Ontario Fashion S. (Can-G3).

Sheikhzayedroad photo courtesy of WEG/Michael Burns Photography