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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Space Invasion: International Day at Woodbine

Joshua Tree
That's Joshua Tree (IRE) winner of the 2012 Pattison Canadian International, with jockey Frankie Dettori aboard in the Woodbine winner's circle after winning the International for the second time in the last three years.

It was an extremely balmy 70 degrees at Woodbine on Sunday afternoon for the 75th running of the Canadian International, sponsored by advertising giant Pattison, and the winds were whipping pretty well all day long to boot. The day featured a number of talented jockeys from around the world including Olivier Peslier, Dettori and contingents from the west coast (Garret Gomez and Mike Smith) and from New York (Ramon Dominguez and Johnny V) going for some big prize money on the E.P. Taylor turf course at Toronto's track.

Three Breeders' Cup (BC) "Win and You're In" races on the weeds were won by Next Question (Nearctic - BC Turf Sprint), Siyouma (E.P. Taylor - BC F&M Turf) and the aforementioned Joshua Tree (International - BC Turf). However, it looks like only Next Question will play the free pass and head to Santa Anita in early November. My recap for The Buffalo News from Sunday up at Woodbine can be found here.

It was another rough day at the windows although when I'm working I don't usually spend as much time playing the ponies, especially on the polytrack of Woodbine, which has gotten the best of me over the years. Our pooled Pick-4's with Woodbine media maven Keith McCalmont and Daily-Gazette racing writer Mike MacAdam went up in flames. A) Because we inadvertently left off Next Question, Keith's pick to win the race in the early P4 and B) Because a horse named Sorry About That won the nightcap clearly destroying any thoughts of P4 glory.

It was good to see Jessica Chapel, Ernie Munick, Garnet Barnsdale and Nick Costa, all passionate horse folks up at Woodbine to take in Canada's richest race on the calendar. Kudos again to the Woodbine press corps, who find new ways to make me feel comfortable and make me want to get back to the Canadian track as soon as I can.

Here are some pictures from the Canadian International Day.

Mike MacAdam and I were greeted
by a seranade upon our arrival from the U.S.A.
Matt Carothers was in the house
(I got the stink eye when taking this photo)
Garret Gomez in the Great White North
to ride Hammers Terror in the Nearctic
Johnny V about to board Nearctic third place finisher
Night Carnation for George Strawbridge
Ramon Dominguez piloted Nearctic
winner Next Question
Next Question holds off
Night Carnation in the Nearctic
Chad Brown gives last minute instructions to
Ramon who rode Dream Peace in the E.P. Taylor.
Videographer Munick looks on.
Mike Smith made a rare Woodbine
appearance to ride Vamo a Galupiar 
Arc winning rider Olivier Peslier flew in
to ride second place finisher Pagera in the E.P. Taylor
E.P. Taylor winner Siyouma
3-Siyouma takes the E.P. Taylor over 2-Pagera
and 5-Dream Peace
Ramon to Chad: I kept turning the wheel this way, but......
International second place finisher Dandino
heads to the track
Show horse Forte Dei Marmi in
the walking ring
Air Support and Javier Castellano
head down the path to the main track
The lush E.P. Taylor turf course
(or a mistaken picture..what do you think?)

Joshua Tree heads to the winner's circle
Dettori's Flying Dismount
Hug it Out: Dettori and assistant trainer Lucie Botti
The Champ: Joshua Tree



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