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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Woodbine Weekend

That's Reliable Man (photo courtesy Woodbine Media), my selection for the $1.5 million Pattison Canadian International on Sunday, a Breeders' Cup Challenge Race for the BC Turf. The Woodbine media office posted some expert selections (including yours truly) on their web page.

I'll be heading up north on Sunday morning to spend the day with our friends to the north and watch the three big BC "Win and You're In" qualifying Challenge races, all on the turf.  I previewed the Grade 1 $500,000 Nearctic (BC Turf Sprint) and the Grade 1 $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes (BC F&M Turf) in my weekly column at The Buffalo News Sports, Ink blog. Interestingly, the three challenge races will not be run consecutively on the card, but spread out as races 5, 8 and 10. As a horizontal player, I would prefer them to be sequenced together along with the only non-graded stake (the $150K Durham Cup) in a late Pick-4.

Last year, a mare Sarah Lynx stole the show upsetting a highly regarded International field on yielding turf, this year eight European invaders will tackle the famous E.P. Taylor turf course and look to take down Canada's richest race. I love the Woodbine turf course which unlike most North American venues is outside of the two inside tracks (standardbred and polytrack) and closest to the stands. The stretch drive is forever and has set up some wild across the turf finishes over the years. Dan Loiselle will once again have the call in this year's 75th anniversary of the International.

I will have a preview of the race up tomorrow morning on the Sports, Ink and will make my way up the Queen Elizabeth Way to enjoy a day of racing in the Toronto suburbs. Val, of  the Foolish Pleasure and Fillies First blogs, has a preview of the International up at ThoroFan's Handicappers' Corner and is worth the visit to check out what the Professor of Pedigree thinks about the big race.

We'll have some pictures up early next week and will post recaps on the BC Challenge races at the Sports, Ink on Sunday evening.



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