Weekend Lineup Presented By Breeders' Cup: Woodbine's Super Saturday - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Weekend Lineup Presented By Breeders’ Cup: Woodbine’s Super Saturday

Modern Games won the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf

A trio of Breeders' Cup “Win and You're In” berths are on the line this weekend at Woodbine; the three Grade 1 contests highlight the Canadian track's Super Saturday card.

Last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner Modern Games returns to North America and faces older rivals in the Woodbine Mile, including local defending Mile winner, a two-time Canadian Horse of the Year, three other Irish-breds and two Brazilian-breds. Meanwhile, juveniles on two-race win streaks headline the Summer and Natalma Stakes as they seek to continue their local dominance.

In New York, the 3-year-old turf stars are back in action in the Jockey Club Oaks and Jockey Club Derby at the Belmont at Aqueduct meet.

Further south, the Road to the Kentucky Derby and Road to the Kentucky Oaks kick off at Churchill Downs with the Iroquois and Pocahontas Stakes, respectively. The Iroquois features a matchup between unbeaten Damon's Mound and up-and-comer Echo Again.

Also worth noting is the $500,000 Nownownow Stakes for juveniles at Monmouth Park on Saturday, which drew a contentious field of 10 to go a mile on the turf.

Here's a quick look at some of this weekend's graded stakes:


4:22 p.m. – Grade 1 Pattison Summer Stakes at Woodbine

Seven first-year stars, including Kevin Attard trainee Philip My Dear, take their talents to the E.P. Taylor Turf Course in Saturday's Grade 1 $500,000 Pattison Summer Stakes, part of a stakes-stacked Saturday at Woodbine.

Attard, who won the 2001 edition with El Soprano, will look to unbeaten Philip My Dear to add another Summer title to his resume. After two wins in as many starts, the dark bay has lived up to his price tag, putting together a pair of pleasing performances, including an out-of-the-clouds rally to take the 6 ½-furlong Soaring Free Stakes on August 20. 

Mysterious Night (IRE), a Godolphin homebred trained by Charlie Appleby, will look for his third win in his sixth start. Sporting a record of 2-1-2 from five starts, the son of Dark Angel (IRE)-Mistrusting (IRE) will have William Buick in the irons once again.  

Summer Stakes Entries

4:55 p.m. – Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs

The Road to the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve will begin Saturday at Churchill Downs where eight 2-year-olds, including impressive maiden winner Echo Again, were entered to face undefeated Grade 2 winner Damon's Mound in the 41st running of the $300,000 Iroquois (Grade 3).

Cliff and Michele Love's homebred Damon's Mound, the headliner in the Iroquois, is trainer Michelle Lovell's first starter in a Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifying race. The Florida-bred son of Girvin dominated in his debut at Churchill Downs on July 2 where he demolished a field of 10 rivals by 12 ½ lengths. In his second start, Lovell shipped the homebred to Saratoga where he defeated a compact field of four in the Saratoga Special (G2) by 3 ¼ lengths.

The top rival to Damon's Mound in the Iroquois is Winchell Thoroughbreds highly-touted Saratoga maiden special weight winner Echo Again. The son of former Horse of the Year Gun Runner cruised to a 6 ¾-length debut score on Aug. 20 under jockey Ricardo Santana Jr., who was filling in for regular pilot Joel Rosario.

Iroquois Entries

5:35 p.m. – Grade 1 Ricoh Woodbine Mile at Woodbine

From a Breeders' Cup victor, to a local defending Mile winner, to a two-time Canadian Horse of the Year, to four Irish-breds and two Brazilian-breds, this year's race serves up several intriguing storylines.

Godolphin's Modern Games (IRE) will be making his first appearance back in North America since his memorable Breeders' Cup triumph. Godolphin and trainer Charlie Appleby will be looking to duplicate their Woodbine success from 2021, as they hit the Pattison Canadian International, Summer and Natalma trifecta.

Owned by Bonne Chance Farm and Stud R D I, Ivar (BRZ), a two-time Breeders' Cup Mile participant, brings a record of 6-0-2 from 12 starts into the Mile. Trained by Paulo Lobo, the 6-year-old son of Agnes Gold (JPN)-May Be Now arrives at Saturday's race off a win in the $100,000 Jonathan Schuster Memorial Stakes at Horseshoe Indianapolis, posting a one-length score in the 1 1/16-mile trek, in a track-record time of 1:39.49.

Well-travelled Wakanaka (IRE), owned by Team Valor and Gary Barber, took to the E.P. Taylor Turf Course on July 24 and delivered her connections, including trainer Bill Mott, an impressive win in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly Stakes. The 4-year-old daughter of Power (GB)-Storyline (IRE) sports a record of 7-4-1 from 13 career starts.

Mighty Heart, two-time (2020-21) Canadian Horse of the Year, will look to get back to his winning ways in the Mile. Trained by Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee Josie Carroll, the 5-year-old son of Dramedy-Emma's Bullseye has contested nine consecutive graded events, winning the Grade 2 Autumn last November at Woodbine. The one-eyed bay, bred and owned by Larry Cordes, is 6-2-5 from 20 starts.

A five-time winner, along with two thirds, from 12 starts, Shirl's Speight rhymed off three straight trips to the winner's circle from January 15 to April 15, capped off by a gutsy nose nod in the Grade 1 Makers Mark Mile. Under the tutelage of dual Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield, the 5-year-old son of Speightstown-Perfect Shirl won his debut, a 7-furlong race over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, on July 4, 2020, by eight lengths.

Local hero Town Cruise, a 7-year-old son of Town Prize-Candy Cruise, wired last year's field in the Woodbine Mile, delivering Brandon Greer, who trains, owns, and co-bred with his father Terry, the biggest win of his career. The chestnut gelding has fashioned a record of 6-2-1 from 17 career starts. Daisuke Fukumoto, aboard for last year's 8-1 victory, gets the call on Saturday.

Woodbine Mile Entries

5:45 p.m. – Grade 3 Jockey Club Invitational at Aqueduct

Classic Causeway and Nations Pride, who have each won one leg of the Caesars Turf Triple, will square off once more in Saturday's Grade 3, $1 million Caesars Jockey Club Derby, to close out the lucrative series in the 12-furlong inner turf test for sophomores at the Belmont at the Big A fall meet.

Kentucky West Racing and Clarke M. Cooper's Kentucky homebred Classic Causeway struck first with a gate-to-wire 26-1 upset score under Julien Leparoux in the 10-furlong Grade 1 Caesars Belmont Derby on July 9 to win his turf debut by three-quarter lengths over Nations Pride.

Godolphin's Irish homebred Nations Pride, by Teofilo, turned the tables on his familiar foe last out in the 1 3/16-mile Grade 1 Caesars Saratoga Derby Invitational on August 6, stalking the early foot of Classic Causeway before pouncing to a 1 3/4-length score with William Buick in the irons. Classic Causeway settled for third, a head back of Annapolis, who exited that event to capture the Grade 3 Saranac by a geared down 5 1/2-lengths on September 3 at the Spa.

Jockey Club Entries

6:10 p.m. – Grade 1 Natalma Stakes at Woodbine

Cairo Consort, a 2-year-old daughter of Cairo Prince-Absolutely Awesome, will face seven rookie rivals in the Grade 1 $500,000 Johnnie Walker Natalma Stakes, Saturday at Woodbine. She brings a two-race win streak into the race.

On July 23, the grey, bred in Kentucky by Frankfort Park Farm, broke her maiden in what was her third start, maintaining a 1 ½-length lead at the stretch call for the milestone win at 6 ½ panels on the E.P. Taylor. One race later, on August 20, she was back in the winner's circle, this time in the Catch a Glimpse Stakes. Under Antonio Gallardo, who will be in the irons on Saturday, Cairo Consort rallied to hold a half-length advantage at the stretch call, going on to notch a 2 ½-length triumph in another 6 ½-furlong sprint over the E.P. Taylor.

Natalma Entries

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