Woodbine’s Grade 1 Pattison International is the feature race of the year in Canada. The 1 ½ miles turf race will grant its winner an automatic trip to Santa Anita for the Breeder’s Cup Turf.
LAY TIME is also entered in the EP Taylor Stakes and that looks like a better spot for her. She doesn’t seem up to the task of tackling this level of competition. Her best races have been in Group 3 company. Jimmy Fortune will ride the Galileo filly for Andrew Balding.
DANDINO just missed beating the vaunted Sea Moon back in May and since then has collected a win in the Group 3 September Stakes at Kempton. The form between those two races was spotty. The son of Dansili has back class that makes him competitive, but it’s anyone’s guess if he can summon it. Jim Crowley will ride for James Fanshawe.
FORTE DE MARMI has a lot going in his favor if you are willing to look closer. Today, he will race third off the shelf. He picks up arguably the best jockey in the world in the form of John Velazquez. He also gets to go today’s trip for the second time. When last seen he was beaten 1 ¼ lengths in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Stakes. He could make a big enough move forward to win this race at a juicy price for trainer Roger Attfield.
SCALO hasn’t been able to reproduce his strong European form yet. He won a pair of Group 1’s across the pound, but in two North American races he has finished third and fourth. Blinkers go on today and that might be the trick to getting a better effort from him. Andrasch Stark is listed to ride for Andreas Wohler.
Grade 1 winner PRINCE WILL I AM had a long time away from the track because of an injury. He was finally able to get back last month to be last of six in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch at Saratoga. He was beaten five lengths that day. It’s easy to forgive that race as he had been away for so long. Ramon Dominguez has finally made the trip to ride and crazier things have happened than this guy winning the Pattison. Michelle Neihei is the trainer.
Undefeated in two tries at Woodbine is WIGMORE HALL. Both of his wins came in the Northern Dancer Stakes. His European form isn’t so great, but he seems like an animal that relishes racing with lasix. Of all the horses in this race he has the least questions to answers. He can handle the surface and distance and has class oozing out of his ears. Jaime Spencer is in to ride for Michael Bell.
RELIABLE MAN hasn’t won in over a year, but has faced top notch competition. He was fourth behind Danedream in the Group 1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and was only 1 ¾ lengths back in that field of ten. If he can work out a clean trip he is going to be one of the horses to beat for world class jockey Olivier Peslier and trainer Alain Dupre-De Royer.
JOSHUA TREE was second to Sarah Lynx in this race one year ago and won the Pattison two years ago. Since his last trip to Woodbine he has won the Group 2 Darley Prix Kergorlay and finished third behind Orfevre in the Group 2 Prix Foy. We know he loves this track and distance and that alone makes him a threat. Frankie Dettori rides for Marco Botti.
Somehow AL KHALI was favored when last seen in the Northern Dancer Stakes. He only lost a neck that day, but it is hard to love him at a short price given that his only win in the past two years came against allowance horses. His 0 for 8 record at the distance tells us a lot about his chances. Garrett Gomez will ride for Bill Mott.
IMPERIAL MONARCH is the race favorite for trainer Aidan O’Brien. The young Galileo colt has three wins from four starts and his only loss saw him race through a horrid trip in the French Derby. The form of his older foes looks as good or better than his, so this might be a time to take a shot against him. Ryan Moore picks up the mount as Joseph O’Brien, Aidan’s son, appears to be getting too heavy to ride much longer.
Shug McGaughey, America’s best turf trainer, brings AIR SUPPORT to this race. The one run closer was last seen taking the Grade 2 Bowling Green Stakes at Belmont Park. Earlier this year he was second in the Grade 1 United Nation Stakes. If they get going quick up front his chances will improve immensely. JJ Castellano is listed to ride.