Racing at Woodbine – Canadian International Looks Wide Open

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Woodbine Racing Features Pattison Canadian International Sunday Oct. 15

Four stakes races showcase Sunday racing at beautiful Woodbine Racetrack with the headliner $800,000 Pattison Canadian International completing the stakes schedule on a chilly day in Toronto Oct. 15.

Long a target for talented horses from Europe, a total of 10 will go to the gate for a 1 ½ mile gallop on the grass in this year’s Canadian International (G1). Three Irish-breds lead the way with Idaho (IRE) the 5-2 favorite on the turf followed by Erupt (7-2) and Chemical Charge (5-1) on the outside. History suggests one of those three will win, or the other two European challengers Flamboyant (FR) and Messi (GER). Since 2000, 13 of the 17 winners of the Canadian International (including each of the last seven) were based overseas.

Erupt won the Canadian International last year after settling a couple lengths behind a very slow pace. He’s not won since while racing three times this year. Now being conditioned by top-turf trainer Graham Motion, Erupt will also be racing on Lasix for the first time while facing an easier field than the one he met at Saratoga in his last start Aug. 26 in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer. Still, he must run better than current form to Erupt to the finish.

Idaho should draw significant wagering support being trained by Ireland’s leading trainer Aidan O’Brien. And while he has some solid races on his record, he missed the money in last year’s Canadian International as the favorite and this year’s Sword Dancer, where he was washed out. He’s not worth the risk at this 5-2 favorite price.

Oscar Nominated (8-1) has kept good company all year and recently won Kentucky Turf Cup at Kentucky Downs for trainer Mike Maker. He beat three running in this year’s featured race. Flamboyant (6-1) couldn’t quite finish or overcome a pair of two of the best turf horses in Southern California in the Del Mar Derby. A sneaky shot in here, and one to consider.

Johnny Bear (12-1) flies the flag for the home team as the only Canadian-bred horse entered in the Canadian International. He won last month’s Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf at Woodbine in a perfect trip while Messi (8-1) finished 3rd and did not have a clear run down the lane. He’s a player that should not be overlooked in this year’s Canadian International.

Chemical Charge (5-1) starts from the far outside and he’s in very good form and can run all day. His win two starts back he was far the best and in a race that is wide open with no dominant favorites, this colt could make a late charge to finish first.

Post time for Race 10, the Pattison Canadian International is scheduled for 6:10 ET on Sunday, Oct. 15.

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