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Summer Preview: American Monarch Crosses the Border for Major Test
American Monarch (3) breaking his maiden over Secret Potion (1) (Credit: NYRA / Chris Rahayel)

Summer Preview: American Monarch Crosses the Border for Major Test

TORONTO, ON – After an impressive debut victory at Saratoga, Mike Rutherford homebred American Monarch crosses the border into Canada for a major test in Sunday’s $250,000 Summer Stakes (G1) at Woodbine.

The winner of the Summer will receive an automatic position in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) this fall at Keeneland. Pre-entry and entry fees will be paid and a nominator award of $10,000 will be given to the nominating person. Also, all Breeders’ Cup starters based outside of the state of Kentucky will receive a travel allowance of $10,000 if based in North America and $40,000 if based Internationally.

The Summer is a one-turn turf mile open to juvenile horses. The 2020 edition attracted a field of 7.

Let’s look at the full field:

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#1 Download – After failing to hit the board in his first 2 career starts while running on synthetic, he successfully transitioned to turf to break his maiden last time out in a local 7-furlong dash. The Mike DePaulo trainee picks up new jockey Daisuke Fukumoto, who piloted last weekend’s winner of the $1 million Queen’s Plate.

#2 Secret Potion – Though still a maiden, he was just a 1/2-length behind American Monarch on debut after nearly wiring the 1 1/16-mile turf route. Trainer Chad Brown wins at 35% with second-start maidens, won this race in 2018, and convinced Rafael Hernandez (the meet’s leading money rider) to hop aboard; their 2 prior shared mounts this year each finished second.

#3 Ready to Repeat – One of just two entries with multiple victories on his resume, this horse lived up to his name when he won the Victoria Stakes immediately after breaking his maiden. He was most recently third in the Soaring Free Stakes while stalking, rather than leading early, and will try to turn the tables on the rival to his immediate outside.

#4 Gretzky the Great – The field’s other multi-race winner came out on top in the Soaring Free after stalking the early pace and getting the jump on Ready to Repeat, avenging having lost to that rival on debut. That effort earned him a career-best 79 Beyer Speed Figure, highest in the field, and trainer Mark Casse (who saddles two here) has won this race 3 times.

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#5 American Monarch – He rallied strongly in the stretch to best Secret Potion in their collective debut while also besting a next-out Saratoga stakes winner. Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott has won this race twice in the past and attracted the services of Justin Stein, the meet’s leading wins rider.

#6 Heat of the Night – He broke his maiden on debut very recently, taking a Gulfstream Park turf mile on September 3, and appeared to be fine in his lone workout since then. Trainer Tim Hamm hits at a 17% rate with horses wheeling back within 16 days of their prior start, a figure that improves to 21% with last-out winners.

#7 Dolder Grand – The second Casse runner is still a maiden, having finished third on debut behind Download in late August, but the high-priced auction purchase is a half-brother to four stakes-placed siblings and will have Patrick Husbands (winner of this race in 2014) aboard for the second time.

The Summer serves as race 7 and is one of 2 stakes on the Sunday card at Woodbine, including the Natalma (G1), a “Win and You’re In” for the Juvenile Fillies Turf. The American-based Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” events continue Saturday with 5 events at Santa Anita Park and 1 at Belmont Park.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is presented by America’s Best Racing.

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