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TORONTO, ON – Canada’s reigning Horse of the Year Starship Jubilee is set to face a tough field of boys in Saturday’s $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1).
The winner of the Woodbine Mile will receive an automatic position in the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile Presented by the Permanently Disabled Jockey Fund (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 Woodbine Mile is a one-turn outer turf event open to horses ages 3 and up. The 2020 edition attracted a field of eight.
Let’s look at the full field:
#1 March to the Arch – The first of three entries from trainer Mark Casse, he was a strong winner in the King Edward Stakes (G2) over this course and distance last time out. He has a 4-3-1-0 record at Woodbine, which includes winning the 2018 Toronto Cup Stakes, his first of 4 stakes scores to date.
#2 Armistice Day – After winning the 2019 Toronto Cup Stakes, he took several shots against higher-level stakes competition, with his best effort a second-place finish in the local Ontario Derby (G3). After five months away, he returned to win a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming event over the local synthetic surface.
#3 Shirl’s Speight – Though late to the races, the field’s lone 3-year-old posted back-to-back impressive local scores in July, first in a 7-furlong turf sprint against maidens and then in the Marine Stakes (G3), a 1 1/16-mile synthetic route. His connections think quite highly of him: he was meant to enter the Kentucky Derby (G1) before developing a cough.
#4 Starship Jubilee – The only mare brave enough to take on the boys here won 4 straight stakes to start 2020 before finishing fourth in the Diana Stakes (G1) last time out. Her impressive resume includes 5 graded stakes scores locally, including last fall’s Canadian Stakes (G2) and the E. P. Taylor Stakes (G1).
#5 Olympic Runner – He’ll try to improve upon his recent string of seconditis, which includes local runner-up efforts in the Bold Venture Stakes (G2) and the Vigil Stakes (G3) behind the legendary synthetic sprinter Pink Lloyd. Daisuke Fukumoto, last weekend’s $1 million Queen’s Plate-winning jockey, will be aboard.
#6 Admiralty Pier – He nearly made every pole a winning one in both the King Edward and the 7-furlong Connaught Cup (G2), each time setting the pace before getting caught late. He won 2 straight last winter, including the Tampa Bay Stakes (G3) over March to the Arch, and will be making the third start of his form cycle.
#7 Value Proposition – He broke his maiden on debut over the Belmont Park inner turf last year and won his 2020 debut on its outer course back in June. His best stakes finish was a third in the Poker (G3) last time out, but ultra-talented American trainer Chad Brown shows confidence by sending him to hopefully give his barn its first victory in this race.
#8 War of Will – The 2019 Preakness Stakes (G1) champion earned his first turf score last time out in the Maker’s Mark Mile Stakes (G1) and was second over this course in the 2018 Summer Stakes (G1). The meet’s leading money rider Rafael Hernandez, aboard March to the Arch in his King Edward victory, opted to ride this Casse trainee over his stablemate.
The Woodbine Mile serves as race 9 and is one of 4 stakes on the Saturday card at Woodbine, including the Ontario Racing, the Singspiel (G3), and the Woodbine Cares. The North American-based Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” events continue Sunday at Woodbine with the Natalma (Juvenile Fillies Turf) and the Summer (Juvenile Turf).
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is presented by America’s Best Racing.
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