Friday, September 18, 2009

Rahy's Attorney Defends Woodbine Mile Crown

Rahy's Attorney Defends Woodbine Mile Crown
Rahy's Attorney won the 2008 Woodbine Mile.

Canadian turf champion Rahy's Attorney returns to defend his Woodbine Mile (Can-IT) crown against a strong group of turf specialists in the $1 million event Sept. 20 that includes the sharp mare Ventura and New York invader Bribon.

Ten are entered in the 13th edition of the Woodbine Mile, which, like last year, is a Breeders' Cup Challenge race guaranteeing the winner (upon payment of appropriate starting fees) a berth in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) Nov. 7 at Santa Anita Park.

The Woodbine Mile, which is race 10 with a probable post of 5:42 p.m. EDT, caps a great day of turf stakes racing at the Toronto track. Also on the program is the $750,000 Northern Dancer Stakes, presented by V-Tech (Can-IT), at 1 1/2 miles, which brings out defending champion Champs Elysees and Marchfield, Canada’s Older Male Horse of 2008. The $300,000 Canadian Stakes (Can-IIT), at nine furlongs for fillies and mares, is topped by Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT) victor and Eclipse Award winner Forever Together.

In an evenly matched Woodbine Mile field, Rahy's Attorney is the third choice on the morning line at 9-2, behind Shadwell Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) winner Bribon (5-2) and Ventura (7-2), who ran second to Rahy's Attorney in last year's renewal and has not started since April 9. Bribon, the 124-pound high weight, drew post 5 for trainer Robert Ribaudo, while Ventura, trained by Bobby Frankel, has post 9. The Ian Black-conditioned Rahy's Attorney is just to her inside.

Black, who was not concerned about Rahy's Attorney's wide draw because of the long run down the back side, thinks the stakes record time of 1:32.72, set by Soaring Free in 2004, is in jeopardy.

“I suspect they’ll break the record," he said. "It’s firm. He showed he could handle it firm in the spring. He set a track record himself.”

Among the other leading candidates in the Woodbine Mile are local hopes Jungle Wave (6-1), winner of the Play the King (Can-IIT) in his last start, and always-tough Sterwins (8-1). Ferneley (8-1), impressive winner of the Del Mar Mile Handicap (gr. IIT) last month, ships in from Southern California for trainer Ben Cecil.

Rahy’s Attorney, with Slade Callaghan aboard, can become the first back-to-back winner of the Woodbine Mile.