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Oct 03, 2008

Woodbine to host pair of Challenge races



Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - A pair of Breeders' Cup Challenge races take center-stage for Saturday's Woodbine card. The $2 million Pattison Canadian International and the $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes will both be contested on Woodbine's turf course.

The 1 1/2-mile Pattison Canadian International will send the winner to the Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita on Saturday, October 25. The winner of the 1 1/4-mile Taylor Stakes for fillies and mares gets a spot in the Filly & Mare Turf on Friday, October 24.

The International has attracted 10 turf runners with the Taylor having nine females entered. The two races will be televised on ESPN.

The 2-1 morning-line favorite for the International is Doctor Dino from Europe. Ridden for the first time by Frankie Dettori, the six-year-old will leave from post three. Dettori won two previous Internationals, Mutafaweq in 2000 and Sulamani in 2004.

Doctor Dino is trained by Richard Gibson for Javier Martinez Salmean of Spain. The globe-trotting thoroughbred won last year's Man o' War after finishing third in the Arlington Million. In his career he has won eight of 27 starts for better than $2.75 million.

"We feel we have him in good shape for his autumn campaign," noted Gibson. "He's a remarkable athlete in that he can put out of the box every day with a big smile on his face. He loves his work."

Northern Dancer Stakes champ Champs Elysees is the 7-2 second choice and will break from post five. Garrett Gomez, who was aboard for the Northern Dancer, returns to ride for trainer Bobby Frankel and Juddmonte Farms.

"He came out of the race good," said Frankel. "He's very good right now. He's doing everything perfectly. Sometimes they don't run well (after a big effort), but I think he's going to run an even better race (than in the Northern Dancer)."

Champs Elysees has earned more than $1 million in 18 career starts with four victories.

Here is the complete field for the Pattison Canadian International in post position order: Mourilyan, John Egan 15-1; Marlang, Richard Dos Ramos 15-1; Doctor Dino, Frankie Dettori 2-1; Quijano, Andrasch Starke 4-1; Champs Elysees, Garrett Gomez 7-2; Marsh Side, Javier Castellano 15-1; Lauro, Eduardo Pedroza 20-1; Seaside Retreat, Patrick Husbands 10-1; Lucarno, Jimmy Fortune 8-1 and Spice Route, James McAleney 20-1.

J'ray, the 5-2 favorite, tops the field for the E.P. Taylor Stakes. The five- year-old mare will start from post two with Joe Bravo coming in from New Jersey to ride. Bravo has won both times with J'ray, the Matchmaker at Monmouth Park and the Canadian Stakes here on September 7.

Todd Pletcher trains for Lawrence Goichman and J'ray has won nine of 23 lifetime starts for $866,889.

Here is the complete Taylor Stakes field in post position order: Sealy Hill, Patrick Husbands 8-1; J'ray, Joe Bravo 5-2; Classy Landlady, Tyler Pizarro 20-1; Folk Opera, Frankie Dettori 4-1; Toque de Queda, Garrett Gomez 7-2; Green Lyons, Jimmy Fortune 15-1; Callwood Dancer, Eurico Rosa da Silva 10-1; Royal Pleasure, Rosemary Homeister 15-1 and Hostess, Javier Castellano 6-1.

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