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Oct 22, 2010

Joshua Tree sprouts Canadian International victory


Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Lightly raced Joshua Tree held off two late runners to win Saturday's $2 million Canadian International at Woodbine Race Course.

The 1 1/2-mile turf race was one of three Breeders' Cup Challenge events on the program. The $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/4-miles on the grass, and the six-furlong $500,000 Nearctic Stakes for older turf horses were also on the card.

The winner of each race is eligible for a spot in this year's Breeders' Cup card at Churchill Downs next month.

Setting the pace in the International was Fifty Proof who started from the outside post in the nine horse field. Racing a couple lengths back were Simmard and Marsh Side.

Joshua Tree, the only three-year-old in the race, delayed the start when he needed to have a shoe replaced. Ridden by Colm O'Donoghue, the colt was running in fourth during the early going and fifth up the backstretch.

Fifty Proof, with local jockey Justin Stein, still had the lead around the final turn with Marsh Side second and Joshua Tree advancing into third. Among the leaders at the top of the stretch, Joshua Tree moved into first inside the furlong pole and held off Mores Wells and 2-1 favorite Redwood.

Trained by Aidan O'Brien, Joshua Tree posted a head victory over Mores Wells with Redwood a nose back in third. Completing the order of finish was Al Khali, Fifty Proof, Chinchon, Simmard, Marsh Side and Memorial Maniac.

The time for the International was 2:32.72 on a firm turf course.

Joshua Tree returned $11.20, $6.90 and $4.30. Mores Wells paid $15.10 and $7.60, and Redwood paid $2.50 to show.

The colt was making just his sixth career start and his first outside of England and Ireland. He has won three of six starts for $1.4 million, including $1.2 from Saturday's win.

Joshua Tree is owned by Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Al Atty Khalifa Bin Hamad.

Secretariat closed his historic career by winning the 1973 International.

British-bred filly Reggane overcame a stretch duel to win the $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes. The four-year-old defeated Miss Keller by a length and covered the 1 1/4-miles in 2:03.38 on the grass.

Reggane paid $22.80, $8.60 and $5.40. Miss Keller returned $4.60 and $3.10, and Shalanaya paid $3.50 for show.

Ridden by Christophe Soumillon, Reggane caught Miss Keller in midstretch and the two dueled the rest of the way. Finishing third was Shalanaya followed by 5-2 favorite Contredanse, Pachattack, Akarlina, Gallic Star, 2009 champ Lahaleeb, Silver Grey and Mekong Melody.

Owned by Haras de La Perelle and trained by Alain De Royer-Dupre, Reggane picks up her third career win in 12 starts. Saturday's $600,000 puts her lifetime earnings at $851,558. She is not nominated to the Breeders' Cup.

In the $500,000 Nearctic Stakes, 23-1 longshot Serious Attitude rallied down the stretch to win the six-furlong turf sprint. The only filly in the 12 horse field, Serious Attitude receives an automatic bid for next month's Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.

Finishing 2 1/2-lengths back in second was Grand Adventure followed by Fatal Bullet, 2009 winner Field Commission, 2-1 favorite Bridgetown, Sneaking Uponyou, Signature Red, Bogue Chitto, Towzee, Amico Fritz, Woodbourne and Balthazaar's Gift.

The filly was timed in 1:09.37 over the firm course.

The Irish-bred Serious Attitude is based in Europe and is trained by co-owner Rae Guest. The four-year-old filly, ridden by Garrett Gomez, earned $300,000 with the victory and recorded her fifth win in 12 career starts. She has lifetime winnings of $659,037.

Serious Attitude paid $48.20, $20.30 and $10.50. Grand Adventure returned $6.20 and $4.30, and Fatal Bullet paid $4.60 to show.

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