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Sep 16, 2011

Court Vision ready to defend Woodbine Mile


Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Spendthrift Farm's Court Vision returns to defend his title in Sunday's $1 million Woodbine Mile at Woodbine Race Course. The one-mile turf event has drawn a field of 12 on the E.P. Taylor turf course.

The Woodbine Mile is part of the Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" series with the race winner gaining automatic entry into this year's Breeders' Cup Mile. Also on the program is the $500,000 Northern Dancer at 1 1/2-miles on the turf.

Trained by Dale Romans, Court Vision will start from the far outside post with Ramon Dominguez back to ride the six-year-old. The veteran runner, 10-1 in the morning-line, was purchased last month by Spendthrift Farm where he will eventually stand stud.

"Court Vision is a very exciting stallion prospect and we're thrilled to be able to stand him," said Ned Toffey, Spendthrift Farm general manager, "He's a very good looking horse with a great deal of ability, and he's also very sound and very versatile, proven on dirt and turf. His pedigree is just tremendous, and we felt that he's really a pretty complete package. He will race through the end of the year and then retire."

Court Vision has not won since claiming the 2010 Woodbine Mile, a stretch of five races. Most recently he was fourth in the Colonial Turf Cup to Rahystrada. In 29 career starts, he has eight wins for more than $2.6 million.

Trainer Bill Mott goes after a second Woodbine Mile with the dangerous Courageous Cat. The five-year-old has been installed as the 3-1 favorite and will break from post four with Patrick Valenzuela in the saddle.

Mott won the inaugural Mile in 1997 with Geri and Valenzuela captured the 2006 edition aboard Becrux.

Owned and bred by Pam and Martin Wygod, Courageous Cat has posted wins in his only two starts this year. At Belmont Park in June he won the Poker Stakes as the 4-5 favorite and three weeks later took the Shoemaker Mile as the even- money pick at Hollywood Park.

"They were both good races. The Poker was very good and he came back on short rest and ran very well in the Shoemaker," Mott noted.

Courageous Cat, second in the 2009 Breeders' Cup Mile to Goldikova, has earned $961,300 with six wins in 13 career starts.

Here is the complete field for the Mile in post position order: Hollinger, Tyler Pizarro, 30-1; Forte Dei Marmi, John Velazquez, 15-1; Woodburne, Emma- Jayne Wilson, 30-1; Courageous Cat, Patrick Valenzuela, 3-1; Right One, Garrett Gomez, 8-1; Grand Adventure, Patrick Husbands, 8-1; Riding the River, Richard Dos Ramos, 20-1; Turallure, Julien Leparoux, 5-1; Side Glance, Jimmy Fortune, 4-1; Kara's Orientation, Emile Ramsammy, 15-1; Dance and Dance, Jamie Spencer, 6-1 and Court Vision, Robby Albarado, 10-1.

The Woodbine Mile post-time is scheduled for 5:42 p.m. (et).

Topping the eight-horse field for the Northern Dancer is Bourbon Bay. Trained by Neil Drysdale, the five-year-old gelding will be ridden by Joe Talamo from post two.

Bourbon Bay finished second in last month's Del Mar Handicap as the 7-10 favorite. Owned by Jill and David Heerensperger, the gelding won the Cougar II Handicap on Del Mar's main track, setting a stakes and track record, in July to gain entry into the Breeders' Cup Marathon.

"I don't know that this horse would run in the Marathon," Drysdale said at the time, "he's more of a turf horse. No decision on that, it's a long way off."

Bourbon Bay has won seven of 21 career starts for $725,086.

From the rail out here is the full field for the Northern Dancer: Hotep, Emma- Jayne Wilson; Bourbon Bay, Joe Talamo; Hailstone, Julien Leparoux; Wigmore Hall, Jamie Spencer; Simmard, Patrick Husbands; Seaside Retreat, Luis Contreras; Laureate Conductor, Justin Stein and Al Khali, Alan Garcia.

The Northern Dancer will go off approximately 50 minutes before the Mile.

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