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Oct 14, 2011

Joshua Tree back to defend Canadian International


Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Saturday's $1.5 million Canadian International at Woodbine Race Course offers a final chance for horses to gain automatic entry into next month's Breeders' Cup Turf. The stakes has attracted an international field of 16 grass runners.

The 1 1/2-mile turf race is 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 are also carded. The winner of each race is eligible for a spot in this year's Breeders' Cup card at Churchill Downs.

Heading the field is defending International winner Joshua Tree. Trained by Marco Botti, the four-year-old colt will be ridden by Adam Kirby from post seven and is 5-1 in the morning-line.

"The horse only came to me late in the spring, after his races in Qatar," noted Botti. "He acts the best on fast ground or with a little bit of a cut in the ground. He's been training well, he looks well, he's in good condition. Hopefully, he'll be spot on for the race."

Joshua Tree, owned by K.K. Al Nabooda and R.A. Albahou, has earned more than $1.5 million in 12 starts with four wins. Six weeks after winning the International the colt finished 10th in the Japan Cup in Tokyo, just 3 1/2- lengths behind the winner Buena Vista. This year he started in four stakes in Qatar before heading back to Europe for two starts.

Here is the complete field in post position order: Sarah Lynx, Christophe Soumillon, 15-1; Arctic Cosmos, William Buck, 6-1; Musketier, John Velazquez, 15-1; Simmard, Patrick Husbands, 15-1; Quest for Peace, Kieren Fallon, 8-1; Mores Wells, Sebastien Maillot, 15-1; Joshua Tree, Adam Kirby, 5-1; Celtic Conviction, Emile Ramsammy, 30-1; Rahystrada, Julien Leparoux, 12-1; Redwood, Michael Hills, 4-1; Laureate Conductor, Luis Contreras, 30-1; Mikhail Glinka, Bernard Fayd'Herbe, 30-1; Treasure Beach, Colm O'Donoghue, 9-2; Kara's Orientation, Joel Rosario, 30-1; Bronze Cannon, Thomas Queally, 20-1 and Miami Deco, Corey Nakatani, 30-1.

George Royal, 1965-66, is the only horse to win consecutive Internationals and Majesty's Prince, 1982 and 1984, is the only other thoroughbred to win twice.

The E.P. Taylor Stakes has an 11-horse field and the Nearctic will have 13 sprinters leave the gate.

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