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Oct 12, 2012

Canadian International draws field of 11


Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Wigmore Hall, a two-time winner of the Northern Dancer Stakes, tops a field of 11 for Sunday's $1.5 million Canadian International at Woodbine Race Course. The 1 1/2-mile turf race is one of three Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" races on the day.

Along with the International are 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 on the turf. The winner of each race gains automatic entry into a corresponding Breeders' Cup event in November's World Championships at Santa Anita.

Trained by Michael Bell, Wigmore Hall goes for this third win in as many starts over Woodbine's E.P. Taylor Turf Course. The 5-year-old gelding is 6-1 in the morning line and again will have Jamie Spencer riding from post six.

"He's one of my favorites," said Spencer. "He tries really hard."

Wigmore Hall successfully defended his title in the $500,000 Northern Dancer on Sept. 16 at the International distance and was seventh in the Arlington Million in August.

"I think the environment there (Woodbine) really suits him," said Bell. "He's also been given two really blinding rides by Jamie Spencer. We'll see how he gets on when upped in class. He looks in very good form. He loves to travel and he's in very good shape."

Owned by Mark B. Hawtin. Wigmore Hall has won seven of 27 career starts for more than $1.9 million.

The 3-1 morning line favorite, however, is 3-year-old colt Imperial Monarch. Trained by Aidan O'Brien, Imperial Monarch will be ridden by Ryan Moore from post 10. O'Brien has twice won the International with Ballingarry in 2002 and Joshua Tree in 2010.

Based in Europe, Imperial Monarch has just four career starts, winning three for $484,780.

Here is the field for the International from the rail out: Lay Time, Jimmy Fortune, 20-1; Dandino, Jim Crowley, 8-1; Forte Dei Marmi, John Velazquez, 15-1; Scalo, Andrasch Starke, 12-1; Prince Will I Am, Ramon Dominguez, 20-1; Wigmore Hall, Jamie Spencer, 6-1; Reliable Man, Olivier Peslier, 4-1; Joshua Tree, Frankie Dettori, 5-1; Al Khali, Garrett Gomez, 10-1; Imperial Monarch, Ryan Moore, 3-1 and Air Support, Javier Castellano, 10-1.

The E.P. Taylor has a field of 13 grass running females, including last year's third-place finisher Dream Peace. The 4-year-old filly is the 7-2 second pick behind 3-1 morning line favorite Siyouma.

For the Nearctic, 11 sprinters have been entered. Grand Adventure will be making his fourth straight start in the race, highlighted by a second-place result two years ago. Javier Castellano will ride the 6-year-old from post five.

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