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Oct 17, 2014

Nine ready to go in Woodbine's Canadian International


Toronto, ON ( - Nine turf runners are expected to be entered in Sunday's $1 million Canadian International to be run over Woodbine's E. P. Taylor turf course at 1 1/2 miles.

Set to make his initial Woodbine start is Suntracer, winner of last month's Kentucky Turf Cup at Kentucky Downs. The 6-year-old chestnut horse is trained by Chris Block for his Team Block group.

"To be perfectly honest, I didn't know what to expect in the Turf Cup," said Block about his horse's nose victory over Pyrite Mountain. "I had never been more confident in his chances heading into the St. Leger. To this day, I still don't know why he ran like that. He's better than that. So, when he was cut loose and came running to win the Turf Cup, racing wide, too, it was very impressive."

Suntracer had finished ninth in the American St. Leger in August at Arlington Park as a 7-2 contender. He finished 20 lengths behind The Pizza Man, another International candidate. The 6-year-old was third to The Pizza Man in July's Stars and Stripes Stakes at Arlington.

Suntracer is a veteran of 35 starts with seven wins and seconds for $795,006.

Former United Nations Handicap winner Big Blue Kitten is also expected make his debut at Woodbine in Sunday's International. The 6-year-old, owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, and trained by Chad Brown, will be ridden by Joel Rosario for the first time.

"If the turf is firm, we're planning on bringing him up for the International," Brown noted.

Big Blue Kitten posted wins last year in the United Nations and Sword Dancer sandwiched between runner-up finishes in the Monmouth Stakes and Turf Classic at Belmont Park. He finished eighth in last year's Breeders' Cup Turf.

"He ran terrific in both races. It seems like the longer the better for him," Brown said about the two wins. "I thought he ran well (in the Turf) but it was probably one race too many last year. He'd had three pretty hard Grade 1's in a row."

This season, Big Blue Kitten won the Lure at Saratoga followed by a second in Monmouth's Cliff Hanger and fourth in the Turf Classic. He has won half of his 22 career starts for $1,288,530.

Here are the nine probable International starters with jockeys: Big Blue Kitten, Joel Rosario; Brown Panther, Richard Kingscote; Dynamic Sky, Patrick Husbands; Hillstar, Ryan Moore; O'Prado Ole, TBA; Reporting Star, Justin Stein; Suntracer, TBA; The Pizza Man, Florent Geroux and War Dancer, Luis Contreras.

The International will be aired live on TSN as part of a special broadcast from 3-4 p.m. ET.

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