Woodbine racetrack rolled out the green carpet this weekend, putting
up $2.5 million for five Canadian graded stakes on grass, led by
Sunday’s $1-million Woodbine Mile Stakes, a Grade 1 Win and You’re In
event that guaranteed winner Court Vision a starting berth in the
Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill Downs Nov. 6.
Two of the other races, the $200,000 Natalma Stakes for 2-year-old
fillies and $250,000 Summer Stakes presented by TVG for 2-year-old
males, also were part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series . The
winners, New Normal in the Natalma and Pluck in the Summer Stakes,
earned spots in the starting gate for their corresponding Breeders’ Cup
races, the Juvenile Fillies Turf and Juvenile Turf.
The Grade 1 Northern Dancer, a $750,000 stakes at a mile and a half,
was won by European invader Redwood, whose previous best was a Grade 3
victory at Goodwood in July. The victory doesn’t guarantee him a spot
in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, but he was an impressive winner, and if
trainer Barry Hills and the Juddmonte Farms braintrust opt to bring him
back for the Breeders’ Cup, his Northern Dancer performance should
leave a very good impression on the field selection panel. Right now,
though, it looks more likely the 4-year-old by High Chaparral will
return to Woodbine next month for the Canadian International.