Sir Dudley Digges, Amis Gizmo to do battle again in Breeders' Stakes
August 18, 2016 09:40am

A field of 11 Canadian-bred three-year-olds will do battle Sunday at Woodbine in the $500,000 Breeders’ Stakes, the third jewel of Canada’s Triple Crown of Racing.

The 126th edition of the Breeders’, at one and one-half miles over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, will be televised live on TSN (1,3,4)  in HD from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., with a post time of 5:13 p.m. ET.   The winner earns $300,000.   All horses carry 126 pounds.
There is no Triple Crown on the line this year, though.  Sir Dudley Digges won the first leg, the $1-million Queen’s Plate on July 3, but finished off the board in the second leg, the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie on July 26, which was won by Queen’s Plate runner-up Amis Gizmo.
It marks the 13th straight year without a Triple Crown champion in Canada.  Wando was the last to achieve the impressive three-race sweep in 2003.
Both Sir Dudley Digges and Amis Gizmo will return in the Breeders’ to try and settle the score.
Sir Dudley Digges, trained by Mike Maker for owners Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, owns a record of 2-3-3 from 10 career starts. The dark bay son of Gio Ponti, bred in Ontario by Bernard and Karen McCormack, graduated on the grass at Keeneland in April before shipping north to Woodbine to finish third in the Plate Trial.
Sent to post at odds of 15-1 in the Queen’s Plate, Sir Dudley Digges stalked from sixth position under Julien Leparoux and moved into striking range at the top of the lane, advancing with conviction down the lane to overtake Amis Gizmo in the final strides.
“He broke good; he put me in a good spot,” said Leparoux. “In the first turn they slowed down so much I was a little bit worried. In the backside they started picking it up. He just grinded and grinded the whole way.”   
Robby Albarado takes over from the injured Leparoux.
Amis Gizmo, trained by Josie Carroll for owner-breeder Ivan Dalos, turned the tables on his Plate rival Sir Dudley Digges in the Prince of Wales.   With regular pilot Luis Contreras in the irons, the Giant Gizmo chestnut made an early move in the 1 3/16-mile trip over the Fort Erie dirt, but had plenty in the tank to win by 5 ½-lengths.
“I was in control of the race the whole way. He broke good and he was a little bit sharp, but he relaxed behind horses,” said Contreras. “I put him outside and he just picked up the pace and started to run. By the three-eighths, I was looking back and everybody was far behind us asking their horse to run. 
“He won easily,” continued Contreras. “I think it was his best performance.  Hopefully he can do the same thing on the grass. I know he can do it.”
Amis Gizmo will be making his turf debut in the Breeders’ off a five furlong work in 1:01.40 on August 14 over the Woodbine main.
“We were supposed to go to the grass but they cancelled turf training because of the rain, so we went on the main instead. It went really well. He's in great condition right now,” said Contreras.
Contreras, a two-time Breeders’ winner (Pender Harbour, 2011; Ami’s Holiday, 2014), believes his colt will be able to handle the 1 ½-mile distance of Sunday’s turf marathon.
“He needs to relax a little more. A mile and a half is a big question mark but I know he can do it and I have a lot of confidence in him,” said Contreras. “Every race he runs, he shows me something different. He's very talented. He's not the type of horse that only has one style. You can do anything you want with him and he responds.”
Trainer Mark Casse, recently inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, will saddle Conquest Daddyo and Leavem in Malibu.
Conquest Daddyo, owned by Conquest Stables LLC, is a newcomer to the Canadian Triple Crown.  The dark bay son of Scat Daddy, bred in Ontario by James Everatt, Janeane Everatt and Arika Everatt-Meeuse, captured the Grade 2 Summer Stakes on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course in September earning a berth into the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf where he finished a rallying fourth, defeated just three lengths by Hit It a Bomb.
Last time out, in the Toronto Cup over 1 1/8-miles on the Woodbine lawn, Conquest Daddyo unleashed a powerful closing kick to win by 1 ¾-lengths under jockey Patrick Husbands, a four-time (Wando, 2003; Royal Challenger,2006; Marchfield, 2007; Danish Dynaformer, 2015) Breeders’ winner.
“I think ‘Daddyo’ is probably the horse to beat. Obviously there are horses coming in there with good form, but maybe not on grass,” said Casse. “’Daddyo’ has good form on grass and he wasn't beaten very far at the Breeders' Cup. He's proven he's a good horse.
“The distance won't be an issue for him at all,” continued Casse. “He's ready to roll and all systems are go.”
Allowance winner Leavem in Malibu, owned by Gary Barber and Conrad Farms, finished sixth in the Queen’s Plate and a closing second in the Prince of Wales.  The Malibu Moon bay, bred in Ontario by William D. Graham, will be making just his sixth career start.
The Casse duo breezed together on the Woodbine training turf course in :59.60 on August 10.
“’Daddyo’ is not a good work horse but he worked very well that day head and head (with Leavem in Malibu) and it was a good work for both,” said Casse. “Leavem in Malibu tends to have a little bit of a higher action but we thought on the turf it got a little better. If he were to improve just a little bit, he should run well.”
Casse believes Leavem in Malibu’s effort in the Prince of Wales was deceptively good.
“His action is not as high as it looks but when he starts getting hit with kickback it gets worse. It rained at Fort Erie and the kickback was even worse that day,” said Casse. “Gary (Boulanger) said that the horse kept shaking his head while he was running. He was just bombarded with dirt. For him to run second after all that, I thought it was a good effort.”
Scholar Athlete, trained by Graham Motion for owners West Point Thoroughbreds, was last seen finishing fourth in the Queen’s Plate.  The Einstein gelding, bred in Ontario by Adena Springs, owns good turf form with a record of 1-2-1 in five trips on the green. Edgar Prado will ride.
Malcolm Pierce will saddle Sam-Son Farm homebreds Gotta Get Away and Last Class to Go.  
Gotta Get Away, by Candy Ride, is undefeated in two trips over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course.  The well-bred colt graduated in a 1 1/16-mile maiden turf allowance on June 17 and came back to dead heat for the win with Berliner, in an open turf allowance route on July 17. Woodbine's leading rider Eurico Rosa da Silva has the call.
Last Class to Go, by multiple graded stakes winner Strut the Stage, is bred to get the distance.  He nearly graduated in his season opener, when overcoming a slow start to finish second in a 1 1/16-mile maiden turf allowance.  Last time out, when stretched out to 1 ¼-miles on the green, Last Class to Go was away well and opened up to win by 1 ½-lengths. Jesse Campbell takes over from da Silva.
Completing the field is Chiefswood Stable maiden winner Niigon’s Edge, who finished a credible third in the Prince of Wales for trainer Stuart Simon; Rocket Plan, a maiden winner for trainer John LeBlanc Jr. and owner-breeder William Gierkink, finished eighth in the Plate and second, by disqualification, in the Toronto Cup;  Narrow Escape, 10th in the Plate and seventh in the Prince of Wales, is a two-time winner for trainer Justin Nixon, who co-owns with JMC's Racing Stable and Warren Dehan; Camp Creek, trained by Rachel Halden for Garland Williamson’s Hillsbrook Farms, is a newcomer to the Triple Crown fresh from a maiden win over 1 1/8-miles on the Woodbine turf on July 15.
Last year’s Breeders’ winner, Danish Dynaformer,  finished fifth on Saturday at the Arlington Million in Chicago, a race won by 2015 Woodbine Mile winner Mondialiste.
Sunday’s card includes the Grade 2 $200,000 Sky Classic Stakes, a 1 ¼-mile turf event for three-year-olds and upwards headlined by Are You Kidding Me and 2013 Breeders’ Stakes champ Up With the Birds.
Are You Kidding Me, a multiple graded stakes winner trained by Roger Attfield, was named Canada’s champion older horse of 2015 on the back of Grade 2 wins in the Autumn, Nijinsky and Eclipse Stakes.  
Up With the Birds, a Sam-Son Farm homebred trained by Malcolm Pierce, arrives at the Sky Classic from a visually appealing score in the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes.  The popular six-year-old bay, a multiple graded stakes winning son of Stormy Atlantic, was named Canada’s Horse of the Year and champion three-year-old in 2013.
The Breeders' Stakes is slated as Race 9 while the Sky Classic will go as Race 7 on the 10-race card. First post time is 1 p.m. Fans can watch and wager on all the action via HPIBet.Com.
In addition to the on-track events, Woodbine will also be hosting a Pokemon Go Job Fair on Sunday.  The unique offering, designed to attract potential job applicants to Woodbine, will see fans of the popular game enjoy hunting their way through three PokeStops and one training gym. Pokemon lures will be set off throughout the day to attract 'rare' candidates from all walks of life.  The event, slated from 12–4 p.m., will be held adjacent to the walking ring. Applicants are encouraged to bring their resume, cover letter and mobile phone with Pokemon Go installed.
$500,000 Breeders’ Stakes
Sunday, August 21, Race 9, Post time 5:13 p.m.
One mile and one-half, E.P. Taylor Turf Course

1 / Rocket Plan / Simon Husbands / John Leblanc Jr.
2 / Leavem in Malibu / Gary Boulanger / Mark Casse
3 / Camp Creek / Rafael Hernandez / Rachel Halden
4 / Sir Dudley Digges / Robby Albarado / Mike Maker
5 / Conquest Daddyo / Patrick Husbands / Mark Casse
6 / Scholar Athlete / Edgar Prado / Graham Motion
7 / Amis Gizmo / Luis Contreras / Josie Carroll
8 / Gotta Get Away / Eurico Rosa da Silva / Malcolm Pierce
9 / Narrow Escape / David Moran / Justin Nixon
10/ Niigon’s Edge / Alan Garcia / Stuart Simon
11/ Last Class to Go / Jesse Campbell / Malcolm Pierce

Source: Woodbine Communications Office


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