A field of 10 is set for the 1 1/2-mile turf race, third jewel in Canada's Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, which will go postward at 5:08 pm, with The Score airing a special one-hour telecast nationally across Canada from 4:30 - 5:30 pm ET.
The last horse to collect the Triple Crown was Wando in 2003. Only seven horses have accomplished the historic feat since the series was inaugurated in 1959.
W.L. Clifton's Solitaire, the 5-2 morning-line favourite, looks to become the first maiden winner of the Breeders' since Fair Montague in 1915. The Victory Gallop gelding, trained by James Bond, will be ridden by Robert Landry from post nine.
The chestnut heads into the race with losses to Not Bourbon in the Queen's Plate (third, beaten 4 1/2 lengths) and Plate Trial (second, beaten a neck) and a third-pace finish, beaten a length to Stormy Mirage, on the turf at Gulfstream Park in his career bow in April. (Solitaire's record: 3 starts-0 wins-1 second-2 thirds-$143,780 purse earnings)
Sligovitz, the 7-2 second choice, will run for owner Frank Stronach and trainer Brian Lynch. The Sligo Bay colt has won his last two starts and is improving. He is making his stakes debut. Todd Kabel gets the call from post three.
"He's certainly heading in the right direction," said Lynch, who saddled Royal Challenger to a win in the 2006 Breeders'. "We started out hoping he would make one leg of the Triple Crown, but he ran a couple of clunkers so we gave him some to regroup. I always felt he would be at his best on turf. His last two races were very impressive." (Sligovitz's record: 7 starts-2 wins-1 second-2 thirds-$86,980 purse earnings)
Palmers is the 4-1 third choice from post two for Melnyk Racing Stables and trainer Mark Casse. The Grand Slam colt is win shy, but has produced several strong efforts, including a fifth-place finish in the Queen's Plate. He has a second in his lone turf start. Patrick Husbands will ride. The owner-trainer-jockey combo looks to repeat in the Breeders' after taking the race in 2007 with Marchfield. (Palmers' record: 10 starts-1 win-3 seconds-3 thirds-$111,892 purse earnings)
Gus Schickedanz's Marlang (post four, 8-1) is one of two stakes winners in the Breeders' field. The Deborah England-trainee scored the Charlie Barley Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths over Gun Highway on June 21 over the Woodbine turf. A third-place effort in the Toronto Cup last time out should have the Langfuhr colt set for peak effort in the Breeders'. Richard Dos Ramos has ridden him in each of his eight career starts. (Marlang record: 6 starts-2 wins-0 seconds-1 third-$104,750 purse earnings)
East End Tap (post one, 10-1) is one of only two horses that will have competed in all three Triple Crown races. The Reade Baker-trainee finished sixth in the Plate, before his runner-up effort at Fort Erie, where he was beaten 1 1/4 lengths by Harlem Rocker at 21-1.
The Pleasant Tap colt makes his turf debut for Sheik Yobuti Racing Stable. Slade Callaghan gets the call. (East End Tap record: 8 starts-1 win-3 seconds-0 thirds-$175,680 purse earnings)
Deputiformer (post five, 12-1) is the only other Triple Crown warrior in the field, having finished fourth in the Plate and fifth in the Prince of Wales. David James' Silver Deputy gelding is also a turf stakes winner, having captured the Cup & Saucer Stakes as a two-year-old last October. Jerry Baird gets the call for the fifth consecutive time.
"He definitely handles the turf," said trainer Mike DePaulo. "Hopefully, the grass will move him up enough where he can get the 1 1/2 miles." (Deputiformer record: 10 starts-1 win-2 seconds-2 thirds-$287,720 purse earnings)
Rounding out the field are 15-1 longshots, Pronger (post six; record: 9 starts-1 win-1 second-2 thirds-$112,800 purse earnings), Mamma's Knight (post eight; record: 10 starts-2 wins-1 second-1 third-$113,463 purse earnings), Cryptonite Kid (post ten; record: 7 starts-1 win-2 seconds-0 thirds-$119,800 purse earnings) and 20-1 outsider, Go in Peace (post seven; record: 5 starts-0 wins-1 second-1 third-$37,858 purse earnings).
Not Bourbon and Harlem Rocker, respective winners of the early legs of the Triple Crown, will not participate in the Breeders'. Not Bourbon is being pointed to a fall campaign, while Harlem Rocker is expected to make his next start in Travers Stakes, at Saratoga, on August 23.
Since the inception of the Triple Crown in 1959, favourites have taken 25 of the 49 (13 of the last 20) runnings for a 51% average.
The largest margin of victory since 1959 was by Ben Fab in 1980, a 14-length winner, while four editions have been won by a nose, the last by Charlie's Dewan in 1995.
Field for the Breeders' Stakes
1/East End Tap/Reade Baker/Sheik Yobuti Racing Stable Inc./Slade Callaghan/10-1
2/Palmers/Mark Casse/Melnyk Racing Stables Inc./Patrick Husbands/4-1
3/Sligovitz/Brian Lynch/Stronach Stables Inc./Todd Kabel/7-2
4/Marlang/Debbie England/G. Schickedanz/Richard Dos Ramos/8-1
5/Deputiformer/Mike DePaulo/David James/Jerry Baird/12-1
6/Pronger/Mike DePaulo/Mario Forgione/Eurico Rosa Da Silva/15-1
7/Go in Peace/Suzanne Drake/Silver Duck Racing Stable/Steven Bahen/20-1
8/Mamma's Knight/Sam DiPasquale/M. S. Kowalski/Jim McAleney/15-1
9/Solitaire/James Bond/William Clifton Jr./Robert Landry/5-2
10Cryptonite Kid/Dan Vella/Class Action Stable/Tyler Pizarro/15-1