Multiple Grade 1 winner Doctor Dino, who counts the Hong Kong Vase and Man o' War Stakes among his triumphs, will likely be the favourite for the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International on October 4.
And, Frankie is back. Jockey Lanfranco Dettori, who won the 2000 International with Mutafaweq and the 2004 edition with Sulamani, gets the call.
A six-year-old son of Muhtathir, the French-bred Dcotor Dino has eight wins, five seconds and eight thirds from 27 career starts, for owner Javier Martinez Salmean and trainer Richard Gibson.
Doctor Dino, who has over $2.7-million (U.S.) in career earnings and has tangled with some of the world's top turfers, comes into the 1 1/2-mile Pattison off a second-place finish in the Grade 2 Grand Prix de Deauville on August 31.
"He was up against a horse (Getaway) who was at one stage the highest-rated turf horse in Europe earlier in the year," said Gibson. "I don't think we met him in the right conditions. The track was very soft and the track was very tired after a long Deauville month. The good news is he didn't have a hard race that day. We feel we have him in good shape for his autumn campaign."
CHAMPS ELYSEES RETURNS FOR PATTISON
Juddmonte Farms' Champs Elysees, a nose winner of the recent Grade 1 Northern Dancer Stakes at Woodbine, will try to duplicate that effort in next Saturday's $2 million, Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International.
The turf classic, at one and one-half miles, is also a "Win and You're In' race, meaning the winner gets a berth into the Breeders' Cup Turf, slated for October 25 at Santa Anita.
The five-year-old son of Danehill-Hasili comes from a regal family, as the dam's progeny include full sisters Banks Hill and Intercontinental, who both won the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, along with other Group 1 winners Cacique and Heat Haze.
"I thought he ran well (in the Northern Dancer), but his previous two races were very disappointing," said Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel. "He had excuses. He was coughing one time, I think he bled the next time, so physically he wasn't at his best. But he got healthy again. He came out of the race (Northern Dancer) good. He's very good right now. I think he's going to run an even better race (in the PCI, than in the Northern Dancer)."
Champs Elysees will be ridden, once again, by Garrett Gomez, who rode him in the Northern Dancer and only once before, when also winning the Grade 2 San Marcos at Santa Anita in January.
SEASIDE RETREAT TO HEAD HOME TROOPS
Seaside Retreat will generate cheers from coast to coast, if he takes Saturday's $2 million Pattison Canadian International.
The Nijinsky Stakes champ will attempt to be the first Woodbine-based runner to win the 1 1/2-mile turf classic since Thornfield in 1999.
Owned by William Farish, Jr., Seaside Retreat enters the International off a game third-place finish in the Northern Dancer Turf, which is also a 12-furlong contest.
The five-year-old gelding was defeated just a half-length by International rival Champs Elysees, but trainer Mark Casse said the result could have been even closer.
"He got knocked around a bit, I guess by (International rival Spice Route), at about the three-sixteenths pole. It knocked him off stride for a touch. He dropped back and then he came surging again. Had that not happened, it would have been really close," explained the two-time Sovereign Award winner.
Seaside Retreat will be ridden by Patrick Husbands.
WEDNESDAY MEDIA CONFERENCE
Media and invited guests are reminded that the post-position draw is set for this Wednesday, October 1 and not Thursday, as is usually the case. Also, the race is set for Saturday, October 4.