Gus Schickedanz's Marlang, a bay son of Langfuhr, looks to win one for the home team when he loads into the gate for Saturday's Grade 1, $2-million Pattison Canadian International.
Trained by Debbie England, Marlang is undoubtedly on a hot streak, one that has seen the bay win three of his past four races. His latest triumph came in the Grade 3 Saranac Stakes at Saratoga. Under Richard Dos Ramos, Marlang took control from the start of the 1 3/16-mile event and made every pole a winning one, crossing the wire a 1 3/4-length victor.
"I've always liked him," said England, who also saddled Marlang to victory in the one mile Charlie Barley on June 21, his first grass test. "I knew he'd always be better on the grass. I breezed him early on (in his career) and he went in :35. I thought it was :37. Right then, I knew he was a good horse. He was very nervous when he was young, but he's really settled down and become very mature."
QUIJANO HOPING FOR THIRD TIME LUCKY
The Peter Schiergen-trained Quijano will try Woodbine's E.P. Taylor Turf Course for the third time in his well-travelled career, hoping to find the winner's circle when he goes postward as one of the favourites in the $2 million, Pattison Canadian International on Saturday.
Last year, the German-bred finished a closing third in the Pattison, only a length behind the winner, Cloudy's Knight.
This year, the six-year-old gelded son of Acatenango arrived early to contest the Grade 1, Northern Dancer on September 7, and just missed by a nose, losing to Pattison rival Champs Elysees.
"I think he raced a very good race," said Gisela Schiergen, wife and assistant to the trainer. "He had a good travel and everything was okay. I think it's a good set-up for him (for the Pattison). I think he's as good this year as last year. He's consistent. But (likely Pattison favourite) Doctor Dino is a tough horse. It all depends on the race (trip)."
Quijano, bred and owned by Stiftung Gestuet Fahrhof, has earned almost $2 million, while winning 13 of 23 career starts, including the Group 1 Gran Premio di Milano earlier this year in Italy. He'll be ridden as usual by Andrasch Starke.
SPICE ROUTE DRILLS
Harlequin Ranches' Spice Route worked Sunday morning in preparation for the most significant test of his career, Saturday's $2 million Pattison Canadian International.
"He worked very well this morning on the main turf," said Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield. "It was a really happy breeze. I think he went in about a minute."
Woodbine clockers caught the King's Best gelding, who was guided by the oval's leading rider Jim McAleney, in 1:00 3/5, breezing, for five furlongs over the 'good' course.
Spice Route enters the International off a close fifth-place finish in the Northern Dancer Turf Stakes on September 7.
Including Spice Route, the five top finishers in the 1 1/2-mile contest are listed as probables for Grade 1 feature event, which is at the same distance.
LAMAZE, GUEST DRAWMASTER DUTIES FOR PATTISON
Eric Lamaze, winner of a gold medal in the individual show-jumpingevent at the recent Beijing Olympics will be the drawmaster for the Pattison Canadian International, on Wednesday, October 1, at Woodbine's east-end VIP tent.
He will assist in determining the post positions and speak briefly of his participation in the sport at the noon media conference.
The 71st running of the Grade 1, $2 million event is set for Saturday.