As a juvenile, the Darwin Banach trainee recorded a third-place effort in the Colin Stakes sandwiched between a pair of wins over the Toronto oval 'Poly.'
Town Prize, owned and bred by William Sorokolit, completed his two-year-old season in the $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream Park on December 3 making all the early fractions en route to a third-place effort in the rapidly run six-furlong sprint won by Ancient Rome in a time of 1:08.95. Town Prize earned an 85 Beyer for his effort.
"He led all the way, made all the fractions and just got caught at the end," recalled Banach. "We shipped down there. We didn't even work him in between the ship and it was maybe just a little bit too much to ask of him, as he just got a little bit tired at the end of the race from the ship."
The chestnut wintered at the Nelson Jones Training Center in Ocala, Florida, where Banach was able to put a solid foundation into his improving colt.
"The surface at Nelson Jones is quite a deep, sandy surface and he had to work very hard over it, but he worked very well," offered Banach. "I don't think that's his best surface, being the speedy type horse that he is. But, just the same, he worked very well there and we're looking forward to getting him going for the year."
Banach is hopeful the hard work Town Prize put in at Ocala will provide a fitness advantage when travelling over the 'Poly' on Sunday.
"It's a lot harder going for them (on the sandy surface) so when they get on a tighter surface, they can turn their wheels over a lot quicker," explained Banach.
Town Prize put in a bullet breeze of four furlongs in :48.20 on the Woodbine Polytrack, best of 43 efforts at the distance on April 9, in preparing for the event against a heady field that boasts a trio of winter-trained Ralph Biamonte runners, including Simcoe Stakes winner Menlo Castle (second choice in the Queen's Plate Winterbook), Kingarvie Stakes winner Run in Aruba and the ultra-consistent Where's Johnson.
"They're going three-quarters (in the Woodstock), it's not five-eigths of a mile, so it's an advantage to have some fitness," said Banach. "It's going to be tough. They (the Biamonte trio) were away training this winter and Mark's (Casse, Making Amends) horse ran in the OBS. So, we'll just hope our horse makes a good showing. He's on his game right now and we know he's very fast and very talented."
Chantal Sutherland, in town for the weekend, picks up the mount on Danger Bay in a field that also includes four-time winner Hogy, who ships in to Woodbine off a six and three-quarter length score in the Hansel Stakes at Turfway Park. Clarendon Stakes winner Making Amends, Oro Vero and Ocala Son complete the field.
The Woodstock is carded as race eight on the 10-race programme. First post is 1 p.m.
PP / HORSE / JOCKEY / WEIGHT / TRAINER
1 / Danger Bay (ON) / Chantal Sutherland / 115 / Sid Attard
2 / Hogy (KY) / Tanner Riggs / 119 / Joel Berndt
3 / Oro Vero (KY) / Jesse Campbell / 115 / Paul Attard
4 / Menlo Castle (ON) / Luis Contreras / 119 / Ralph Biamonte
5 / Where's Johnson (ON) / Luis Contreras / 115 / Ralph Biamonte
6 / Run in Aruba (ON) / Omar Moreno / 119 / Ralph Biamonte
7 / Town Prize (KY) / Eurico Rosa da Silva / 117 / Darwin Banach
8 / Making Amends (ON) / Patrick Husbands / 119 / Mark Casse
9 / Ocala Son (FL) / Richard Dos Ramos / 115 / Nathan Squires