Twenty-eight horses have been nominated to the 23rd running of the million-dollar Grade 1 Ricoh Woodbine Mile, a Breeders' Cup 'Win And You're In' race, to be contested on Saturday, Sept. 14 over the world-renowned E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
The list of contenders from across North America and Europe includes Got Stormy, another star filly from the Mark Casse stable who has drawn comparisons to the Canadian Hall of Fame trainer's first Ricoh Woodbine Mile champion, 2016 winner Tepin.
Just one week after winning the De La Rose Stakes, Got Stormy set a track record at Saratoga while becoming the first filly to win the Grade 1 Fourstardave Handicap on August 10 for owners Gary Barber and Southern Equine Stable LLC. The four-year-old Get Stormy miss, who has earned seven wins from 15 career starts and nearly $780,000 in earnings, is now set to return to the scene of her Grade 3 Ontario Colleen Stakes triumph last year for Woodbine's top trainer.
Casse, who also trains nominees March to the Arch and Curlin's Honor, previously won back-to-back runnings of the Ricoh Woodbine Mile with Tepin and World Approval.
North American leading trainer Chad Brown also has three contenders including Fourstardave runner-up Raging Bull and three-year-olds Fog of War, last year's Grade 1 Summer Stakes winner during Woodbine Mile weekend, and Valid Point, undefeated in three starts with his latest being the Grade 1 Secretariat on August 10 at Arlington Park.
Also nominated to the Woodbine Mile from her Arlington Million Day performance is the British-bred filly Awesometank, who was runner-up in the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes while making her North American debut for trainer William Haggas.
Mr Havercamp and Stormy Antarctic, the runner-up and third-place finisher in the 2018 Ricoh Woodbine Mile behind Oscar Performance, will be looking for a winning result this time around.
Local hero Mr Havercamp, who is Canada's reigning Champion Turf Male and Champion Older Horse, will take another shot at Woodbine's signature event for trainer Catherine Day Phillips and owners Sean and Dorothy Fitzhenry. The five-year-old son of 2010 Woodbine Mile champion Court Vision has won eight of his 14 races while earning close to $850,000 in purses.
Mr Havercamp was a determined winner in the Grade 3 Forbidden Apple Stakes over yielding turf at Saratoga on July 12 defeating Hembree and Qurbaan, who are both nominated to the Woodbine Mile. Most recently, he finished fourth back at the Toronto oval in the Grade 3 Seagram Cup won by the Josie Carroll trainee Mr Ritz, another Woodbine Mile hopeful.
British invader Stormy Antarctic has set himself up for his second voyage across the Atlantic with early season stakes wins in the Group 3 Kalkmann Fruhjahrs-Meile in Germany and Group 2 Premio Presidente della Repubblica in Italy. The six-year-old Stormy Atlantic gelding is trained by Ed Walker and owned by Mr. P. K. Siu.
Bred by Toronto's John D. Fielding and Fred W. Hertrich III, double millionaire and multiple graded stakes winner Catholic Boy is poised to make his Canadian debut in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile. He will look to secure his third Grade 1 stakes title after successive scores last year in the Grade 1 Travers at Saratoga and the Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational. The Kentucky-bred son of More Than Ready kicked off his four-year-old campaign winning the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes at Pimlico and finished second in Grade 2 Suburban Stakes last time out on July 6 at Belmont Park. Catholic Boy is trained by Jonathan Thomas and owned by Robert V. LaPenta, Madaket Stables LLC, Siena Farm LLC, and Twin Creeks Racing Stables LLC.
Following his record-setting victory in the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes last weekend at Woodbine, Stronach Stables' homebred Silent Poet is targeting the Ricoh Woodbine Mile next. Trained by Nicholas Gonzalez, the four-year-old Silent Name gelding established a new E.P. Taylor Turf Course record for seven furlongs in his latest outing, eclipsing the former mark that stood for 15 years and was set by Soaring Free, who went on to win the Mile that year.
Cooler Mike is another Canadian-bred fresh off a victory in the Halton Stakes over 1-1/2 miles of turf on Wednesday night at Woodbine for the local father and son team of Mike Nosowenko and co-owner/trainer Nick Nosowenko.
The Mile could also mark the Woodbine return of Grade 1 Highlander Stakes champion Wet Your Whistle and Grade 2 King Edward Stakes winner Synchrony.
The complete list of horses nominated to the Ricoh Woodbine Mile is available below.
The lucrative Ricoh Woodbine Mile undercard will feature the $300,000 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes (Grade 1), $250,000 Canadian Stakes (Grade 2) and $125,000 Bold Venture Stakes (Grade 3).
Recognized as one of the best races in the world, the Ricoh Woodbine Mile is apart of the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series. The winner earns an automatic fees-paid entry into the Breeders' Cup World Championships on November 1 and 2 at Santa Anita Park.
Woodbine's fall turf season will be in full swing for the Ricoh Woodbine Mile weekend, which is also highlighted by a pair of $250,000 'Win And You're In' stakes races for two-year-olds on the Sunday card (September 15). The one-mile Grade 1 Summer Stakes has attracted 29 nominees and 26 fillies have been paid up to the companion Grade 1 Natalma Stakes.
The Sunday undercard also includes a pair of new $100,000 five-furlong stakes for two-year-olds to be contested over Woodbine's new inner turf course called the Ontario Racing Stakes and the Woodbine Cares Stakes for fillies.
Woodbine stakes nomination lists can be found on Woodbine.com under the “Horsepeople” tab or by clicking here: https://woodbine.com/horsepeople/
NOMINATIONS FOR THE $1 MILLION RICOH WOODBINE MILE (GRADE 1)
Horse – Trainer – Owner
Admiralty Pier – Barbara J. Minshall – Hoolie Racing Stable LLC and Bruce Lunsford
American Guru – Michael J. Doyle – Stronach Stables
Awesometank (GB) – William J. Haggas – Lee Yuk Lun
Catholic Boy – Jonathan Thomas – Robert V. LaPenta, Madaket Stables LLC, Siena Farm LLC, and Twin Creeks Racing Stables LLC
Cooler Mike – Nicholas Nosowenko – Mike & Nick Nosowenko
Curlin's Honor – Mark E. Casse – John C. Oxley and Breeze Easy LLC
El Tormenta – Gail Cox – Sam-Son Farm
Emmaus (IRE) – Conor Murphy – M and J Thoroughbreds LLC and Riverside Bloodstock LLC
Firey Speech – Brian S. House – James D. Spry
Fog of War – Chad C. Brown – Peter M. Brant
Got Stormy – Mark E. Casse – Gary Barber and Southern Equine Stable LLC
Happy Power (IRE) – Andrew Balding – King Power Racing Co. Ltd.
Hembree – Michael J. Maker – Three Diamonds Farm
Lucullan – Kiaran P. McLaughlin – Godolphin LLC
March to the Arch – Mark E. Casse – Live Oak Plantation
Mr Havercamp – Catherine Day Phillips – Sean & Dorothy Fitzhenry
Mr Ritz (GB) – Josie Carroll – Earle I. Mack LLC
Phoenix of Spain (IRE) – Charles Hills – Tony Wechsler and Ann Plummer
Pumpkin Rumble – Kevin Attard – Al & Bill Ulwelling
Qurbaan – Kiaran P. McLaughlin – Shadwell Stable
Raging Bull (FR) – Chad C. Brown – Peter M. Brant
Reconfigure – Robert P. Tiller – Robert P. Tiller
Sable Island – Gordon C. Colbourne – Box Arrow Farm
Silent Poet – Nicholas Gonzalez – Stronach Stables
Stormy Antarctic (GB) – Ed Walker – Mr. P. K. Siu
Synchrony – Michael Stidham – Pin Oak Stable
Valid Point – Chad C. Brown – e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Michael J. Ryan
Wet Your Whistle – Michael J. Trombetta – David W. Palmer
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