Best In The World, an improving 3-year-old filly with very high-profile connections and a formidable pedigree, is the 3-1 morning line choice in a field of 13 for Sunday's E.P. Taylor Stakes.
The Grade 1 E.P. Taylor, a 1 ¼ mile turf race for fillies and mares, has attracted a highly competitive field comprised of six shippers from Europe, five from the United States, and two locals. Older fillies and mares will carry 124 pounds in the E.P. Taylor while the five 3-year-olds get in with 119.
Based in Ireland, Best In The World is owned by Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith; trained by Aidan O'Brien; and ridden by Ryan Moore. She also is a full sister to her stablemate Found, winner of the recent Group1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and of last year's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf.
After running well in her two starts at 2, Best of the World seemed slow to round into form this year but has picked it up recently with a Group 3 win at Cork and a second in the Grade 2 Blandford Stakes at the Curragh.
“She's coming to herself all the time,” said Kieran Murphy, the traveling head lad for O'Brien who is here with Best In The World.
Best of the World drew post 3, which should allow her to employ whatever plan her rider puts into action.
“She's pretty adaptable,” said Murphy.
Sunday's E.P. Taylor will be the first for O'Brien, who has won the Canadian International twice. Moore won the 2015 Taylor with Curvy after finishing second aboard Odeliz the previous year. He also rode the winners of the last three Canadian Internationals.
Nezwaah and Swiss Range are 3-year-olds who hail from England.
Nezwaah, owned by Sheikh Ahmed al Maktoum and Godolphin Racing, has won three races on synthetic surfaces and ran fifth in her lone group stakes try on the turf. In her last start Nezwaah finished second, beaten a half-length, in the listed John Musker Stakes over about 1 ¼ miles of turf at Yarmouth. The winner, So Mi Dar, came back to finish a close third at odds-on in the Group 1 Prix de l'Opera at Chantilly. Arabian Queen, who finished three-quarters of a length behind Nezwaah.
“'She's gradually improved this year,” said Michael McGowan, traveling head lead for trainer Roger Varian, who sent out Talmada to finish second here in last year's E.P. Taylor. “She was second to a good filly, and she came on for that. She has a big chance; she has a good turn of foot.”
Nezwaah will be the sixth mount here for Jockey Andreas Atzeni with a third aboard Seismos in the 2011 Canadian International his best result.
Swiss Range, a winner of two listed stakes at Newmarket this spring, made her next start in the Group 1 Prix de Diane at Chantilly and was only a 5.50-1 chance when beaten 3 ½ lengths as the ninth-place finisher behind the brilliant La Cressonniere. In her last outing, which came in the Group 1 Nassau Stakes at Goodwood, Swiss Range was a non-threatening fourth for trainer John Gosden, who sent out Rainbow View to finish second in the 2009 running of the E.P. Taylor.
Multiple Group 1 winner Minding was the Nassau winner and Jemayel, also a Group 1 winner, was third.
Joel Rosario picks up the mount on Swiss Range, who is scheduled to go to trainer Bill Mott in New York following Sunday's race. Rosario won the 2013 edition of the E.P. Taylor with Tannery.
The 3-year-old Aim to Please and 4-year-old Banzari are the French shippers for the E.P. Taylor.
Aim to Please, a Group 3 winner at Maisons-Lafitte last time out, had run third in a Group 2 at Chantilly this June after finishing 10th, but beaten just 4 /12 lengths, in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches at Deauville won by La Cressonnaire. Owned by Joerg Vasicek, Aim to Please will have her regular rider, Gerard Mosse, in the irons and is trained by Francois Doumen. This will be her first start outside France.
Mosse and Doumen teamed up to win the 2012 E.P. Taylor with Siyouma after finishing third with Dream Peace the previous season and second with Mousse Glacee in 1999.Both were also here twice with Jim and Tonic, the talented and popular world traveler who finished second in the 1998 Woodbine Mile and third the following season.
Bred in England, Banzari became a Group 3 winner at Maissons-Laffitte last month. Ame Bleue, the runner-up there, shipped t Belmont for the Oct. 8 Flower Bowl land finished last of six, beaten 6 ¾ lengths by the remarkable Lady Eli, in that 1 ¼ mile turf race. Banzari, trained by Henri-Francois Devin, was a recent private by celebrity chef Bobby Flay last week. She is trained by H.F. Devin and will be ridden by Alexis Badel.
Her best result to date was a Group 3 win at Maissons-Lafitte last month.
Parvaneh, a 3-year-old, has made all but the first of her eight career starts in her native Germany and became a Group 2 stakes winner in at Baden-Baden two races back. In her subsequent appearance Parveneh ran fourth, beaten just two lengths, when facing males in the Group 1 Prix Von Europa. Flavien Prat will ride Parvaneh for trainer Waldemar Hickst.
Rainha da Bateria, who nosed out favored stablemate Dacita to win the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes here Sept. 17, tops a solid American contingent for the E.P. Taylor and is listed as the second favorite at 4-1.
Owned by Lael Stable and trained by Chad Brown, Rainha da Bateria came up with her best effort to date when beaten a pair of noses as the third-place finisher in Saratoga's Grade 1 Diana. The Canadian, like the Diana, is a 1 1/8 mile turf race and Raina da Bateria confirmed her apparent improvement. She now will be trying a mile and a quarter for the first time.
“She's getting it all together,” said Brown. “She looks good. She's developed into a really top class filly.“
Julien Leparoux retains the mount on Rainha da Bateria, who will be trying the Taylor distance for the first time.
“The mile and a quarter should be fine for her,” said Brown, who also will be represented by Guapaza in the E.P. Taylor.
Guapaza, who began her career in Chile, notched her first North American graded stakes score in Saratoga's Grade 3 Waya after earlier being competitive in Grade 2 company.
In her latest Guapaza was a tiring sixth, beaten 5.5 lengths by fellow Taylor contestant Suffused in Saratoga's Glens Falls, whom she had defeated by a head in the Waya.
“Her last race was disappointing,” said Brown. “She'd been in excellent form up to that point, but she'd been running a lot. “We've freshened her since; she's had some good works.”
Javier Castellano, who has ridden Guapaza in her last three outings, retains the mount.
Trainer Bill Mott also has two for the Taylor in Suffused and Tuttipaesi.
Suffused, a homebred Juddmonte Farm 4-year-old, began her career in England and the Grade 3, 1 3/8 mile Glens Falls was her first stakes win.
“She's improved as the year has gone on,” said Mott. “It really seems like she's developed a better turn of foot. She's running good races.”
Joel Rosario, winner of the 2013 E.P. Taylor with Tannery, will ride Suffused for the first time.
Tuttipaesti, racing for Valor Ladies LLC, captured Santa Anita's Grade 2 Santa Anita and was a good fourth in Arlington's Grade 1, 1 ¼ mile Beverly D. two starts back.
“No excuse,” said Mott. “She had a good run. It was a pretty tough race; I guess this race is pretty tough, too.”
Tuttipaesi returned four weeks later to finish third in the 1 1/16 mile Lady Baltimore, beaten 1 ¾ lengths under returning regular rider Chris de Carlo.
Al's Gal, based in Kentucky with trainer Mike Maker, has been in career form lately for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey.
Claimed for $35,000 in February of 2015, the 5-year-old Al's Gal has evolved into a solid turf stakes performer and closed strongly to finish second, beaten just a half-length, in the Beverly D at Arlington Park.
“She got back a bit further than we would have liked but she made a nice run and just came up a couple jumps short,” said Maker . “She's doing great. “
Al's Gal returned a month after the Beverly D to win the 1 5/16 mile Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon under the returning Florent Geroux, who is 2-for-2 aboard the mare.
Strut the Course, beaten two lengths as the fourth-place finisher in last year's Taylor, was making her first start in 11 weeks when looking to defend her title here in the Canadian. Bred in Ontario by her owner, John Unger, Strut the Course had finished second in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly, a 1 1/8 mile turf race which she also won last year, prior to her absence.
Rafael Hernandez has a return engagement aboard Strut the Course.
Uchenna, owned by Gary Barber and conditioned by Mark Casse, made her first start on the Tapeta surface here last month and was a punctual choice in the 1 1/16 mile Belle Mahone, an overnight stakes for fillies and mares. The Irish-bred 4-year-old won the Grade 3, 1 1/16 mile Ontario Matron here on Polytrack last year and finished third in tahis summer's Grade 3 Matchmaker over a yielding 1 1/8 miles of turf at Monmouth Park.
Patrick Husbands returns aboard Uchenna.
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