Pattison Canadian International (Grade 1)- $800.000 Purse
WO- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Half on the Turf
October 13, 2018
On Saturday, one of the biggest races of the year for turf horses occurs north of the border as we will be running the Pattison for the 13th time. It is a race that the great Bronze Sabre simply owned back in the day, winning the stake in three consecutive years, from 2010 until 2012. The purses for the race were greater then, so they helped him well as he accumulated over $11,000.000 in career earnings. What a legend! Unfortunately, the purses aren’t what they used to be back when Bronze Sabre, or Siberian Rhythm (winner in 2007 and 2008) were winning. We once saw purses of $2,000.000 for the race, and until last year, they were always at least $1,000.000. In 2017, another reduction saw it drop to its lowest level, to the current $800.000. While still a nice chunk of change, it is disappointing to see it trend in that direction. That hasn’t stopped a great field from coming to the race, and the starting gate will be full. Major Weiner, the Pattison winner in 2017 is back to try and become the third horse to win consecutive races in this stake. He should have a decent shot, but there are plenty in here that can knock him off. Here’s the field!
#1- Sinister Sunset (Team 7 Illusions, ridden by L Contreras)- From time to time, this gelding has been given a tough task like he will face today. Despite attempts at the BEL Derby last year, and other decent races like the Grade 2 DMR Handicap that he comes off of, he has not been a threat in any of them. In smaller stakes, or statebred stakes, he has been more competitive, but still just has two wins: his maiden, and a CA-bred optional claimer. While he is a good horse, he just doesn’t look to me like he is about to win the Pattison. This doesn’t mean he can’t have a decent run, though.
#2- Bring The Pain (Mb Stables, ridden by P Lopez)- Winless in seven starts this year, but has managed to be in the money in five of those races. He is trending the right way, and his last five races have all look good. Most recently, he ran second in a tight photo to the great Techfluence in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer BC Turf. With a little more headbob luck, he’s coming into this race off a huge win. This is not the same horse, based on form, that was here last year, finishing 13th, and missing by seventeen lengths. Much to like, but I can’t get over the 0-for-8 at the graded level to put him on top here.
#3- Purely Perfect (Night Rider Stables, ridden by Ro Maragh)- One of two entries that the trainer will have in the race, and perhaps it is interesting that he has chosen his favorite jockey to ride this one and not Major Weiner. The six year old gelding has won nine of 24 career races, but only very recently has he been impressing. This is not his graded debut, as there was one prior attempt, but he has never seen anything like this. Comes in off a win in the $100.000 Johns Call, and has a lot of experience at this distance. He is being asked a lot here, but when you are hot, you’re hot.
#4- Bayou Quartier (Invicta Group Llc, ridden by G Franco)- The five year old gelding, like Purely Perfect, has made 24 starts, and their numbers in regards to wins, places, and shows are almost identical. However, there is a big difference in earnings, as Bayou Quartier has been a regular at this level. Won three straight Grade 2’s during the spring, including the $400.000 BEL Gold Cup, but his last two starts have been head scratchers. Time to get back to that previous form. Franco has been his regular rider. If he can find that needed jolt for his career in this race, there is no reason to think he can’t get a win.
#5- Sports Car (Mb Stables, ridden by J Alvarado)- If you thought you just saw him race, you did. Just two weeks ago, Sports Car was running in the Grade 1 Hirsch Turf Classic at BEL, and finished third. Now, he is being asked to go another twelve furlongs. This is not a move that we typically see out of Mb Stables. He’s won twice this year, with the highlight being the Grade 3 Poker Stakes at BEL in June in what was a very impressive stretch run to come from off the pace. This is a reliable horse with hitting the board, and he’d be a pretty safe pick to do that again if it weren’t for the short rest. Now, we’ll have to decide how much the quick turnaround may impact him.
#6- Faith In The Surge (Fractious, ridden by J M Campbell)- This one does not have the glorious resume, but he is still young, and the three year old has gradually been improving as the year went on. Most recently, we saw him run sixth in the Northern Dancer BC Turf, a Grade 1 run right here at WO. This is a pretty similar field, as there are common opponents in this race as well, but he has proven that he can with them. No doubt, he has earned this chance, but he will probably be somewhat of a longshot on race day. If it climbs that much, take a shot.
#7- Ingrained (Mb Stables, ridden by L H Colon)- The third entry for the trainer as he looks to pick up his first win in the Pattison. Ingrained was the winner of the BC Mile last year, but that might have been easy to forget given he did not appear in another stake of any type until the Fourstardave in August. After a mighty struggle on the rain soaked SAR turf, he bounced back to win the Grade 2 Baruch at the Spa last month. He is not used to this distance, though, and his one attempt was not one of his best, and it did come when he was otherwise on good form.
#8- Taniwha (Aml Racing, ridden by F Pennington)- Did everything right for Aml Racing in his first three races running for the trainer, winning all of them. That streak is over, and his last race, the Grade 1 Sword Dancer, was the first time where he really was not a threat for the win. Still, he managed a fourth place check in the race. While this is a great field, this looks like a race that he should be able to win. It can be tough with his tactical style though, I would imagine, to be the horse to beat. He’ll be my pick, regardless.
#9- Built Like A Rock (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by J Bravo)- Broke his maiden in his ninth career start, which was his last race. This is quite a jump. When looking at the maiden win, you will see that it was also at twelve furlongs, and he went wire to wire. You will also see that it was a second and a half slower then the Sword Dancer. The trainer will take chances from time to time, and every now and then, they pay great dividends. I’ll need to see it, first.
#10- Friday Thirteenth (Nakamura Stables, ridden by J K Court)- The former BC Mile participant from back in 2016 has struggled to find the winners circle since then with just two wins in the last two years. The Cherokee Sunset gelding has had several races that have been positive, but there is not much to suggest that he is about to win a race of this magnitude. Unless of course, you consider that the race is being run on the 13th, and barely misses also being a Friday.
#11- Not My Idea (Wolfs Den, ridden by Alan Garcia)- One of a handful that raced here last month in the Northern Dancer, but Not My Idea was never a factor in the race, and finished eighth. He had some good moments early in his career, and has run well this year when not at the stake level. Wolfs Den has tried to take his game to the next level in the last three races, but the results have not been there. Hard to think this would be anything different unless he changes something up with the horse and it works out.
#12- Major Weiner (Night Rider Stables, ridden by G Boulanger)- Last year, Major Weiner picked up the win, and that will give him the chance to do something only Siberian Rhythm and Bronze Sabre have done, and that is to win it twice. He’d have to win next year, too, though to duplicate Bronze Sabre completely. Unfortunately, Major Weiner has not won a race of significance since then. Nor have there been any close calls. He was dropped into a $33.000 allowance, on the dirt, for his last start, and that was the first win since his Pattison win. If he needed the confidence booster, he got it.
#13- Tried It (Joshua Stables, ridden by J R Velazquez)- An up and coming three year old gelding that broke his maiden in June, in what was fifth career start. After the win, the trainer set him to the $100.000 Johns Call, where he finished third and showed that he has plenty of potential. That race was won by Purely Perfect, and he was within two lengths. Still has to find a way to make that up, but it proved he belongs at the stake level. This is a test, and the post draw did not do him any favors.
#14- Midwestern Slang (Gdp Inc, ridden by I Ortiz Jr)- A lot gets made about outside posts, but it seems of late, that if the horse is capable, then they can overcome it. In this race, Midwestern Slang will have twelve furlongs to do that, and I don’t see why not. The runner up in the 2017 BC Turf has switched barns a couple times since that result, but has remained competitive , winning two Grade 2’s this year. Most recently, he won the Read Stakes for Gdp Inc in July. His last race was the Northern Dancer right here, and his fourth place finish was the best result that anyone in this field had that also came out of that race. Plenty to like, other then the number on his saddlecloth.