After a hot summer, maybe it’s time for some snow.
As in Aldous Snow.
Dixie Strike is the 5-2 morning-line favourite for the Breeders’ Stakes on Sunday at Woodbine. But the 4-1 second-choice is the only two-time winner on turf amongst the 14 starters.
A son of Theatrical, bred and owned by Sam Son Farms, Aldous Snow has won twice on the turf, a maiden win last September and an allowance score in June. So getting involved in the triple crown series at this final stage was a natural decision.
“We always knew his best surface would be the grass, so that’s why the decision was made not to go to the Queen’s Plate,” trainer Malcolm Pierce told Woodbine Entertainment. “These days, he has a ton of confidence. The question mark is who will get the 11/2 miles.”
He was also favoured in the Cup and Saucer Stakes last fall, but jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva was kicked in the leg by another horse and had to pull Aldous Snow up as he was in great pain.
Dixie Strike comes off a win in the Prince of Wales Stakes. The Mark Casse-trained filly was being pointed to a Saratoga start but was re-routed to the Breeders’ after Strait of Dover was ruled out earlier this week.
Irish Mission, the Woodbine Oaks winner and Queen’s Plate runner-up, is the third choice coming off a disappointing sixth at Fort Erie.
Others returning for the Breeders include Ultimate Destiny, Colleen’s Sailor, and Quaesitor, who rounded out the Superfecta at the Fort, and the duo of Wilcox and Peyton who skipped the Prince of Wales after poor showings in the Plate.
Also among the newcomers is Sammy Maudlin, named for a Joe Flaherty character on SCTV, who is trained by two-time Breeders’ winner Catherine Day Phillips. A son of Medaglia d’Oro, Sammy Maudlin took three starts to break his maiden and may still need some seasoning.
“I thought it was a very nice effort,” Day Phillips said. “He settled well. He was a little green once he got to the front, looking around a little bit, but we’ll forgive him for that.”
Seen It All Before has a couple of wins and will have Luis Contreras aboard. Lateegra is a one-time winner but finished a close second to Awesome Fire in the Wonder Where Stakes last weekend.
Three maidens will also take a shot: Dragon Tail, who is making his sixth start; Street Fight, who is making his tenth; and Big Kick, who was second at Monmouth last time out. Trainer Jose Corrales is employing a friend of his for Big Kick, which just happens to be six-time British champion jockey Keiren Fallon.