Bangkok gets in stakes prep
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Grade 3 stakes winner Bangkok returns from a layoff Friday in a 12-furlong allowance with no conditions on the Tapeta. The race carries a base purse of $74,500.
Bangkok notched his only stakes win on closing day of the 2016 Woodbine meet Dec. 4, when he upset an over-the-top Melmich in the 12-furlong Valedictory on the main track.
Trainer Phil Gracey has started Bangkok three times this year, all on the grass. Following a six-month break June 9, he came along the inside from a stalking position to land his season opener in a 10-furlong optional claimer. Three weeks later, he finished a distant fifth in the Grade 3 Singspiel.
Most recently, July 29, Bangkok ran evenly to finish fourth in the Grade 2 Nijinsky, from which runner-up Canthelp believing exited to take the Grade 2 Sky Classic as the favorite.
The five-horse feature Friday goes as the third on a nine-race card. The card also includes two turf events, which are scheduled to be run in lane 4.
Bangkok, by Street Hero Last 3 Beyers: 89-79-93
◗ Emma-Jayne Wilson, who won three races on the holiday Monday, is Bangkok’s regular rider and will ride the 121-pound highweight again. She’s posted solid numbers for Gracey, who should have the Dec. 10 Valedictory in mind again for the 6-year-old gelding.
Pumpkin Rumble, by English Channel Last 3 Beyers: 85-90-91
◗ After running second in his season opener on the Tapeta, he finished third in the Singspiel, Nijinsky, and Sky Classic. He pressed the pace before fading to seventh last time in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf.
◗ Trainer Kevin Attard worked him a half-mile in 48.40 seconds on the Tapeta last Saturday.
◗ The highlight of the 6-yearold’s career was a victory in the Mystic Lake Mile Stakes at Canterbury Park in 2015.
English Illusion, by English Channel Last 3 Beyers: 88-89-75
◗ He checked in second to Grade 1 Canadian International contender Johnny Bear two back in the restricted Halton Stakes and is coming off a non-threatening fifth behind that late bloomer in the Northern Dancer.
◗ Leading rider Eurico Da Silva and trainer Danny Vella have formed a successful combo, going 3 for 12 at the meet.
Portree, by Niigon Last 3 Beyers: 81-87-77
◗ The 5-year-old is winless since September 2016, when he won a nine-furlong allowance on the grass. His last two performances were encouraging, including a wide-closing third over a speed-friendly main track in a 10-furlong optional claimer Aug. 5.
◗ Trainer Stu Simon has worked him extensively leading up to this acid test.