Idaho back for a second crack
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Idaho, from the worldrenowned stable of trainer Aidan O’Brien, has been pegged as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the 80th running of the Grade 1, $800,000 Canadian International on Sunday at Woodbine.
Idaho, who drew post 4 in the 10-horse field, will be competing just two weeks after an eighth-place finish behind the brilliant Enable in the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly.
Idaho finished fifth as the favorite in last year’s International, a race that O’Brien has won twice. Idaho’s rider, Ryan Moore, has won the International three times.
Erupt has returned to defend his title in the 12-furlong International as he makes his first start for trainer Graham Motion. The former French runner, who prevailed at 12-1 last year, is the 7-2 second favorite under Junior Alvarado. He has been idle since running fifth in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer on Aug. 26 at Saratoga.
Chemical Charge, based in England with trainer Ralph Beckett, is the 5-1 third choice off a victory in a Group 3 event on Polytrack at Kempton. He will be ridden by Oisin Murphy.
Southern California invader Flamboyant is 6-1. Trained by Paddy Gallagher, Flamboyant is exiting a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap.
Johnny Bear, the lone Woodbine-based entrant, is 12-1 for trainer Ashlee Brnjas. A late bloomer, Johnny Bear notched his first stakes win in the restricted Halton on Aug. 30. He then doubled up in the local International prep, the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf, nosing out the heavily favored European Hawkbill under a fine ride from Luis Contreras.
Motion also sends out 8-1 shot Messi, who finished a lappedon third after a troubled trip in the 12-furlong Northern Dancer.
Trainer Mike Maker entered Oscar Nominated (8-1) and Enterprising (20-1). Oscar Nominated comes off a victory in the Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup over 1 1/2 miles at Kentucky Downs.
Postulation (12-1) was beaten a head as the favorite in the Sept. 9 Kentucky Turf Cup. He has run a series of strong races since trainer Edward Graham stretched him out with the addition of blinkers.
Rounding out the field is Bullards Alley (20-1), who wound up sixth in the Kentucky Turf Cup. He picks up Woodbine’s leading jockey, Eurico Da Silva.
There are three other stakes on Sunday’s superb undercard – the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor, the Grade 2 Nearctic, and the Grade 3 Ontario Derby.
Idaho finished fifth as the favorite in last year’s International.