A couple of Grade 1 turf events, the $300,000 Northern Dancer S. and $300,000 E.P. Taylor S., are among four stakes offerings at Woodbine on Sunday.
Count Again, who made his stakes debut a winning one in the Sept. 19 Singspiel (G3) over the course, will face seven male challengers in the 1 1/2-mile Northern Dancer. Dance Smartly (G2) winner Theodora B., a wire-to-wire scorer over stakes rivals in her last two engagements, tops seven distaffers in the 1 1/4-mile E.P. Taylor.
The $250,000 Nearctic (G2), a 6-furlong turf affair, has attracted Silent Poet among its nine entrants, and the $100,000 Display S. for 2-year-olds on Tapeta completes the stakes action on the 11-race program.
Count Again, a 5-year-old gelding making only his sixth career start in the 1 1/4-mile Singspiel, rallied from midpack to win by 1 1/4 lengths while being overlooked at 9-1. Gail Cox trains the Sam-Son Farm homebred son of Awesome Again, and Luis Contreras retains the mount.
Gox also has Singspiel third-placer Say the Word entered for Sam-Son Farm. An allowance winner at Saratoga two back, the 5-year-old gelding will keep Emma-Jayne Wilson in the saddle.
The top five from the Singspiel are back. Sir Sahib will receive a rider switch to Justin Stein after a closing third for Stronach Stables and trainer Kevin Attard. Nakamura and Woodbridge, the respective fourth- and fifth-placer finishers, complete the Singspiel quintet.
Grade 3 winner Admiralty Pier, sixth after setting the pace in the Woodbine Mile (G1), will try to carry his speed 12 furlongs with Steven Bahen. Barbara Minshall removes blinkers from the chestnut gelding.
Theodora B. placed in six stakes before breaking through in the 1 1/4-mile Dance Smartly at Woodbine in mid-August, scoring by nearly a length at 11-1. Conditioned by Michael Dickinson, the 5-year-old mare followed with a comfortable front-running tally in the Sept. 15 TVG S. at Kentucky Downs. A daughter of Ghostzapper, the Augustin Stables homebred will have Stein up.
Etoile, unraced since a second to Theodora B. in the Dance Smartly, will return to Woodbine for Chad Brown. A Group 3 winner in France, the four-year-old filly will be making her third U.S. appearance. Rafael Hernandez has the call.
Rideforthecause, a 22-1 upset winner of the Sept. 12 Canadian (G2) at Woodbine, will stretch out to 10 furlongs for Cox. Court Return and Elizabeth Way, third and fourth in the Canadian, are also part of the mix.
A multiple Grade 2-winning sprinter at Woodbine, Silent Poet exits a convincing triumph as the 7-10 favorite in a lucrative 6 1/2-furlong turf allowance on Sept. 27 for Nicholas Gonzalez. An Ontario-bred son of Silent Name, the 5-year-old gelding will be piloted by Stein.
Hernandez, who is in a tight battle for leading jockey with Stein, picks up the mount on Guildsman. The 3-year-old gelding merits respect following his come-from-behind victory in the Sept. 16 Franklin-Simpson (G3) at Kentucky Downs, and the French-bred has won two straight for Brendan Walsh.
City Boy, a 22-1 upset winner of last year’s Nearctic, will make a title defense following a close second in the restricted Vice Regent S. 13 days ago.
Third in the Sept. 19 Woodbine Care S., Rocket Reload will square off against seven male rivals in the 7-furlong Display. Michael De Paulo trains the Reload filly, and Stein will be back aboard. De Paulo has another contender in Souper Classy, third in the Sept. 19 Ontario Racing S.
Other runners include last-out maiden winners Helium and Maclean’s Posse.