Defending E. P. Taylor Winner Likely Favored for Repeat


Etoile | Michael Burns

Etoile (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}), a narrow winner of the 2020 GI E. P. Taylor S., is the 5-2 morning-line favorite to repeat in Sunday's renewal at Woodbine.

A Group 3 winner in her native land for Jean-Claude Rouget, she brought 750,000gns from Peter Brant, Mrs. M. V. Magnier and Mrs. Paul Shanahan at the 2019 TATDEC sale and was transferred to Chad Brown for a North American campaign.

Second as the favorite in last term's GII Dance Smartly S., she went one better for a career high next out in the E. P. Taylor. She's only made two starts since in 2021, kicking off her 5-year-old campaign with a flat fourth-place effort in Keeneland's GI Coolmore Jenny Wiley S. Apr. 10, then finished a fast-closing second as the favorite to Mutamakina (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) in the Dance Smartly last time Aug. 22.

Brown, one-two in last weekend's GI Joe Hirsch Turf Classic S. at Belmont and GI First Lady S. at Keeneland, will also saddle second-choice Great Island (Scat Daddy) and Kalifornia Queen (Ger) (Lope de Vega {Ire}), who finished first and second, respectively, in Monmouth's GIII WinStar Matchmaker S. July 17. Great Island followed with a second-place finish in Saratoga's GI Flower Bowl S. Sept. 4 while Kalifornia Queen placed third in the GII Ballston Spa S. Aug. 28.

La Dragontea (GB) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) and Court Return (Court Vision), one-two across the line in the GII Canadian S. at Woodbine Sept. 18, re-oppose, while Waliyak (Fr) (Le Havre {Ire}) makes the trip across the pond following a victory for Roger Varian in the G3 Prix Bertrand de Tarragon at Chantilly Sept. 17. Varian also secured this contest with Sheikha Reika (Fr) (Shamardal) in 2018.

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