Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Heralds Close To Blockbuster Graded Weekend

Nest | Sarah Andrew


With a nod to Chicago motorsport legend Jan Gabriel's famous call of Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!, the blockbuster weekend of horse racing isn't in the books just yet with 11 graded stakes scheduled. Out of those, three guarantee a starting spot in next month's 40th Breeders' Cup World Championships –'Win and You're In'.

In Toronto, Woodbine Racetrack cards the GI E.P. Taylor S. A renewal of the celebrated 1 1/4 grass event, this year's edition includes Godolphin homebred and Dubai multiple group stakes winner With The Moonlight (Ire) (Frankel {GB}). The 4-year-old filly ran second in the GI Jenny Wiley S. at Keeneland back in the spring before finishing out of the money the next month at Newmarket in the G2 Dahlia S.

Receiving Lasix for the first time, the Charlie Appleby trainee will tangle with Canadian Horse of the Year Moira (Ghostzapper), who won for the first time in over a year in the GII Canadian S. Sept. 9.

“She's doing well,” said Moira's trainer, Kevin Attard. “She's coming off a big win, obviously, and she's had some good works since then.”

With The Moonlight's stablemate, GISW Nations Pride (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}), also returns to contest the GI Canadian International S. at Woodbine after winning a Group 1 in Germany over the summer. With Lasix too, the 4-year-old colt is up against GISW Adhamo (Ire) (Intello {Ger}) from Chad Brown's shedrow, who sends out Juddmonte homebred GSW Masen (GB) (Kingman {GB}) for the Sunday finale in the GII Nearctic S.

Nations Pride | Sarah Andrew

Elsewhere, the tip-top Sunday racing continues at both the Belmont at the Big A meet and at Keeneland.

First, Aqueduct hosts the GII Beldame S., which has GI Alabama S. heroine Randomized (Nyquist) as the favorite. There are also a trio of Grade III events. The Futurity S., which is an opportunity for 2-year-olds to earn a berth in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, is a chance for second out maiden breaker Apollo Ten (Violence) to strut his grass ability. The Christophe Clement trainee will have to grapple from the outside gate with SW Book'em Danno (Bucchero), who tries turf for the first time. Sticking with the lawn, the Noble Damsel S. features veteran MGSW Fluffy Socks (Slumber {GB}), while the Matron S. could be the stakes coming out party for Ever So Sweet (Ire) (Calyx {GB}).

The action at Keeneland isn't quite on the level of Saturday's, but the Association cards a pair of 'Win and You're In' contests. The GI Spinster S. is always a highlight in October, as older females look to gain entry into the GI Breeders' Cup Longines Distaff. A slugfest is in the offing, as champion 3-year-old Nest (Curlin) looks to avenge her loss in the GI Personal Ensign S. Aug. 25 at Saratoga when Idiomatic (Curlin) took home the prize from the first jump. The daughters of multiple leading sire Curlin are in for an epic battle.

“We know she likes this track,” said Nest's Hall of Fame trainer, Todd Pletcher. “We feel good about her that we got two races in her.”

Moving to the Haggin Course where the GII Castle & Key Bourbon S. will fill a position in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, we find a well-matched field of 2-year-olds. Noted (Cairo Prince) recorded his first stakes victory in the Sapling S. at Monmouth Aug. 26 for Repole Stable and should be the favorite come post time. However, don't miss First World War (War Front) who debuted a winner coming from just off the pace at Kentucky Downs last month for trainer Brendan Walsh.

Finally, swinging out to Santa Anita Park, the GIII Zuma Beach S. includes four 2-year-old colts who will be making their first start, while their filly counterpart, the GIII Surfer Girl S. beckons a pair of undefeated runners making their third start in SW Flattery (Flatter) and GSW Dreamfyre (Flameaway).

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