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Twilight Meteor In Canadian Turf Sunday
By Jack Will
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Peachtree Stable’s 7-year-old Twilight Meteor, winner of the $150,000 Canadian Turf Stakes (G3) in 2009 when trained by Todd Pletcher, comes back in Sunday’s renewal of the one-mile grass course fixture in the care of trainer Marty Wolfson, who won back-to-back renewals of the Canadian Turf in 1995-96 with The Vid.
Jockey Alex Solis gets a return call on Twilight Meteor in the wide-open field of 10 after they teamed up to finished an even fifth last out in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1) on Feb. 5, beaten only 2 ¼ lengths for it all. The son of Smart Strike was sidelined for 20 months after the Canadian in 2009 and returned to finish third in an allowance at Calder and win the Tropical Turf Handicap (G3) at Calder in the fall.
Two other Graded stakes winners over the Gulfstream course will line up for the Canadian with Charles Fipke and George Waud’s 8-year-old Society Chairman to be ridden by Jose Lezcano for trainer Roger Attfield and Joe Bravo aboard Priscilla Vaccarezza and partners’ 4-year-old Little Mike for trainer Dale Romans.
Society Chairman is a veteran Canadian-bred turf stakes performer by Not Impossible with earnings of $650,000 and won the Appleton Stakes (G3) in March last year. In two starts in the fall in Kentucky he went on to finish a strong second by a length behind Gio Ponti in the Shadwell Turf (G1) at Keeneland and ninth last out behind Goldikova and Gio Ponti in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Churchill downs on Nov. 6.
Little Mike won the Ft. Lauderdale Stakes (G3) by a nose here on Jan. 9 when trained by Allen Iwinski and came back to finish sixth in the Gulfstream Turf in his first start since being transferred to Romans. The Spanish Steps gelding set the pace to inside the eighth pole in the Gulfstream Turf and was beaten only 2 ½ lengths for it all by the winner.
Lael Stable’s 5-year-old Nicanor, best-known as Barbaro’s full-brother, makes his first start since a close-up third-place effort in an overnight stakes on turf at Aqueduct on Nov. 26 for trainer Michael Matz. The celebrated sibling by Dynaformer finished second twice in maiden special races on turf early in 2009 and won turf allowance events at Delaware Park and Belmont Park last season. Jockey Julien Leparoux gets the call.
Making his grass course debut in the Canadian will be Black Sheep Racing’s China with Rajiv Maragh named to ride for trainer Todd Quast as he makes his first start since scoring a hard-fought photo victory in a six-furlong allowance race run over a ‘sloppy’ track at Churchill Downs on Nov. 25. The son of Tale of the Cat has won three of six starts with two seconds and has been prepared for his return at Goldmark Farm in Ocala.
Completing the field for the 45th running of the Canadian Turf are Michael Lynch’s Dr. Smarty Jack, Elvis Trujillo; R.A. Hill Stable’s Rogue Victory, Kent Desormeaux; Henco Inc. and Four Horsemen Stable’s Tannersville, Luis Jurado; Harvey Clarke and Andrew Albstein’s Yankee Fortune, Victor Santiago; and A.J. Suited Racing Stable’s Zifzaf, Javier Castellano.