TORONTO, May 23, 2018 – A talented field of seven older horses will line up for Saturday’s $175,000 Grade 2 Eclipse Stakes as part of the Greenwood Stakes celebration at Woodbine Racetrack, in Toronto.
The richly decorated field of older horses for the 1 1/16-mile Tapeta tilt includes three millionaires led by 2016 Queen’s Plate winner Sir Dudley Digges, two-time Eclipse Stakes champ Are You Kidding Me and multiple graded stakes winner Melmich.
Sir Dudley Digges, trained by Michael Maker for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey, wrote his name into the history books with a 15-1 upset score in the 2016 Queen’s Plate under a perfect ride from Julien Leparoux.
The well-traveled Sir Dudley Digges has since added wins at Churchill Downs and Kentucky Downs as well as a last-out score at the Garrison in the Sandy Lande Barbados Gold Cup. Bred in Ontario by Bernard and Karen McCormack, Sir Dudley Digges will be making his first start at Wooodbine since finishing second in the Breeders’ Stakes, third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, and his first start on a synthetic footing since his Queen’s Plate score. Luis Contreras will pilot Sir Dudley Digges in his Woodbine return.
Are You Kidding Me, trained by Hall of Famer Roger Attfield, won back-to-back editions of the Eclipse Stakes in 2015 and 2016. The eight-year-old bay, who boasts 11 wins from 37 career starts and $1,338,379 in earnings, nearly notched a third straight Eclipse score when he missed by a narrow neck in the 2017 edition won by Dragon Bay. The classy fellow captured his seasonal debut on May 5 when two lengths the better of Eclipse rival Melmich. Leading rider Rafael Hernandez has the call.
Melmich, trained by Kevin Attard for owners Stephen Chesney and Cory S. Hoffman, won his first five starts of 2017 including wins in the Grade 3 Dominion Day, Grade 3 Seagram Cup, Elgin and Grade 3 Durham Cup. He completed a lucrative campaign with runner-up efforts in the Grade 2 Autumn and Grade 3 Valedictory Stakes. Eurico Rosa da Silva will ride.
Gigantic Breeze, Hollywood Critic, Tiz a Slam and Tizzarunner complete a salty field.
The Eclipse Stakes will headline the on-track action at the Greenwood Stakes event on Saturday, May 26 at Woodbine. The afternoon will include high stakes Thoroughbred horse races, style contests, lawn games, art installations, culinary fare as well as a cocktail showcase with Toronto’s top mixologists. For more information or to purchase tickets to the fashion-forward social affair, visit www.greenwoodstakes.com.
First race post time for Saturday’s 10-race card is 1 p.m. with the $175,000 Grade 2 Eclipse Stakes slated as Race 8 at 4:57 p.m.
FIELD FOR THE $175,000 GRADE 2 ECLIPSE STAKES
POST / HORSE / JOCKEY / TRAINER
1 / Melmich / Eurico Rosa da Silva / Kevin Attard
2 / Gigantic Breeze / Gary Boulanger / Alexander McPherson
3 / Tizzarunner / Alan Garcia / Michael Maker
4 / Are You Kidding Me / Rafael Hernandez / Roger Attfield
5 / Hollywood Critic / Chantal Sutherland / Barb Minshall
6 / Tiz a Slam / Patrick Husbands / Roger Attfield
7 / Sir Dudley Digges / Luis Contreras / Michael Maker