Pattison Canadian International 2018
A wise man once told me that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. With this sage advice in mind, I'll keep my thoughts momentarily off the Grade 1 EP Taylor that immediately follows the Canadian International and the Grade 2 Nearctic which will happen a few races before.
Post and odds
This is a field truly deserving of the race's international moniker with runners from Great Britain, Germany, the U.S, and Canada among the contenders.
- 1-Markitoff 20/1
- 2-Thundering Blue 2/1
- 3-Khan 10/1
- 4-Funtastic 8/1
- 5-Tiz a Slam 20/1
- 6-Spring Quality 4/1
- 7-English Illusion 15/1
- 8-Bandua 20/1
- 9-Johnny Bear 8/1
- 10-Desert Encounter 6/1
- 11-Focus Group 10/1
Opinions and picks
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There's also this oddity: Thundering Blue was apparently gelded since his last start - a win in the Group 1 Stockholm Cup. This is a very unusual move for a stakes caliber horse at this stage in a racing career. I'm not sure what to make of this horse, so I'll definitely look to play against at short odds.
Spring Quality (4/1) is another short-priced horse with questions to answer. His too-bad-to-be-true 7th-effort last out in the Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont could have been due to his dislike for the soft turf, but I'll look to make him prove that point in this race. My race betting money goes elsewhere.
Focus Group (10/1) is an improving horse who represents fair wagering value at this price. It doesn't hurt that he his trained by Chad Brown who has inarguably become the best turf conditioner in North America. Focus Group has won his last two starts and earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 100 Aug. 22 last out while winning the John's Call - a New York-bred restricted race at Saratoga.
He will need to improve to win this race, but I certainly see a big effort coming. I'll lean towards this guy for the top spot. You can bet this race with any of our online racebooks partners.