Up With the Birds will break from the No. 5 post in the 1 1/2-mile turf race Sunday at Woodbine Racetrack, the third leg of Canadian thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown.
The winners of the opening two legs — Queen's Plate champion Midnight Aria and Prince of Wales victor Uncaptured — won't be in the 10-horse field Sunday.
Up With the Birds finished a half-length behind Midnight Aria in the 1 1/4-mile, $1-million Queen's Plate on July 7 on Woodbine's polytrack. Neither horse ran in the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie Racetrack as Uncaptured won the 1 3/16-mile dirt event.
Up With the Wind, a son of Stormy Atlantic and Sam-Son Farm homebred, is the most accomplished horse in the field. He has three stakes wins, including one on turf, and $570,641 in career earnings.
Following the heartbreaking loss in the Plate, trainer Malcolm Pierce decided to skip the Prince of Wales and focus on the Breeders'.
"He's had no reason for time off, I just felt it was the right thing to do by the horse," said Pierce. "We decided to take a pass on the Prince of Wales and point to the Breeders' and have a very fresh horse to go a mile and a half.
"Hopefully our plan is the right plan . . . but I feel good going into the race and I expect him to show up."
Eurico Rosa da Silva, who has ridden Up With the Birds in all five of his Woodbine starts, gets the ride Sunday.
A win would give Sam-Son Farm a record sixth Breeders' title.
Global Express, trained by Hall of Famer Roger Attfield, is the 5-2 second choice and will start from post three.
Global Express comes in with only three career starts, all in the last 10 weeks. The son of Street Sense recorded modest results in his first races, both on the polytrack, but erupted with a fast 8 ¾-length victory in his turf debut last month.
Attfield has won the Breeders' Stakes a record eight times. Jockey Luis Contreras, who won in 2011 with Pender Harbour, will get the call.
The field, with post position, horse, jockey and odds, includes:
1. Pyrite Mountain (Gary Boulanger, 6-1); 2. Scipio (Emma-Jayne Wilson, 12-1); 3. Global Express (Luis Contreras, 5-2); 4. Highland Bay (Justin Stein, 20-1); 5. Up With the Birds (Eurico Rosa da Silva, 6-5); 6. Faithful Rose (Richard Dos Ramos, 30-1); 7. Bookies Nightmare (Davy Moran, 20-1); 8 Dragon Puff (Tyler Pizarro, 30-1); 9. River Seven (Jesse Campbell, 8-1); 10. Who's Mr. Hughes (Omar Moreno, 20-1).
River Seven will be the only horse to run in all three Triple Crown races this year. He was 10th in the Plate before finishing second to Uncaptured in the Prince of Wales.
The handlers of Who's Mr Hughes paid a $12,500 supplement fee to get the horse into the field.
Wando was the last horse to win Canada's Triple Crown in 2003.Suggest a correction