Erupt aims to defend Canadian International title

Woodbine plays host to the Grade I, $800,000 Canadian International this Sunday. A field of 10 has assembled for this 1 1/2-mile turf test, which goes as the 10th of 12 races. Post time is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. EST. As always, be sure to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!

#9 ERUPT (7-2) has failed to hit the board in four starts since winning last year’s Canadian International but looms large again this year. He ran well in the Group Prix Ganay in May before being eased two-back. The Grade I Sword Dancer was a tough spot for him to return, and he tired to fifth as a result. Now he goes first time out for Graham Motion and adds Lasix. ERUPT gets the tepid nod to stalk and pounce for the win under Junior Alvarado.

#8 MESSI (8-1) was third in the Grade I Northern Dancer over this course when last seen. He might have been best that day but he encountered traffic trouble in the stretch. Jose Ortiz will be hoping for a smoother journey under this fellow Motion trainee.

#5 JOHNNY BEAR (12-1) rewarded his connections’ confidence by winning the Northern Dancer off a big step up in class. He retains Luis Contreras, who has guided JOHNNY BEAR to consecutive victories over this course and distance. This appears to be an even sterner test for JOHNNY BEAR; we’ll see what he’s made of.

#1 OSCAR NOMINATED (8-1) is an honest sort that just recorded his first victory at 1 1/2-miles in the Grade III Kentucky Turf Cup. He typically runs underneath in spots like this, so expect a similar performance. Julien Leparoux retains the mount.

#4 IDAHO is the 5-2 favorite but disappointed in this race last year and hasn’t shown much in his last two starts (the Sword Dancer and Arc de Triomphe). Ryan Moore flies in for the assignment, but others entice more.

The play: $4 exacta box 8/9, $2 exacta 8,9/1,5 ($16)

DFJ analysis: Junior Alvarado has just two mounts at Woodbine but they’re in the two biggest races of the day. He rides Quidura (3-1) in the Grade I E.P. Taylor before climbing aboard ERUPT in the Canadian International. Alvarado’s price tag isn’t that steep, so he should be worth the investment.

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