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2016 Durham Cup Stakes Preview, Entries & Odds – The Grade 3 Durham Cup Stakes will be contested this Saturday, September 24 at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario. Horses three years old and upward will take to Woodbine’s All Weather Track and race 1 1/8 miles for the winner’s share of the $150,000 purse.

A short field of just five will take to the track in the Durham Cup Stakes – race 3 on Woodbine’s Saturday schedule. Post time is 2:10 PM. Here is a peek into the past performances of all five combatants for this Grade 3 stakes.

Horse Racing Rebates

2016 Durham Cup Stakes Race Preview at Woodbine Racetrack

Are You Kidding Me 6-5 – last year’s Canadian Sovereign Award winner for champion older male had a nice two race win streak last summer- both graded stakes at Woodbine – the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes July 19 and the Grade 2 Eclipse Stakes June 7. He has been up and down since – consecutive seconds ahead of this weekend in the Grade 2 Sky Classic August 21 and the Grade 3 Seagram Cup August 1 (both on this track) followed a fifth in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs June 18 and a nice win on this track in the Grade 2 Eclipse Stakes May 28. Before that was an eighth in the competitive Grade 1 Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland April 1, a nice win in the Grade 2 Autumn Stakes here November 8 and a third in the 2015 Durham Cup on this track October 3. Are You Kidding Me has placed in three of his last four starts and looks to snap a three race losing streak from post 7 Saturday. Alan Garcia has the mount on the experience morning line favorite.

Up With the Birds 8-5 – Canada’s 2013 Horse of the Year and Champion 3 Year Old Colt, Malcolm Pierce trained multiple graded stakes winner has been decent lately – a third right behind Are You Kidding Me last time out in the Grade 3 Sky Classic Stakes here August 21 followed a good win in the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes on this track July 24 – a race that he also won in 2014. Also this year he had a sixth in the Belmont Gold Cup Invitational June 10, a fourth in the Grade 1 Man o’ War Stakes May 14, a fifth in the Grade 2 Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland April 23 and a ninth in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup back in November. He did post a good second in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International October 18 but struggled to get it going in 2016. Up With the Birds has been the best he’s been in over a year and will try for his second graded stakes score in three starts Saturday when he lines up in gate 2 with Patrick Husbands in the saddle of the second betting choice.

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Freitag 9-2 – has 24 career starts for trainer Mark Frostad with five wins, nine seconds and four third place finishes – all on this track. He enters off an OK second in the minor OLG Elgin Stakes August 31 after a fifth in the Grade 3 Seagram Cup Stakes August 1, an Allowance Optional Claiming score June 19 and a second in the minor Steady Growth Stakes May 23. He has been good against lesser competition but has yet to record a stakes score. Freitag steps into graded stakes company for the second time Saturday from the rail with Rafael Manuel Hernandez guiding him.

Decision Day 8-1 – Josie Carroll trained gelding has three wins, two seconds and a third place finish in 14 career starts. He enters off an Allowance Optional Claiming score here September 4, a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track August 14 and a fourth in a similar race here in July. He has three career graded stakes tries and has failed to place in any – the last being a fifth in the Grade 3 Ontario Derby here in September, 2015. Decision Day has been trending upward and will be after his first stakes score from post 3. Gary Boulanger rides.

Nipigon 10-1 – has placed in eight of 10 career starts for trainer Rachel Halden – four wins, three seconds and a third place finish. He finished second in the minor Coronation Futurity here in November, 2014 – his best result to date. Nipigon enters on a two race win streak – both here. Last time out was in an Allowance Optional Claiming August 14 and before that was in an Allowance July 3. He has been decent lately and hopes his success in Allowance company translates in his graded stakes debut. Steven Ronald Bahen has been tabbed to ride from gate 4.

2016 Durham Cup Stakes Entries & Odds

Race 3 on Woodbine’s Saturday card with a Post Time of 2:10 PM.

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Freitag 9-2 Rafael Hernandez Mark Frostad
2 Up With the Birds 8-5 Patrick Husbands Malcolm Pierce
3 Decision Day 8-1 Gary Boulanger Josie Carroll
4 Nipigon 10-1 Steven Bahen Rachel Halden
5 Are You Kidding Me 6-5 Alan Garcia Roger Attfield

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