A compact field of six will travel 1 ½ miles on the Woodbine turf on Saturday in the $800,000 Canadian International Stakes (Can-G1). The talented cast features four European imports, including the defending champion, as well as a pair of contenders with local experience.

Here is the field:

ZIYAD

Ziyad Career Racing Stats

16 Starts: 5 Wins, 6 Place, 2 Show
Career Earnings: $420,629

Owner/Breeder: Wertheimer et Frere
Trainer: Carlos Laffon-Parias
Jockey: Maxime Guyon

Sire: Rock of Gibraltar
Dam: Arme Ancienne
Color: Dark Bay

Surging French invader draws the rail for his North American debut and rates as the one to beat given his current form run. The four-year-old gelding was a winner in the Prix de Deauville (Fr-G2) most recently, which followed a huge run when a head second in the deep Grand Prix de Saint Cloud (Fr-G1). He races for expert connections and will be tough to topple with his best performance on Saturday.

PIVOINE

Pivoine Career Racing Stats

22 Starts: 6 Wins, 1 Place, 1 Show
Career Earnings: $312,167

Owner: King Power Racing Co., Ltd.
Breeder: Ballymacoll Stud Farm, Ltd.
Trainer: Andrew Balding
Jockey: Robert Hornby

Sire: Redoute’s Choice
Dam: Fleur de Cactus
Color: Bay

Top BRIS Speed rating: 99 when fifth in the 2019 Arlington Million (G1)

Five-year-old never got involved when a late fifth in the Arlington Million (G1) in his first North American venture, but the gelding gets more ground to work with today. The Andrew Balding pupil was a smart runner-up at Newbury most recently and will be equipped with blinkers for this assignment. Robert Hornby will be in the controls.

NESSY

Nessy Career Racing Stats

32 Starts: 4 Wins, 7 Place, 8 Show
Career Earnings: $440,975

Owner/Breeder: Sierra Farm
Trainer: Ian Wilkes
Jockey: Chris Landeros

Sire: Flower Alley
Dam: Flower Forest
Color: Dark Bay

Top BRIS Speed rating: 108 in 2018 Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2)

Gelded son of Flower Alley was a game second in the local prep for this race, finishing 2 ½ lengths behind the mighty Old Persian in the Northern Dancer Stakes (Can-G1). The Ian Wilkes trainee has been mostly consistent in 2019 and proved to have an affinity for the course last time out. The Kentucky-bred will be rallying from off the pace in this assignment.

DESERT ENCOUNTER

Desert Encounter Career Racing Stats

30 Starts: 11 Wins, 4 Place, 7 Show
Career Earnings: $953,868

Owner: Abdulla Al Mansoori
Breeder: Tally-Ho Stud
Trainer: David Simcock
Jockey: Andrea Atzeni

Sire: Halling
Dam: La Chicana
Color: Bay

Top BRIS Speed rating: 110 in 2018 Canadian International (G1) victory

Defending champ beat an arguably deeper field in 2018 and rates an obvious chance in his second North American venture. The seven-year-old son of Halling rolls in with a trio of Group 3 wins in succession, and he owns a potent turn of foot which he displayed over the course last year. The Irish-bred will be the one to hold off late under Andrea Atzeni.

ALOUNAK

Alounak Career Racing Stats

12 Starts: 4 Wins, 2 Place, 0 Show
Career Earnings: $149,026

Owner: Darius Racing
Breeder: East Bloodstock, Ltd. and SCEA Des Praires
Trainer: Waldemar Hickst
Jockey: Clement Lecoeuvre

Sire: Camelot
Dam: Awestruck
Color: Bay

Wildcard was a Group 3 victor in his native Germany last time out and could be any kind today in his first run at Woodbine. The bay colt receives Lasix for the initial time in this contest, and the son of Camelot has faced some fine opponents this season on German soil. The French-bred is an intriguing contender in the field.

PUMPKIN RUMBLE

Pumpkin Rumble Career Racing Stats

45 Starts: 10 Wins, 8 Place, 10 Show
Career Earnings: $633,777

Owner: Al and Bill Ulwelling
Breeder: Smart Angle
Trainer: Kevin Attard
Jockey: Eurico Da Silva

Sire: English Channel
Dam: Clarins
Color: Chestnut

Top BRIS Speed rating: 103 in 2018 Valedictory Stakes (G3) win

Local hope from the barn of Kevin Attard draws outside in the compact field in hopes of taking down the winner’s share of the lucrative purse. The eight-year-old has won or placed in each of his three outings this year, and he had a nice tune-up with a win at Parx most recently. Top local pilot Eurico da Silva will be in the silks atop the Keystone State-bred.