Best Bet – (1) LION KINGDOM – Race 4
Spot Play - (7) SELF INFLICTED – Race 13
Pick 4 (.20 cents, Races 4-7) - 1, 2, 9 /4 / 2, 4, 6, 8 / 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 = $12.00
Late Pick 4 (.20 cents, Races 10-13) – 2, 6, 10. 12, 14 / 4, 5, 12 / 1 / 6, 7, 8, 11, 13 = $15.00
Race 1 – It is Queen's Plate day at Woodbine! A big card begins with a turf allowance and the impeccably bred (5) KINGLY, a full brother to recent Kentucky Derby starter Enforceable, graded SW Mohaymen and others is a graded SW himself on turf. He has moved from trainer Bob Baffert to Mark Casse and while this guy appears to 'need the lead' to win, he has tons of class and looks ready for this softer spot. (7) MALIBU UPROAR was super in his season debut to win at this level on turf but the field was easier. (4) WEDGEWOOD is in career form and he was delayed in traffic last time. (1) GRAY'S FABLE is the speedball in the field who will have to be caught.
Race 2- The $100,000 King Corrie overnight stakes is at 5 furlongs on turf and invader (5) FRANCATELLI is one fast fellow. He won his last pair by a total of over 12 lengths including a turf dash at Monmouth. If he can shake away from another fast guy, (6) AYE AYE SIR, who has been gelded since his last appearance in June, then 'Franc' should take this. (2) FORESTER'S TURN comes off a determined win in the Greenwood Stakes on the main turf. (7) CAJUN CASANOVA is another fleet invader who loves a grass sprint.
Race 3 – Maiden 2-year-old fillies on the turf go 1 mile and well bred beginner (10) ADMIRING could kick off a big day for owner/breeder John Sikura Jr. and trainer Josie Carroll, This gal has had any number of solid workout times for ace debut trainer Carroll. (1) CARPE HORSESHOE rallied for second in her second career race in a Tapeta sprint and has a bit of turf breeding. (6) OSTRACIZE was scheduled to begin her career recently but got loose. She is bred for speed and is working very fast. (4) RACONTER is a beginner with lots of stamina in her breeding, from the immediate family of champion Caren.
Race 4 – The first Pick 4 of this big day begins here with a maiden claiming race on the inner turf (unless rain moves it to the main track). (1) LION KINGDOM looks all set no matter what the surface is as he drops back to maiden claiming and has placed in route races on turf or on the Tapeta. (2) CURLIN'S THRILL is getting the biggest class drop in racing from maiden allowance to maiden claiming and is definitely a win candidate. (9) U S ARMY CORPS drops and stretched out for his 8th
attempt on the grass. (5) ICOMEFROMDOWNTOWN will be making his first start on grass and he is by a modest sire of turf debut winners but this guy improved a lot with the move to a route distance last time. (4) KUDURO lures top rider Rafael Hernandez as this 3-year-old comes off a short layoff having been gelded. He had tough luck in his last grass start.
Race 5 – More turf racing and this 'about' 1 1/8 mile optional event has several contenders including (4) ENGLISH CLASSIC who ran a super race at 10 furlongs last time in allowance company, working hard on the pace and then holding 2nd
behind a nice prospect. (11) FINALIST ran well on the grass and he gets a big class drop. ( (3) ZEPHAN has been regrouping since he stumbled in his June 20 return and he does have some nice efforts on turf from 2019. (12) ARGENTIUM gets far behind early in his races but he often motors along for a purse share.
Race 6 –(6) MAXIMUM MOMENTUS has chased the same winner in his two career races, Dragon's Brew, and this guy was in a tough pace battle last time in the Simcoe Stakes. (8) TIZ ROMANTIC is a half brother to speedy Ka Gee Gee and this beginner has had a lot of workouts at the 5 furlong distance. (2) I'M THE SHERRIFF is by top first year sire Reload and this guy had big speed in his career debut. (4) SECRET RESERVE has had some good workout times for trainer Mike Mattine who won a stakes race with a first timer recently.
Race 7- (4) AUBURN HILLS was briefly on the trail to the Queen's Plate but grass is what he wants and based on his pedigree, he should like a turf sprint. He has been away for 7 weeks but has not missed a beat with workouts. (6) ENTRY TO HEAVEN is a fast learner as he won his second career race which was his first try on the turf. He has come back with a sizzling workout. (2) FAST NEGOTIATIONS has been in the top three 6 times in 8 grass races, is lightly raced this year and he can run an 80 Beyer Figure on turf. (1) MR DIFFLEY was back on the grass last time and he was going quickly on the pace in mid-race and stayed on for third.
Race 8- The $250,000 Bison City Stakes is the second jewel of the Triple Tiara and the first leg was the Woodbine Oaks won by Curlin's Voyage. (2) AFLEET KATHERINE ran a huge race in the Oaks when second after stalking a hot pace. She has had just 3 starts but has improved quickly. (6) JUSTLEAVEITALONE has had a great stint at Woodbine under trainer John Mattine but she recently returned to the Bob Hess barn in Kentucky. (7) INFINITE PATIENCE went way too fast on the pace in the Woodbine Oaks but is capable of better with a little bit of patience. (3) TRUTH HURTS invades from New York for her first try on Tapeta and a recent return to racing off a layoff was good when third in a stake at Ellis Park
Race 9 – (10) CAMBIER PARC is an exciting visitor from the Chad Brown barn as a double Grade 1 winner on turf and this $1.25 million purchase is a daughter of Canadian Horse of the Year Sealy Hill. This is her first race since Oct. 2019. (3) ELIZABETH WAY is capable of an upset and she comes out of the Dance Smartly Stakes that was 'stolen' by Theodora B on the pace. (9) ART OF ALMOST is due for a stakes win and she has had good workout times for trainer Roger Attfield.(1) THEODORA B was ridden by Justin Stein when she set a slow pace and won the Dance Smartly but Stein has moved to another.
Race 10 – The 161st
Queen's Plate has finally arrived and I have to stick with the top colt since last year, (6) HALO AGAIN, who won the Coronation Futurity in his second career race. Yes, no horse has won Plate after winning Coronation since 75-76 but streaks can be broken. This big, brawny colt is set to peak in his 3rd
race after a short spring vacation. (2) MERVEILLEUX has had fast workouts getting some speed into her after a somewhat messy run in the Oaks when a fast closing third to (1) CURLIN'S VOYAGE was sensational in the Oaks. Merveilleux is a tough filly and sitting on a peak race while 'Voyage' may be simply the best. (12) CLAYTON won the Plate Trial and while he has been green in his approach he has raw talent. (14) TECUMSEH'S WAR ran a winning race against older horses last time but was too close to a hot pace and had trouble late.
Race 11 – (4) JEANIE B has made a good impression in her first 2 starts in North America since coming over from England. She was first time with Lasix in a slightly longer turf sprint last time and almost won. (12) PERFECTION CAT led late in a July 20 turf sprint, her first race since 2018. She has worked fast recently. (5) GREY SEAL was a handy winner in June but mired in some traffic last time. (9) ENCHANTED LADY is well bred for grass and deserves another chance since she had a terrible trip in her first try on the surface.
Race 12 – The exciting filly (1) BOARDROOM is undefeated in two races and beat colts last time. She gets a chance to try for some black-type in the $100,000 Ruling Angel Stakes. It won't b e easy for the pick with some tough speedsters in the field such as stakes placed (6) ARTIE'S PRINCESS and (7) AVIE'S SAMURAI.
Race 13 – There is a mandatory payout on the Jackpot High 5 (pick first 5 finishers) and this race will test your handicapping skills. (7) SELF INFLICTED looks interesting on the class drop and return to the Tapeta surface, he won his maiden on the main track last year. (6) GUESTIMATION put it all together for his maiden win in his first race of 2020 and has worked in sharp times since then. (9) GREEN GROWTH had a big workout sept. 5 and he drops in class.(11) SECRET PATH had a nice run in his latest when Patrick Husbands rode him from off the pace. (13) TALLESTOFTHETALL drops in class and (1) EMBRACE MY UNCLE is a 3/4 brother to Plate winner Midnight Aria.
Photo by Mr. Will Wong
Jennifer Morrison has been a public handicapper for the Toronto Star, Globe & Mail and Daily Racing Form. She is currently a writer for CanadianThoroughbred.com, Blood-Horse and Toronto Star and is the simulcast handicapper for Ajax Downs.
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