Deciphering Belmont-Woodbine Pick 5

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September 16th, 2017

An international all-turf Pick 5 will be offered on Saturday. Four of the grassy tilts will be of the graded variety as this unique wager consists of three races at Woodbine and a pair at Belmont Park. I will take a crack at it, as it looks challenging and could be very lucrative if one or more of the likely odds-on favorites in the sequence falter.

Leg 1: The Canadian S. (Can-G2) is for fillies and mares going nine furlongs on the Woodbine lawn and is led by even-money choice QUIDURA. Graham Motion pupil gets a nice draw along the rail in this seven-horse field and has been consistently very good since coming across the pond. Four-year-old by Dubawi was a head second to the sensational Lady Eli in the Diana (G1) most recently and looks to be the class in an affair that did not come up very deep.

I will also include dual Grade 2 queen STARSHIP JUBILEE and Chad Brown’s ELYSEA’S WORLD.

Leg 2: One-mile allowance race at Belmont drew a sizable field of 11 with 2016 Hollywood Derby (G1) star ANNALS OF TIME the clear one to beat. Conditioned by Chad Brown, the four-year-old son of Temple City is lightly raced with just four outings under his belt and hails from a superb outfit with layoff runners. Bay hasn’t missed a beat in the mornings in the interim and is an obvious must use with Javier Castellano in the silks.

Longshot TOUGHEST OMBRE has the look of a possible separator. Tom Albertrani pupil gets a fine draw on the rail and has the right running style as an off-the-pace type in a field that could have a fast and contested tempo in early. Son of Tale of the Cat is the not the classiest of runners, but he’s a winner on this course and looks as good as most if we take the favorite out of the equation. Manny Franco will be up.

Leg 3: Group 1 star HAWKBILL will make his Woodbine debut and should be leading the way in the Northern Dancer (Can-G1). Standout son of Kitten’s Joy is clearly the class of this field and gets a good draw outside to avoid any traffic issues in this 1 ½-miles turf test. Godolphin color bearer has knocked heads with some of the top European runners for the past two seasons and I can’t find a reason to include any other runner in this contest. Charles Appleby trainee gets a new pilot, but the four-year-old did get in a morning drill over this lawn to acclimate locally and doesn’t face a field of stars in this spot.

For those looking for an upset, NOBLE THOUGHT was visually impressive when second last time in a Sky Classic (Can-G2), his first try at a marathon distance. The Malcolm Pierce trainee might have found his niche and could improve in a third race off the layoff for expert connections. Dark bay son of Harlan’s Holiday will be on a smaller ticket of mine where I do not single Hawkbill.

Leg 4: A well-matched cast of sophomore fillies will travel nine furlongs on the Belmont inner turf in the Sands Point (G2). I like a few runners more than others in this affair, but the margin between them is so narrow that I will go six-deep in this intriguing field. LA CORONEL and DEFIANT HONOR are my top two selections, but not by much. 

Leg 5: The always entertaining Woodbine Mile (Can-G1) came up both deep and strong and promises to churn out a few Breeders’ Cup entrants next month.

WORLD APPROVAL is an underrated star who has bagged Grade-1 wins at distances ranging from one mile to 1 ½ miles, a pretty rare feat. Mark Casse trainee was tons the best in the Fourstardave (G1) at Saratoga last time out and has been as good as ever in at age 5. Son of Northern Afleet thrives on an oval with some give to it and connections will be smiling if rain hits prior to this lucrative test.

The Euro contingent is strong for this grassy feature, led by the Aidan O’Brien duo of DEAUVILLE and LANCASTER BOMBER. Godolphin’s DUTCH CONNECTION and 2016 Arlington Million (G1) champ MONDIALISTE will also be in my plays, as will Bill Mott’s LONG ON VALUE, who might be coming up to a career-best effort beneath Joel Rosario.

Woodbine Belmont Pick 5 Ticket

$.50-cent Pick 5: 1,3,5 with 1,3 with 8 with 2,3,6,8,9,10 with 1,3,6,8,10,11 = $108

John Mucciolo handicaps Woodbine for You can find his Daily Selections here: