How to Bet the Highlander Stakes
An important turf dash, the $250,000 Highlander S. (Can-G1) always attracts high-class runners and Saturday’s edition is no different. It serves as a “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) and 10 will travel six furlongs on Woodbine’s turf on the Queen’s Plate undercard.
Here is a look at the Highlander field:
#1 AXTELL (15-1) – Recent allowance winner takes a huge class rise for Kevin Boniface. Son of Tale of the Cat has current form but still needs a big step forward to impact this group.
#2 IMPRIMIS (5-2) – Unbeaten budding star has dominated each of the four fields he has faced to date. Broken Vow gelding has finished clear by a combined 13 ¾-lengths in his quartet of turf sprints. He is the one to beat for conditioner Joe Orseno.
#3 CORINTHIA KNIGHT (10-1) – Euro import will be donned with blinkers for the initial time in making his second trek to North America. Society Rock colt finished a close fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint in the fall at Del Mar and has won four-of-five starts this season. Sophomore has to be given a chance for top 3.
#4 HOLDING GOLD (8-1) – Strong late runner was 1 ¼ lengths back while fourth in a fine Jaipur (G3) field on Belmont Stakes Day. Mark Casse trainee has class and figures to improve in his second run since returning from Dubai.
#5 LADY ALEXANDRA (6-1) – Romper in the April 29 License Fee at Belmont, four-year-old recorded a career-best 98 BRIS Speed rating last time for Graham Motion. More Than Ready filly faces a tall task against the boys, but I love the aggressive move from an expert horseman and will have Lady Alexandra on all of my tickets.
#6 LONG ON VALUE (7-2) – Brad Cox trainee was an excellent third in the 2017 Woodbine Mile (G1) in his lone try on this course. Recent stakes winner has class and a big turn of foot, and the bay son of Value Plus might be moving best of all in the final stages.
#7 IKERRIN ROAD (20-1) – Outsider has poor form from a pair of runs this season and is impossible for me to recommend. Five-year-old ran well last campaign but would be a surprise today.
#8 BELVOIR BAY (3-1) – California invader has posted stakes wins in his last four turf sprint starts, three at the graded level. Peter Miller trainee is another facing the boys but dominated them two back. Tyler Baze comes out to guide the in-form mare.
#9 ABBAA (15-1) – Former claimer is going well with wins on the main strip in two straight. But this is an awfully ambitious spot for a turf debut.
#10 BORREAL SPIRIT (20-1) – Hard-knocking six-year-old was a game allowance winner on this turf last time out. North Light gelding draws widest and needs marked improvement to hit the frame against this talented cast.
The Highlander lacks a lot of pace and Belvoir Bay looks likely to be the beneficiary with her early zip. Imprimis and Corinthia Knight should also be forwardly-placed with their tactical speed.
Lady Alexandra is eligible to secure a nice spot behind the trio and I like her chances to be a huge presence inside the final furlong under Jose Ortiz. I will tab her for a minor upset and key her in the top-three slots of the exotics.
$20 Win 5 - $20
$1 Trifecta part-wheel: 5 with 2,3,8 with 2,3,4,6,8 = $12
$1 Trifecta part-wheel: 2,3,8 with 5 with 2,3,4,6,8 = $12
$1 Trifecta part-wheel: 2,3,8 with 2,3,4,6,8 with 5 = $12
50-cent Superfecta part-wheel: 5 with 2,3,8 with 2,3,4,6,8 with 2,3,4,6,8 = $18
50-cent Superfecta part-wheel: 2,3,8 with 5 with 2,3,4,6,8 with 2,3,4,6,8 = $18
Good luck on the Highlander!