Keying Avie's Flatter in the Coronation Futurity

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

November 15th, 2018

This is hardly a creative opinion—to the contrary, it’s an opinion that will surely be shared by many—but it’s rather difficult to envision a scenario in which #3 Avie’s Flatter loses the $225,000 Coronation Futurity for Canadian-breds at Woodbine.

In a race where three of the seven starters have never reached the winner’s circle, Avie’s Flatter stands out on pretty much any metric you consider. Class? Avie’s Flatter is the lone stakes winner in the field, having scored a 5 ¼-length gate-to-wire win in the Cup and Saucer Stakes over the Woodbine turf course last month, and he also finished a respectable fourth in the Summer Stakes (gr. I). Speed figures? His 92 BRIS from the Cup and Saucer is seven points higher than the best figure earned by any of his rivals. Connections? Josie Carroll is among the leading trainers at Woodbine, and jockey Eurico Da Silva is winning at a 27% rate this meet.

For good measure, Avie’s Flatter is versatile in terms of running style, has drawn well in post position three, and already has a win over the Woodbine Tapeta track, so the switch from turf to Tapeta shouldn’t be an issue. And in terms of pedigree, he’s a son of Flatter (by Belmont Stakes winner A.P. Indy) out of Avie’s Empire (by Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker), so the nine-furlong distance of the Coronation Futurity shouldn’t be an issue.

So my strategy here will be pretty simple. I’ll key Avie’s Flatter on top in the exotic wagers while staying narrow underneath since Avie’s Flatter figures to be a heavy favorite and I don’t want to hurt my return on investment by spreading in too many directions. I’ll definitely be using #2 Tripwire, narrow runner-up in the Grey Stakes (gr. III) Woodbine for trainer Mike Maker; with the Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez scheduled to ride (and this is his only mount of the day), Tripwire seems very well-meant here.

I’ll also include the former British runner #7 Federal Law, who finished eleventh with a poor start in the Summer Stakes (gr. I) before switching to Tapeta and winning an 8.5-furlong allowance race at Woodbine by two lengths. Trained by Mark Casse, this son of Scat Daddy should be rolling late from off the pace and should benefit if a fast pace unfolds. The filly #6 Samurai Queen, who has run well in three maiden races over the Woodbine Tapeta without winning, might not be overmatched here either while going from open company into a race exclusively for Canadian-breds.

Here’s how I would play the race:

$10 exacta: 3 with 2,7 ($20) $2 trifecta: 3 with 2,7 with 2,6,7 ($8) $1 trifecta: 3 with 6 with 2,7 ($2)

Good luck!