Powell’s Picks for the Summer Stakes
Fog of War (c) NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography
by Dick Powell
Woodbine’s Summer Stakes (Can-G1) attracted a field of 13 going a one-turn mile on the turf for juveniles. The winner will get an automatic entry in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) and, in today’s world, probably won’t start again between now and then. There are five maidens in the field and only six have won on the turf.
Mark Casse has won the race three times and he has three entered. Like Chad Brown in New York when he has multiple horses entered, the question is which Casse trainee do you like?
Even though he looks like he is up against a bias on the turf here, I like TRICKY MAGICIAN (#11). While still a maiden, he comes into the race in good form while making his fourth career start. His first start came on the Tapeta going five furlongs and he showed good speed before weakening in good time. Next was his turf debut and he lost by a head going six furlongs on firm ground in fast time as the odds-on favorite.
Last out was a $100,000 stakes race on yielding turf and Tricky Magician rated better this time, holding on for second. I like the fact that he ran well on firm ground then on yielding ground. His sire, Magician, won the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) in 2013 going 12 furlongs, so there is plenty of pedigree to stretch out. Johnny Velazquez gets a lot of Casse’s best runners and he should be able to stalk the leader from post 11 before pressing the button.
NASHTRICK (#9) was a very impressive debut winner here going seven furlongs on the turf in good time despite breaking a bit slow three weeks ago. He was able to pass horses willingly once he got his momentum and Luis Contreras rides back for Josie Carroll. This grandson of Sunday Silence is out of a stakes-placed dam by A.P. Indy who won on the turf at Kentucky Downs and that mare’s dam was a Grade 3 winner of $438,000 at Woodbine.
DOB DOB (#10) broke his maiden from far back to win going away going at a mile at Laurel Park in his well-bet career debut. Trainer Michael Dickinson wins 21 percent with his shippers and this colt continues to train well at his Tapeta training center. The final time was not much but the fact that he made up 10 lengths and passed seven horses in his debut are indicative of better things to come. The Temple City colt is out of a dam who has produced five turf winners and is a full sister to a multiple Grade 2 turf stakes winner of $1.7 million.
FOG OF WAR (#3) broke his maiden by a neck in a turf sprint at Saratoga when making his well-bet career debut. The running times on the turf at Saratoga were relatively slow all meet so his final time was not bad and he did show he can sit off the pace and pounce. Chad Brown has been on an epic streak and this one should be able to stretch out to a mile off a month’s rest. The son of War Front is out of a Group 3-winning dam by Galileo whose first foal to race is a turf stakes winner. His only issue is an inside draw in a bulky field but he gets Javier Castellano back aboard – 23 wins riding for Brown at Saratoga.
WAR OF WILL (#8) is also trained by Casse and could be dangerous in here. I am assuming that he will not hook up with the top choice as they are both owned by Gary Barber. He set a fast pace going seven furlongs as the 8-5 favorite in his well-bet career debut before weakening, and now moves up in class and distance for Casse, who adds Lasix for the first time. The War Front colt is out of a dam by Sadler’s Wells who was a stakes winner on the turf in France and has produced five winners including two stakes winners. He has a nice five-furlong breeze on the main track here and gets Joel Rosario, who will most likely go to the front since his stablemate drew outside.
Like its filly counterpart, outside posts are attractive for the one-turn mile on Woodbine’s wide turf course. It looks like a tricky race so the key is to spread out.
Trifecta: #11 with #9, #10, #3, #8 with #9, #10, #3, #8
Trifecta Box: #11, #9, #10, #3, #8