Selections for Royal North and Vigil at Woodbine
A quartet of black-type events will highlight a superb day of racing at Woodbine on Sunday. Among the four are a pair of graded sprint contests, one of which is on the main strip with the other on the lawn.
Vigil S. (G3) -- Race 7
In this six-furlong heat on the all-weather, all eyes will be on superhorse #3 Pink Lloyd as he aims for a fifth consecutive win in the race for trainer Robert Tiller. Canada’s most prolific sprinter had a decent 2021 debut when runner-up in the Jacques Cartier S. (G3) on the oval and figures to be stronger second time off the shelf. The nine-year-old son of Old Forester must improve, however, to knock off the contender who ran him off of his proverbial feet last time out.
Mark Casse’s #2 Super Stonehenge does his best work at Woodbine and gets top billing on this occasion. Gelded son of Speightstown dons a 7-3-3-0 mark locally, and he has a tactical edge over his foes as potential controlling speed in the field. The Florida-bred chestnut continues to train in swift fashion on the course, and I expect him to learn throughout with Husbands taking the reins.
- $30 exacta 2 with 3 ($30)
Royal North S. (G2) -- Race 9
Grassy endeavor at six furlongs attracted a field of eight fillies and mares. The George Weaver-trained #7 Lead Guitar concluded 2020 with a four-race win streak and has worked well in preparation for her seasonal bow. By Maclean’s Music, the five-year-old is so versatile in that she can run from on the lead or off the pace, as well as thrive over any kind of turf surface as well. The Empire State-bred came to hand in a big way as a four-year-old, and I look for her to continue her ascension on Sunday. Rafael Hernandez has the call.
I will use a pair of contenders underneath my top selection, including defending champ #3 Lady Grace. Trained by Casse, the Florida-bred is 2-for-4 on the surface, and she moves up if she receives her preferred firm going in the Royal North. #4 Change of Control has been very sharp while first or second in each of her quartet of outings in 2021 for Michelle Lovell. The Fed Biz mare has been better with blinkers off, and she will put in her customary big run late under Husbands.
- $20 win #7 Lead Guitar ($20)
- $4 exacta key box 7 with 3,4 ($16)
- $1 trifecta 7 with 3,4 with all ($12)