Siding with a longshot in the Woodbine Mile
A trio of major graded stakes races will highlight a fantastic 12-race card at Woodbine on Saturday. The topper is the C$1 million Woodbine Mile (G1), a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” challenge series contest that attracted a fine field of 10.
There is no doubting the abilities of the morning-line choices in the cast, Grade 1 standout #7 Raging Bull (2-1) and Fourstardave H. (G1) runner-up #5 Set Piece (5-2). But both are essentially one-run closers, and I think that each could have a hard time rallying in a race lacking an abundance of pace players, leaving both vulnerable in my opinion. And I will take a swing for the fences in the lucrative contest.
#6 Change of Control (20-1) is my selection. Trained by Michelle Lovell, the daughter of Fed Biz faces an enormous task in facing the boys on Saturday, but I think that she will be up to it. The five-year-old Kentucky-bred is a one-turn specialist on the green who has shown big improvement since having the blinkers removed five races back.
She was a dominant winner of the Intercontinental S. (G3) at Belmont Park going seven furlongs two races back, and I liked her local prep when a close third in the Royal North S. (G2) at six panels last time out. The mare has very good positional speed, and I fully expect her and pilot Colby Hernandez to track the pace from second before taking a small edge in early stretch. And if there is any moisture in the surface on Saturday, her chances for a top showing will only improve. Two mares have won this race in the last five seasons, and I will take a shot that a third will come out victorious in this edition.
The pair of accomplished favorites, as well as Mark Casse’s #3 March to the Arch (8-1), who was second-best in the race in 2020, are the horses that I will include with my top play.
Woodbine Mile Wagers
- $10 win/place/show #6 Change of Control ($30)
- $4 exacta key box 6 with 3,5,7 ($24)
- 50-cent trifecta box 3,5,6,7 ($12)