Woodbine closing-day value plays

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

December 9th, 2017

A fine meeting north of the border at Woodbine will come to a close on Sunday with a 14-race card. The closing-day fields are big and ultra-competitive and I will take a look at a few horses that I think are worth a play.

Race 3: #1 LION LORD took money in a debut on the green more than 13 months ago and ran an even one. Nicholas Gonzalez-trained son of Bernardini was produced from a stakes heroine and the Stronach homebred is a half-brother to the stakes-winning Charming Delilah, as well as the stakes-placed Unbridled Juan. Bay colt shows a bit of a spotty worktab but I have faith in a solid layoff barn in a field that appears subpar for the level. A decent price could be offered on the sophomore.

Race 6: In this maiden special weight, I like a horse at a number in second-time starter #9 TRIGLAV. Dark bay son of good win-early sire Old Forester ran evenly at first asking in what looks like a fine prep run for this dash. Ontario-bred from the barn of Robert Gerl had a poor break and then lost an iron during the running of his debut but still managed to pass a few runners late in a respectable finish. Gelding also makes a positive rider change to Rafael Hernandez and while it’s difficult to back Triglav with confidence for a trainer who never wins at this level, I think he is a very nice top-three option with value.

Race 9: Norman McKnight has pressed a lot of the right buttons this meeting and putting the blinkers on #10 SUNNY’S RAINBOW last time seems like a brilliant move, as the chestnut rolled home in a powerful winner in advance of this one. Four-year-old didn’t have a very smooth trip from an inner post but still blew past his foes once clear in lane, and he gets a much better post today. Gelding has done a lot of good things on this course and getting leading pilot Da Silva back in the silks is a big positive. This race is competitive but I will be keying around this one in his third run off the claim.

Race 10: On paper it appears that #9 LEAD BY EXAMPLE has no right being in a Grade 3 race after failing on numerous occasions to break through the first-level allowance ranks with New York-bred runners. Five-year-old son of Midnight Lute has never raced on a synthetic oval, either, and appears to be outclassed. But the five-year-old was recently transferred to the barn of Josie Carroll and the respect that I have for that conditioner makes me give this one a look at likely boxcar odds. Gelding doesn’t make a lot of sense at 1-for-15 lifetime, but he could thrive going this marathon distance and figures to be among the bigger prices in the big field. He will be in a lot of my vertical exotics with Slade Callaghan in the irons.

John Mucciolo previews the entire 14-race card at Woodbine for the Daily Selections