Woodbine plays in wake of Breeders’ Cup excitement
The Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships never disappoint and the 2017 version was more of the same with some stirring performances. I love the event as much as I get to witness some of the best horses from both here and abroad on the same grand stage…but it’s time to get back to meat-and-potatoes of our industry.
Woodbine’s Wednesday card surely will never be mistaken for a Breeders’ Cup Saturday, but live long shots are on the card and I will be playing them. This looks like a good opportunity to parlay some of the weekend winnings (or get some money back if you happened to misfire at Del Mar).
Trainer Ralph Biamonte will send out #5 ETHANATOR (8-1) in Race 4, a gelded son of Old Forester who comes off a lifetime-best showing to break his maiden last time out. Ontario-bred had shown the right progression to get it done last time, and he impressed while topping a 14-horse field with a push-button move entering the stretch. Chestnut was unexpectedly a big price in that score and runs in a most winnable spot for a trainer who does great work with a maiden winner last time out. Gelding owns the top last-out BRIS Speed number and I like the quick turnaround, too. Stalker lands in a field with likely a trio of speed types establishing the tempo, setting up the sophomore for success in the lane.
The fifth race is for maiden claimers going two turns and #5 SOUTH BEACH SASSY (12-1) has appeal. Darwin Banach owned and trained filly had no speed in her first offering against a bit softer at 1 1/16 miles but came home with great energy, finishing four lengths clear of third while second under the wire. Daughter of City Wolf shows a solid five-furlong morning line drill since for a capable second-out conditioner, and a barn that is 5-for-10 moving up a class level. Emma-Jayne Wilson returns to the saddle and I love that the juvenile miss has a stable mate in this field who is a speedy type to help ensure of an honest pace.
In Race 6, #8 DOLLY STORMY (12-1) is my top selection and the morning-line price is confusing to me. Sid Attard trainee was an easy winner in a lone run on this main oval while never challenged last winter, and she comes in with a big class drop after a first go off a 10-month absence that was a useful prep in my view. Gray filly by Get Stormy dueled through swift fractions going for $20,000 in a turf dash last time and threw in the towel late, but she had to need the race and should get a great benefit from it. Kentucky-bred has been crushed in three of four lifetime tries, but she is total lone speed with a clean break from the gate in a field lacking class and pace. Contreras getting off is not a great positive, but she shouldn’t be 12-1!
Race 8 is a $20,000 claimer for fillies and mares going seven furlongs, with nine slated to go to post. The speedy #3 TALLIEVISION (8-1) is a consistent sort for the consistently good Biamonte, and has won or placed in six straight outings in 2017. Four-year-old daughter of Court Vision was a nice second going nine panels on the lawn last time and the cut back in distance seems like an ideal move. Second twice from two races on this All-Weather, filly owns the top last-out BRIS Speed figure in the field and the price looks especially generous.