Woodbine stakes plays for the weekend of November 23-24

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

November 22nd, 2019

What horses to watch in the weekend's graded stakes at Woodbine

A trio of intriguing stakes races will take place north of the border at Woodbine this weekend, and I think value could be found in every one. Here is a look at the three black-type events with my selections for each contest:

Kennedy Road S. (G2)

Saturday's C$175,000 dash is led by 2017 Horse of the Year #6 Pink Lloyd, who is five-for-six in 2019 following his slightly disappointing season at six. The lone hiccup for the seven-year-old gelding this campaign came last time out when he was declared a non-starter after failing to leave the gate with his foes. Even with that start, the son of Old Forester was defeated by just a length when fourth in a courageous showing. But that race does leave the window open for his opponents here.

The other seven-year-old trained by Tiller in the field is #3 Reconfigure (12-1), and I will take a shot with the gelding. Lightly raced son of Lemon Drop Kid has never run a bad one, and he comes off a neck setback on the turf in the Nearctic S. (G2) most recently. Kentucky-bred is too consistently good to be sent off at a big price.

Coronation Futurity S.

Also on Saturday, eight juveniles will run 1 1/8 miles on the Tapeta in the C$225,000 event. Stronach homebred #8 Malibu Mambo (5-1) was stuck widest of all behind a slow pace when finishing midpack in the Cup and Saucer S. on the turf, and he moves back to the main strip where the Point of Entry colt impressed on debut.

Trained by Kevin Attard, the May foal shows five morning drills in anticipation of this test and he will have the services of top pilot Eurico Da Silva on Saturday. Malibu Mambo is bred to run all day and the youngster figures to be no better than the third choice in the Futurity.

Bessarabian S. (G2)

The Sunday feature attracted a big field of 12 fillies and mares going seven-eighths on the all-weather. The wide-open betting affair lacks a standout and a case could be made for the majority in the cast. I like the current form of the Ian Black-trained #10 Red Cabernet (12-1) and will give her top billing.

Five-year-old Ontario-bred was a closing sixth in this race in 2018, but she comes in with a much better chance this season. Chestnut mare was a stakes heroine on the Tapeta three back and comes off a fine try most recently against the boys in the grassy Bunty Lawless S. In that one, Red Cabernet was always in the running and fell just one length shy at the finish.

The return to the main surface, combined with a cutback in distance, could be the winning recipe for the mare under Emma-Jayne Wilson.