Updated on 09/15/2011 2:03PM

A CLOSER LOOK at Woodbine races on 9/21

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1st Woodbine

Delray Sam

Showed some early speed last time and that was the first time he has done that; today the blinkers go on and he may be ready for a better race now that he is getting used to the Lasix; this is an open race and if he runs the better race with the inside probably helping his trip he could be around the money at payoff time.

Russian Royalty

Ran a better effort last time when he went turf to dirt and dropped into claiming; he takes another drop and should be able to run an improved race again if he builds on rather than bounces off the latest and looks to be one of the top contenders in this one.

Pretty You

He goes first time for a tag and has a series of better races from limited starts; his speed is tractable and he should get a good trip here whatever the pace; he is one of the logical players and the closer to his latest he runs today the better his chances will be; big shot.

Susanne's Boy

Returned from a layoff for his latest and managed to be beat only one while in for a slightly higher price; he is going to have to run better than that to stay in the hunt with these and he will probably need a better race before measuring up; later.

Natures Treasure

Will get to run long for the first time and is supposed to race with Lasix as well today; there is the one good sprint three starts ago and if the Lasix helps him to run to that and hw will stretch out, a question mark, he has the speed to trip well and could last a long way with the good race and trip; iffy but possible.

Jimmy's Prize

Tops the Cappuccitti entry and drops in for a tag after showing some speed last time; whether that tactic will allow him to outrun this mix and still have enough to go all the way remains a big question mark but he does look to be one of the more interesting and if allowed to relax may be good enough to beat these maiden claimers; one of the prime contenders getting his best shot to win.

Sharp Forty Niner

Other entry runner will stretch out and will reportedly get Lasix for the first time today; his return race was better and he should do well at the longer distance if he is ready after the one start; barn is successful often enough stretching out; provides good support for his mate.

Stonewater

Ran okay when he stretched out for the first time but he is stepping up into a spot where he will meet better and many who are dropping meaning that he will have to run a faster race against a faster pace and tougher horses; he could but it is a tall order for the second runner from the Ross Armata barn; others preferred.

Nelix

Last was a little better but he is going to need a lot better than he has been running of late if he is to be a factor today; he did run better when he stretched his legs in the spring and now that he has those experiences the sharpener could produce better; still he faces a tough test today.

-Steve Zacks

2nd Woodbine

Glad All Over

Has not really been the same runner since last fall when he won a couple and was running his best and is now dropped to a low after being claimed in the summer and running less than well since; he holds a probable class edge and if the drop does lead to better as it so often does, his race, the day of the claim or his penultimate race, would give him a serious chance at the win, if he can produce one of those under today's circumstances.

Danubio

Will face a tough task in his first start here as he steps way up in class to test the locals, though realistically it is really a bottom to bottom move and less meaningful than the dollars imply; he has no wins this year or since the ship east and there is little reason to make one think that he is going to produce a new best all of a sudden today against the faster pace and better runners.

Portrait Of Choice

Been away a while and will be attempting a comeback after more than an 18-month absence and might even have his hands full if he came back at the top of his game; will have to look to others here and will wait and see what he can do these days as he is upped in class.

Dancing Dickie

There are cycles when pull ups and dnf's win with regularity but we are not in the midst of one of those cycles currently; he does drop back to a low and he has wins and recent races that would make him relevant; the interim work gets him qualified but it is hard to say whether he will return to top form; tough call under the circumstances; prefer others but he beats most of these with a return to form.

Spoticus

Was upped in class to try the turf last time and that did not do much for him nor did the return of the blinkers then; he is back in at the claimed price and is a borderline prospect with his best of the year and depending upon what a couple of the others do today; noting the pace of his latest he could be well positioned turning for home; a possibility, for the exotics at least.

Tango Talent

Without a longer work the state of readiness is unknown and he needed at least one start to run well at the beginning of the season; it is really a question of how close to his FE winning race he will run as he might need a top effort to make a race of this.

Maple Run

Has won his share of races on the dirt and maybe what he really needs is the company he faces today, though those races since the opener have been somewhat dull to say the least; whether the dirt and the easier company will produce the turnaround ... well that is the tough question to answer; the guess is no but ...

Call Him Up

Tough to know just where the 4-year-old is at these days though if up to the form of last fall he will be interesting enough; he is way down in price, but has a lot to prove and these are older runners he is facing today.

Colebrook Believer

Has only the one win and will need a career best race to make any impact; he is one of several returning from layoffs but he has not run well under such circumstances since then; readiness a serious question; others look much better.

-Steve Zacks

3rd Woodbine

Decidedly Jazz

Came off a lengthy layoff last month and took some betting support but after a show of brief speed, she dropped back in the stretch; she did seem to race against a mild outside bias that day; she gets a rider change and Walls has done well for this trainer in 2001.

Esprit

Was under urging to show speed in her latest and she chased the pacesetter into the turn (Ruby Tango) but got tired from that exertion; she is searching for her first top three placing.

Millennium One

Pretty roan filly is by a sire who was speedy and he is above average as a debut sire; the mare has produced 3 winners from 4 foals including stakes placed Secret Ami and recent maiden winner Sugarcreek Run; this gal had many preps last year and she worked okay by herself last weekend.

Shark Attack

Tracing back to that June 13 race at this track, she was an even 3rd at a longer distance against slightly higher priced maidens and it should be noted that she has not sprinted on the dirt since then; she exits allowance and stakes races and is more suitably spotted; can wake up.

Judith's Devil

One of 2 from the barn that will end a long layoff in this race and both gals drop in class; following her debut race, she caught a sloppy track in her 2nd start; just watching.

Hymaintenance

Did not take a lot of support for her debut but she goes for a hot trainer; she drops in class and gets blinkers after flashing brief speed in her opener.

Careless Whisper

Tough gal to figure considering her claimed price and her trio of drab performances this spring; she drops in class after the short layoff and she has been working regularly.

Rhetorika

Part of the entry showed little as a 2yo last year and has been away 10 months like her mate; hard to recommend her at this point.

Parkavenueprincess

Was very eager in her latest as she was under a good hold when stalking the pace from the rail and she was still in contention on the rail on the turn before packing it in; she halves in claiming price and that should help a lot.

Blaze of Honor

Reportedly gets Lasix and she has had 4 weeks since her debut and she lacked speed in that opener while racing on the rail; recent workout times have been quite appealing and she gets blinkers.

Grub for Gold

Had a tough outing last time as she hit the gate at the break and broke inward before being rushed up to duel on the lead; she finally got tired and faded as the favourite and now she shortens up in distance; interestingly, she will reportedly have a new rider; contender.

-Jennifer Morrison

4th Woodbine

Shahnana's West

Is in okay form at the moment but there are a couple in here who could make this a tough race if they run any better and he was near his best last time; even with the blinkers on, will give the edge to others and will let him prove that he can measure up to some of the droppers as he steps up a level.

Attawapiskat

Produced a win off the claim and will move from conditioned to open company and take a slight class drop in the process to ease the burden; there are several veterans in here who could teach him a thing or two about winning but he does look as if he should have a say off his last few starts as long as he can run one of those races here; a possibility.

Sneaky Sam

Is back in at his best distance and perhaps he will be able to run his race as the shorter distance and against the faster pace after a trio of longer events in starter company; this will be his first trip in open claiming since the claim and he did win the first; he has come back to work and he is one of the threats though he will need to get geared up earlier and that can be a tough task.

Copy Cat

Was dropped off the win and was sent off the betting favorite; he did not disappoint the contrarians who chose to take a negative position though he did still run second; he was claimed and is back in at the winning level today; he is one of the possibilities in what could be an open race.

Galindo

Lasix looks to have helped last time and it will depend what he can do today as he goes up against many in here with faster recent races so he will need to run better than he has in the past; it is a tough spot but if the Lasix continues to help him he could be one to surprise.

Bold And Cold

Was winning his third race with conditioned company two starts ago and he does not seem to be capable of beating these unless he runs somewhat better and they do not run well; that is a tough way to cash a bet, and would have to look to others in here.

Young Wolf

Has limited local experience and the winner of three is going to need better today; in many respects he resembles Bold And Cold and he will need his best with the others not doing so and that does not represent a probable event or outcome in this race.

Mactaquac

Tops the Tiller entry and is dropped after failing to produce after the claim farther up the ladder two starts back; if the work and the drop produce a better race he would look really salty in this match up though he will have to do better than he has been since he dropped after the second win; wake up prospect.

Pick's Prospect

Second from the Tiller entry has had a tough time finding the range over the last two seasons though he has run some winning races and finished a tight second -once to Mactaquac, once to Copy Cat- and what he might need here is to get going sooner or a monster of a pace duel; should be around the money at the end, but as for winning, well you have to demand a lot more than 3-1 even if he is back in at a low.

-Steve Zacks

5th Woodbine

Stuka's Beauty

Grey miss draws a tricky post for her debut and she is by a sire who rarely sires a debut winner; the mare was a 2-time winner and she has produced a winner; her Fort Erie workout times have been decent.

Fatima's Princess

Was a longshot for her debut a month ago and she was in touch with that field for only a brief time; she has a rider change as Luciani is absent this day; might want to give her another.

Wheat Queen

Florida-bred was well bet in her debut race in June but she raced greenly behind the field and finished evenly; she reportedly gets Lasix for this return and she has been working steadily; should improve with that first outing under her belt and with the addition of blinkers.

Sweep Easy

Moves up in claiming price and gets a rider change after another brief show of speed; she added Lasix for that race but was well beaten.

Nancy's Fancy

Beginner is bred for speed as she's by a sire who is well above average with debut winners and the mare's first foal to race is a debut winning 2yo (note that there are 2 debut winners under the 2nd dam); workout times don't tell us much.

Whata Gem

Her sire was represented by this year's Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos but 'Mon is not great with debut winners; the mare is 4 for 4 with winners from starters and 2 for 2 with 2yo's; workout times appear to be average.

La Brie Quette

Chalk her opener up to a learning experience - she had a slow, awkward start when brushed by 'Party and she was not hard ridden to get into contention after that; looking for a wake up effort.

Whistling Maid

Very fast filly has done well at the tough maiden allowance class but gets a chance to try slightly easier with this drop; she exits somewhat of a key race (the top have come back to win) and she was scrapping it out on the pace that day; a recent workout was fast; strong factor.

Suede

Raced with a mild speed bias in her latest and she battled for the front end for a speed before another quick one put her away; there is a lot of speed in this race too but she is improving.

Tahiti Blues

Looked like she had a big chance at the win last time when dropped in class but she made her move a bit too soon, cleared the field at the top of the stretch but then was caught late; she has speed to run at again.

Saudi Sadie

Took some betting support in her debut race but she was sent hard from the gate and she pressed the pacesetter (and eventual winner) all the way but she could not quite get to that foe; after such a hard race, she might 'bounce' or regress this time.

Bachelorette Party

Draws the widest post after an even effort in her debut; she had a faulty start when she bore in that day and she raced just behind 'Sadie all the way; might get a tricky trip from this outwardly post.

-Jennifer Morrison

6th Woodbine

Dahl's Bold One

Returns to the turf for the first time in a long while and he will need better than he has been doing; he is currently doing well and if that means that he will run better on grass now then he would have a shot in here, but it would seem to make more sense to go after some of the turf runners in the mix.

Double Blue

Last race may have been a little better than it looks with a good close down the long lane; with the interim work, the race and the drop he might be in better order for today and that could account for a lot; he won't be any 50-1 in here, but if he is close to 10-1 he gets a piece of the win and exotics money from here.

Litunga

First Minshall-entry runner exits the same race as Double Blue and really had no excuses save that he was not good enough last time, though perhaps one might think that he could have fared better with a different journey; he gets to run from a better post and against easier company and will have even fewer excuses today if he does not run well; contender.

Ells End

Passed a few in his shorter local debut for this tag and might benefit from the race, the turf experience and getting additional running space; that said he has not won since he was 2 and still has a lot to prove in many regards; would be inclined to wait on a better race.

Nautical Allegro

Ran a career best in the slop last time when he shifted surfaces and is back to try the turf at a distance which might just suit him better; he probably deserves to be given another start or two on the turf and if he can approach his latest back on the green, he could have a lot to say about the outcome.

Sea Dog

Won his third career race on the turf sprinting two starts ago but found the older claimers of the open variety a far different group last time when they ran pretty fast; while in the same class he might find these and the distance somewhat more accommodating; he has a serious shot in this match up.

Valid N Bold

Was a turf winner with better last fall exiting that edition of the Atto mile and while he missed the race this year he was in good form around this time a year ago; he returns from a layoff and after tailing off somewhat and he is in at a new low and if the single and remote work has him ready for a near-top effort he will have a shot; his best-rated race is on dirt over a surface rated good; readiness in question, though he is a possibility if he runs well.

Loveamericanstile

Was claimed two starts ago with a view to tackling the Halton stakes on Labor Day and he had little to offer when fifth of seven; he only rarely wins and there is little to make one think that the drop to this level but still above the claimed price is going to make enough of a difference.

Bold Hunter

Was a winner with somewhat easier defeating several of these -just- and what really makes him so interesting is the win or nothing and three for seven record on the grass; he has positional speed and if he can run his good race he can be right there with a lot depending on the trip and how a couple of the faster runners fare.

Bucks War

Came back from a long layoff to almost win last time when nailed on the wire by Bold Hunter; that was his first start here; while turf runners may be less likely to bounce than dirt runners, other factors such as second off the layoff, and tough beats sometimes take precedence; he is a contender if he fires his best again, but rather think that he might need some recovery time.

Exaltation

Has yet to establish his NA credentials and his failure last time when dropped and favored suggests that he still has some work to do; maybe the increased early speed was more a sign of the slower pace than a coming to hand; you decide when the odds show on the tote.

Juan to Dance

Managed to beat easier at 10F two starts ago but was unable to stay close at a mile last time; he will likely have his hands full here unless he can run better and the record says that he is not the most consistent of performers.

High Speed Travel

AE and part of the Minshall entry has run some of the best turf races of any in here and could be very interesting if he gets in and if he can get a trip while starting wide; he has tractable speed and is a threat here especially if he can repeat the early-season second-off-the-layoff pattern; interesting and one to consider for the exotics at least if he does draw in.

-Steve Zacks

7th Woodbine

Love and Marry

Looked like a nice prospect after a tough win in July but after a layoff, she came back in the 'Colleen and stopped after a mild move 3 wide on the turn; the turf was on the soft side that day so perhaps she that is an excuse; she was out for a strong gallop last weekend on a very slow main track; contender.

Duchess of Domasca

Has tried the grass twice but without much success and she appears to be past her best form.

Blondeinthemeadow

Closed some ground in her only other turf outing last summer but the grass is probably not the question with her - it's the distance; she came off a short layoff last month for a dirt sprint and she rallied 5 wide off the turn.

Count By Numbers

Is seeking a return to the form that saw her win at 72 to 1 in May; she's by a hot sire (who sired Atto Mile winner Numerous) and is a 1/2 sister to millionaire Kiridashi but she has not run well on grass; leaning to others.

Topsy Morning

Wonderfully consistent filly had a very tough outing last time as she worked hard on the pace, was 4 wide in a duel on the turn, put away all the way other speed to lead until late before she was finally collared; she stretches out and will be a pace threat; contender.

Ellzey

Was back on the grass for her 3rd local start but she did not make up much ground in a race that was won by a stretch runner; she tries a longer distance and she won her maiden at a route distance (on the dirt); outsider.

Fool's Jade

Made a sharp right hand turn at the start of her latest and then raced very wide all the way in that turf sprint; her last turf outing at a longer distance resulted in a win so that could be a reason to ponder a wake up effort.

Chopinina

Bombed as the favourite on a softish grass course but rebounded when not the betting choice last time; she had a good trip in that much easier event last time but looks like a promising runner.

Lady Warship

Tried a grass sprint in California last summer and fared okay but her pedigree appears to be best suited to sprinting on the dirt; she stretches out and will wear blinkers for her 2nd race off the layoff; taking others.

Bold Engagement

Surprising effort from this gal in the Seaway - she was beaten only a length and less than that by the runner-up, whom many think is a budding star; whether this gal can repeat that effort in a much longer test on a different surface are big questions.

Bar U Mokwa

Doesn't miss picking up a check very often but also doesn't win often (her last score had to be shared with Topsy Morning); she was 6 wide off the turn in her latest and that was costly.

-Jennifer Morrison

8th Woodbine

Nikie Your Honor

If the inside is good he should have a reasonable chance at a favorable pace trip and to win depending upon how hard he has to be used to stay in contention; he does seem to be on the upswing again and sophomores can get better in a hurry when they get on track; a possibility.

Zuckabarr

Ran a big race but was outnodded under the wire and had to settle for second money; the pace is going to be a lot faster and pressured and that is likely to create problems for him; unless he can improve on the tough beat he may have a tough time of it in this pace and speed match up.

Blue Eyed Sheik

Ran one of his better races last time and was claimed when he was dropped to a low to face conditioned company; maybe the addition of blinkers will allow him to run even better but he is likely to find these very competitive and the slow first quarter may have helped him last time; he has a couple of works and the new outfit wins close to one in three off the claim; worthy of consideration for the exotics if not a win play, with the odds a significant factor in the decision.

Maxidaisical

Was favored in his latest when he was dropped and was third and claimed; it depends on how close to his late-July best he can run under today's pace match up; the way the pace sets up it looks as if he will have a difficult time of it unless the claim changes him around.

Switchin Gears

Managed to survive the battles and win the war on the front end against some of these last time when given less than a big chance, and he can be competitive again with a similar effort unless some of the others suddenly run their best races this time; competitiveness counts for a lot and he has shown that and speed too; contender.

Jazzy Prospector

Suspect that he might have trouble running some of those good races under today's circumstances as he returns to WO to face winners; he does have a nice 5F work there and maybe that will help him to improve enough to run competitively but Switchin Gears did outrun him three starts back; others are more probable.

Pioneer Boy

Had a useful prep following a summer layoff and his spring races are still some of the fastest on the page; he is quick and while he has yet to prove that he can battle and win, now that he is fitter he might be able to survive the battle; that is the unknown and remains to be seen.

Tough Sledding

Came back from the layoff in fine fettle and scored an impressive front-running win but did that against non-winners and where he was the fastest early; that is not going to unfold today unless he runs a lot faster early on and how he will handle the pressure and the pace is another story that remains to be told; he is stepping up in class and condition and will have his hands full unless he has improved since then; questionable betting proposition.

Very Professional

Three-time winner has been claimed out of his last couple and after taking a month off returns for the same price as the claim; he has won up this high earlier and has run one of the fastest races with an honest pace; he has a couple of 5F works in Sept and should be a factor here as he gets away from the outside and might be able to take a more patient approach; contender and preferred.

Rattle Dem Bones

Was able to win an allowance race over the summer and was up higher last time where he backed up after contesting a fast pace and when wide around the turn from his outside post; perhaps he will take a different approach to this one, but the pace is going to be fast and contested and he may not be fast or good enough to stay wide throughout even with the drop; he is an exotics contender but needs his best to be able to win.

-Steve Zacks

9th Woodbine

Worthy Present

Might get big odds on a 'live' longshot here - he was outrun on the rail in his latest but the rail was not the best place to be on the day; in a previous start, he was an even 3rd in a good effort at this level.

He's Top Gun

Makes his first start of the year after a long layoff and he won his maiden at this claiming price but his first few starts against winners were drab; watch once.

Lumber One

Looked like he had made a winning move 2 starts ago when he swooped past foes to take the lead in late stretch but another stretch runner surprised him at the end; he had an even effort against tougher last time; might be hard to stop in this event.

Twisted at Five

He's a regular at the non-winners of 2 level for claiming but he knows how to put money in the bank at least; while he searches for his first win in a long, long time, he comes off a good outing on a speed conducive surface last time; in the tri, superfecta.

Flashy Toes

Fast gelding does not have much stamina and he dropped to this level for his latest but stopped badly on the turn; also suddenly received a surprising trainer change and yet another rider switch; hardly.

Deputy Account

Has not been seen since he didn't finish a race last fall and he drops in class and cuts back in distance for his return; he needed a few races to round into top form last year off a layoff.

Artic Breeze

Drops substantially in class after a 5 week break and this gelding has certainly been an underachiever this year after it looked like he was sitting on a win on many occasions; he has been prepping in spirited fashion; threat.

That Hoarse

Fort Erie horses should be given more consideration at this time of year but this gelding comes off a layoff for his 3rd Woodbine attempt and he has not been in good form for a while.

R Noble Alaric

Is back on the dirt after a turf experiment in July but he seems to prefer longer distances; give him a race.

Inspiteofitall

Younger gelding drops in class like others do in this field and he has not done much in his last 4 starts after a promising season opener.

Syndicate Blues

Dropped to this claiming price last time and he chased a very fast pace and stayed on well despite the fact that the winner came form far off the pace; he fits.

Impulsive Strike

Continues to put in his usual late rally but he has not won in a while; he turns back to a sprint distance once again and he is hoping for a fast pace to chase; should include him in exotics.

Mitchell Lee

Colt has a vision impairment but that did not stop him from winning at big odds 2 starts ago; he tried a longer distance last time and was done early so the shorter distance might help him start to improve again.

Senor Sterling

Late running gelding was doing well in the spring and summer but his last pair of starts have been sub-par; he dropped to this class last time but had little response on a fast track; a wet track might move him up.

-Jennifer Morrison