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A CLOSER LOOK at Woodbine races on 9/28
Sire gets precocious winners though he has been about average in the debut department; the dam, herself unplaced, has six winners though the three who raced early did not win at 2; recent gate work and may be reasonably spotted if the inside turns out to be a favorable spot on the resurfaced race track.
Did little in his opener and would not be the first runner to produce a major reversal in his second career start; he did pass a few in his debut after being bothered early; a possibility.
Ran to his backing in his debut for no tag and drops following another work; the pace could be more accommodating this time but he must still do a lot more than he did last time; probably best to give him another.
Makes his local debut after a start at Mth where he took some money and after vying for the early lead following a slow start; he will run shorter today following some time away and several local works; he will race with Lasix today and it could be that he will run better at the distance and in for a tag; one to look at seriously.
Has the favorable improvement pattern that often produces a next-out win; he is stepping up again and his chances will depend on how fast the pace goes as he managed to last when the early running was slow; he has an interim work to keep him sharp and help his conditioning; should be interesting though he may not be worth too short a price.
Payment In Full
Was sent off at odds on last time and while he did run okay and well enough to be second he was far away from the winner; he is stepping up again and must be regarded as suspect with his frequent close finishes though he should be there throughout the running; contender but is questionable at short odds again and in this match up.
Ran evenly following a slow start and he was in the race until after they straightened away for home; the work should help, as should the drop and of course so would a better start; rates as one of the two possibilities from the Casse stable though he was tepid on the tote in his debut and this barn generally has them ready and spots them where they can; a possibility.
Last race was better as was expected with the drop and the return to dirt following the turf experiment and that race was very close to his best of the year; he should be relevant with a repeat of that and that may depend upon how the inside is playing; should trip well enough; contender.
Returned from a layoff and following the claim though he may have been up a little high based on his earlier races this season; does like the distance and does his share of winning when properly spotted; is a possibility or better if he can run back to his better races from earlier this year.
Just failed to win his return race in a FE starter following a short layoff following after his third win; this is a more competitive group than he has faced throughout the earlier part of the season but if he continues to run as well as his last couple he would not be out of the question, though the multiple winners have an edge.
Portrait of Choice
Seeks to regains some of his form from before the lengthy layoff; his opener was left him with a lot to do; waiting for him to show more.
Was returning from a shorter layoff at FE for a higher tag last time in his first start following the claim and the second runner from the Crook stable will have to come a lot closer to his pre-layoff form to have any chance whatsoever; he has a solid interim work which could help to set him up and he has done well here in the past; he should run better than his last but he normally shows something more before turning in a top effort.
Has failed to run quite as well as he did in his return in spite of facing easier in his last couple; he has not been the same since earlier last season; while he did run evenly against the fastest pace last time he was passed by Mr. Radioactive; capable if he can run any better.
Has not won in quite some time and will need a better race than he has run so far this year many of those coming with easier; not likely in tough match up as he shortens up for his second WO start.
Fleet mare loves to have the lead to herself in her races but that situation has not come up for her much this year; she was pressured early in her latest and never really got a breather and she finally gave in on the final turn; only Soteras Queen might be able to chase her early so that gives this gal a big edge in this field.
Tough older mare has had a month off and she is still seeking her first win of the season; she was back on the main track for her latest and she stalked the fast pace and then rallied with the eventual winner in the stretch but was mildly steadied by her rider and she settled for 2nd; she drops to a new low level and is a strong factor.
Brings a two-race winning streak at the Fort with her and she has easily handled her rivals in those starts; this will be a tougher task not only because of the class hike but she might not be able to mix it up on the pace as Showtina figures to flying to the front; still, her good form has to be respected.
Doesn't try this longer distance much but she has been closing wide and too late in recent sprint outings so she should be given a chance around 2 turns; she will be hoping for a fast pace to chase; could use her in tri bets.
Miss Bambee Belle
Has been away for 2 months but shows some recent workouts and remember how well she did in the fall of 2000; she tumbles in class to a new low level and she should be stalking the speedy Showtina in the early stages, hoping to reel her in.
San Bon Way
Not sure what to make of that last workout but it was a doozy and her previous 2 preps at the distance were in good time too; she has not run a bad race in a long time but is not known for her winning form and she lost her latest at the Fort as the favourite; good exotics horse.
Part of the entry was aggressive on the pace in her latest, dueling 2 wide all the way before getting tired in the stretch; she will have to avoid a similar trip in this race as Showtina likes to fast on the pace; she had an impressive win when she rated off the pace in her July 8 outing.
Blue Sky Lady
Lacks speed but has a good stretch rally when she's in the mood; she came from far, far behind in her latest and closed nicely and her rider had lost his whip at the top of the stretch; she does not have much speed to chase in this race.
Has been in good form of late and the return to straight claiming where he was a winner two starts ago makes him one to treat as a serious player as a repeat of that race would make him one of the more likely win prospects; this is his preferred distance; as long as the inside is not stopping runners he should be a contender...so long as he runs his race.
Friend of Mine
Ran well on the lead when he came back off a six-week layoff but yielded ground in the stretch run; from the looks of the pace match up he is going to have company up front and that has stopped him from winning of late; while it is possible that he will run better in his second start following the layoff, he must prove that he can carry the day; only an inside-biased racing surface might make that happen.
Running On End
Won his career opener a year back and then won his season opener this year; he has gone winless since then and this does not look to be an easy pace or class situation for him; he can be up there early and forcing the pace, but he will have a tough time unless the fast works produce a much faster race; he is risky today.
Makes his first start at WO in new hands following another layoff and has one local 5F work; he has plenty of tactical speed and he could enjoy the good trip from just behind a contested pace; he has some good races following past layoffs and is a threat if the NY-bred can run a top effort in his first try over the local strip.
Ran in a restricted sales stakes on Labour Day and was a closing fourth in a small field; he has a couple of 5F works and if he can improve on that race as the blinkers go on, he has the tractable speed to remain in a contending position and his best race would make him competitive; he can improve as lightly-raced 4-year-old; contender.
His win production has declined over the last few years and while his latest return effort was better than he has run in some time it is very uncertain just how he will perform this time; he has come back with a 5F work, a positive, and if that helps him to a better performance he might get something; his best recent races may not be good enough if some of the others run theirs.
Was bet hard and heavy in her latest when the morning line favourite was scratched but she raced evenly on the rail a slow, deep surface and was not a threat to the top three finishers; she was claimed from that race and could improve in this 2nd start after a layoff.
Has burned a lot of betting support but had an excuse in her debut when she broke very slowly and raced greenly; she broke much better in her latest and cleared the field but she ran out of gas in the stretch; she drops and shortens up slightly in distance; for the tri.
Tormenta Del Gata
Was a vet scratch on Sept. 12 but had a recent workout which suggests everything's okay; she had a mild rally in her debut and an even effort in her latest behind a runaway winner; the class drop and turn back in distance are significant moves.
Closed mildly in her debut on a track that seemed to favour speed runners as the night progressed; this will be her first afternoon contest and the added distance should work in her favour.
Had a month off following a disappointing debut race and she ran better in her latest as she raced wide but closed 4 wide off the turn on a speed conducive surface; the 6th place finisher was a recent winner; threat.
Thought a better effort was coming from this gal last time and that was the case as she dueled 3 wide early and 2 wide on the turn and fought hard to the finish; she shortens up and might be all set to put it together for her first win.
Beginner is by a former local sire whose foals tend to like longer distances and they don't win 1st time out; the mare has produced 6 winners from her first 7 foals to start (0 for 2 with 2yo winners); her workout times have been decent, though.
From the first crop of 'Monster, a fast stakes winner and the winning mare has produced a couple of winners but no 2yo winners from 2 starters; she has had quite a bit of gate practice recently; check the tote board for betting support.
Took a bit of betting support in her debut but broke behind the field and lacked speed on a speed conducive surface; she was claimed from that opener and she had an above average workout time for her new trainer.
Her sire liked the grass and he is not known for his debut winner; the winning mare's first foal is a 2yo winner; her workout times have been above average.
Was a longshot in her debut and she had a tricky post (the rail) in the slop and that made her task tougher; she chased the pacesetter (and eventual winner) but soon slipped back; she moves to the widest post for this 2nd start.
Maiden winner two starts ago switched distances to try winners for the first time in his latest and he was always in the top half of the field; speed seems to be his game and he tried a stalking approach then; he has the needed speed and will have to decide how he will approach today's event from the inside; he drops and fits here with the last experience at the distance should be around under the wire.
Broke his maiden at the distance and then tailed off in subsequent events before taking a short rest; he returns after that break during which he worked once and he will probably need a better race than he has run so far; inclined to observe his race.
Won off the layoff sprinting last time and has a couple of works since that time; he is asked to stretch out and he has run well at the distance; he is one who seems to do his best running when fresh and he is probably within range of these if he can produce another of his good races today; have a slight preference for others though he cannot be ruled out with his forward running style.
Has been away just more than a month and will try claimers again following the post-claim allowance race; while his maiden win did come at the distance and at the price below, he will need to do a lot better than his last race; he has a single 5F work; he looks less than promising off that last and would like to see a better race first.
He was a debut winner at FE with much easier in his debut race going this same distance; he has run some competitive races in some conditioned company and has been twice claimed recently; he is dropping and it will take a better effort than his last; this race could be highly competitive and the winner would be the one who runs a good race and makes his own good racing luck.
Won his race off a layoff sprinting just over a year ago and has failed to even make the board in four starts this year; he was up close with better last time when he stretched out for the first time and he is dropping for today; he has positional speed but is likely to have to use too much of that to get position starting from the outside; would prefer to see a more competitive effort from him.
Took some betting support in her 2 starts and showed improved speed with blinkers added; she's been away for 3 months since that race and that is a concern; she'll need to be sharp from the start again as she gets the rail and blinkers are off.
She's by a young sire who is well above average with debut winners from a small number of starters and this is the 2nd foal of a winning mare; she has had above average workout times.
Her sire is average as a debut sire and this is the first foal of a winning mare; her pedigree is for speed and she had a speedy gate prep recently.
Took some betting support in her debut and this full sister to stakes winner Lynclar had enough speed to chase the leaders but she didn't have much stamina in the stretch run; she doesn't have as far to go with a new rider.
Has the breeding to like longer distances but her sire has had a debut winning 2yo at a short distance this year; her dam was a multiple stakes winner and she has produced 3 winners.
Storming On Merit
Flashed big speed in her debut and was leading into the stretch of that opener before getting caught by two others; she has not been seen since that debut but has a bunch of workouts this month and her owners have had good luck with juveniles this year.
Homebred filly is by a Grade 1 winner who is above average as a debut sire and this is the first foal of an unraced mare; the mare's siblings include stakes winner Megas Vukefalos, Debra's Victory and the ill-fated Victoriously Bold; she has a mixed bag of recent workout times.
Will take a lot of betting support because she has experience and has run well in all of her races; she was back on the dirt for her latest and had a short lead early in the race but she was under pressure all the way; the shorter distance can help her break through.
Things might set up perfectly for this mare in her 6th start of the year as there appears to be a ton of speed in this turf race (with all the rain this week, it might be moved to the dirt); she just missed to Ever After when that one veered in front of her 3 starts ago and last time, she had little chance behind a slow pace but also made her move too soon; she should be flying.
Used some 'race riding' tactics to win her local debut 2 starts ago over Byzantine but had a terrible start in the Canadian Stakes and that outing should be ignored; she has lots of speed to chase if there are no scratches and if the race stays on turf; that's a lot of 'ifs' but she is a threat.
Champion mare will be close to odds-on in this race as she drops out of stakes company and note that she's won her last 4 allowance events; she has not traveled a route distance in a while so she might he eager in the early stages but that eagerness will be tempered by several other pace runners in the mix; still, she's the reigning champion turf female and she is a deserving favourite.
Ahead By A Century
Consistently good mare has not won in a while but rarely is far off at the finish; she likes grass but perhaps not as much as a wet main track and the surf could be quite 'squishy' because of all this week's rain; leaning to others.
Was sacrificed as a pacesetter for a stabelmate in the Canadian Stakes and it worked as Diadella powered to victory and she is set to run Sunday's E.P. Taylor Stakes; this gal shortens up to meet slightly easier but there is a lot of other speed in the field.
Tough mare is yet another front runner in this one-mile dash but she stock will go up if the race is moved to dirt and some of the other speed runners scratch; she has been doing okay in turf sprints this year; minor share.
She's really good now and the cooler weather certainly agrees with her; she won for the first time on grass in her latest against modest gals, benefiting from a great ride; she gets a new pilot as Walls is absent and this is a much tougher field.
El Prado Essence
Became the first horse to beat the fleet Meadow Gem and she did so by matching that one's speed style in her latest; she has tried grass twice without much luck and this race represents a tough challenge for her because of the surface switch and the other speed in the mix.
Except for Wanda
'Wanda is far below last year's form but gets a chance to drop out of stakes company and she was an even 3rd behind Ever and Byzantine 3 races ago; she would benefit from a fast pace but will she like 'softish' turf? Toss in tri bets.
Oh Too Swift
Not in very good form at the moment it is questionable how well he will run today as he drops after a race in conditioned company at FE; the blinkers come off but it remains to be seen how that will effect his performance tody; he will need to run better and off the form this year that is tough to call for; looking to others.
Has been away a short while after making his first start of the year in a similar class but sprinting; he has one good interim work; but his current form and condition are in question and he is unlikely to improve enough to be a major player today.
Was there early in his return last time with slightly better but he finished up third well back of the top two; he can probably build on that here and his last is one of the better recent races; contender and he could be tough to beat if he does improve at all.
Has not managed a competitive effort since he returned from Philly where he won two races; he is dropping for today's race, will be in the hunt early, but will need more staying power to get the job done today.
He is one of several in here who have failed to win recently but who has run some races which would see him a factor; he puts the blinkers on; he was always in the back at FE in his return with easier and looks to face a difficult assignment today.
Drops to a low for the year following a stopping effort last time; he will need to do a lot better this time and the key to that possible improvement might be the fast early fraction he was close to last time; his recent finishes don't make him a probable winner but he still could sneak in for a share here.
Comes over from a good FE race where he tracked the top pair for a while when he was stretched out; he has a sharp work to ready for this and while he does look very risky with his record this year, there are a couple of races which make him interesting...if he can run one of those today.
Gets to run for a new low after failing to earn a share in four starts this year; now that he has had a chance to hone his speed after the decent race at the classic distance, he might be ready to run the needed better race with the drop for today; contender.
Has not been able to finish his races in a contending position since his early races of the season; have to wait for better; not very likely today.