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Woodbine: Best Gift of All back on Polytrack for Friday allowance
By Ron Gierkink
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The versatile mare Best Gift of All will go back to Polytrack on Friday at Woodbine in the featured eighth race, a 1 1/16-mile allowance for Ontario-sired females.
Best Gift of All, who wintered in Florida with trainer Katerina Vassilieva, was a troubled fourth in her first appearance of the meet in an allowance on grass June 12. She subsequently beat nonwinners-of-two Ontario-sired allowance opposition traveling 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack.
Best Gift of All most recently outran her 22-1 odds in the restricted Victoriana Stakes, which was run over a rain-softened turf course. She rallied wide from midpack in that 1 1/16-mile Ontario-sired event to dead-heat for second.
“The turf definitely moved her up, but she showed that she could win on Poly as well,” Vassilieva said. “We’ve been waiting for another turf race, but this came up first. She’s doing good.”
Gary Boulanger will ride Best Gift of All again for Spirit Winds Stable.
Queenstown should be the chief threat to Best Gift of All in the eighth race.
Queenstown has yet to run poorly at the meet. She placed in back-to-back allowance races on two different surfaces in July, then cleared the first Ontario-sired allowance condition Aug. 17 on Polytrack, charging from fifth to prevail by a nose.
Todd Kabel will ride Queenstown again for one of Woodbine’s hottest trainers, Greg Cox.
Hidden Turn and Flashing Honor finished fifth and sixth in a one-mile allowance on grass Aug. 5. Both are prospects for the bottom of vertical wagers in the headliner.
Both of Hidden Turn’s victories came on Polytack, including a score over $10,000 conditioned claimers two starts back. She never got close to the rail in that last turf outing.
Flashing Honor’s Polytrack form is spotty, and she might require an honest pace to suit her closing style.
Rounding out the eighth race’s field are Whiskey Romance, Waitinginthewings, and Fife Ness.
◗ In Friday’s ninth race, Vassilieva sends out Open Doors, who’s stretching out in the maiden special weight race for Ontario-sired stock at 1 1/16 miles on grass.
“I think he wants to go longer because he comes with a huge run late,” Vassilieva said. “He’s still a little immature mentally and loses his focus the first part of a race. We think the longer distance will give him time to get his bearings and hopefully make a late run.”
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