05/21/2012 12:12PM

Woodbine: Feature race puzzle poses challenge for pick four players


ETOBICOKE, Ontario —The average field size for Wednesday night’s eight-race card at Woodbine is a whopping 11.25 horses, and the pick four, which has a guaranteed pool of $100,000, could pay big.

The featured seventh race, which anchors the pick four, contains Queen’s Plate eligible Ultimate Destiny, who is nominated to the Plate Trial Stakes.

Ultimate Destiny is the lone 3-year-old in the Ontario-sired allowance route for nonwinners of three. He graduated second-time out at 2, before ending up second in the restricted Kingarvie Stakes in late November.

After wintering in South Carolina with trainer Mike Keogh, Ultimate Destiny ran second traveling seven furlongs April 21. Most recently going 1 1/16 miles, in another nonwinners-of-two allowance, he won for fun after pressing a pedestrian pace under Steve Bahen.

Stretch runner Head Honcho, who finished eighth in last year’s Queen’s Plate, should be favored in the feature.

Head Honcho missed the second half of 2011, and resurfaced after a long layoff in a race at this level and distance May 2. After saving ground, he came wide through the stretch to lose by a nose to One Big Gator, over a track that favored outside/closers.

Luis Contreras will ride Head Honcho again for trainer Catherine Day Phillips.

Wonder Phil wasn’t far behind Head Honcho in third May 2, after racing in fourth most of the way under David Moran. He was previously a close second behind Forestador in his first run of the season, and is definitely in peak form.

Strangrthanfiction’s best showing was a third-place finish in the Nov. 30 Sir Barton, a two-turn stakes for Ontario-sired stock. On May 2, he set all the fractions, against the grain of the way the track was playing, before fading to fourth.

If stretch-out sprinter Stormin Willie isn’t sent hard from the outset, then Strangrthanfiction has a chance to make all the running under journeyman David Clark.

Stormin Willie is coming off the sidelines for the hot Sid Attard barn. He tailed off at the end of last year, when more was expected from him by the betting public.

Sir Adie capped his 2011 campaign with a longshot victory in an easier Ontario-sired allowance. He chased Head Honcho and company home after a good stalking trip May 2.

Completing the field are outsiders Cojac, Trajectory’s Dream, and Not too Tacky.