Race 1 )
Kadley – Has some big names in her PP’s and gets a bit of class relief this day. She returned to the grass for her latest and was given absolutely no shot by the betting public and nearly connected at 92-1. She was given a nice steer by apprentice Fukumoto and he may have learned a thing or two about her. She is a deep closer who is pace dependent, but we see enough early conflict to soften up the front runners. We believe that she will offer every bit of her 7-2 ML and we’ll call her in the opener.
Heart Rush – Is an ultra consistent who may have a touch of seconditis. She is a speedy mare who runs well wherever she is spotted. She gets back to the grass today and we think that she could be a shade better on the main track. She will have some company up front but should hang in for a major portion based on her solid form and tactical speed.
Carolina Grace – Is the big mare for a lower profile outfit, who have managed her well throughout her eight race career. It’s been all grass for her thus far and she appears to be at her best going a middle distance. She ended a six month vacation in her latest and she was not pushed. She will be much tighter this time around and looks like a threat from close range. Don’t sell short.
Silent Respect – Was thought to be live in her opener against a decent group of maidens. She lived up to the hype an simply manhandled that bunch. She is a three year old facing mainly older in her first try against winners. She gets a class test today and may move forward in a big way, but we will call her for a smaller share this time around.
Race 2 )
Limonaia – Gets the ball rolling for Team Casse who will be very busy this afternoon. She was a big ticket item ( $350K ) as a yearling for Stonestreet LLC. Her work tab has been ultra steady and she has several sharp works on display. He last couple of drills have come at this distance and she looks to be primed and ready. Florent Geroux picks up a live looking mount. At first asking.
Maritime Breeze – Was thought to be a class above in her debut when she went post ward as the 6-5 choice against a full field of maidens. She blew the break and and never really got involved, but didn’t lose ground through the lane. She has worked back in strong fashion and she now adds blinkers. DaSilva sticks by her and we expect this well bred youngster to move forward in a big way. Big Shot.
Con Artist – Is a home bred for Ken and Sarah Ramsey who may thrive going longer on the grass, but finds herself debuting in a main track sprint. Trainer Maker usually spots his charges well and judging by her works, we see enough early lick to make her a factor. Jose Ortiz rides and he could sit a trip from just off the pace. One to consider.
Soul Planet – Is the other Casse runner in the lineup and she holds an experience edge over this handicappers top three selections. She debuted two weeks ago and is wheeled right back off a decent showing. She raced greenly but finished up with interest. She could hit the tri ticket.
Race 3 )
El Tormenta – Is a product of the powerhouse Sam Son Farm breeding operation. His mother was an honest sort who won a couple over this course. He didn’t do much in both starts at two, so he was shelved by a sharp outfit and was gelded over the winter. He returned a month ago and graduated in style after blowing the break, he stalked the pace and ran away from a well regarded field. He has been given a four weeks off and has come back with a couple of nice drills in the interim. With that positive experience behind him, he should move forward once again and the price will be right.
Blueblood – Is one of four in this race for Team Casse. He is a son of the late great City Zip who often provides a strong turf influence. He was shelved after a game second place finish in The Queenston to sharpie Silent Sting and has been working well for this return to action. His toughest race to date came in an overnight stake at Tampa that produced some of the best three year old turfers in North America. Hernandez picks up the mount and he could fly under the radar of the betting public. Interesting price play.
Machtree – Will get a ton of support from the punters and we see the logic. He comes to this off a short rest after a dynamite showing in the Marine. He was bearing down on O’Kratos and Husbands lost his whip through the stretch. He hasn’t missed a beat in the mornings and now gets back to grass a surface that he is bred to adore. The fans might note the rider switch to hall of famer John Velazquez. Obvious Contender.
Ride a Comet – Is yet another representative of Team Casse. He is a perfect two for two over the grass and dusted a nice bunch in the prep for this race. Barn insider Husbands had a spin on all four of the Casse runners and lands here. He has a nice stalk and pop style. We expect a similar approach this day and he demands respect in a loaded field.
Race 4 )
Eradicator – Goes Turf to Tapeta and gets a major dose of class relief as he gets back in against his own kind. He now races out of the Andrew Smith barn and has a couple of super sharp main track drills in the holster. He and tactical speed and a few suspect front runners to track early. He gets a rider switch to Contreras and looks all set to blow this condition. The strong choice.
Drive On – Graduated two starts back in eye popping fashion. He stepped up in class for his first try against winners and he wasn’t a good fit against that really strong group. He is now reclassified and finds himself in against a much friendlier bunch. He fits and must be considered for the multi race wagers.
Tanglefoot – Has some longshot appeal. He graduated at first asking as a three year old and looked ok in his second start against a salty bunch. He has only tried turf thus far and comes to this off a ten month layoff. He gets major class relief and he is working well for a barn that needs a break. Hot young apprentice Kimora takes over and we suspect that his backers will realize every bit of his 15-1 ML if he connects. Hmmmm.
Splash With Me – Is fairly consistent runner for the level who always shows up, but never really shows an inclination to win races. He goes turf to dirt and is working well since his most recent. He draws the rail and should work out a trip. Big shot but we will pass on the win and call him underneath.
Race 5 )
Fashion Flirt – Is a first time starter who goes for a barn that doesn’t typically grill their beginners. We respect the horsemanship of this outfit and we can’t help but notice the steady stream of incredible works on display. She has a modest pedigree with an emphasis on speed. This isn’t the toughest bunch and she could wire them under an aggressive Kirk Johnson ride.
Maxixe– Looked like a top prospect as a baby for trainer Ricky Griffith but was shelved after a couple of speed efforts as the chalk. She changed hands in the off season and now represents the high percentage Jim Ensom barn. She is working lights out for this return to action and looks to be coming to this seasonal bow in good shape. She will get pounded by the betting public and deserves a long look.
Beth’s Aurora – Hooked some really tough foes in her first three starts and after a barn switch to Vella, she dropped in for a tag and the softer company woke her up in a big way. She ran the race of her life checking in a narrowly beaten second to the long overdue Tomato Bisque. She comes back against a similar class and should be a presence while her confidence is high.
Tricky Sonet – Is an Ivan Dalos Home bred who is out of a productive family. She made her first couple of starts against some of the better babies on the grounds and looked ok. She has been away since the fall and resurfaces here with a price on her head. She has been getting ready for a while and her latest drill was outstanding. Trainer DePaulo can have one Ready off works and she may be the sleeper.
Race 6 )
Caribou Club – Is a Glen Hill Home bred and this top outfit deals in class. He has patiently handled early in his career and that approach paid dividends as he has only missed the board twice in his first twelve starts. He has clearly matured from three to four and comes to this in career best form. He shipped in to contest the Connaught Cup and looked like a champ as he stalked the speed and put away the challenges of the best turfers around. Boulanger had a spin and he knows what is under the hood. He will have speed to track and looks all set for another new top. Strong.
Delta Prince – Is a five year old making just start number eight. He clearly has some issues as he rarely strings many efforts together, but we can’t argue with the management as he never runs a bad race. He is at his best when freshened as two of his three scores have come off a vacation. He loves this trip, has tons of tactical speed. His worktab is exceptional and he gets a rider switch to Castellano. Major Player.
Tower of Texas – Is a classy seven year old who has long been viewed as one of the best turfers in Canada. He sat mid pack and took a late shot at Caribou Club in the Connaught but couldn’t get to that winner. He may be a touch better going seven furlongs but is a double winner going this trip. Few ride this course better than DaSilva and hall of famer Attfield calls the shots. Maybe.
Shakhimat – Is another representative of the Roger Attfield barn. He has been off his game the past while, but does have a ton of back class to lean on. He had a slow start to the 2018 season so he was given time away. His return works are eye popping and we like the fact that Hernandez takes the call. This jockey/trainer combo is very productive and it could be a signal that he is ready to run a big one. Price play.
Race 7 )
Si Si Tequila – Debuted a few weeks ago against arguably the best two year old filly ( Tia Breathtaking ) on the grounds and she took all the betting action. She stalked the speed and tried to follow the move of the winner but had no response. She now adds blinkers, lasix and gets a rider switch to Geroux. The maidens from this top barn don’t usually take long to graduate. At second asking.
It’s Vengeance – Is an expensive daughter of Curlin who will be saddled by Roger Attfield. She likely wintered in Florida and since she started her preps here, she has shown a great deal of promise, posting a few bullets. Her latest drill capped her training regime off with a booming five furlong breeze. Hernandez will ride and we expect betting support to show. Watch the windows for this clues about this live looking first timer.
Truly Honoured – There were a few whispers about this daughter of To Honor and Serve before she made it to the track. She started her career in the same dash as our choice and she ran a respectable third. She loses Hernandez to another but picks up Boulanger, a capable replacement. She belongs.
Trickeration – Is a daughter of the long winded turf influence, Kittens Joy, but there is plenty of speed on the bottom of her pedigree. She has been getting ready for months and her works are sharp at times. She has worked this distance several times and could be a factor for Mike Doyle.
Race 8 )
Santa Monica ( GB ) – Looks to this handicapper like the best bet on the card. She is making just her third start in North America after an average beginning in Europe. She was well supported to take out the Sheepshead Bay in her latest. She was ridden with confidence by Tyler Gaffalione, but she lacked a clear path in the late stages and by the time she shook loose, Holy Helena was gone. She has been given time away but hasn’t missed a beat in the mornings and her works are solid. She gets a positive rider switch to Jose Ortiz and we suspect that she will appreciate the roomy nature of this course in lane one. She has all the tools. Best Bet.
Dream Dancing – Capped her three year old season with a gutsy win in the grade one Del Mar Oaks. She has been keeping company with the top mares in the US this season and has landed on the edges in her first few starts as a four year old. She was a narrowly beaten sixth in the Just A Game, and we feel that she is now ready to compete with the best older distaffers. She draws the hedge and Florent Geroux takes over in the saddle. She should offer a nice return to her supporters and could boost the exotics. Nice price option.
Holy Helena – Was the 2017 Queens Plate Champion and has done the bulk of her earning at Woodbine. She has been repurposed as a turf horse this season and did take out a couple of graded stakes over the lawn. She beat a trip compromised Santa Monica in the Sheepshead Bay but was probably the second best filly in that race. She has since to back to run fifth behind a trio of Chad Brown runners in the New York. She is pure class and she is back in the barn that gets the most out of her. Obvious contender.
Starship Jubilee – Was the claim of the year in 2017. She was taken for a pittance ( $16 K ) in Florida last winter and she quickly became a double graded stakes winner for Kevin Attard and Soli Mehta. She was well supported to take out the Nassau in her latest but couldn’t get to the front running Niigon’s Eclipse over a speed favouring course. She will be tighter with that start under her belt and the course should play more fairly racing in lane one. She will offer a handsome return and she merits consideration.
Race 9 )
Holding Gold – Full disclosure, this son of Lohnro is a personal favourite of this handicapper. We suspect that this race has been on the radar for a long while and trainer Casse should have him all set for a big showing today. He has never won going this trip but has come up “ just short “ against some of the top players in the turf sprinting game. He traveled to Dubai for the Al Quoz Sprint this past winter and wasn’t even asked a bit after a horrible start. He resurfaced in the Jaipur and checked in a narrowly beaten fourth. That race should have done him wonders from a conditioning standpoint and his follow up work ( local ) was eye popping. He gets a rider switch to JR Velazquez who knows him well. He will have plenty of speed to track and the Woodbine course will be kind to his running style. If his 8-1 ML holds up, he is a strong play.
Long on Value – Caught the eye of many handicappers in The Woodbine Mile where he was cutting into the deficit of Champion Miler World Approval. He was away eight months plus heading into his latest , which marked his first start for Brad Cox. He simply jogged in that five furlong dash and that should set him up for a big effort this day. His human connections have been shipping and winning all over the place. We like the fact that Geroux sticks by him. Contender.
Imprimis – Is a lightly raced son of Broken Vow who sports a perfect 4-4 record. He clearly loves a turf sprint but gets a substantial class test in this spot. He should be forwardly placed under new rider Joel Rosario, but we will have some outside speed pressing him early. He is talented, but we will take a stand against for the win. Underneath.
Belvoir Bay ( GB ) – Is a speedy filly taking on the boys. She is fast, loves a turf sprint, but may be at her best over the downhill course at Santa Anita. She did beat the boys in the San Simeon, but that was a grade three and she was likely the class. We rarely underestimate any Peter Miller runner, but we can’t see her troubling the top ones here. Tri Factor.
Race 10 )
Silent Poet – Gets the call for the upset in a wide open Queens Plate. He was rumoured to be something very special as a two year old and debuted as the choice in a key race but couldn’t get to a speedy Sam Son Farm runner. He was given the winter off and came out running in his three year old debut. He romped over a good field and that race came back live with next out winners. He tackled older runners in his latest and he looked like an old pro as he sat and squeezed through a hole late to draw off. He gets back in against his own age group and now gets back to Tapeta. He will be asked to navigate two turns for the first time and run an extra three furlongs. From a breeding standpoint, he does have Ghostzapper on the bottom end of his pedigree. Trainer Nick Gonzalez has saddled two winners of this classic and he knows what to do with a good horse. The choice at odds. ( 30-1 ML )
Telekinesis – Won the Plate Trial and looked like he didn’t even break a sweat as the odds on favourite. He stamped himself as a top prospect with a runner up finish to My Boy Jack in the
Lexington and he truly fits the profile of the rapidly improving three year old. He races out of the Mark Casse barn and surprisingly, this “ super trainer “ has only one win in The Plate. He looks to be the third offspring of Ghostzapper ( Shaman Ghost and Holy Helena ) to win the Plate in the last four years. He hasn’t done a thing wrong thus far and looks strong with barn insider Husbands landing on his back.
Rose’s Vision – Was a solid runner up in the Plate Trail but was no match for Telekinesis who was on cruise control. That was a solid bounce back effort after a flat showing in The Marine. He got no break with a post sixteen draw, but he does have good tactical speed and Javier Castellano can clear the early flight and stalk any cheap speed. He will offer a huge return to his supporters and while he will have to run the race of his life to beat them all, that is a possibility. Maybe.
Wonder Gadot – Is a filly that many thought would float in and post an Oaks/Plate double off her gritty runner up finish to Monomoy Girl in The Kentucky Oaks. She has been highly regarded by Team Casse since day one and usually runs a very competitive race. She is however becoming a touch win shy and that is a concern. She has been right there against the very best fillies around but hasn’t won a race all year. With the exceptional hot weather in forecast, we will call for the fillies to check in behind the boys. Underneath.
Dixie Moon – Is another super talented filly who thrives over this Woodbine course. She gave Catherine Day Phillips her second win in The Woodbine Oaks at the direct expense of Wonder Gadot. She is out of the nice mare Dixie Chicken who threw Guy Cabellaro. She has a half Million in the bank, top human connections all round and she has a strong winning attitude. She looks playable.
Race 11 )
Fritzie’s Boy – Was a good runner up to Silent Poet in his most recent. That will be an immediate form reference should that one win or run big in The Plate. He was making his first start of the season in his latest he made what looked to be a winning move but he couldn’t hold off the well meant Gonzalez runner. He had many near misses last season and that would normally be a concern, but he did run the race of his life last out and lost to a runner who was taking an edge. He loses Moran to Silent Jimmie but picks up Contreras. He looks really tough in this spot.
Silent Jimmie – Is a 15-1 ML prospect who looks like a live wire here. He has been stuck at his level for a long while now but has been in against some toughies in the main track. He gets back to the grass and course where he ran the three best races of his career. He has been away four weeks and has a nice recent breeze. He should offer a double digit return and is an absolute “ must use “ in the multi race wagers. Huge shot.
Canmore – Was given the call to take his seasonal bow but lost out to a well meant Bealestreet Dancer after a troubled trip. He is another with a litany of near misses on his resume and may be a little bit win shy. Regular rider Singh will look to make amends from close range. Clearly a contender.
Captain Sidney – Was thought to be sitting on a big race in his first start for trainer Buntain. He was working lights out for his seasonal bow. He looked really strong, stalking a suicidal pace and had to bully his way through a hole in the late stages. He will have to take a different route with his outside draw, but he did improve by leaps and bounds for the new connections and he may be this good as he tries winners for the first time. Possibilities Abound.
Looking At Bravo – Drops in for a tag for the first time and will enjoy significant class relief this day. He tackled an especially tough group in his seasonal bow as the winner ( Salute with Honor ) looks like a future stakes winner. He broke his maiden over this course as a sophomore gets back to the lawn in search of production. He loses DaSilva to Tishina ( another possible tri player ) but gets Husbands. Underneath.
Race 12 )
Glamanation – Hooked the impossibly good Dream it Is in her first two starts but earned her own diploma in start number three, taking out The Shady Well Stakes. She was strong in her seasonal bow, bearing down late on multiple stakes winner Summer Sundae after breaking poorly. She tried two turns for the first time in the Selene and was no match for the likes of Miss Mo Mentum and Dixie Moon. She quickly cuts back to a sprint and gets in against a much easier looking group. She draws to the outside and should be running at the speed late.
Swak – Took some support in her Del Mar debut but didn’t run a lick. She regrouped over the sleepy Golden Gates course and jogged after tracking a hot pace and blasting them through the lane. She now relocates to the Attfield barn and shows up off a ton of brilliant works. She was an expensive purchase and has an important pedigree, being a daughter of the late Scat Daddy. Her connections will be focused on resume building and she looks like she is ready to rock and roll. Attfield hires patient rider Alan Garcia today and that could be a signal that he wants her to settle and make one run. She has live longshot written all over her.
Big Mistake – Earned her name when her owner/breeder sent the wrong horse to the sale. That turned out to be rather fortuitous as she has taken out three of five and has banked nearly seventy grand. She has a ton of speed and can settle early. There is a ton of early speed signs don here and if she relaxes early, she could be a handful through the lane under regular pilot Hernandez.
Mota Latte – Broke her maiden at first asking on a speed mission. She is still looking for win number two but she seems to have matured from two to three as she now settles early and makes a move. That style should be rewarded in this speed fest. She is reunited with winning rider Husbands and looks like a player in this spot.
Race 13 )
Candycreet – Was a bargain basement purchase as a yearling and trainer Kevin Attard picks a relatively modest spot for his debut. He has more than enough pedigree power for this type and is bred to enjoy grass racing. His works are well above average for the classification and they have been super steady. We love the fact that Hernandez takes the call. He feels live and could smoke this condition immediately.
Kilkenny Prospect – Has a few things to like in his profile. He has been away since November and now resurfaces under the tutelage of Justin Nixon who can turn a horse around. He is bred to turf, but students of breeding would say that he wants more ground. He has been getting ready for this return to action for ages and his works are extra quick. The blinkers go on, he cuts back and Skye Chernetz takes over. Sneaky good.
Hey Howie – Is making start Number eleven and while he usually grabs a share, he shows no inclination to win. He is the ML favourite and he wouldn’t get a dime of our money on the win end, he is sharp enough to grab a slice. He draws the rail and has a real cowboy ( Boulanger ) in the saddle. Tri Player.
Calculatin Cat – Is making a return to the races after a prolonged absence. He was claimed twenty five months ago by trainer Ensom and this marks his first start for the new outfit. His debut came against some of the best two year olds of the day and he ran a solid fourth over the grass. We see a perceived barn and rider upgrade but the time away is clearly a concern. His works are strong, but his problems are troubling. He could win by ten, or get outdistanced. Total guessing game but we’d err on the side of caution and use him in the horizontal wagers.
Classic Daniel – Is out of a useful old mare who has thrown many main track winners. He does get some grass influence from his father. He is an much improved runner at three, but his top class connections have no illusions about his worth. He has run two nice races this season and used his good speed to secure in the money finishes. He looked like a really tired horse in the lane last start and he maybe on the decline. DaSilva sticks around and he may wake up on grass. Underneath.