Race 8: Toronto Cup $100k Stakes 8f (T)
What a way to kick off this pick four with the promising Shirl’s Speight entered for this listed stakes. Will he deliver the goods or flatten out? At the price this entry will be on the day, there’s plenty of reasons we’ll be taking a stand against
- Best Value/Best Bet: #3 Duke of Carthania (20-1) TL/DR – had some behavior issues in the Spring, showed cool two races back, 3rd off layoff, stalk with perfect trip today.
Last out was way too sharp running at 5f. Lost to the winner going wire to wire and stood no shot when was forced to take up in the first few jumps as a hole closed up (watch the head-on). What has me excited to back this one is the night-and-day mental difference between the Fairgrounds and Woodbine races. You really have to be acting up to have “Fractious Paddock” to make the PP running lines – think of how much energy was lost as the horse is stressed out. After shipping north, has figured out how to run effectively. Two race back at Woodbine, relaxed behind runners while saving ground, tipped for home, continued to relax, the hole opened in the final 1/16th, and made an impressive move for the win. These subtle jumps in mental performance is where I believe value can be found as these tips can’t be recorded as a figure or a final time.
Today I expect to see the exact same style of running two two back, stalk the speeds on the rail and work out a trip turning for home. The third start for Cassee cycles sets up for the best race of his career. The bullet work on 9/5/2020 shows us there’s a talented runner that has unrealized potential. Our value line sits around 8-1 on this one.
- Most Logical: Proven Strategies (7/2) Simple approach: clear speed for today, has faced tough competition at Saratoga and throughout career (Decorated Invader, Structur, Fancy Liquor) , sharp work over WO surface. Value line stands around 2-1 and is our most likely winner of the day.
- Beatable Favorite: #6 Shirl’s Speight (4/5) TL/DR – didn’t beat much in two victories, won’t get an easy trip today, the hiccup in training doesn’t have us rejoicing at 4/5.
On debut looked like an absolute monster and then came back and repeated that performance. The problem we have is all the horses this one beat are a notch below this bunch. Take the debut performance with Just Like Larry being the second place horse – stalked Shirl’s Speight on the rail and then was left in the dust as a distant second. However, Just Like Larry is a 1 for 14 horse that runs at lower levels. In other words, that margin of victory flatters that number and the “winning lengths” recorded in the pp’s. Sure it was visually impressive, but so is my golf game when I play against a newbie. The only real rival faced was Belichick that had a horrible wide trip and the slow pace to close into.
The price on the day is going to be too short with all the unanswered questions, so I’m taking a wait and see approach with this runner.
Race 9: Duchess $100k 7f (AW)
Excited for a runner in here for LNJ Foxwoods.
- Most Logical: #10 Boardroom (2-1) Last out the bridle broke and still almost won the race, which is a damn shame for the connections. This horse would have romped with clear guidance from Contreras. Today gets the wide draw again, which will play well at the 7f distance, allowing an extra furlong for this one to establish position. Should stalk the pace and stay wide to avoid trouble. Future graded stakes horse. Value line is at evens.
- Best Value: Windracer (20-1) Would guess this one drops down to 6-1 or so, as that price is huge. Speed ball went flying last out going two turns at Saratoga in the Lake George where Selflessly came flying from the back of the pack to win a head bob over the 3/5 favorite on that day. Two back had a bit of a trip running against the pace flow and was coming off a year layoff. The soft figure earned that day in victory we’ll excuse due to the time off. Today gets minimal pace pressure, 3rd off the layoff, and should be gifted the lead. I predict there’s some hidden value because the form doesn’t show just truly how fast this horse can go early.
Race 10: MOC $25k tags 8.5f (T – one turn configuration)
Can our top choice runner rediscover the debut form at 20-1?
- Best Value: #3 Wings of Victory (20-1) On debut ran a massive winning race, only to show a smidge of green-ness that resulted in a disqualification. Oddly enough, this horse has never gotten back to that performance figure-wise. Last out clearly didn’t like the inner going two turns and had a bit of a trip tapping on the breaks a few times. Two back – tried to jog out of the gate, spotting the field by 20 lengths, hoping for a massive pace collapse. They were very wrong and had zero chance turning for home. Three back was just coming off a long layoff. The recent strong work looks good and the post draw should ensure a ground saving trip. Don’t leave this one off horizontals as this one could blow up the tote board if stays in touch with the field early on.
- Most Logical: #6 Lion Kingdom (3-1) At first glance, we saw thought this horse was flattered by pace collapses, however, after reviewing replays there seems to be a bit more going on. We love when a horse makes a huge wind-up move around the outside and sustains the bid. Today should sit back and again try to make one run.
Race 11: Mdn $123k 7f (AW)
The more I looked at the form of this race, the more I fell in love with a longshot (go figure). No one in this group scares me, especially at this time in the year as we have seen most of these square off in some capacity.
- Best Value: #10 Benlion (12-1) Made a huge sustained bid to almost get up to win at 73-1. Today should get a similar setup, going the 7f configuration. Being drawn wide won’t hurt as Husbands can navigate a trip that keeps this horse from being bottled up during one long sustained bid. Over the three starts, this horse continues to outrun his odds and improves figure-wise each running. This one is very live at a nice price. Value line is around 8-1.
- Most Logical: #7 Red Storm Risen (4-1) Looks to be the clear speed on paper today. Has been flip-flopping back and forth between surfaces, searching for the first win. Today gets the blinkers added and the jockey who almost got this one into the winners circle a few back, Fukumoto. Has shown ability to run with the likes of Belichick and Oilliemyboy, both very well thought of horses. Value line is at 5/2, so anything above 4-1 will be a good win bet for us.