Woodbine 8/15/2020 – Coatney Review

Race 7: Bold Venture G2 – 6.5f (AW)

Pink Lloyd’s stalk and pounce approach will have all jockey’s eyes trying to time their move with his. Will anyone send and play offense? 

  • Best Value: #6 Magical Man (20-1 but expecting 15-1) To begin, the horse needs to run the race of his life. This gelding had a rough debut back after 6+ months off. But we loved the performance. Running line says bumped, but was hit so hard by another horse, the jockey had to pull up sharply for jumps 3-6 out of the gate. Then the horse pulls himself nicely into the race, traveling farthest of all by 27 feet. Down the lane, the jockey conserves the horse, knowing there’s bigger and better things ahead. If this one can break cleanly, it’s not out of the question this one wires the field considering the huge workout posted recently.
  • Most Logical/But too Short: #4 Pink Lloyd (4/5, but expect less around 2/5) Clearly the best on paper with highest figures and class. Only pause for concern is race tactics. If I’m an owner trying to win against Pink Lloyd, I would send my horse right out of the gate and play offense. We know what happens if you leave the door open for Pink Lloyd.
  • Fading Second Favorite: #8 White Flag (3-1 – I’m torn on where the actual line will go, but I’m guessing a drift up to 9/2 or so) Christophe Clement has only had 25 starts with 17 horses at Woodbine in the past five years. The win rate is 12%. If taking into account synthetic runners (n= 9) the win rate is 0% and hit the board rate is 11%. Now I know that’s a small sample size, but that’s half the problem. The data indicates he doesn’t excel here and this shipping north of the board is far from routine. This is the first time trying synthetic, is drawn wide, and below 4-1, we have to pass. Side note: this might be a bridge to a bigger race in September on the turf: get things settled in Toronto for a month, a race under the belt, and then win a big one… like the Woodbine Mile? The horse is very talented.

Race 8: Plate Trial ($150k Listed Stakes) 9f (AW)

On paper a duel with Clayton and Halo Again.

  • Best Value #2 Dotted Line (12-1) the distance was way too short on debut after the layoff, looked to be trying to get fitness. Came back and ran very gamely against the monster Shirl’s Speight and a close third to Lucky Curlin. Interesting to note, the favorite in today’s event, Clatyon, was beaten by Lucky Curlin. This one projects to have a second flight trip hugging the rail the whole way around and then tipping out for Stein to close into this speedy bunch. If that last event’s form holds, this one has a good shot at a price.
  • Most Logical #4 Halo Again (9/5) In the two graded stakes attempts prior to the layoff, was a bit overmatched with the likes of Field Pass (multiple graded stakes winner) and Mr. Monomoy (G2 winner of Risen Star) and Enforceable (G3 winner of Lecomte). I would expect this Hall of Fame trainer will have this horse ready to step forward.
  • Wait and see: #3 Clayton (4/5) Has the superior figures on paper but hasn’t been tested. If can step forward again, this one is the winner. However, at the short price we can’t back. The value line sits somewhere around 2-1.

Race 9: King Edward G2 8f (T) – one turn

There’s some clear speed balls in here. We think a few horses will duel and open the door for a steady runner to chase late. However, connections have access to PP’s too, so maybe they will try to conserve speed and avoid a doomed pace duel that it looks like on paper.

  • Most Logical #2 March to the Arch (4-1) With the pressing speeds in here, this pace setup is perfect.
  • Loose Leader Candidate #3 Mr Ritz (6-1) Sneaky good speed and has the back form against monsters like Synrchony and Say the Word (won at 51-1 at Saratoga yesterday) to hang with this bunch today. Third off layoff and was beat two back with a race shape that favored closers (Skywire the eventual winner coming off the pace).
  • Notable: #8 Delaware (5/2) The race shape sets up perfectly for Chad Brown runner types: closing late. The big hesitation backing this one is the subpar figures and pace setups in the previous two US starts.

Race 10: Woodbine Oaks ($500k) 9f (AW)

Fun feature race with, yet again, plenty of pace signed on for this edition of the Woodbine Oaks.

  • Most Logical: #7 Merveilleux (4-1): Last out ran 57 wider than the rest. Taking the Woodbine turn while losing ground shows to be quite tiring. This one has the tactical speed to get a rail position in the first flight of horses. Expect this one to quicken best down the lane. Stablemate #3 Bayou Belle entered to keep the pace pressure honest.
  • Exotic Use: #5 Afleet Katherine (15-1): Continues to move up the Beyer scale in each start. This horse needs to take a step forward for a trainer who is 20% overall at the meet and 21% when moving turf/synth (courtesy of DRF Formulator). We think at 15-1, that’s a reasonable forecast. The race shape looks to suit and a top jockey gets the assignment.

Race 11: Mdn 8f (T)

My top choice in here I don’t love, but when looking at all the other horses there’s nothing that scares me (so spread if you can)

  • Best Value: #8 Burning Love (10-1) Got away very slow out of the gate but came charging home, albeit with some fast fractions in front. With today’s added distance and a surface switch the trainer is familiar with (10% win rate with n= 20), we’ll side with this one at a price no lower than 10-1. If drops below 10-1 our top choice is #4 Pardsy.
  • Next Best: #4 Pardsy (4-1) Import from the NYRA circuit for a west coast trainer. Last two outings was used up running too fast early on. Today gets the top jockey and the equipment change (blinkers off). Those two factors should allow this one to settle and put on a show.

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