Woodbine 9/16/2023 – by Drew Coatney

Race 1: Clm n2L 6.5f (T, outer)

  • Most Logical: #5 Michele M. (5/2) The new face on the block runs to what could be the perfect distance. Last out was too sharp and tried closing into it, finishing a good second. Two back was on the soft turn going route, too long. Then three back ran a great race at Belmont in an allowance. Today should be able to turn the tables. Notable this runner drops in for a tag at the $25k level for a $525k purchase… ouch!

Race 2: OC n2L 6f (AW)

  • Most Logical: #6 Travaline (5/2) Hasn’t been seen in almost year and that’s the big question mark. However, this horse fired fresh on debut and if can run back to that debut number wins this race.
  • Next Best: #3 Society’s Kat (7/2) The race shape should suite, getting to stalk the pace of the top two pair and might just come over the top to get the win. Figures fit.

Race 3: OC 5f (T)

  • Most Logical: #4 Ima Beast (8/5) Expect to see even money on the day. This race shape fits this horse very nicely. There isn’t a ton of pace in here and this runner will press the pace and kick on clear late. I like that he can be tactical and up near it while still having something left in the tank. The last time this runner ran the sharp 5f he did exactly what he needed: stalked 2L back, made move at top of stretch, and grinded home the inner. Today I see a similar trip.

Race 4: Mdn 8.5f (T, outer one turn)

I have zero feel for this race. With most of the field sitting around the 60 Beyers it’s hard to trust anyone. For example: #2 Financial Advice (8-1). I could make a case on form this one is stepping into his own, has faced tougher, and is “due”. But this one is let go by Brown/Klaravich and has failed to win in the last three starts as the favorite. 8-1 feels about the right price.

Race 5: OC 7f (AW)

Beyond the top choice, this could really be any runners game with many of these others setting soft fractions on the lead in past races. At the 7f distance, when a horse can’t sustain those easy fractions, I get leery to back anything at too short a price.

  • Most Logical: #5 Gayelette (4-1) Four year old has seen a few races this year and the lone win came at the maiden breaker. But in the last six tries has ran a good race. Today this race shape fits perfectly, not a ton of speed and will be able to stalk wide and make one run at it. Gets Lasix for the first time (out of 18 starts!) and a bit of a cut back in distance going the 7f. The deep stretch will be these runner’s friend, as they’ll be tiring late and this will be a grindy style of win. Let’s hold our breath both for the 4-1 price and this horse getting her nose down late. Fair value is 2-1 and nothing lower.
  • Next Best: #1 Eme Claire (8-1) Last two outings has faced some tough foes that came back to run mid-70s numbers. Today with the lack of pace could get away with an easy loose lead on the front end. Third off the bench for Casse. 6-1 feels like fair value

Race 6: Summer Stakes 8f (T, outer)

  • Most Logical: #6 Airosa (7/2) Feels like a great price if we can get that. This horse continues to get better in each and every start. The pace sets up nicely to have enough tactical speed to stalk this pace and kick on clear. Last out, overcame some adversity being put on hold waiting for an opening down the lane.
  • Next Best: #3 My Boy Prince (3-1) Expect on the day to see 2-1 because this runner stands out in this field. Has the speed to get into position early and roll on late. Did destroy a field last out but that was a much easier task than today. Casse chooses Rosario to take over the mount and should be ridden fairly confidently the entire way. Two question marks however: first time off Lasix and going longer. Could this one fade down the lane, sure. But when figures match up this high against the others.
  • Best Value: #5 Go with Gusto (20-1) Another Casse runner but we know this one can fire without the Lasix and has already gone the full 8f (on the inner). Will need a bit of a pace setup but I think he will get that in this race.

Race 7: Vigil Stakes 6f (AW)

  • Most Logical: #6 Patches O’Houlihan (7/5) I don’t see any speed that scares me in here and they way Patches ran last out was amazing. The 6.5f was maybe a bridge too far, but re-rallied after setting the pace, and held on in deep stretch. Two back is where I think this form line stands up, earning a nice figure without a big effort, albeit against lesser.
  • Best Value: #2 Old Chestnut (8-1) Will be pressing the pace and has earned a few nice figures. If the pace heats up, this runner will be right there. Last out was wide and against the flow. Needs the pace up front, though.

Race 8: Natalma Stakes 8f (T, outer)

  • Best Value: #8 Ready to Jam (10-1) Last out was middle pack and moved up with the flow. However, where we get excited is what happened down the lane, waiting for a few jumps, moving inside, then moving back outside in the final 1/16th to get out and accelerate past a few horses to finish second. With a more clean trip and extra ground, this could be a very interesting runner to turn the tables on the top choice in Airosa. In Casse’s hands, I trust that this one will be moving in the right direction.
  • Exotic Use: #4 Brocknardini (12-1) Was impressive on debut exploded down the lane. With Weaver shipping up here, there is intention this one is ready to step forward.

Race 9: Woodbine Mile 8f (T, outer)

  • Most Logical: #1 Master of the Seas (1-1) No one should be surprised here, the chalk man takes the chalk in this event. But I do feel like Masters of the Seas has a unique advantage over these types. The deep stretch of the Woodbine course that will be good to firm is going to play perfectly for this horse. Stalking mid-pack and quicken past them deep into stretch. I get the angle that War Bomber and Sea Cottage might get loose, but that’s a carbon copy of what happened in the last running at Ascot, two pace setters went out, Doyle rode him wide around, and gobbled up all the ground late. This feels very much like Modern Games 2.0 for the same connection.
  • Consideration: #4 Ice Chocolat (9/2) Should go overlooked in the betting market. If this horse wins, that will be a good test of class to understand how good Casa Creed and Annapolis really are. Last two events this horse squared off against those foes closing late and came up just short. What I don’t love about this horse is he really will be coming from well out of it, so do we think he can close better than our top choice. I don’t think so, but if he does that puts a feather in the cap of Casa and Annapolis come Breeders’ Cup day.
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