Woodbine Plays 09/07/23

Race 4: #9 Turf and Surf (2-1)

Simply put, if #9 Turf and Surf (2-1) can replicate his maiden victory then he should win this race for fun. He earned a number that towers over this group and he dominated a group that has actually turned out to be quite good. The second, third, and fourth place finishers have all come back to win. He’s realistically spotted and has the tactical speed (in a race without a lot of it) that is very effective for  this configuration. 2-1 would be incredible value, though you’re unlikely to get that. 

An interesting horse to key second in an exacta (or to win should the #9 scratch) is the #10 Meritamen (8-1). He’s had trouble coming out of the gate in his last three starts, but he has the tactical speed to sit close and could get a good trip if he can break. He’s proven he can pass horses which will come in handy against this group and note his three best speed figures all came going two turns. 

Race 6: #3 Pino in a Purse (8-1)

If the morning line is accurate, then #4 Simple Souvenir (5/2) is a horse I will be completely against. She doesn’t have any kind of edge in the speed figure department and has been defeated by several here in her last few starts. She also is a mare that comes from way out of it and it’s difficult for me to envision this pace heating up for her. With Kimura riding, she’ll likely take plenty of money and I think we can beat her. 

I was torn between the #2 and #3 in this spot, but if you can forgive her for the last start, then #3 Pino in a Purse (8-1) is worth a look in today’s sixth race. She was a complete no-show that day, but she’s clearly a better horse on the synthetic and had a solid work since that race so I want to give her the chance to make amends. Even though she’s been defeated by #2 Oheavens in three straight starts, the margin in the one synthetic try wasn’t significant and I think there’s a case to be made she ran the better race. She had to work hard for early position and was able to clear the rest of the field to press the eventual runaway winner into the stretch. She got tired late but stayed on well to hang on for third and galloped out well. Besides the winner who towered over the group, the closers had the advantage in that race including #2 Oheavens who had a pretty sweet trip. #3 Pino in a Purse gets a break in the weights with Vives taking over and she’s had a sensational meet. She’ll likely be forwardly placed in a race with a murky pace scenario and she’s always run her best races in these longer sprints. 

Race 7: #5 Loaded Question (8-1)

#4 Ima Beast (2-1) will probably be favored after her victory last time against a couple of today’s rivals. She was able to take advantage of a good set-up and a perfect ride to secure the victory going five furlongs. Based on her past performances, I get the feeling she’s more of a five furlong specialist so I want to try and beat her today on the slight stretch-out. I thought #6 Jill (4-1) arguably ran the better race as she won the pace battle and stayed on well to finish third in a race where come-from-behinders went 1-2. There’s a lot of pace signed on this spot though so despite the good post position and intriguing price, I’m going to look elsewhere. 

I want to take a big price in a short field as my top pick will be #5 Loaded Question (8-1). Both Ima Beast and Jill want to be forward, and the horses drawn in posts two and three are arguably quicker than those rivals, so I think the pace has a chance to be pretty fast. This mare has the fastest late pace figures by a pretty significant margin and she’s the one they’ll have to hold off late. Her best races put her squarely in the hunt and this is arguably her best distance. She’s made some big moves going slightly further and flattened out late so this cutback should be to her benefit. She’s also had some wide trips lately which shouldn’t be an issue in today’s race since it’s a smaller field. She offers good value at the 8-1 listed on the morning line, and I’d still be willing to bet her if she comes down to the 5-1 range.

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