Woodbine Plays 09/23/23 By Jackson Muniz

Race 5: #3 Time To Watch (10-1)

Minor upset for #3 Time to Watch (10-1)? There’s no superstars in this field and she should have a fitness edge over several of these making their first career starts. I thought she had a useful debut on King’s Plate day when she showed enough speed to stay in touch with the early leaders, was wide throughout the far turn, raced greenly in the stretch, and finished evenly with a decent gallop out. The blinkers are going on to help her focus better for start number two and that sub 47 work since the debut leaps off the page. 

Race 9: #2 Green Fleet (3-1)

The three main contenders in today’s ninth race all drew alongside one another on the inside. However, #2 Green Fleet should have a major pace advantage over those two rivals and that’s why he is my top pick. #1 Embrace My Uncle and #3 Sir Sahib basically have no early speed and will be lagging behind the field early. Meanwhile, Green Fleet does his best running from just off the pace, and the blinkers are going back on today after he was too far back last time. I don’t want to hold that race against him either because he didn’t have the best of trips and the distance just didn’t work out for this guy. His races two and three back put him squarely in the hunt and he’s getting back to his best trip which is two turns. He’s done plenty of good work on the synthetic in the past and is the one to beat in this spot. 

Race 10: #8 Foxy Diva (20-1)

This is a great betting race with a wide open field and a tricky pace scenario. I could make a case for just about anyone including the morning line favorites who I don’t really have any major knocks against. #7 Bequia is arguably the fastest horse in the race, but could potentially face outside pace pressure. #11 Royal Blush didn’t have the greatest trip last time and still fought on to just get nabbed at the wire. She’s dangerous on the cutback, but I like a horse coming out of the same race that should be a much bigger price. 

I’m not sure the price will stay this high, but #8 Foxy Diva (20-1) makes a lot of sense here at a giant price. She’s clearly a horse that prefers the turf course as all of her best performances have come over the grass. If you can ignore those synthetic performances then her form really brightens. Three and four back she narrowly missed at this level and earned figures that would be competitive against this bunch. Last time out she was wide on both turns (extremely wide far turn) despite breaking from the one post, and I thought she stayed on well considering the ground loss. I love the cutback to one turn today and note the career best performance came the last time she made this cutback. She gets a positive jockey switch to Vives, who’s winning at a 25% clip on the turf this meet and the 5 pound weight break can’t hurt.

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