Woodbine Spot Plays 06/17/23 By Jackson Muniz

Race 5: #6 C C’s Kingdom 5/2

C C’s Kingdom is the one to catch in today’s 5th race. There is a real lack of early foot in here besides him, on paper it appears that the #7 is the only rival that could be within a couple lengths early on. And he’s also shown the ability to win races from off the pace on multiple occasions, so if someone unexpected is hellbent on making the lead it shouldn’t be a problem. I’m not bothered that he got a soft trip last time and couldn’t seal the deal. He was 4 lengths clear of third place that day and earned an 82 Beyer for that effort, a significantly higher number than anyone else has earned this year on synthetic. That was actually his second straight 82 Beyer, so in all likelihood that’s an accurate reflection of his talent level right now. He’s only 4 years old so this gelding could still be improving and I love that he’s paired up Beyer tops, an indicator that he could be in for a big step forward in today’s race which would make him even tougher. 

The Play: #6 $50 win at 6/5 or higher

Race 4: #6 Bijou Baby

Little action play in this race as I’m completely against both favorites. #4 Secretaryofthenile’s (2-1) best race by far was when she cut back to a sprint. She’s back routing and has the layoff to deal with so she’s not for me. Neither is #7 Pedigeek(3-1) who will likely be over-bet coming out of a respectable performance at Keeneland, but is facing a tough pace scenario. 

I want to take a chance with #6 Bijou Baby. I’m hoping her last start was a total prep as her connections took this route with her last year when she improved nearly 10 points from start one to start two of her campaign. Her races on the synthetic last year were just okay, but I think she’ll really appreciate switching to the turf course as her pedigree suggests. And if you factor in natural progression with age, the figures she earned on the synthetic last year actually compare quite well to the rest of this field. The blinkers come off today, but I’m hoping that’s to help her relax more than anything as I think she would really benefit if she maintains the tactical speed she’s shown recently in a field that doesn’t have much early speed outside the favorite. 

The Play: $10 Double 6/6

Race 7: #5 Kitten’s Romance 12-1

Best betting race of the day with a full field of 13 lined up to race. My pick in this race is more of a value play so definitely pay attention to the tote/will-pays, but I thought #5 Kitten’s Romance deserved a look. She and the favorite are coming out of the same prep race where I thought they ran pretty much the same race. Both sat good trips from mid-pack, Kitten’s Romance was covered up while Lady Brew was wide. They both came with their run late, but Kitten’s Romance had to navigate just a bit of traffic in the stretch while Lady Brew had clear sailing throughout. That bit of trouble wound up being the difference as only a length separated them and both galloped out well. Kitten’s Romance drew much better today than the favorite and she’s 12-1 on the morning line while Lady Brew is just 3-1. Again, I thought they ran similar races so I’ll take the mare that is four times the price, especially since she has more room for improvement second start off the layoff and getting back to two turns. 

The problem with her is she only has three wins compared to 16(!) seconds and thirds. She’s not exactly trustworthy on the win end, but she does show up every time as she’s been no worse than fourth in her last 11 starts so she is very usable underneath. I’m going to bet her across the board, but I’ll have her more for the place and show especially in this large field where there could be some solid payouts in those pools. 

The Play: #5, $5 W/$10 PL/$25 SH at 8-1 or higher

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