A couple of price plays to kick off a BIG week of racing at Woodbine!
Race 2: #5 Pluie d’Avril 8-1
I know this mare struggled at this level throughout 2022, but she seems to have really turned the corner for her new connections this year. Her first couple starts of the year came in five furlong dashes on the dirt where she registered a victory and a strong fourth against tougher. She’s coming off a convincing victory in her most recent race at this level over at Fore Erie where she closed from mid-pack and drew off by over four lengths. She was also completely against the race-flow that day. The 1-2-3 runners early finished 2-3-4 so ‘Avril was really the only horse to do any kind of running from off the pace. They’re bringing her back in just 11 days, but I see that as a sign of confidence since she is in good form right now and I’m sure the connections want to take advantage. She’s improved her speed figure in each start for her new connections so even though she’s now seven, I won’t be surprised if she continues her upward trajectory.
Race 4: #6 Lookin To Fly 15-1
I want to take a shot with a price in this fourth race with #6 Lookin To Fly. The big concern is obviously her lack of early speed. And on paper it looks like the pace is likely to be very soft as nobody in the race is a confirmed front-runner. But I actually think that could work to her advantage today depending on how the race develops. There’s an argument to be made that she has the best kick in the field and Timeform US would agree with that as she has the best late-pace figure by over 10 points. Since there is not a lot of speed signed on, she should sit much closer to the pace without having to use up more energy early on in the race. So when the real running starts, she’ll still have her big turn of foot and she’ll have to make up significantly less ground than usual to catch whoever’s in front of her.
The other scenario is that there are several in here that have the same pace-pressing running style and similar early pace figures. And these jockeys study the PPs, they’re going to see that the race lacks a front-runner and maybe a few of them think they can steal it. I don’t think it’s that unlikely that a few of the contenders end up vying for the early lead, putting pressure on each other, and they go faster than they’re accustomed to early on, setting it up for a closer.
This mare proved she can run well fresh when she won a race at Saratoga last summer off a long layoff, and she did that from the 12 post. Her speed figures are a tad low, but she’s always at the mercy of the pace as a deep closer so I’m willing to overlook that. She fits in class too, as those races at Turfway this spring came against similar rivals in big, full fields and she more than held her own. The low-profile connections should ensure she’s a generous price. Bombs away.