Woodbine Spot Plays 07/13/23 By Jackson Muniz

Race 5: #1 Finalist 8-1 to win

This gelding is going to need a bit of a form reversal, but I don’t think that’s out of the question for today’s event. Two back he faced much tougher competition, at a distance that is shorter than he prefers, and had a speed and fade performance. That was his first start in six months so he probably wasn’t at his best, but he actually earned a very respectable figure (71 Beyer) so overall I think that performance is much better than it looks on paper. He regressed last time when he switched to the turf, sitting close to a fast pace and offering nothing in the stretch. He’s gotten a little extra time in preparation for his third start off the bench and it appears he could get a favorable setup in this spot. He drew inside and might be the controlling speed. Timeform US has him right up there with the leaders and this rail draw could force his hand in a race lacking a true speed horse. On speed figures he fits very nicely, the Beyer he earned two back is right up there with the rest of the field and he’s a much more attractive price than those rivals at an intriguing 8-1. 

Race 7: Daily Double 6 with 3,9

Race 7: #6 Silent Sky 2-1

I think Silent Sky runs like a filly that will appreciate the added ground in this spot as she stretches out to two turns for the first time. She’s basically run in place in all three career starts and that can be an indicator that the stretch out will be to her benefit. She hasn’t been able to get the job done yet this year despite being well-backed in both starts, but I thought she’s had less than ideal trips. Two back she was hard sent from the rail and did well to finish less than three lengths behind the winner in a race that favored the closers. Last time she broke well and wanted to duel with the leaders, but Kimura wanted her to sit right behind the pace rather than duel between three other rivals. She seemed to fight him for a good portion of the race until he finally wrangled her back in the turn, but by that point she probably expended too much energy and didn’t have the same kick. 

This is an easier spot than last time, the field is much smaller, and she certainly has more upside than any of her rivals.  She’s also nearly paired up Beyer tops which is another indicator that she could be ready to take a big step forward in today’s spot. The combo of her early speed and this outside draw give her rider plenty of options. She can clear the field and control the tempo if nobody goes. If someone else is hellbent on making the lead(The 4?), then she can sit right off them in the clear and she’s already proven passing rivals isn’t an issue. She’ll be a short price but I think we can extract a little more value by playing her in the double. 

Race 8: #3 Perfectly Legal (8-1) and #9 Sixtofive (6-1)

Two chances in this spot, one on the lead and one off the pace. We’ll start with the frontrunner in #3 Perfectly Legal (8-1). This will be just her second career start after a speed and fade trip last month. She broke okay, but displayed good early foot to contest the lead throughout. However, she was stuck in the middle of a three horse duel for the duration of the race. In my opinion, that is the worst possible trip for a speed horse to have because not only are they going fast and dueling, but they are receiving pressure on both sides and never have a chance to relax. With that being considered, I thought she did well to hang in tough until the final furlong in a race where none of the three speeds hit the board and it’s not like she got trounced either. Encouraging first start, bolstered by the fact that she probably wasn’t fully cranked considering how well Mcknight does with second time starters. . Mcknight is winning at just 10% on the year, but he’s 24% with maiden second time starters so I won’t be surprised when she moves forward off that performance. She’ll have to handle the stretch-out to seven furlongs, but it appears there’s only one other speed horse to worry about so she should have an easier time of it on the lead. 

#9 Sixtofive (6-1) is the closer I am most interested in, third start off the bench. The claiming price is cut in half for today’s race so this is definitely a softer spot than last time.  She got bet down to 5-1 last time but didn’t really do much running. I know the running line says she stumbled at the start, but when I watched the replay I didn’t think it was that bad since it really didn’t cost her any early positioning, I think she was just a no-show that day. Her races two and three back were much better when she earned speed figures that would make her one of the top two choices here. That race three back in particular is the one I circled because it was at this same trip last December when she ran an excellent second and earned a 44 Beyer that day . Now that she’s a three year old, it’s probably safe to say she’s improved a bit since then so if she can get back to that form and get close to the 50 Beyer range, look out.

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