Woodbine Spot Plays 07/30/23 By Jackson Muniz

Race 4: #3 Fighting Irish (6-1)

I want to take a chance with #3 Fighting Irish (6-1) in this heat. His last race wasn’t great, but he was returning after just 15 days and he had a long layoff prior to the start before that so maybe he bounced. He was also facing maiden special weights that day, but returns to a friendlier level for today’s race. Two back he ran at this level and he finished a good second after stalking the pace and getting a good trip along the rail. The winner came back to finish a solid second against winners and the third place finisher has won twice since then so he ran well against respectable company. The turf course was also softer that day and that could be the case today with all the rain they’ve had this week. Looking at the competition, there’s not a closer in here that anyone should be fearing late and the two likely betting favorites both have early speed along with a couple of stretch-out horses that could be forward.  I am hoping they get in each other’s way and it sets up for Fighting Irish from just off the pace at a solid price. 

Race 10: #10 Dancin in Da’nile (4-1)

There appears to be a ton of early speed types in this race. The #1,#2,#7, and #9 are all horses that only have wins when they make the lead, so I’m fully expecting a mad scramble for the lead and the pace to get hot. I’m assuming #3 Conglomerate(3-1) will take most of the money with a comfy inside draw, a big kick, and the fastest figures. But all his best work has come over the synthetic and he’s winless in five tries on the grass so I want to take my chances against him at a short price. 

My pick is #10 Dancin in Da’nile (4-1) (great name). He’s got a tough outside post, but there’s a long run to the first turn and he’ll likely be able to avoid a wide trip if the field gets strung out like I am expecting. His last race was excellent when he finished second at this level. He sat midpack off a fast pace, inched up into convention on the turn, navigated a bit of traffic, and made a serious late rally to get up for second in a four-horse blanket finish. Those four were clear of the rest that day and the race has come back live. The winner came right back to score again while the third and fourth place finishers would finish 1-3 in an allowance race. Da’Nile should be sitting on a peak effort making the third start of his form cycle, historically that has produced a top speed figure in each of his first two campaigns and he can be extremely dangerous if he does that again. 

Race 12: #5 Enjoythesilent 3-1

This is a gelding I liked a lot in his last start, but he had almost no chance the way the race unfolded. The leader set dawdling fractions and was uncontested while ‘Silent settled towards the back of the pack on the inside. He then had to maneuver to the outside on the turn while the eventual winner had clear sailing and got the jump on him. ‘Silent still did well to close the gap on those two rivals in the stretch to  miss by less than a length and galloped out way in front of the field. With any kind of pace in front of him he wins that race. He also still improved his speed figure (albeit only a point) despite the crawling pace so that indicates to me that they came home pretty quick. He’s basically paired-up Beyer tops which suggests he could take a big step forward in today’s spot and he doesn’t exactly face the toughest field. There should be more speed to set it up for him so it’ll be up to Kimura to work out a trip. I love his chances today and would still be willing to take him if he gets bet down from this morning line(hopefully 9/5, 2-1 range).

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