HALLANDALE BEACH, FL, September 15, 2022 — With Kentucky Downs lamentably in the rear view, Belmont and Churchill get their Fall meets underway as Woodbine gets ready to host its impactful Breeders’ Cup prep program.
We’ve got lots of work to do, per usual, but today we’ll start with a brief overview of some of the action before completing our Tote Busters plays later this weekend, as the simulcast racing wheel spins round and round.
It appears the weather will cooperate in New York as NYRA’s downstate weekend gets underway with the G3 Jockey Club Oaks Invitational and G3 Jockey Club Derby Invitational which means only one thing: The Euros are coming; the Euros are coming!
North of the border, meanwhile, there are three significant events and today we’ll take a handicapping look-in at the Pattison G1 Summer Stakes for juvenile colts.
in Ozone Park, the six-filly Jockey Club Oaks boasts three sophomores holding winning cards: McKulick (4-5), Toskana Belle (7-2) and Beside Herself (4-1).
An endurance test at 11 furlongs, only the favorite has failed to compete at Saturday’s distance. The other two fillies have competed in marathons and both have succeeded.
The Jockey Club Derby also attracted only a half-dozen, and three of those are in with the best chance: Nations Pride (1-1), Classic Causeway (2-1) and Ardakan (4-1). We begin at our old stomping grounds.
BELMONT AT THE BIG A
JOCKEY CLUB OAKS Race 7
The Skinny: 1-McKulick is one of two Grade 1 winners in here, having won the Belmont Oaks, but here she’s asked to go one more furlong and is odds-on to do it. There was no video available for 4-Toskana Belle’s Group 1 effort in Dusseldorf but Andres Wohler in no stranger to New York’s winner’s circle, and neither is Frankie Dettori. 6-Beside Herself galloped them to death to win a Spa allowances at a mile and a half; forward looking
MOST PROBABLE WINNER: McKulick
POTENTIAL VALUE PLAY: Toskana Belle
STRAIGHT WAGERS and EXOTICA: Exacta Box 1-4-6. Toskana Belle to win at 3-1 or greater.
CAESARS JOCKEY CLUB DERBY Race 10
The Skinny: 3-Nations Pride (1-1) and 1-Classic Causeway (2-1) know each other very well. The latter got away soft in the Belmont Derby and stole it but Nations Pride evened the score by winning the G1 Saratoga Derby. At 12 furlongs the edge goes to the European as Frankie will try to sweep both turf stakes. 6-Ardakan (4-1) was third in a German Group 1 last out but, again, no video to access. We’re unfamiliar with the connects, but the horse is bred both sides to run as far as races are written.
MOST PROBABLE WINNER: Nations Pride
POTENTIAL VALUE PLAY: Ardakan
STRAIGHT WAGERS and EXOTICA: Exacta and Trifecta Wheel 3-6 // 1-3-6. Cold Trifecta 3-6-1. Exacta Box: 3-6. Ardakan to win at 4-1 or greater.
PATTISON G1 SUMMER STAKES Race 7
The Skinny: Once again, it will be a local hero against a European ship-in. Kevin Attard’s 6-Philip My Dear (2-1) not only won both lifetime starts but did so rallying between horses each time–a great trait in a young horse—stretching from six furlong to six and a half in his second start.
1-Mysterious Night (6-5) won a Group 3 in France on soft ground last out but we were taken with his prior when third in a Group 2 at Goodwood on good ground. On that occasion, the Dark Angel colt was a little keen, William Buick let him go on with it but consequently was in a drive the entire length of the stretch, succumbing only in the last 50 years to two late ralliers.
MOST PROBABLE WINNER: Mysterious Night
EARLY LINE VALUE: 4-Chiseler (12-1)
STRAIGHT WAGERS and EXOTICA: Exacta Box: 1-6 Exacta Wheel 1.6 // 1.4.6. Cold Exacta: 1-6. Trifecta Wheel 1 // 6 // 18.104.22.168** [the original ‘ALL’ for third remains an option]. Betting Mysterious Night to win, no price restrictions.
**edit made 091622, 9:54 am
G3 SEAWAY STAKES Race 8
The Skinny: The battle of the Woodbine-undefeated! Both 5-Souper Sensational (3-1) and 9-Lady Speightspeare (2-1) are a perfect 2-for-2 on the Woodbine Tapeta. Of the two, the favorite has a conditioning edge given the turnback. But this is more than a two-filly affair. 7-Hazelbrook (8-1) is a gaudy 5-for-7 over this ground and Barbara Minshall is 23% profitable with her turn-backs, as is the case with 8-Dreaming of Drew (5-1)
MOST PROBABLE WINNER: Lady Speightspeare
EARLY LINE VALUE: Dreaming of Drew
STRAIGHT WAGERS and EXOTICA: Exacta Box: 5-7-9. Exacta Box: 5-8-9. Trifecta Key-Box Lady Speightspeare first and second: 9 // 5-7-8. Superfecta Wheel: 9 // 5-7-8* // 5-6-7-8-10 // 5-6-7-8-10. Value Straight Play: Dreaming of Drew to win at 5-1 or greater.
*correcting typo 091722 12:00 pm
G1 WOODBINE MILE Race 9
The Skinny: There’s truly one overwhelming stat to consider when handicapping Woodbine’s prestigious turf mile. Charles Appleby points for this race, especially since a Win-and-In event gives connections a virtual free ride into America’s World Championships. Appleby has won five Grade 1s at Woodbine and brings last year’s winner of the Breeders Cup Juvenile, 5-Modern Games (7-5). Yes, he’s meeting older and, in 2-Ivar’s (4-1) case, faster on the Thoro-Graph scale. But that’s what weight allowances are for, and with all the speed signed on, Modern Games rates to get the right setup.
MOST PROBABLE WINNER: Modern Games
EARLY LINE VALUE: Ivar
STRAIGHT WAGERS and EXOTICA: Cold Exacta 5-2. Exacta Box 2-5. Trifecta Wheel: 2-5 // 2-5 // 2-3-4-5-6-7-10. Superfecta Key: 5 // 2-3-4-5-6-7-10. Value Straight Wager: Ivar to win at 7-2 or greater.
G3 IROQUOIS Race
The Skinny: Try as I might, on paper, the first 2023 “Derby prep,” Saturday’s two-turn mile and a sixteenth, is a two horse race between Steve Asmussen’s sensationally fast Saratoga maiden winner, 9-Echo Again (2-1), and undefeated 3-Damon’s Mound (5-2) winner of the Spa’s G2 Saratoga Special in high style. Several others intrigue but would be hard pressed to defeat the favorites, they being impressive maiden winner, Brad Cox’s 6-Jace’s Road (7-2), and Tom Amoss’ more experienced 5-Curly Jack (5-1).
WORTHY FAVORITE: Echo Again
EARLY LINE VALUE: Damon’s Mound
STRAIGHT WAGERS and EXOTICA: Exacta Box 3-5-9. Exacta Box 3-6-9. Trifecta Wheel: 3.9 // 3-5-6-9 // 22.214.171.124. Trifecta Key: 3 //5-6-9.. Straight Wager: Damon’s Mound to win at 2-1 or greater.
G3 POCAHONTAS STAKES Race 11
The Skinny: This race is more wide open than its male counterpart but if figures don’t lie it’s likely another matchup at the top between 3-Naughty Gal (5-1) and 11-Justa Warrior (4-1). Naughty Gal won Saratoga’s G3 Adirondack handily enough but subsequently was a no-show in the G1 Spinaway against a tougher set. The effort was too bad to be true. Wayne Lukas must agree because he enters her back 13 days later. It wouldn’t be the first time Lukas ambitiously placed one of his runners to get them ready for the next one. The daughter of Into Mischief is nicely drawn inside for her two-turn debut.
Justa Warrior is 2-for-2, winning on the class rise/stretch-out to 7 furlongs in a stakes at the Pea Patch. Among the dam’s three other winners is a stakes victress and she has all the pedigree needed for another rise in trip–by Justify from a Bernadini mare. Trainer John Ortiz is winning at a profitable 21% on the year and Reylu Gutierrez has fit her like a glove. The wide draw at least should ensure playable odds.
MOST PROBABLE WINNER: Justa Warrior
EARLY LINE VALUE: Naughty Gal
STRAIGHT WAGERS and EXOTICA: Exacta Box: 3-4 [price shot Shoplifter, 15-1]-11. Exacta Box 3-5 [Grand Love (Asmussen/Rosario), 9-2]-11. Exacta Box: 3-11. Trifecta Key: 11 // 3-4-5. Value Straight Wager: Taking Naughty Gal to win at 4-1 or greater.
All suggested exotic wagers are at available minimums. Straight wagers are $2 units, or multiples thereof.
this is a live column to be updated throughout the weekend