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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

BELMONT FALL MEET, TORONTO’S WOODBINE MILE KEEPS “WIN-AND-IN” BALL ROLLING

The first Saturday of Belmont Fall feature a Grade 1 going a mile and a quarter for three year old fillies, the Belmont Oaks Invitational.

It deserved to get more support at the entry box than it did, which we guess is good news for the five outfits that showed up. And, one of them, Magic Attitude, last raced in France.

Dropping out of the Gr. 1 Prix de Diane where she had 10 rivals, we hope she doesn’t get bored with this quintet and decide to go half speed for a “paltry” $250,000 compared to what was available at Chantilly.

But half speed might be good enough here, such is her class relief with respect to the competition she’s been meeting. Fifth beaten three lengths, she exits a race that has produced four next-out winners.

Fortunately there’s another filly that can provide exacta value. More on wagers for this and other races from Belmont, another from Churchill and a bunch from north of the border on Saturday morning.

There are no races with names on them in Louisville today two weeks post Kentucky Derby but there is an allowance spot for turf fillies on the grass for white hot connections that’s 6-1 on the early line. So, there’s that.

But the bright lights are reserved for the country north of us that’s a lot healthier than ours at the moment. Take the Woodbine Mile and you’re all expenses paid heading into the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

The Breeders’ Cup theme continues Sunday with a pair of Canadian Grade 1s for babies going the same mile distance: Colts and gelding go in the Summer Stakes and the ladies will line up in the Natalma, all looking to punch their tickets to Lexington.

Canada’s march to the Breeders’ Cup starts with the Singspiel Stakes, a major Grade 1 horse himself, but Saturday’s renewal lacks a Grade 1 winner, most not even having competed at that level. It would be a major shock if any in this field make it to the big dance at all.

But the Woodbine Mile, almost always a producer of future BC Mile form, boast two horses with a major chance to make it into the Keeneland gate and both are trained by Canadian and American Hall of Famer Mark Casse.

Preakness winner War of Will (2-1), who took the G1 Maker’s Mark over the Breeders’ Cup course last out, and March to the Arch (5-2), a sharp G2 King Edward winner prepping for this August 15, will attempt to improve his Woodbine course record to 3-for-3.

Breaking up the Casse party will not be easy and while she might not have the same weighty portfolio, Starship Jubilee (6-1) numbers the G1 E P Taylor among her six Woodbine scores, only part of a remarkable lifetime career slate of (37) 18-5-3.

Turning back from nine furlongs to a trip at which she is 5-for-8 with two placings, she defeated a Breeders’ Cup F & M Turf champion two back and suffered through an impossible trip in the subsequent G1 Diana. Carrying 121 post-ward, she gets five pounds from ‘Will” and three from ‘Arch’.

Stay tuned…

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20 Responses

  1. Hard to not want Starship Jubilee to do well in Woodbine Mile. This seven year old mare was claimed for 16k and has made over 1.6m (so far). She originally cost 6.5k as a yearling at Ocala Breeders’ Sale. She was then offered as a two year old in training but did not meet her reserve of 34k. Then she got claimed by Jorge Navarro in January, 2017 by Jorge Navarro and then again a month later by Attard. You can’t make this stuff up. She was voted Canadian Horse of the Year in 2019. She’s a road warrior, also, having raced this year at Gulfstream, Tampa, Saratoga and Belmont. WOW will be tough to beat, ‘tho. Was glad he won Preakness after Derby horror show. JP, how does a horse get claimed in Florida for 16,000 and then become a world beater and win almost 1.7m? This is like winning the lottery, ha, ha.

  2. Hey C, John Henry was picked up for $25K. Racing is full of these stories, perhaps not to the extent of these two but plenty; Zulu Alpha another one off the top.

    In any case, my heart is rooting for the filly and while it was impossible for her to win given the dynamics and course condition of her Spa finale, this is much tougher, not so much the turnback but the quality of her male rivals.

    I think she would do very well with a money finish here. You’re a good fan. C…

      1. Do you think that she will retire or keep racing at eight? This really is a rags to riches story. Did trainer who claimed move her to turf? I can’t figure out how she goes from claiming ranks to winning Grade 1’s. Was she sold for the mid 400’s a while back to become a broodmare but they kept racing her instead (saw something today on NBCSN that showed this figure). May have been a mistake. Please let me know if she was running on grass when claimed in Florida. Thanks. Yes, WOW didn’t run his race and I agree he will be heard from when they get to Keeneland. Love the fact that he has won Gr 1’s on dirt and grass. That doesn’t happen much.

        1. C- yes, Starship Jubilee was racing on grass when claimed. All but her debut have been on grass. She was offered at the Kee Nov 2018 sale but failed to meet her reserve. Not sure if she was offered last year- she is owned by the same connections who owned her last year. Last fall they said she would retire, but happily for her fans (and their bank accounts!) they changed their minds. She didn’t go straight from claimers to G1s- plenty of G2s and other stakes in between. Today’s race was her 3rd start and 2nd win in a G1.

  3. C, sorry, I don’t know. But lifetime PPs are available at Equibase for a fee.

    I don’t write feature stories but I will try to find out something…

    1. Wonder why regular rider was not aboard but Stein did a good job getting to wire first. He was pumped after the win. I know race was “win and you’re in” but also read Starship camp looking at Filly & Mare Turf also. Will follow.

      1. Castellano, J Ortiz, and L Saez have ridden her this year but US jocks are not allowed to ride in Canada right now. Starship has won at 10F but she may be a little bit better at shorter. (not sure what distance Filly&Mare Turf is this year). I think she is not nominated and would have to be supplemented.

        1. Will write something today about fillies in general re Breeders’ Cup. Thanks for the input, Glee, and welcome

        2. Luis Contreras rode her at Woodbine in Canadian Stakes (2018) and beat Chad Brown runners ridden by Jose Ortiz and Castellano. She was 11-1 and romped.

  4. Thanks for explaining that. Yes, if entry fee is already paid for I guess SJ will go in the BC Mile. Maybe retire after Breeders’ Cup but horse seems to enjoy running, says trainer. At 19 wins from 38 starts Starship Jubilee has had her picture taken HALF of her races run. UNBELIEVABLE!

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