September 19, 2009

One Mile North of the Border

All eyes will be pointed north tomorrow as the most important race run in Canada is contested at one mile on the Woodbine turf course. Whoa cowboy! Did I just say the most important race run in Canada…have I forgotten about the Queen’s Plate? What about the Canadian International?

While it is true that the Queen’s Plate and the Canadian International have more history and more prestige in the world of Canadian racing, the Woodbine Mile is now hands down the most important race run in Canada as far as quality and ramifications to America’s championship day of racing, the Breeders’ Cup. This year’s Woodbine Mile offers a top notch field with several horses that can make a beeline to Santa Anita with a solid performance tomorrow. No fewer than six different horses would be much of a surprise to take home the big prize on Sunday, as Ventura, Bribon, Rahy’s Attorney, Jungle Wave, Ferneley, and Sterwins all come into the race off excellent form. In a wide open race like this I generally prefer to look for a little value with my wagering dollar and I believe I have found the horse to fit the bill in Sterwins.

Sterwins is a powerful six-year-old roan gelding who on his best day can beat anyone as evidenced by his romping win over Go Between in the Ben Ali last year at Keeneland. The son of Runaway Groom clearly has a fondness for the Woodbine turf course and is coming into the race in fine fettle. Most importantly, he should relish the solid pace early which will set up his preferred style of relaxing early and flying down the lane. At 8-1 or higher, Sterwins offers excellent value. I am going to take a stand against the Californian invader, Ferneley, as I question his ability to beat Grade 1 horses, and against the excellent Canadian sprinter, Jungle Wave, as I feel a mile is probably a little too far for him to beat these monsters. So that leaves the extremely classy mare, Ventura, the miler extraordinaire, Bribon, and the defending Woodbine Mile champion, Rahy’s Attorney for Sterwins to beat. Truly Grade 1 horses, so it will be easier said than done, but I am going to give him a chance. It should be an outstanding race.

If you have already cleared some time to watch the Mile, Woodbine has a couple of other turf races tomorrow that should be stepping stones to Breeders’ Cup races.

Just as Well, the rapidly improving Jonathan Sheppard turfer, will try to keep things rolling as he tops an extremely well matched field in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Stakes. The 1 ½ mile turf race legitimately could be won by any of its’ ten participants and should provide a fantastic stretch run.

Forever Together, the best female turf horse in North America, will try to run her record on the lawn to 7 for 10, as she towers over a field of seven in the Canadian Stakes. She ran the worst grass race of her life when third in this race last year, and looks for atonement at low odds tomorrow. A likely winner, Forever Together will cement her position as the favorite for the BC Filly & Mare Turf.


NetworkEmpowerment said...

I think i'll just sit back and watch the races today. FT is a very good mare, and Ventura is well Ventura. I'm actually hoping that if she wins her race, she'll go and try the boys at SA. If she likes firm turf, SA had definitly got that, lol. Nice post.