REXDALE, Ont. – In addition to Saturday’s big Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Woodbine Mile, the suburban Toronto track has a big weekend in store for horseplayers.
Sunday’s card includes two Breeders’ Cup qualifiers in the $250,000 Grade 1 Natalma Stakes for fillies and the $200,000 Grade 2 Summer Stakes, both at a mile.
The News will be at Woodbine covering the Mile for Saturday and Sunday print editions, be sure to check for the advance and post race recap.
One wager offered to horseplayers is a cross border Belmont/Woodbine Pick-5 that will cover three Woodbine stakes and two races from Belmont Park.
The multi-race wager will include four graded stakes overall, including the Grade 1, $800,000 Ricoh Woodbine Mile, the Grade 2 Canadian and the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf at Woodbine, as well as the Grade 2, $400,000 Sands Points at Belmont Park.
The sequence will start with the Canadian, which has an approximate post time of 4:30 p.m., followed by Race 7 at Belmont with a projected 4:41 p.m. post; the Northern Dancer at 5:31 p.m.; the Sands Point at 5:45 p.m.; and culminating with the Woodbine Mile with an expected post time of 6:34 p.m.
Belmont Park Live airs on Saturday from 4 - 6 p.m. EDT providing live coverage and analysis of the Grade 2 Sands Point from Belmont Park as well as special coverage of the Grade 2 Canadian and Grade 1 Northern Dancer from Woodbine. Saturday's show will be broadcast on MSG+ (DirecTV Channel 635).
Let’s take a closer look at the cross border Pick-5:
Leg 1: WO Race 8 – $250,000 Grade 2 Canadian Stakes (63rd running) Post Time: 4:30 p.m. 1 1/8-miles (Turf) The overwhelming even money favorite is 1-Quidura, was last seen losing the Grade 1 Diana to super mare Lady Eli at Saratoga by a mere head. Looks like a single to me. Local charge 3-Starship Jubilee (9-2) dead-heated on the Plate undercard and 7-Involuntary (6-1) wasn’t far behind. I’ll use those two on a backup ticket as there is another single in the sequence that will let us spread in other spots.
Leg 2: BEL Race 7 – Allowance Optional Claiming ($80K) Post Time: 4:41 p.m. One Mile (Turf)
My top choice in here is 3-Annals of Time (4-5) with Javier Castellano in the irons for trainer Chad Brown and owners Klaravich and Lawrence. I’ll spread a little here on the main ticket with the early speed 10-Black Tide (10-1), who made me stacks at the Spa at a mile on the weeds and 6-Cerise’s Prince (6-1).
Leg 3: WO Race 10 – $300,000 Grade 1 Northern Dancer (12th running) Post Time: 5:31 p.m. 1 1/2-miles (Turf)
I’ve heard all week that 8-Hawkbill (3-5) should trounce his seven challengers with ease. His first try outside of Europe on Saturday will also include first time Lasix, an angle that should only enhance his chances. Solid single.
Leg 4: BEL Race 9 – $400,000 Grade 2 Sands Point Post Time: 5:45 p.m. 1 1/8-miles (Turf)
This is the leg to go deep in and spread. We’ll use both Chad Brown horses, favorite 6-Uni (3-1) and 2-Fifty Five (12-1) and the Mark Casse-trained 3-La Coronel (4-1) who looks to rebound off his Lake Placid effort at the Spa. We’ll round out the group with 8-Vue Fantastique, the French-bred filly who will run on Lasix for the first time, also.
Leg 5: WO Race 12 - $800,000 Woodbine Mile (21st running) Post Time: 6:34 p.m. One Mile (Turf)
The sequence ends with the big race on the E.P. Taylor Turf course. We’ll use 1-World Approval, 10-Lancaster Bomber and 6-Deauville to wrap up the sequence. More on this race in tomorrow’s paper.
$1 Pick-5: 1 with 3,6,10 with 8 with 2,3,6,8 with 1,6,10 (cost: $36)
$0.50 Pick-5: 3,7 with 3 with 8 with 2,3,6,8 with 1,6,10 (cost $12)
Gene Kershner, a Buffalo-based turf writer, is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and tweets @EquiSpace.