The C$800,000 Woodbine Mile (Can-G1) kick starts a $200,000 guaranteed All-Stakes Pick 4 at Woodbine on Saturday. It is also a “Win & You’re In” Challenge Series race, as the winner gets a berth in the November 3 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).
RACE 8 – WOODBINE MILE (CAN-G1)
The feature attracted nine, including a pair of European invaders. Since the North American contingent is not as strong as in previous seasons, both LORD GLITTERS (#6) (4-1) and STORMY ANTARCTIC (#9) (8-1) will definitely be included.
Lord Glitters has been especially consistent while facing some of the best Europe has to offer in 2018. Jamie Spencer will ride the David O’Meara trainee.
Stormy Antarctic draws outside in the nine-horse field. The Ed Walker charge owns a pair of group wins in 2018 but his most impressive race may have been his latest, when closing to be a diminishing third in the Celebration Mile (Eng-G2) at Goodwood.
DELTA PRINCE (#3) (5-2) fell a neck shy in the Fourstardave Handicap (G1) following a facile score in the King Edward Stakes (Can-G2) in his 2018 debut. The Street Cry five-year-old is evolving into a fine miler. OSCAR PERFORMANCE (#7) (7-2) is a multiple Grade 1 winner who will be tough to reel in as lone speed in the field.
I will also include GOOD SAMARITAN (#1) (10-1). The Bill Mott charge was a fine winner of the 2016 Summer Stakes (Can-G2) in his lone prior run on this turf. The long stretch will suit his running style.
RACE 9 – CANADIAN STAKES (CAN-G2)
Eight fillies and mares will go nine furlongs on the turf in this well-matched affair. With the cast showing little separation, it could be a jockey’s race, and I would be thrilled to have Jose Ortiz on my side.
INFLEXIBILITY (#3) (2-1) was overmatched in the Beverly D. Stakes (G1) last time at a distance that is not her ideal one. The Scat Daddy filly was an excellent second in the Dance Smartly Stakes (Can-G2) on this lawn two prior and she loves Woodbine (3-2-1-0).
I will single the versatile four-year-old, who is capable of rallying from off the tempo for Chad Brown.
RACE 10 – BOLD VENTURE STAKES (CAN-G3)
Reigning Canadian Horse of the Year, champion male sprinter and older male PINK LLOYD (#3) (1-1) proved that he has the heart of a champion when running down a good one late last time, moving his career mark to a sensational 16-for-19. The Robert Tiller pupil will be a single on most tickets and deservedly so. He sped a bullet three-eighths in a bullet :34.80 on Sunday to stay on edge.
However, the chances for a substantial windfall in the Pick 4 would come if the star got upset today.
So I will add BATTLE IN SEATTLE (#5) (20-1), KINGSPORT (#6) (3-1), IKERRIN ROAD (#8) (15-1), YORKTON (#9) (6-1) and SWEET LITTLE MAN (#10) (8-1).
RACE 11 – NORTHERN DANCER STAKES (CAN-G1)
Godolphin’s HAWKBILL (#5) (2-1) is the class of the field and one to beat. But the classy chestnut stung me hard when getting caught at 3-5 odds in this race last season. And that group was arguably not as deep as the 2018 edition. He can’t be a single.
Trainer Graham Motion has a formidable duo in my view. My top pick, MEKHTAAL (#1) (7-2), made quite a visual move in the Nijinsky Stakes (Can-G2) last time but couldn’t reel in the winner. The chestnut son of Sea the Stars is a classy, Group 1 victor making a second run of the season, and gets both the rail post and Jose Ortiz.
Augustin homebred UTMOST (#3) (4-1) was a game winner of the Sky Classic Stakes (Can-G2) on this lawn most recently and is an obvious inclusion. The Giant’s Causeway colt could be peaking. Alan Garcia retains the ride.
I would feel real good having the trio of horses that began their careers overseas to close out the sequence.
Suggested $1 Pick 4
1,3,6,7,9 with 3 with 3,5,6,8,9,10 with 1,3,5 = $90