A handful of stakes events will highlight a fine day of racing at Woodbine on Saturday.
First leg of the Triple Tiara attracted 10 3-year-old fillies for the C$500,000 affair. #5 Afleet Katherine (15-1) might be a bit of a stretch coming off of two turf sprint wins to start her career, but I think that she could thrive stretching out to 9 furlongs in her stakes debut. Filly gets a good draw after being wide in her first two, and the daughter of Afleet Alex will be closer to the pace on Saturday beneath Justin Stein.
Kevin Attard’s #3 Clayton (4-5) is the sure one to beat in the C$150,000 test for sophomore boys. Bodemeister colt was a fine allowance winner on the oval last time out, and a similar performance will make the bay tough to beat.
#6 Elusive Knight (5-1), second to the aforementioned in his latest voyage, has never been out of the exacta from five lifetime showings. Dark bay son of Ghostzapper could peak in his third run off the shelf. He is due to break through following four straight runner-up finishes.
I will be using both in my vertical and horizontal wagers.
Dance Smartly (G2)
Fillies and mares will travel 1 1/4 miles on the green in the C$175,000 contest. Six will go postward and I will side with morning-line choice #1 Etoile (7-5) in her second North American offering. Chad Brown pupil made a decent run behind a slow pace in the Gamely (G1) off the layoff, and she will be much tighter on the stretch out on Saturday. Bay shows four solid turf drills in advance of her Woodbine bow.
King Edward (G2)
One-mile test on the weeds attracted a well-matched field of eight. I have long admired the turn of foot of #2 March to the Arch (4-1), who will get a fast pace to rally into on Saturday. Casse pupil has not been great in his last pair, but he was a winner in his lone prior run on the course, and the Florida-bred comes in fresh with some nice morning moves, as well. Rafael Hernandez will be in the controls.
Bold Venture (G3)
The incomparable #4 Pink Lloyd (4-5) has picked up right where he left off in 2020 following a pair of measured tallies for Tiller. Ageless 8-year-old is 24-for-30 on the surface and the race goes through the sensational Old Forester gelding.
In a race void of early foot, #2 Malibu Secret (10-1) could inherit the early lead at a price for Martin Drexler. Dark bay gelding was runner-up to the favorite in his 2020 debut, and I like his chances to be in the hunt for a long time third off the layoff.