Exotics Plays for the 2023 Kennedy Road Stakes
A total of 10 sprint specialists will go six panels on the Woodbine All-Weather surface in Saturday’s $175,000 Kennedy Road S. (G2). The race is led by Robert Tiller’s fantastic #9 Patches O’Houlihan, who has run off to seven wins in eight starts including the Bold Venture (G3) and Vigil (G3) in his last pair of assignments. But he faces a deep field in this spot and I will aim to knock off the likely favorite.
Kennedy Road Exotics Wagers
#10 Ice Chocolat hasn’t won in his last nine attempts but comes in off of a huge try when a neck shy in the grassy Nearctic S. (G2) on the local lawn. The Mark Casse trainee has faced some real good ones over the past two seasons with good results, and I love the fact that he has run huge in both of his tries on the Tapeta here, as well. Second in the race in 2022, the five-year-old son of Goldikovic boasts a powerful turn of foot and lands in a field with substantial pace in it. Sahin Civaci will guide the gelding.
Patches O’Houlihan has proven capable of defeating his elders in two straight and comes in fresh in hopes of running his mark to a sterling seven-for-seven on the course. The Reload sophomore is especially fast from the gate and proved to be tough last time when passed in the lane prior to re-rallying to get up under the wire. This Ontario-bred bay smoked a bullet four furlongs in his most recent morning move and will force the tempo from the break under regular pilot Fukimoto.
#8 Ironstone has been unplaced in both tries this season but could peak third time off the layoff at a nice price for trainer W. V. Armata. The classic-placed son of Mr. Speaker has endured a lot of success on the surface and gets a pass for his latest when failing to fire in a turf experiment last time out. The gray colt has trained in solid fashion in anticipation of his return and owns enough early foot to stay in touch with the leaders on the back side, too. He might be the value of the exotics with Ryan Munger in the controls.