It’s time to have a look at tomorrow night’s Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack. Only my opinion of course, but I will make a few picks.
The three year old filly pace is the first on the slate and there is no magic in handicapping this race. On paper, the exactor looks like a chalk one between Shacked Up and Yellow Diamond. Shanghai Lil if she is at her best can surprise here if the big two are not at their best. My pick is Shacked Up. I think she might be a better horse than Yellow Diamond on this night and she will be second choice. Value ex box: Shacked Up and Shanghai Lil.
The three year old colt trot features Muscle Hill. If he wins this and is not Horse of the Year on both sides of the border we should call for an inquiry. He will be 1-9 in this tilt. Filling out the ex is tough because there are a few possibles who are racing well. I might take a tri here, tossing the fresh Swan For All (who will probably be used by many handicappers as an obvious horse) and focus on Triumphant Caviar and Neighsay Hanover (John is wonderful first time on a trotter, as they seem to relax for him). Tri: Muscle Hill keyed onto TC and NH.
The two year old filly trot kicks off the pick 4 and we could see some value here. The two chalk (Poof She’s Gone 7-5ML and Costa Rica 3-1ML) I am sure will be overbet, so let’s go hunting. Fashion Feline will still take money, but might be value. I will probably head off the board to the John Bax trainee Tequila Slammer (25-1ML). She looks to be getting better and will provide value. She’ll need some luck, though.
The two year old colt and gelding trot is race 5. It is another decent tilt. ML fave Lucky Chucky won on cruise control last time and should be favored. If you are looking for a colt to cheer for this might be it. Recently trainer Chuck Sylvester’s son died in an accident and a victory might place a well-deserved smile on the family’s face. 2-1 second choice Pilgrim’s Taj was a mess last week. I am not sure if it was the shoeing or what have you, but no serious handicapper would have him on the ticket off last week at low odds. I think the value lies with Wishing Stone (4-1ML). I think this colt will be overlooked off last week’s loss, but I have a sneaky feeling this little fella is a better chaser. If he is not on top and has some cover, or a cushy trip, he might convert. Newport Volo and Hard Livin should supply some longshot value. My bet, Wishing Stone, with ex’s onto Lucky Chucky, Newport Volo and hard Livin.
In the sixth, the $600k 2 year old filly pace the morning line shows who the contenders are: Fancy Filly, Western Silk, Put on a Show and Higher and Higher. Put on a Show has the most talent I think, but she was wickedly bumpy last time. Is she tweaked, was it the shoeing? I don’t know but everyone saw it and I am sure that she might not take money like she should because of that. Western Silk looked great on the track last time – like an aged mare. Fancy Filly and Higher and Higher raced well. It is tough to make a play without seeing the odds board in this race, but If Put on a Show is decent odds I will bet her. Ditto Western Silk.
The next race is the three year old filly trot. This is a good race, perhaps the best betting race of the evening. Last week nothing stood out to me. I watched most of these horses score down and I could not find a standout. The contenders are obvious, and the local horse, Elusive Desire got around the track last week like a hoop around a barrel. She will more than likely be overbet, however. Yursa Hanover raced very well last time, but pulled the pin in a way-too-fast third quarter setting it up for Margarita Momma. Switch the trips and it might have been a different story. I think I will take a poke on the Ice Queen with Yursa Hanover and look for value. Both with a trip could be there at decent odds as the top two will take the bulk of the cash, I believe.
Race 8 is the really interesting 2 year old colt pace. Without seeing the odds board this is a tough one. The standout to me is All Speed Hanover. He waltzed to a 150.3 score at Lexington and won easily. The rail horse, Rockin Image, is also one that has impressed. The undefeated Sportswriter (6-5ML) looked less than stellar last time, all out to win in 153 and change – and virtually everyone says he will have to improve by several lengths to compete here. If too many cappers are thinking that, he might actually be much higher than his ML, where your thinking might switch. Regardless, to make money you have to take a stand, and this race is it for me. I will be using All Speed on top of Rockin Image in ex’s, tris and supers. I will be keying All Speed Hanover in pick 3’s. If All Speed is anywhere near his ML (I highly doubt that) I will be making a good sized win bet.
The big one is the 3 year old colt pace. Last year we had one of the coldest exactors in BC history with two super talented colts locking horns – Beach and Shadow Play. This year is nothing at all like that. We have a standout, Well Said, versus several, but that standout has raced poorly at times this year. Last week at Lexington he stumbled home in a slow time to come 4th as a heavy chalk and for those who remember, he did that a few times this year, most recently in the Simcoe. But, the next week he won the Jug like a champ in straight heats. What do we do with him? I have no idea. If the pattern holds he will jog; if not, he is a monster fade where money can be made. I never seem to guess right on this colt, so I will be spectating here more than likely, unless Well Said is really low – like 3-5 or 4-5. If I do bet against him there are a couple who are worth a poke to me. Vertical Horizon is a very live bomb and Dial or No Dial is starting to show some fine fettle. I will group them in exotics more than likely if I play this race where WS's odds are making us take a shot on something.
The latter two races are the ones that interest me the most, since we have suspect chalk. Just like two years ago, taking a stand against Donato Hanover who was signaling he was tired, and Deweycheatumnhowe the following year which signaled the same thing, there was money to be made. It will be interesting to see if this repeats itself, or if these fine horses respond and race very well.
If you are playing tomorrow – especially to our thoroughbred friends who might want to try – a poke at the pick 4 should hold some interest. The pool is guaranteed and there are 20 cent bets offered. For the serious 'capper the twenty centers are an annoyance, but for those who want to take a shot and have some fun they are a godsend for deep fields like these. Races 4 through 7 are all decent races where something might happen to make the ticket worth playing. The three ML chalks – Muscle Hill, Well Said and Sportswriter are not included in the mix, thankfully. This bet is worth studying and playing. I will be taking a shot with some of the bombers.
That is my analysis. As always, comments welcome and good luck tomorrow everyone. I hope you all have a great time and good racing luck on this great night of racing.