We will look to the Great White North for our weekend race this weekend. Woodbine is the congregating spot for many of the top horses planning on running three weeks hence over the turf at Santa Anita in the Breeders' Cup. Since we always try to fancy the ladies and because the race is named for man that the turf course at Woodbine is named, here are the selections for the Grade 1 $1,000,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes presented by Emirates Airlines.
For the winner, I will try to spring a nice upset with 12-1 morning-line shot, #4 Eastern Aria. She has won two of her last three starts in Europe, running 2nd in the other. While none of those races were Group-rated, I think she will be more than capable to come through on Saturday. The only negative I can see with her tomorrow is the lack of top-flight competition on her resume'. None of the others in this field stand out to the point where they are certainties to be in the Winner's Circle, so I will try with a shot that has plenty of winning experience. That absence of winning experience is what actually kept my second pick, #6 Look Here, from the top spot. Her last win was in the 2008 English Oaks at Epsom in June of that year. She just barely missed in her last try at Newbury in the Group 3 Arc Trial as the betting favorite, getting pipped at the post. She has faced very tough foes with Conduit, Youzmain and Dar Re Mi among the horses that have beaten her. However, that is the point, they have beaten her. This is the rare case where I am favoring quantity (of wins) over quality (of opponents). The heavy 8-5 favorite comes next and she is #2 Rainbow View. She was a Group 1 winner last time out at Leopardstown in the Matron Stakes, but that is her lone score this calendar year. I know she has been running with the likes of Goldikova, but if I am going to be looking at an 8-5 shot, she had better be winning more than once in a calendar year. She also has never won a race at a distance of more than one mile. Finally, for fourth I will put #5 Princess Haya. She was a winner in a Grade 2 over this turf course following a layoff last time out. So, this is her 2nd time off the layoff over a course she has won on before and she has a bullet workout on October 10. Here is the play for the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes:
$5 WIN #4 and $1 EX BOX 2-4-5-6 and $1 TRI BOX 2-4-5-6
Remember that They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers made in conjunction with these selections, they are merely suggestions. Tune in again on Monday for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!