The 18th running of the $1,000,000 Ricoh Woodbine Mile takes place tomorrow at Woodbine in Canada with a strong field of eleven. The 5-2 morning-line favorite is #5 Kaigun, who is 2 for 2 on the grass at Woodbine. This race might very well be a preview of sorts for the Breeders' Cup Mile coming up at Santa Anita on November 1. Here is the analysis:
The top pick in the Woodbine Mile will be #9 Jack Milton, who is making the second start off the most recent layoff after running third in the Grade 2 Fourstardave at Saratoga on August 9. The Todd Pletcher trainee's last win came back in May at Belmont in the Grade 3 Poker. Javier Castellano, who might be the best turf rider in North America, gets the call here as he did in those aforementioned New York races. The Sire is War Front and that is always a good thing when it comes to turf racing. His last work on September 8 was a strong four furlongs on the turf in 49 3/5 seconds.
#8 Bobby's Kitten is 15-1 on the morning-line and might actually present the best value in this bunch. The Sire (if you couldn't tell) is Kitten's Joy, fitting since the horse is also owned by the Ramseys. The last win for this colt came in the ungraded Pennsylvania Mile at Penn National on May 31. His last three workouts have all been bullets at the five furlongs distance. He ran 2nd in his most recent race in the Grade 2 Hall Of Fame at Saratoga after leading throughout much of the race. That 15-1 morning line seems especially stunning since this horse has been the betting favorite in eight of his nine lifetime starts.
#5 Kaigun appears to be an excellent match to the Woodbine turf course. He is the 5-2 morning-line choice here and won the Grade 2 Play The King Stakes last time out on August 10. Patrick Husbands was aboard for that win and gets the call here again. The four previous races were all with Grade 1 company, although two seconds were the best he could muster. Again, the lineage is strong for turf racing. The Sire is Northern Afleet and Kris S. is present on the Dam side. Trainer Mark Casse is winning at a 20% rate during the current Woodbine season.
John Velazquez will ride #4 Silver Freak, who comes in at 20-1 on the morning-line. This horse has never faced anything near the caliber of horses he gets in here. His last four races have been of the Optional Claiming/Allowance variety. Granted, he won two of those and makes the second start off the most recent break here. His last win featured the best Beyer Speed Figure of his career with a 95.
They Are Off Top Four Selections: Jack Milton, Bobby's Kitten, Kaigun, Silver Freak
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