The Woodbine Mile

With the presence of GOT STORMY, Saturday’s Grade 1, million dollar Woodbine Mile does have some wattage in terms of star power.  She defeated the boys to Win the Fourstardave Handicap (G1) at Saratoga last month.   
But the race is not a lock for GOT STORMY, as there is more than one talented turf miler in this spot capable of derailing her momentum.  It also seems that female stars tend to get over-bet in open races due to hype and intrigue of seeing them face males.

So let’s take a closer look at the eleven contenders:

1.  EL TORMENTA  [ML 20-1]  Trainer: Gail Cox  Jockey: Eurico da Silva  His 4th place finish in the local Play the King Stakes (G2) came with some traffic trouble in the stretch.  But he also finished 4th in the Highlander Stakes (G1).  He appears a bit outclassed here.  

2.  LUCULLAN  [ML 8-1]  Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin  Jockey: Luis Saez  With two Wins in two 2019 starts, he is in sharp form.  But the quality of those fields is debatable.   
3.  SILENT POET  [ML 15-1]  Trainer: Nicholas Gonzalez.  Jockey: Gary Boulanger.  This 4-year-old gelding is in sharp local form with two Wins in two starts this year, including the Play the King Stakes (G2).  The Woodbine Mile is a tough field with talented outside shippers. 
4.  SYNCHRONY  [6-1]  Trainer: Michael Stidham  Jockey: Flavien Prat  In the opening quarter of the King Edwards Stakes (G2), he showed some speed from 5th and got within two lengths before falling back to 7th and 5 ¼ lengths back.  Yet, after the turn he rallied back to Win.  The long Woodbine stretch should help him in this spot.

5.  GOT STORMY  [ML 8-5]  Trainer: Mark Casse  Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione  Hard to knock the Winner of the Fourstardave.  She displayed good tactical speed in 4th place. On the far turn, the early stalking position allowed her to capitalize first on the collapsing pace.  She also loves the one-mile distance, as all her sub-par races came when trying longer routes.  Will bettors get a fair price, though?  
6.  AWESOMETANK  [ML 8-1]  Trainer: William Haggas  Jockey: John Egan  She made a strong impression in her North American debut, finishing 2nd in the Beverly D. Stakes (G1) to SISTERCHARLIE.  This filly might just get ignored on the board, and will offer much better Value than GOT STORMY
7.  RAGING BULL  [ML 3-1]  Trainer: Chad Brown  Jockey: Joel Rosario  This 4-year-old colt capped off a successful 2018 campaign with a Win in the Hollywood Derby (G1), and looked destined for another great season.  But his 2019 form is disappointing with four straight losses since the Del Mar Victory.  Finished 2nd to GOT STORMY in the Fourstardave Handicap (G1) at Saratoga.  But it was 2 ½ lengths behind and that is a sizable margin.  

8.  AMERICAN GURU  [ML 30-1]  Trainer: Michael Doyle  Jockey: Rafael Hernandez

The flat 5th place finish in a local July 21st Allowance Race is acceptable, as he came off a big layoff.  He then Won on August 11th in gate-to-wire fashion.  He displayed consistent form at Belmont last year (in allowance races), but he needs to show more for this Grade 1.

9.  MADE YOU LOOK  [ML 12-1]  Trainer: Chad Brown  Jockey: Luis Contreras  This horse is a money burner.  His last Win came in May of 2018 when he took a Belmont Optional Claimer.  This year, he finished 4th in the Forbidden Apple Stakes (G3) and 5th in the Fourstardave Handicap.  Why would anything change in here? 
10.  EMMAUS  [ML 20-1]  Trainer: Conor Murphy  Jockey: Channing Hill  He finished 2nd by a neck in the Connaught Cup (G2) and 4th by two lengths in the King Edward Stakes.  On paper, this horse appears too slow to factor in here.  
11.  ADMIRALTY PIER  [ML 30-1]  Trainer: Barbara Minshall  Jockey: Patrick Husbands  He finished a very flat 5th in the Play The King (G2).  Yet, the connections want to take a shot in the Woodbine Mile against tougher horses.  Two words; no chance.


Conclusion: Because most of the betting public will back GOT STORMY, it just feels logical to the Daily Racing Blog to play against her.  
For starters we like the other female in the race, AWESOMETANK, who is a strong choice with lesser known connections.  We will also take a shot with SYNCHRONY, who ran too well from a visual standpoint in the King Edward to ignore.  All he needs is a moderate pace to show his kick.

The Play:  We will use both the #4 and #6  on top of a Trifecta Key, with the 2-3-5-7 underneath.  So the ticket will read; 4-6 with 2-3-4-5-6-7.  For .50 cents that wager will cost $20 dollars.  Also in play will be an Exacta Box with the 3-4-5-6, and Win bets on the and 6.

Best of luck no matter how you play it.

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