Okay, this is the first year of the partnership of BUDWEISER and the WOODBINE OAKS, the $500,000 classic race for Canadian-bred fillies.
And the favourite is a filly named GINGER BREW?
That's the hunch of all hunches, or is it?
53RD WOODBINE OAKS SHAKE UP
ANNE IS OUT, 2 MORE ARE IN
(Peak a boo - SHILLA has been freshened and trained up to the Oaks off a layoff of 42 days. According to the WOODBINE STAKES HANDICAPPER book, this would be the longest layoff of a winner in at least 10 years)
The lightly raced ANNE'S PURSE will not make her 3rd career start in the Woodbine Oaks on Sunday.
Meanwhile, trainer Mark Casse, who had said GLORIOUSLY would be headed to the Acorn Stakes at Belmont (which drew a modest 5 horse field), has decided to enter the speedball in the Oaks.
Casse has won the last 2 Oaks.
And MRS. BEGAN, eased in her last race after a rough trip, is also entered and will have to be supplemented.
The amount of early speed in the Oaks looks daunting for horses like GLORIOUSLY, VICTORY ROMANCE and any other who wants to show speed in the 1 1/8 mile race.
The draw for the Oaks is today at a press conference hosted by Woodbine, WEGZ Stadium bar and CLIFF FLETCHER is the special guest.
PAST OAKS WINNERS
-WITH NOTES ON LAST 3 RACES COMING INTO THE OAKS
SEALY HILL - Won Bourbonette, 87 Beyer, 12th Ky. Oaks, 61, posted a 94 to win Woodbine Oaks
KIMCHI - 4th allowance, 67 Beyer, 2nd allowance, 75, topped at 88 in Oaks
GOLD STRIKE - 2nd Star Shoot, 83, 1st Selene 99, 1st Oaks 96
EYE OF THE SPHYNX - 1st Fury, 91, 1st Seleene 82, 1st oaks, 89
TOO LATE NOW - 1st allowance, 87, 1st, Selene 92, Oaks, 81 Beyer
GINGER GOLD - 2nd Fury 94, 2nd Selene 86, Oaks, 90
DANCETHRUTHEDAWN 1st allowance, 88, 12th Ky Oaks 78, 1st oaks, 97
CATCH THE RING - 1st allowance 85, 1st Fury 85, 1st Oaks 81
KEYS TO OAKS
Two-turn experience and/or success is important, this is a race that often goes to the favourite.
Below is the prospective field with their last 3 BEYER FIGURES and a comment.
(MOST RECENT RACE IS FIRST BEYER LISTED)
Authenicat/Vinery LLC/Josie Carroll/Indefinite
(D'Wildcat-Authentic Deed, Alydeed, bred by Gail Wood)
*Came out of latest with mucus in her lungs
Ginger Brew/Stronach Stables Inc./Brian Lynch/Javier Castellano
(Milwaukee Brew-Coral Necklace, Conquistador Cielo bred by Adena Springs)
94, 88, 87
*Has purposefully been freshened by trainer Lynch, lures Castellano who sticks with her
Initforreal/Rowbotham, Lindskog, MacKinnon, Richer & Boogmans/Arthur
(Real Quiet-Favored One, by Son of Briartic,bred by Richard Lister)
74, 57, 56
*Late running gal has speed to run at
Gloriously / Woodford Racing/Mark Casse/Pat Husbands
Indian Charlie-Glory's Story, Defensive Play bred by Royal Oak Farm
80, 86, 73
*Late entrant is fast with good Beyer Figures, last furlong will be test
Lady d'Wildcat/Shyman Farm/Steve Roberts/Emma-Jayne Wilson
(D'Wildcat-Avenue's Lady, Avenue of Flags, bred by Shyman Farm)
68, 65, 56
*Has not had clean trips in a while, better than she's shown, distance a big question
Mrs. Began/ Zayat Stable/ Reade Baker/ Tyler Pizarro
Jump Start-Showmethegreencard, De Niro,bred by Mike Carroll
0, 64, 45
*Supplemented, comes off rough trip
Money My Honey/Stronach Stables Inc./Brian Lynch/Eurico Da Silva
(Red Bullet-Collect the Cash, Dynaformer, bred by Adena Springs)
64, 82, 82
*Was not hard used to win latest but how could that Beyer Figure be so low?
Nicki Knew/Knob Hill Stable/Kevin Attard/Jono Jones
(Tethra-Panteccaria, San Romano bred by Knob Hill Stables)
69. 72, 71
*Is playing catch up but is developing nicely for top stable
Northern Kraze/Anderson Farms and Partner/Mark Frostad/Chantal
(Aljabr-Baraha, Dayjur bred by Anderson Farms)
69. 67, 55
*Maiden has shown potential but best race may be turf sprint
Shilla/Victura Farm/Nick Gonzalez/David Clark
(Marquetry-Papoose, bred by Brian Cullen)
*Top stakes trainer has trained her into race and it is her first route try. May be training job of the year.
Sugar Bay/Augustin Stable/Mac Benson/Corey Fraser
(Syncline-Otra Vez by Rahy, bred by Augustin Stable)
67, 82, 82
*Lovely run last time when edged by 'Honey', race can't be as slow as Beyer Figs say
Victory Romance/Donver Stable/Josie Carroll/Emile Ramsammy
(Slew City Slew-Moonbeam Dancing, Dance Brightly, bred by Donver Stable, Alberta)
76, 42, 76
*Headstrong an will have to be reined in to make the 9 furlong distance
QUEEN'S PLATE NEWS
HARLEM ROCKER is indeed staying at Woodbine until the Plate and will reside in trainer BRIAN LYNCH'S barn.
The grey colt flopped at 1 to 5 in the Plate Trial but his team is not giving up.
The colt looked out of sorts from the moment he got into the paddock, difficult and antsy, he would not load into the gate, he broke tardily and then put in a mild bid.
HARLEM ROCKER now figures to meet a large field in the Plate.
NOT BOURBON and SOLITAIRE,the 1-2 finishers in the Trial, will challenge the colt as the betting favourite.
Workers yesterday include SHADOWLESS (Stormy Atlantic), the only horse owned by Heather Takahashi. He worked 5 furlongs in 1:01.80. Emma Wilson will ride.
TOOK THE TIME (Greenwood Lake) , trained by Mark Casse, went in 1:03.80.
RAMON DOMINGUEZ will be coming in to ride the colt for owner Earle Mack in the Plate.
WOODBINE WEDNESDAY NIGHT
It was a good night for some horsepeople who had not won a race at the Woodbine meeting yet, a big night for jockey JERRY BAIRD and the QUEEN'S PLATE may have got another entrant.
On a night when the Polytrack surface was deep and slow (it starts off that way each week and then gets faster by the weekend), winners came from everywhere.
MAMMA'S KNIGHT might be tossed into the Plate and that could be the trend since the flop of Harlem Rocker in the Plate Trial last weekend.
The gelding could pop up into what will may be a very cluttered Plate thanks to an 8 1/2 length score in an Ontario sired allowance race last night. The Ontario bred by Ascot Knight-Bob's Choice by French Deputy, bred by Auchamore Stud, was making his 3rd start off the layoff and stretching out to his best distance of 1 1/16 miles and he manhandled the modest field while seemingly all out in a slow time of 1:46.90.
His Beyer was 72.
The gelding, whose previous top Beyer Figure was a 69, raced in slower time than the next event for $10,000, non-winners of 3 and the last race, a maiden allowance.
Mike Kowalski owns and Sam DiPasquale trains the useful gelding.
Speaking of the $10K claiming race, EL GRAN BRETT, who raced wide all the way, won at 19 to 1 and was the first winner for Analisa Delmas. The 5yo Compadre gelding was beaten 19 lengths at Fort Erie for just $5,000 claiming last time (on traditional dirt) but the last time the gelding was BLINKERS ON with PAT HUSBANDS named (Emma Wilson picked up the mount), he won on the Woodbine Polytrack.
And trainer STEVE ATTARD also got his first win with Paul O'Brien's homebred DRUMBO, a Bold Executive-Willowy Miss, Dust Commander gelding who took the 5th race, a maiden allowance for Ontario sired guys. Hard ridden to make the lead by Eurico Da Silva, the gelding thrived with that trip and led all the way. It was his 4th career start.
SAINTE DAIME had a torubled trip but rallied nicely up the rail for trainer Noel Randall and is one to watch.
Trainer RANDALL won the 6th race with the eager CAPITAL OFFENSE, a 3yo Arrested gelding who has won 2 of 4 races this year and been 2nd in the other pair. He is owned by Albert Sanges.
"I was running over horses all the way, he's a very aggressive horse, he loves to run," said jockey Justin Stein on THE SCORE show.
VICTORIOUS TRIP won his maiden for $47,500 claiming in his 3RD START OFF THE LAYOFF in race 4 for Cindy Cox and Lisa McCallum-Smith. The Kentucky bred by Victory Gallop rallied wide to win his 7th start.
Trainer Greg Cox was winning his first race of the year.
IZKRA chased the pacesetter and then battled for the lad at the quarter-pole before edging clear under JERRY BAIRD to win the 7th race. The Iskandar Elazbar-Volterra mare was winning for $10,000 against non-winners of 2 and was favoured. Kevin Attard trains.
HYDETHEREASURE has been very happy this year and credit can go to the team of owner/trainer MORT HARDY. The Bold n' Flashy mare won at 9 to 1 two races back and was 9 to 1 again last night when she surged latre to win for $16,000.
She is 4 - 2 - 0 - 2 this year. Matt Moore took over from Dean Deverell, who rode the mild closing Sunadir.
TEO ran to his route breeding in the last to win at 8 to 1 for Uphill Stable and trainer Red Johnson. The Pine Bluff Kentucky bred was about 6 lengths off the pace and bid around the turn and drew clear in his 8th career start - 7 previous races were at sprint distances.
BELMONT VIEWPOINT BIG BROWN IS NUMBER 1
The undefeated BIG BROWN, coming off a 100 Beyer Figure in his easy win in the Preakness Stakes, is 2 to 5 on the morning line to win the Belmont and the Triple Crown on Saturday.
Indeed, the only horse that appears to be next best is CASINO DRIVE, a colt who has only raced twice in his career and is hyped up because his siblings won the last 2 Belmonts.
Big Brown's wins have been breathtaking, albeit helped by easy trips. He is that much better than this group of horses he races against now, horses that have done very little.
If he wins on Saturday, he's a Triple Crown winner, the first in 30 years. But can you really compare his races and efforts to those of Alydar and Affirmed? That pair won a lot of stakes and raced hard before their 3 race battle.
Can you compare him to Seattle Slew? Secretariat? These horses did a lot BEFORE their Triple Crown sweeps, so did their rivals.
If BIG BROWN beats Curlin later this year, he might be considered a great one.
For now, if he wins on Saturday, he will make history and be considered one of the best in recent years.
And then the fun begins - if he runs again.