A quartet of big stakes races highlight this weekend’s card at Woodbine, with the winners of all four gaining direct entry into the 2013 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, November 1-2, 2013 at Santa Anita. On Saturday, Woodbine hosts the $200,000 Grade II Summer Stakes, a one-mile test for juveniles on the turf. Also on Saturday, juvenile fillies will contest the one-mile $200,000 Grade II Natalma Stakes, also on the grass. The winner of the Summer goes to the BC Juvenile Turf, while the winner of the Natalma gets a spot in the BC Fillies Turf.
With little on the resume Juvenile races wide open
With four entered in the 10-horse field for the Natalma, trainer Mark Casse would seem to have the upper hand in the race. He does have the morning line favorite in Spring Likeacobra at 3-1, but that one needed an all-out drive to narrowly break her maiden last time out and will be challenged, likely by Ready to Act, a winner first time out. One of Casse’s others, My Conquestadory, is cross-entered in the Summer, where she’d face ML favorite Asserting Bear, whose sire, Bear’s Kid, won the same race in 2005.
Wise Dan makes his Woodbine return in the Mile
Sunday at Woodbine will feature the Grade II $300,000 Canadian Stakes, for fillies and mares three-years-old and up run 1 1/8 miles on the turf. The winner of that one will go to the BC Filly and Mare Turf, and the field is headed by Solid Appeal (5-2), winner of the Dance Smartly and Nassau Stakes earlier this year at Woodbine. That race will be followed later by the Grade I, $1,000,000 Ricoh Woodbine Mile, featuring mile superstar Wise Dan, the defending champ and also winner of last year’s BC Mile, who is a heavy 2-5 favorite.
Players trying to look beyond prohibitive favorite Tepin in the September 17 Woodbine Mile will surely have their work cut out for them as the superstar mare tackles seven rivals on the grass.
The second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown goes Tuesday night from Fort Erie race track, where Sir Dudley Digges will try to take another step toward Canadian racing history.
On Sunday, Woodbine will host the $1 million Queen’s Plate Stakes, Canada’s most prestigious race. Restricted to horses foaled in Canada, the classic mile and a quarter contest has drawn a field of thirteen three-year-olds.
A spectacular card of graded stakes action has been assembled for Saturday at Belmont Park and the $1 million Ogden Phipps is shaping up to be one of the most competitive races of the day. The Grade 1 event for fillies and mares will be contested at a mile and a sixteenth.