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Saturday will mark the 23rd running of the $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” qualifier that has proven to portend great success at the World Championships.
A field of 11 will hit the E.P. Taylor Turf Course to contest an event that provides the winner with a fees-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup TVG Mile at Santa Anita Park on November 2. Since 2010, the winner of the Woodbine Mile has won a running of the Breeders’ Cup Mile five times. Those to complete the feat include Wise Dan (who did it twice) and Tepin, who won the 2016 Woodbine Mile a year after winning at the Breeders’ Cup.
TSN will deliver live coverage of the Ricoh Woodbine Mile from 5:00 – 6:00 pm. The approximate post time for the main event is 5:42 pm.
Take a look at the four stakes races at Woodbine on Saturday:
Robert Tiller’s venerable win machine Pink Lloyd (3/5) will try to get revenge in one of the few races he’s yet to conquer over his home track. After he finished a well-beaten fifth (crossing 7 lengths behind the winner, the worst defeat of his career) in last year’s event, the 7-year-old gelding’s connections are hoping that his current five-race winning streak will carry him forward here.
“These are tougher than his last (race) and he’s running back after two-plus weeks,” Tiller said. “It’s not what we really wanted to do – I like to have at least three weeks, or four, in between his races – but he’s doing great.”
Pink Lloyd will carry high weight of 128 pounds, conceding as many as 10 pounds to his foes, including last year’s winner, Yorkton (8/1).
TOP PICK: #2 Pink Lloyd (3/5)
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Chad Brown’s Competitionofideas (8/5) will seek out several firsts this weekend: her first time traveling north of the border, her first win at this distance, and her first win on the season. As a 3-year-old, she won a pair of NYRA circuit events, then traveled west and conquered the American Oaks (G1) at Santa Anita Park. While she has not missed the board in four starts this year, she’s yet to find her way back into the winner’s circle. Jockey Joel Rosario, who was aboard in the American Oaks, returns in the saddle.
TOP PICK: #5 Competitionofideas (8/5)
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Mark Casse brought his best girl to beat the boys in 2016 with Tepin, and he’s raring to try it again this year with Got Stormy (8/5). After winning the De La Rose Stakes at Saratoga on August 3, this 4-year-old daughter of Get Stormy returned just a week later in the Fourstardave Handicap (G1). The result? She smashed the upstate New York course’s record for a mile and earned a berth into the Breeders’ Cup TVG Mile.
“I initially had planned going right from the De La Rose to the Woodbine Mile,” Casse said. “(Owner Gary Barber) was the one that pushed so hard for the Fourstardave. I gave him all the reasons why we shouldn’t do it and he said, ‘Okay, that’s good, but unless you tell me you’re not happy with her, I want to run her back in a week.
“I said, ‘Okay, fair enough.’ And as the week went on between the De La Rose and the Fourstardave, she just got bigger and stronger. She just started thriving. The day we entered, I said, ‘I don’t think I’ve ever seen her train so good as we did today.”
TOP PICK: #7 Raging Bull (3/1)
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World traveler Old Persian (1/1) will make his North American racing debut for trainer Charlie Appleby. The 4-year-old Godolphin homebred son of Dubawi has won eight of his 15 career starts, including most recently the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) at the Dubai World Cup Carnival. Appleby’s head lass Sophie Chretien has overseen his care since arriving in Toronto.
“The trip was perfect,” Chretien said. “It was a good flight, he was relaxed, and everything went fine on that side. He settled in very nicely and he went on the track on Monday and Tuesday, just to get used to the place. So far, so good. He seems quite happy with himself.”
TOP PICK: #1 Old Persian (1/1)
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Get our FREE PICKS for the rest of the Woodbine card here. Plus get PREMIUM PICKS today for Woodbine and an additional 27 tracks all for one low price here.
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