Thursday, May 6, 2010

Super Saturday at Woodbine: Southdale, Hotep and Giant's Tomb on the card

After overdosing on the Kentucky Derby, I am happy to return to focusing on Woodbine where a very talented crop of Canadian three year-olds that will be making an appearance this weekend. Former Kentucky Derby contender Hotep makes his first Woodbine start of 2010 in the Wando Stakes against promising Ontario-bred Joey's Best.

Hotep in the post parade before his maiden breaker at Woodbine

Sam-Son Farms colt Hotep won impressively at the Fair Grounds back in February before racing to a mid-pack finish in the Risen Star Stakes and a fading eleventh in the Louisiana Derby. After some time off, Hotep returned at Woodbine with a pair of sharp six furlong works prepping for this event.

Joey's Best won the Kingarvie Stakes in his final outing of 2009 for trainer Audre Cappuccitti. The Trajectory gelding has been working impressively while waiting for a suitable race. The Wando Stakes is a tough ask first time off the shelf but Cappuccitti followed this same path with Essence Hit Man to notch a stakes score first out recently in the Woodstock .

The remainder of the five horse field is Bears Finish Line (KY), Just Call Me Roger (FL) and Alcomatch (KY). To see the full entries, please CLICK HERE.

While the Wando Stakes is the money feature, the race I am really excited to watch is Saturday's fifth race. The mile and a sixteenth MSW features four members of my 2010 Queen's Plate contender list including Mobilizer, Captain Canuck, Cognashene and Vicar Street. The fourteen horse field also includes Ontario-breds Mr. Fuller, Indy League, Smart Sky along with Raven Stone who is on the also eligible list. To see the full entries, please CLICK HERE.

I've already written a fair bit about Captain Canuck. If you missed it, check out my Queen's Plate Profiler on Captain Canuck and the follow-up regarding his 80% purchase by Earle Mack. Mobilizer is a Frank Stronach homebred who made a strong start on April 8th at Keeneland finishing third in a routing event won by Alcomatch. The race was also contested by Captain Canuck who finished eighth beaten 3 3/4 lengths. Mobilizer showed excellent early speed in that Keeneland event racing in tandem with the leader along the backstretch, eventually taking the lead at the top of the stretch and fighting gamely to the wire.

Captain Canuck skates home second at Gulfstream in his first start

Cognashene spent the winter at the Fair Grounds before returning to Woodbine to post a series of excellent works. On Feb 21 at Fair Gounds, the Sam-Son first time starter tried a 1 1/16M $39K MSW on the turf. Cognashene got caught inside most of the way and then had a brutal stretch run going greenly down the lane with a weaving runner in front of him. Cognashene straightened out late and got up for show.

Vicar Street, a Catherine Day-Phillips runner, trained at Ocala over the winter and was a promising third here at Woodbine on April 17th. While I do not have much background info on the remaining Ontario-breds in this event I am looking forward to seeing which of these horses steps forward on Saturday.

This could be a massive weekend for Sam-Son Farms. Hotep is the likely favourite in the Wando. It would not be a shock to see Cognashene take the above-noted MSW and did I mention that Giant's Tomb returns on Saturday as well? Of the three Sam-Son runners, Giant's Tomb looks most likely to get the mile and a quarter Queen's Plate distance. The Frostad colt returns to Woodbine in Saturday's fourth race, a $76K allowance for 3YO and up will go a distance of 1M 1/16 on the polytrack. To see the full entries, please CLICK HERE.

Giant's Tomb notches an important distance win at Fair Grounds

On March 22nd, Giant's Tomb won a mile and forty yard event at Fair Grounds in impressive fashion. The son of Awesome Again was the odds on choice in field of five and started confidently from the gate finding a stalking position just off the rail. With the far turn approaching Patrick Husbands asked the colt for more and he responded by lengthening his strides and meeting the leader. Turning into the stretch Giant's Tomb quickly disposed of Looks Purrrfect and crossed the finish line first by two lengths in a time of 1:41.34. The colt galloped out strongly which suggests this horse will have no trouble finding the classic distance of the Queen's Plate.

And to top off what should be an excellent day of racing on Saturday, two of my favourite local horses are running.

1. Southdale, the focus of my Path To The 2009 Queen's Plate series returns in a six furlong sprint. The big fella has been a monster in the mornings and I'm excited to see him start his four year-old campaign. To see the full entries, please CLICK HERE.

Southdale returns on Saturday

Southdale enjoying a bath last summer at Woodbine

2. Amazon Belle, a fiery filly in the Bob Tiller barn, was featured (and tipped to win - which she did) in a recent Photo Essay. The three year-old is one of many solid Tiller fillies blazing a path towards the Oaks. To see the full entries, please CLICK HERE.

Exercise rider Shana with her favourite redhead - Amazon Belle.

Yes, I am very excited about Saturday's Woodbine card. However, Friday's card has a bit of oomph in its own right.

General Staff is entered in the first race which is a six and a half furlong sprint for $40K claimers. It's the second start of the 2010 campaign for the Casse horse. First out he finished fourth and now needs a solid effort to maintain his spot on my list of 2010 Queen's Plate contenders. To see the entries, please CLICK HERE.

Friday's seventh race features Doctor Jack, It's Time Bear, D's Legend Storm, Arepeatee and Abruptly which is a five and a half furlong allowance sprint. This event features nine Ontario-sired colts and geldings. To see the entries, please CLICK HERE

Ron Gierkink wrote an excellent Friday night preview for the Daily Racing Form entitled Doctor Jack back to face familiar foes which highlights Doctor Jack's move to Ian Black's barn.

As well, the Daily Racing Form's Bill Tallon reviewed the Wando Stakes in a news piece entitled Bears Finish Line ready to go. Of note in that piece is news that Mobthewarrior has been supplemented to the Queen's Plate:

Mobthewarrior, who was one of the better 2-year-olds on the grounds, did not attract any attention in the early Queen's Plate prognostications this year.
Much of that oversight could be attributed to the fact that Mobthewarrior was not nominated to the Queen's Plate at the Feb. 1 stage.
That has since been rectified, however, as Mobthewarrior was supplemented at a cost of $5,000 at the May 1 deadline.
And on Tuesday, Mobthewarrior served notice that he's ready for battle with a five-furlong breeze in a bullet 58.40 seconds over the Polytrack.

An excellent piece - but I jump up and down and whistle and point in the direction of my 2010 Queen's Plate contender list where Mobthewarrior has been firmly entrenched in the Top 10 since March. No, he did not make my Queen's Plate Fantasy Challenge roster but I'm definitely keeping tabs if blogs count!

To see the current list of Queen's Plate contenders, please CLICK HERE.

The current top 10:

1. Hollinger
2. Hotep
3. Giant's Tomb
4. D's Wando
5. Ghost Fleet
6. Stormy Lord
7. Who We Gunna Call
8. Captain Canuck
9. Who's Big Daddy
10. Mobthewarrior

The Queen's Plate contender page lists the top 20 contenders - as I see it - in order. Also listed on the page is an alphabetical list of notable contenders and horses who have since fallen off the trail. The page tracks breeding, connections, workouts and results. So, click the link above and check it out!

Recent Workouts and Results of Queen's Plate contenders include:

* Arrow's Conquest worked 5F handily in 1:00.40 on the Woodbine poly on May 5, 2010. Rank 4/32

* Who We Gunna Call breezed 4F in 50.86 on the Saratoga dirt on May 5, 2010. Rank 8/11

* King of the Swamp worked 5F in 1:02.40 handily on the Woodbine poly on April 29, 2010 Rank 29/49.

* Hollinger breezed 6F in 1:12.60 on the Woodbine poly on April 30, 2010 Rank 1/7.

* Doctor Jack breezed 5F in 1:01.80 on the Woodbine poly on April 30, 2010 Rank 27/60.

* Vicar Street breezed 4F in 48.60 on the Woodbine poly on May 1, 2010. Rank 16/61.

* Mobilizer breezed 6F in 1:11.20 on the Woodbine poly on May 1, 2010. Rank 1/12.

* Cognashene breezed 5F in 1:01.40 on the Woodbine poly on May 1, 2010. Rank 26/76.

* Ghost Fleet breezed 5F in 59.40 on the Woodbine poly on May 1, 2010. Rank 3/76

* Giant's Tomb worked 6F in 1:14.40 handily on the Woodbine poly on May 1, 2010. Rank 6/12.

* Hotep breezed 6F in 1:15.20 on the Woodbine poly on May 1, 2010. Rank 11/12.

* Roman Games breezed 5F in 59.60 handily on the Woodbine poly on May 2, 2010. Rank 5/78.

* Stormy Lord breezed 5F in 1:00.60 on the Woodbine poly on May 2, 2010. Rank 28/78.

* Mobthewarrior worked 5F in 58.40 on the Woodbine poly on May 3, 2010. Rank 1/45.

* Captain Canuck breezed 4F in 49 on the Woodbine poly on May 3, 2010. Rank 14/22

* Big Red Mike finished 3rd beaten by 1 3/4 lengths, on May 2, 2010, at WOODBINE in Race 8.

* * *
I remind readers to continue to check in on the Woodbine News for up-to-the-minute horse racing news.


Laura said...

I'm lovin' that maiden special on Saturday-- it should be very telling. What a great race for the level!

Mickey Walls said...

I think mobilizer and captain canuck will finish before cognashene in this race. but i find it odd that raven stone is entered with mobilizer. im thinking they did this so they have the option of scratching mobilizer. thoughts?

Keith-TripleDeadHeat said...

Thanks for the comments!

Laura - I too look forward to the re-match between Mobilizer and Captain Canuck. The latter ran green last out staring into the grandstand instead of running. Hopefully that's no longer an issue. I'll be sure to get some photos.

Mickey - Congrats on your hall of fame nomination! Re Mobilizer - the horse scratched recently at Keeneland so perhaps Attfield is being cautious. Interesting that the restrcited race filled to 14 and the Wando (and the Giant's Tomb allowance) have far fewer entries. I know trainers have been struggling to find suitably conditioned races for their horses early in the meet. I applaude AC for taking a short with Joey's best.


Laura said...

Raven Stone is a big, handsome horse who looks like he'll need a lot of ground. I don't know how many route maiden allowances WO cards, or their system of preferences when races overfill, but my guess is that Attfield is just looking to get a race (or at the very least an entry date) for Raven Stone. Mobilizer needs to run (and win) if there is any hope of getting to the QP, so I don't see anything odd about them both being entered. For what it's worth, I think Mobilizer is the goods. I love him.

Mickey, wow-- I'm a big fan. I remember when I got a job at Churchill fifteen years ago, my first track job... As if the Twin Spires weren't impressive enough, I had Lukas' horses in the barn across from me, and you and Randy Romero showing up occasionally to work horses for the trainer I was working for. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

(Ah, the internet-- making it even *easier* to embarrass oneself. LOL)