Friday, October 19, 2007

Weekend Picks and Analysis

E.P. Taylor Stakes
Tough race to decipher but I think some value can be found in this race. Mrs Lindsay is a very good horse and a must use in multi-race tickets or if you're looking for multiple exotics. She's had one bad race in her life and she's a G-1 winner. It looks like her race to lose. But there is also the feeling that the race might be a tad short and Europeans are always a bit of a wild card. I have two alternatives to her. Hostess is one of the classiest horses in the race and while she isn't normally a winner her type does jump up and win a big one every now and then. You can't fault the company she has been keeping and i think her form is coming to a boiling point she may just be ready to run the best race of her life. Softish ground won't bother her either. If you want a real bomb take a look at The Niagara Queen. She loves Woodbine, she'll handle the distance just fine and she may get first run. She has never dealt with this class of horse but her only loss in her last 3 tries came against males when she was second to Sterwins. Sterwins came back to run second to Cloudy's Knight in the Sky Classic and The Niagara Queen took a minor stakes. It's a huge step up in class but this is a very tough little horse who loves the course. She might be the kind that pays triple digits if she wins.

Mrs. Lindsay
The Niagara Queen

Canadian International Stakes
The Breeders Cup is probably a little miffed that Woodbine decided to run the International in competition with the BC Turf because this is a high quality race, possibly as good or better than the BC Turf. I think a lot of focus will go to Quijano and Sky Conqueror. They seem to have the best resumes but I think despite their accomplishments they don't stand above this field. This is a very even group and I could see 5 or 6 others with a legitimate chance at victory. The Turf is likely to be yielding or soft and the only pace presence in the race seems to be Sunriver. I don't really like his chances or wiring this field. Late runners have a long stretch to get into stride and the soft going will not help Pletcher's horse. Quijano is a fine horse but I honestly do not think that he is the best European in this field. That honor goes to Ask, although he is not a G-1 winner he is a very progressive horse who destroyed a solid field in his last race. Stoute has struggled to keep him fit but this is a horse who seems destined to win at the highest level. He is fit right now and he will handle the going very well. He may well be too good for the rest of these. In England he is currently the 5-2 favorite, they quite obviously know his quality. If for some reason he fails to handle North American conditions the two others I'd use are Cloudy's Knight and Marsh Side. Cloudy's Knight is having a career year. He could not be doing any better coming into this race. I don't think he is a horse who could beat a true G-1 level European but he could handle everyone else including Sky Conqueror. He should be close to the pace and might get first run on most of the principles. Marsh Side is my longshot special. I have no idea how the line maker came up with 30/1. This horse has a legitimate chance to win and he should be included but because of the value he represents. This horse likes to go long and ideally he likes to sit right behind an even pace. Last time out he did not seem to break well and he was near last in the first half. He rushed up on the far turn to dispute the lead but just could not sustain a strong bid in the lane. My thoughts about him are that he's a tad one paced. He definitely stays all day but his acceleration is not all that good. If Wilson has him closer to the pace from the inside and decides to turn it into a stayers race by making an early move this horse may not get caught. The "mad genius" Micheal Dickinson is no stranger to winning big Turf events and he's got a live one here. I know I've been high on Sky Conqueror all year but really I'm not sure if he'll be able to close as effectively into what is expected to be a slow pace. I think he's vulnerable and a poor bet at the price. So Ask for the win and Marsh Side as the bomb, I'd also use Cloudy's Knight as a backup.

Marsh Side

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