The Cindy Pierson Dulay photo to the left is Ice Bear with the lovely Chantal Sutherland up. Ice Bear is The Turk's chalk in Wednesday's Dominion Day Handicap at Woodbine. To the uninformed, July 1st is a holiday in Canada, as they celebrate their independence from England (and announce their dependence on Tim Horton's coffee).
The installed morning line favorite is Vacation. The 4 YO Dynaformer colt is a good runner, coming off a Grade III win at 1 Mile at Arlington in late May and has been training very sharply at Belmont since. I don't think this colt will go to the starting post as the favorite, but we'll see.
Race 8 WO Post Time 4:29 ET: The Dominion Day Handicap Grade III; 1 1/4 on Fake Dirt for 3 YO and Up.
I'm leaning towards regular Woodbine runners in this race. Ice Bear is 6 of 11 in the money at Woodbine and is a Grade III winner. Trainer Benson's and Ms. Sutherland have combined to win 64% of their 11 races together.
I like Marchfield to Place. He's placed behind Ice Bear twice before and beat him once. He has a PP filled with deep closing and he's 9 of 10 races in the money at Woodbine and regular rider Husbands up.
For now I'm inserting Approval Rating in the Show position. Trainer Jordan wins 43% of his races on fake dirt and when combined with Jock Mcaleney they win 45% of the time, based on a staggering 93 races together and the 5 YO son of Lemon Drop Kid is 6 of 6 in the money at Woodbine.
Where does Vacation fit in? Short answer is I dunno yet. I'm not a fan of boxing unnecessarily, but Vacation could finish anywhere on the board. I don't like his 3 wins in 19 starts or the fact it's his first WO start, but I like J. Velazquez up, I like the string of 90+ BSF he is posting and I think he hasn't run his best race yet.
Equitable is making his second start off a long layoff. I like the A.P. Indy colt who put up a 5f in :59 2/5ths a week ago. He's most likely my 5th and last horse I'll insert into any of my Tri's. Super's are being taken for this race as well.
I don't generally handicap this far in advance so I will update as we get closer.
There is some great writing going on at the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance. Check out the new homepage and you'll find some of the best voices from the new and old media talking up the horse game from every different angle. The Foolish Pleasure should be a must read for all fans of the game.
Have fun. Turk out!