Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Nomination Is In: September 20, 2009; The Woodbine Mile Grade I on Turf

When push comes to shove, the Turk loves the 1 Mile races, dirt and turf. The Woodbine Mile has been a favorite of mine for many years and today's edition contains a very impressive field of expected contenders and a few horses that could sneak onto the exotic tickets and surprise. No matter who wins, this should be a hotly contested race on fast turf and any post time chalk should be considered vulnerable. I would reckon that the payouts will be healthy because of the uncertainty. You'll find the early and late changes for today's Woodbine Card here. The hour-by-hour forecast is a click away but I don't think there is anything to worry about weather wise. Let's get it on!

Race 10 Woodbine: Post Time 5:42 ET; The Woodbine Mile Grade I on Turf for 3 YO and Up

What a field. I love the parity in the middle of the pack and there are multiple horses here with excellent late speed.

Any handicap has to have a chalk, even if tepid, and mine is Bribon. I've been a fan of the 6 YO gelding for sometime and I've been very impressed with the way Trainer Ribaudo handles him and the way A. Garcia rides him. The Jock/Trainer have won 52% of the time together over the past year on 21 starts. His first start at WO, his 12th turf start and his second in a row since going back to the grass on a firm turf day at SAR in early August. Six 100+BSFs in last calendar year. Lots to like but I'd prefer a few more turf races under his girth.

I'm making a big leap with my choice for Place, but I like what I see with Fernely (Ire) and I'm rolling the dice looking for big value. Great late speed from the 5 YO who also starts at Woodbine for the first time. Coming off a Grade II win at Delmar at 1 Mile on the Turf and a 5 furlong bullet at a week ago. I think he'll find the firm turf very much to his liking. I'll have more tickets with him dropping a few spots down and I'm not thinking win right now, but just his presence in the ticket will raise the payouts nicely.

I really appreciate Rahy's Attorney and like Einstein, I always make sure I watch his efforts closely and savor them. So why hasn't the Turk got him higher? I may be wrong, but I would rather see sharper current form. A fantastic 4f in :46 and 3/5ths did not go unnoticed two weeks ago, but Trainer Black has been stretching him out from 1 3/8, 1 1/4, 1 1/8 and 1 1/16 since his last 1 mile effort so I'm hedging. 11 of 13in the money at WO and 11 of 15 in the money on Turf, last years Woodbine Mile champ hasn't matched that effort in terms of BSF since, which he achieved on yielding turf. Prove me wrong big guy!

The last two spots are a coin toss for me but I'm going with Sterwins for a few intangible reasons over Ventura, the lone lady in the event, who races for the first time since April. With WO leading jock Husbands up, Sterwins is 9 of 11 in the money the last two years and 6 of 7 in the money on Woodbine Turf. Ventura needs no recital of her accomplishments and Gomez is up as usual. Her last effort against the boys was a close Grade I loss to Gio Ponti , a lil 'ol horse who hasn't done much this year. Scary good and worth a $2 win bet for kicks.

There are several other runners that can really throw this one astray, and Grand Adventure is a real wild card.

I have no bet strategy yet. I'll be watching the tote board and comparing my base handicap to what value I should expect if sucessful. My conservative betting style may lean me towards a series of exata's if I see value in the second spot, but I will swing for a few tri's and super's as well. Little Turk is feelin' Field Commission as long and live.

Have fun, enjoy, Turk Out!

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