Road to the Breeders’ Cup: Woodbine Mile

Despite being a new stakes race by general standards, the $1,000,000 Woodbine Mile has quickly become one of the most important Breeders’ Cup preps in North America.  A bulky and competitive field has been assembled and that’s basically the norm for this event.  Let’s take a closer look and hopefully assemble the correct pieces in this handicapping puzzle:

Aside from a failed bid against top competition at Leopardstown, #12 FAMOUS NAME has had a perfect 2010 and seems to be at his best in this, his 5YO season.  Trainer Dermot Weld, who has a history of shipping horses into the United  States with success, all the way back to Go and Go, including Dimitrova, Pine Dance, and Winchester.  There was basically no chance he was going to class up with horses like Cape Blanco and Rip Van Winkle in the Irish Champion, so this can be construed as a class drop.  This son of Dansili has run well on wet turf courses and the super-size lawn at Woodbine was still a bit damp on Saturday.  If you are of the belief that boggy courses generally favor late runners then #2 VICTOR’S CRY is one to take a long look at given his price.  He was bested by #11 THE USUAL Q.T. last time out but this son of Street Cry is more of a miler and should benefit from the one-turn configuration given his roots as a sprinter.  The Usual Q.T. has done absolutely nothing wrong in his stellar career as he continues to rack up wins left and right.  His 4th place finish in the Dubai Duty Free, which might be the toughest turf race in the world, will never be appreciated by those that are unfamiliar with international racing.  I’m anticipating the winner comes from these three but can understand why anyone would give a local like #13 GRAND ADVENTURE long look as he loves this course and now returns to a distance at which he can be successful.  SELECTIONS:  12-2-11-13

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