Today we head north to Woodbine for the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks. It's for 3YO fillies going a mile and an eighth over the synthetic surface. Like yesterday in the Mint Julep, there is no real front end speed in this field of nine. In fact, what makes this a difficult race to handicap is that none of the ladies has gone this distance before. In doing the analysis I found three contenders but no dark horse, and of course the long shot play. So here goes ...
#6 Dixie Strike ML 6/5
She is the obvious selection in this race and a proven router. Her last outing in the Selene (G3) was impressive. She has won three of five at Woodbine and four of eight lifetime, and Casse wins 20% with recent winners. The question today can she stretch out and do the extra sixteenth? Her running style of stalking says she can and Husbands really knows how to ride her. It's hard to pass up a Casse/Husband winner (27% winning combination), and I think she has it in her to do it today.
#7 Rose and Shine ML 8/1
This filly has beaten Dixie Strike twice and finished a distant second to her in the Ontario Lassie to finish off the 2YO season. The angles for this filly is that she showed a nice improvement in her second go as a 3YO and Biamonte wins 21% in stakes races. Her workouts have been steady and Biamonte puts Moreno in the irons. Moreno has won 20% in routes and has been on a nice winning streak of late. She likes to loom closer up than Dixie Strike which might work with the pace in this race.
#4 Northern Passion ML 5/2
The second of three Mark Casse entries. She likes the Woodbine synthetic, winning two of three and one second. Her Beyer's have been strong throughout, toss out the two turf races and she is one tough lady. The issue is can she go two turns with this group? Contreras likes her chances and her workouts have been ripping strong. Her only route race was in the BC Juvenile at CD and it was her worse effort lifetime. Even in the Fury($150) she wasn't pulling away down the stretch and that makes her vulnerable to the closer's/stalker's in this race. She will be in the hunt at the end just not convinced she will hit the wire first.
#9 Horseshoe Hill ML 20/1
Took her five tries before breaking her maiden, but has shown steady improvement in each of her races. This is a big step up for her today but like her pedigree at this distance and her 6F workout was a good one. Doyle puts on Stein who hits the board 42% and brings in big mutual's. If she doesn't do it for you, then look at the #5 Black Bird Rock ML 12/1.
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