The Grade I $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile is run at 8 furlongs on the turf for three years old and up. It is part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series (where the winning horse gets his entry into the Breeders' Cup and travel expenses paid - read more about the value of winning a Breeders' Cup Challenge Race
). The race will air on Fox Sports One at 5pm ET on Sunday.
Wise Dan won this race in both 2012 and 2013 and then went on to win the Breeders' Cup Mile in both years followed by Horse of the Year honors as well.
Get the Woodbine Mile Pace Figures
and Past Performances
in addition to the race analysis.
River Seven (20-1)
One of two Canadian breds, River Seven has one win against Grade III company but has yet to break through against the top runners in the division.
His Pace Figures are on a decline though his last effort at 10 furlongs should be overlooked as it was a PLOW (PLOW) Form Cycle Pattern – when the pace of the race is very slow and therefore pushes the final figure down. Removing that 68.9 from the set, he still looks a couple points lighter than the field.
The Play: To Slow – his last race notwithstanding, the final figures are not competitive against these.
Trade Storm (6-1)
The only Euro shipper in the field, Trade Storm has shown some back class by finishing third in this race last year. His 2014 European racing career on paper looks up and down, where as he is competitive at the Group II and III level but not so much in Group I.
His race on 3/8/14 in Group I Jebel Hatta was rather interesting. He was third to last most of the way in a race that was run very slowly up front; he rallied wide and made up lengths against a field where no one else was moving forward. He had a poor showing in the $5 million 9f Dubai Duty Free followed by two good efforts in the UK in Group III races. Jaime Spencer, his regular rider, comes in to ride which is a positive as Spencer has shown success shipping in to ride Graded Stakes winners in North America (Side Glance finished third in the Arlington Million).
The Play: Fringe Contender – competitive last year in this race, he is on another good line as the only Euro shipper, and at 6:1 morning line he has value.
With two eighth place finishes and a 12th place finish in his three Grade III races, Ancil looks to be up against it in this Grade I affair.
Looking at his Pace Figures, he's competed in sprints his last twelve races and has put up high four furlong figures in most. A sprinter going long in this case is likely to go strong to the lead which could intensify an early pace.
The Play – Too Slow: Though he could challenge (or get the lead) early, his lack of depth going long means he will be finished early.
Silver Freak (20-1)
The lightest raced horse in the field, Silver Freak has only eight starts lifetime. Further, his first race was at four years old, just a year ago and an oddity for a Grade I Stakes competitor. Speaking of which, he has yet to run in Graded Stakes company, however he did run third against Lockout (#7) in May, who subsequently has proven himself as a Graded Stakes competitor. “Freak” picks up Johnny V as the rider (one of the top jocks in the country, especially on front runners) as Joel Rosario moves to Bobby's Kitten.
Looking at his Pace Figures, he has the highest last race final figure in the race of 82.3 while managing his energy efficiently as shown by the 74.9 four furlong figure (also note the race was 8f). His prior two efforts in 2014 were both in the very high 70's, again with consistent 4f figures.
The Play: Not Quite - The fastest last Final Pace Figure is worth something, though this field is laden with speed. It's a tough bet to make that he can rate and repeat his last effort.
A hard trying Grade II winner and Grade I competitor, Kaigun last five starts have been at five different tracks and five different distances. Leading Woodbine jockey, Patrick Husbands, gave him a perfect ride in winning the Grade II Play the King sitting well off a furious speed duel (on 810). He ran well against the aforementioned Wise Dan on two occasions this year and is two for two at Woodbine lifetime as well as trained by leading Canadian trainer, Mark Casse.
Looking at his Pace Figures, he ran a lifetime top of 78 in his last start with an inflated 74.2 4f figure (as the lead horses went very fast up front). His Pace Figures in his six 2014 starts are all between 74.8 – 77.2 with 4f figures between 53.7 and 66.7.
The Play: Too Slow – Lifetime top combined with consistent final and 4f figure that look to be a bit slow make him an underlay with no value as the 5:2 morning line favorite.
Another runner who has tested Graded Stakes level competition with little luck, Dorsett has a couple of fourth place finishes, most recently against quality Grade II runners. Dating back to July 2013, he's got one start at SEVEN different race tracks all between the 8f and 9f distance. He's also had SEVEN different jockeys over that same period. Not surprisingly, he changed trainer's two starts ago and picks up one of the top Canadian jocks in Luis Contreras.
Turning to his Pace Figures, his most recent effort was an 80.2 at Saratoga. Preceding that race he ran at 44.3 PLOW (which as noted above, you can “draw a line through”), followed by a 67.6, 75.8, a big move over three races.
The Play: Regressor – Lifetime top combined with a three race forward progress pattern indicates regression.
Another trained by Mark Casse, Lockout exits the same race as Kaigun on 8/10. Visually speaking his effort was more impressive. He was dead last the entire race and came six wide down the stretch (vs. Kaigun who rallied up the rail). He stretches out from 7f to 8f and retails journeyman jock Gary Boulanger, who will likely have him in a similar position early in the race.
Looking at his Pace Figures, they are more impactful than his PP's. His most recent four Final Pace Figures have been 80.5 – 77.5 – 77.5 – 77.4. His 4f figure spiked at 80.6 but settled last race at 70.9, indicating a runner who is doing a better job of managing his energy.
The Play: Longshot – while he is unlikely to be forwardly placed and close to the lead, and does have one of the weaker jocks in the race, his Pace Figures say he could compete as this level with his best effort.
Bobby's Kitten (15-1)
The only three year-old in the field, Bobby's Kitten ships in to Woodbine for the first time for US leading owner Ken Ramsey and Turf specialist Chad Brown. He raced four times as a two year-old, including the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and now five times in his three-year old career. Javier Castellano opts off Bobby's Kitten and Joel Rosario climbs aboard. Rosario might actually be a better fit for this front runner as he is one of the strongest riders in the country on the front end. Speaking of which, all of Bobby's Kitten's wins were wire to wire, except one which means he does his best running on the lead.
His Pace Figure line is as interesting as it is confusing. His top figure at two was a 79, a very big number at that age. He looked to be slowly finding his “sea-legs” at three by testing (with little success) the Graded Stakes level until his most recent effort at Saratoga where he ran an 80.7. Normally a ten point jump (from 70.9 – 80.7) could be seen as a big top, though his two-year old race of 79 makes it seem more likely.
The Play: Regressor – Rating better than he has done in his lifetime is his key merit and it is just not backable at this Grade I level of competition.
Jack Milton (7-2)
Trained by Todd Pletcher, the #1 trainer in North America, Jack Milton has been on a horse player's wish list in every start. He is
12-4-1-5 lifetime and has never had greater odds than 4.5 to 1. He has been raced selectively and properly in each start which is a skill unto itself. He has finished third in two Grade I races and is a two time winner in Grade III. North American leading jockey Javier Castellano stays on board
Visually speaking, his last effort was just okay. Castellano was on the whip most of the stretch and while he didn't have a lot of running room, it looked more like he was hanging. He is on a good Form Cycle Pattern moving from 77.9 – 79.9 – 79.1 – 81.2 most recently while his 4f and 6f figures are consistent.
The Play: Fringe Contender – There is much to like here with the exception of that last race visually. At odds above 4:1 there is value.
His Race to Win (15-1)
A multiple Grade III winner on the all-weather surface at Woodbine, His Race to Win gets back on turf where he is just one for six lifetime.
His Final Pace Figures are in the high 70's (on the all-weather), however his two starts on turf are just 76 and 60.
The Play: Too Slow – Lesser Pace Figures and an indication that turf is not his preferred surface are tough obstacles to overcome.
Grand Arch (4-1)
With three wins, a second and two thirds in six starts on the Woodbine turf, Grand Arch has the home field advantage. While the outside post is a negative, he has enough go to not need to rally from last. Visually speaking, his last race was impressive. He was beaten by Seek Again, who was full of run in his last race putting up an 82 final figure and might be Wise Dan's main competition.
His last three sets of Pace Figures are 81.2/75.8 – 79.4/68.5 - 74.8/59.6, and show increases in both 4f and Final Figure while still maintaining a six point turf spread (difference between final and 4 figure). The 80.5 in June of last year solidifies the 81.2 as a reasonable final figure.
The Play: Contender – Pace Figures, track success and Form Cycle Pattern all point to another forward move.