Jockey Julio Felix has been on fire through the first three weeks of the Hawthorne meet. This week’s Chicago Railbird takes a look at his riding statistics so far, as well as a pair of the races in which he rides on Wednesday and Thursday. We look at Wednesday’s 8th and Thursday’s 8th. Both races drew big fields. In one, Felix rides the top selection; in the other, he rides an interesting price horse.
Hawthorne is in full swing for the fall. Today’s card features nine races — and if you like maiden races or short races (on both turf and dirt), you will love today’s card.
Read on for my selections and analysis for the card! A few of the races have key scratches — and those are noted, and the picks updated for any effects the scratches have on the race.
Best Bets: Midnite In Miami (Race 1), Small Fortune (Race 6)
Price Plays: Indy Awesome (Race 5), Pride Of Life (Race 7)
Today’s Hawthorne 6th, the lone allowance on today’s card, is a competitive N1X turf dash.
The race drew an intriguing mix of more lightly raced horses and old salts…and there’s a same-trainer “B” entry who looks primed to run the field off its feet.
This week, the Jockey Club released its Report of Mares Bred.
Illinois is still a fairly small segment of the breeding market. After all, according to the report, there were more mares bred to Uncle Mo (253) than there were to all Illinois stallions combined (220). But, this report does give a look at who is gaining attention among Illinois stallions, whose foals we will see come 2019 or 2020.
Ghaaleb (Unbridled’s Song – Queen’s Lady, by Storm Cat) led the list with 30. He has no progeny on the track yet. Ghaaleb himself only raced four times, winning both a maiden special weight sprint and a one-other-than mile at Aqueduct.
Three-year-old filly sprinters anchor Saturday’s Keeneland card, with the Grade II Raven Run Stakes.
The race drew a competitive field of twelve: all of whom have stakes-level experience, and many of whom have solid records over extended sprint trips.
This week at The Tournament Edge, I write about something that scared me for a long time, but became my favourite niche of horse racing contest play: head-to-head contests.
Before I got the hang of horse racing contests, they scared me. After all, head-to-head poker was not my style at all. As I’ve gained experience, they have become my favourite type to play. They’re the perfect balance of knowing the races and knowing the opponent, particularly if you can focus closely on a limited scope.
Head over to The Tournament Edge, read my latest piece, and get the hang of head-to-head contest play!
Today was the last of Woodbine’s flagship race days: Canadian International Day!
Anchoring the card was a pair of Grade I turf routes: the Canadian International for open company, and the E. P. Taylor for fillies and mares. The Canadian International went to a shipper; the E. P Taylor went to a horse familiar to anyone who followed Arlington this summer.
Sprinters also had their day in the Nearctic (GII) and the Ontario Fashion (GIII). As with the two Grade Is, neither of these went to favourites, either. There was a minor upset in the Ontario Fashion…and a big upset in the Nearctic from a horse with championship credentials.
This morning seemed mostly normal on the backside at Woodbine…but only mostly.
Two years ago, I was bullish on Top Decile going into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. A year ago, her connections had announced her retirement and placed her in the Keeneland November sale.
Today, I saw her win a horse race.
This week is another big one at Woodbine, with a Sunday card that features four stakes races including the Grade I, $1 million Canadian International.
Illinois-bred The Pizza Man, winner of last month’s Northern Dancer (GI – CAN), makes his second try for Canadian International glory. He will have to face a tough field, however, including 2014 Melbourne Cup hero Protectionist. The fillies and mares also get the spotlight in the E. P. Taylor (GI), with local prep winner Rainha da Bateria facing an international field of thirteen.
The Nearctic (GII – CAN) and the Ontario Fashion (GIII) round out the day. The Nearctic is a six-furlong turf sprint featuring a pair of horses cutting back from the Woodbine Mile, Full Mast and Passion for Action. In the Ontario Fashion, Cactus Kris will attempt to defend her crown.
Head over to Picks and Ponderings, read my preview of the Canadian International day stakes, and get ready for Sunday’s big day at Woodbine!