Tag Archives: Woodbine

Riker Wires Grey Stakes Field

Riker Wires Grey Stakes Field

The even money favorite in Riker was able to take his competition gate-to-wire in the Grade 3 Grey Stakes. He was aided by a scratch of Ultraflame earlier in the day and that would have been his company on the lead had he entered.

Riker went straight to the lead from the start as he built an early 4 lengths lead over Kasseopia. Ruck sat third, Tizzarunner was fourth, and Van Damme was fifth about 8 1/2 lengths off the lead.

Riker lead the field through comfortable fractions of 24.18 for the first quarter and 48.92 for the opening half-mile. As they rounded the far turn, Riker was asked to pick it up slightly and Kasseopia loomed the biggest threat with Tizzarunner on the inside and the duo of Van Damme and Ruck not threatening to make an impact.

Down the stretch, Riker was able to keep Kasseopia at bay and win by 1 1/2 lengths. Tizzarunner was third by three lengths, Van Damme finished fourth, and Ruck was last in the field of five. The entire chart can be found here via Equibase.

A video replay can be found on Blood-Horse by clicking here.

Riker is by Include out of the Unreal Zeal mare Desviacion. He paid $4.00 to win and $2.30 to place in a race that did not allow show wagering. He ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.31, was ridden by Jesse Campbell, and trained by Nicholas Gonzalez.

For the victory, Riker also earned 10 points towards the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard. Kasseopia earned 4 points, Tizzarunner earned 2 points, and Van Damme earned 1 point.

The next race coming up in the Road to the Kentucky Derby is the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland on October 31.

Gamble’s Ghost Finds Room To Win Mazarine Stakes

Gamble’s Ghost Finds Room To Win Mazarine Stakes

Heavily favored Gamble’s Ghost provided some worries for her backers, but she ultimately got the job done by winning the Grade 3 Mazarine Stakes at Woodbine for 2 year old fillies.

Audacious Bear went straight to the lead from her rail draw and established a clear advantage over Allwehaveisnow. Swoop and Strike was all alone in third by 3 1/2 lengths, with Gamble’s Ghost, Garavogue Colleen, and Conquest Soprano the final three running close together.

On the backstretch, the field start to compact tightly. Audacious Bear continued to lead, but her margin was closing quickly with Allwehaveisnow pressuring her more as well as Swoop and Strike and Conquest Soprano drawing within two lengths. Gamble’s Ghost was fifth by 2 lengths and Garavogue Colleen was far behind as 2 1/2 lengths covered the field.

The pace began to quicken on the far turn and entering the stretch as Audacious Bear led the field. She was soon tackled by Swoop and Strike with Garavogue Colleen loom large in third. Gamble’s Ghost continued to be urged and she eventually hit her best stride between horses and was much the best despite her jockey losing the whip.

Gamble’s Ghost was able to draw clear by three-quarters of a length over Swoop and Strike in second and Garavogue Colleen, who could not close on the top duo. Audacious Bear faded to fourth, Conquest Soprano finished fifth, and Allwehaveisnow finished sixth. The full chart can be found here courtesy of Equibase.

Gamble’s Ghost paid $2.90 to win and $2.10 to place in a race that did not allow show wagering. She is by Ghostzapper out of the Secret Claim mare Gambling Girl. She was ridden by Luis Contreras and trained by Josie Carroll. She covered the 1 1/16 miles on synthetic in 1:45.62.

A replay of the Mazarine Stakes can be found here on Blood-Horse.

In addition to the winner’s share of the $150,000 purse, Gamble’s Ghost earned 10 points towards the Kentucky Oaks Points Leaderboard. Swoop and Strike earned 4 points, Garavogue Colleen earned 2 points, and Audacious Bear earned 1 point.

The next race on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks will be October 31 at Keeneland with the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

2015 Grey Stakes Preview

2015 Grey Stakes Preview

The final stop in this weekend’s Road to the 2016 Kentucky Derby is at Woodbine with the Grade 3 Grey Stakes. A field of six is entered for this Grade 3 race at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.

The purse for the Grey Stakes is $150,000 while there is another perk for winning this race. The top four finisher will receive points towards the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard. First place will receive 10 points, second place will receive 4 points, third place will receive 2 points, and fourth place will receive 1 point.

Post time for the Grade 3 Grey Stakes is scheduled for 4:25 PM Eastern Time and is carded as the eighth race of a 10 race card at Woodbine. Free past performances can be found here by going to Sunday, October 4, 2015 and going to Woodbine – Race 8. Entries have also been provided in the table below.

Post PositionHorseJockeyTrainerMorning Line Odds
1TizzarunnerPatrick HusbandsMark Casse3-1
2Van DammeT.D. HoughtonRobert Gorham20-1
3RuckJames McAleneyReade Baker8-1
4RikerJesse CampbellNicholas Gonzalez4-5
5UltraflameGary BoulangerJohn Ross10-1
6KasseopiaAlan GarciaCharlie Fellowes6-1

1. Tizzarunner – He debuted on July 25 going six furlongs here at Woodbine in the Colin Stakes. He stalked the pace from a few lengths behind, but could not rally in the stretch. He was third by 3 3/4 lengths behind Riker before dropping down to the maiden ranks. His second start was at 7 furlongs and he employed the same tactics. This time, he was able to rally and got up to win by a nose. His latest start was in the Swynford at 7 furlongs again. He stalked the pace yet again and once more, he could not get by Riker, who shows up here as well. The blinkers are taken off for this race and he is the main threat to the overwhelming favorite.

2. Van Damme – His first two races were at Indiana Grand (3rd place) and Thistledown (4th place) before a switch to synthetic tracks. His third start came at Presque Isle going a mile and he responded with a rally to win by a length. He was then sent to Arlington for the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity. He came off the pace to grab second by 2 1/2 lengths. He exits the Swynford Stakes here at Woodbine where he stalked the pace and failed to rally in the stretch, finishing fourth by 7 1/4 lengths. He will need to step up to compete here.

3. Ruck – He debuted on August 9 going five furlongs in an open maiden special weight race. He had a poor break and was forced to settle near the rear of the field. He had some run in the stretch, but was no match for the top three with a fourth place finish by 7 1/4 lengths. His second start came at a mile and 70 yards and he had a better break that allowed him to sit closer to the pace. He had a wide trip in that race, but was still able to hold the lead on the turn. He continued on, but could not catch the winner and finished second by a length. A trip closer to the rail could be more beneficial, but he will have to be even better to threaten the top two.

4. Riker – His debut was on July 5 going five furlongs where he pressed the pace and was able to edge in front at the wire to win by a half-length. His second race was in the Colin where he had a similar race of battling for the lead and he hung on to win by a half-length once more. His latest race was a bit easier as he set a clear lead and was able to win by 2 1/2 lengths. He will be in front again and they will have to catch him if they want to beat him. The solid choice here.

5. Ultraflame – He debuted in the Clarendon Stakes, but had a slow break and was left with a lot of running. He rallied to finish fifth by 4 1/4 lengths and joined the maiden ranks in his second start. In that race, he went straight to the lead and ran the field of their feet to win by 7 1/4 lengths. He stepped back up to stakes company in his latest start where he tried to duel for the lead. It eventually cost him as he finish third by 5 3/4 lengths. If he goes to the lead, he will have to contend with Riker, who simply does not lose. Tough to like him if he wants to try and wire this field.

6. Kasseopia – He has ran in only Great Britain prior to this race. He debuted going 7 furlongs at Doncaster, but did not have any rally finishing sixth by 8 1/4 lengths. A move over to the synthetic track saw him finish second by six lengths before a crushing maiden victory by 9 lengths last time out. There are concerns about the trip across the Atlantic and the class level, but he is intriguing nonetheless.


This race will go through #4 Riker on the front end. He has yet to lose a race and it will take a big effort to do it again in this spot. #1 Tizzarunner has not been able to pass #4 Riker in two of his three starts, but could end up with a great trip if a speed duel occurs. He is the top threat to the favorite. #6 Kasseopia is the ultimate wild card worth a chance underneath.

Top selection – #4 Riker

2nd selection – #1 Tizzarunner

3rd selection – #6 Kasseopia

Check back on Sunday night for a recap of the Grade 3 Grey Stakes.

2015 Mazarine Stakes Preview

2015 Mazarine Stakes Preview

The Road to the Kentucky Oaks will continue this Sunday with one final race from Woodbine. The Grade 3 Mazarine Stakes will be run over the main synthetic track at the Toronto area race track.

The Mazarine Stakes will be run at 1 1/16 miles with a compact field of six horses entered. The purse is $150,000 and will also have points available to the top four finishers. The winner of the race will receive 10 points, second place will receive 4 points, third place will receive 2 points, and fourth place will receive one point.

The points earned will help determine the entrants for the 2016 Kentucky Oaks. The Kentucky Oaks Points Leaderboard can be found here and is updated as of Saturday, October 3, 2015.

The Grade 3 Mazarine is scheduled for 3:25 PM Eastern Time and is carded as the sixth race on a 10 race program. Free past performances can be found here by going to October 4, 2015 and going to Woodbine – Race 6. Entries have also been provided in the table below.

Post PositionHorseJockeyTrainerMorning Line Odds
1Audacious BearGary BoulangerMichael De Paulo12-1
2Swoop and StrikeEurico Da SilvaMalcolm Pierce3-1
3Conquest SopranoPatrick HusbandsMark Casse9-2
4Gamble's GhostLuis ContrerasJosie Carroll4-5
5AllwehaveisnowDavid GarciaRicky Griffith20-1
6Garavogue ColleenDavid MoranMichael Doyle10-1

1. Audacious Bear – She debut in a Canadian maiden special weight contest on July 12 going 5 furlongs. She sat in the middle of the field before tiring badly in the stretch. She finished last of 8 by 16 lengths that day. Six weeks later, she returned to the same class level, but was sent 7 furlongs. She had a completely different style going to the lead and holding on for a 3/4 of a length win. She steps way up in class today and she will try to take them gate-to-wire in her first start around two turns. Tough to like her from a win perspective.

2. Swoop and Strike – She was slated to start on the grass in her debut, but it was rained off the turf and put at 7 furlongs on the main track. That did not hurt her as she broke last and closed from about five lengths off the pace to score by a nice 3 length margin. That race sets her up well for this spot and she should have a better start this time around. She has a big chance to win this race.

3. Conquest Soprano – This filly is the most experience with five starts under her belt. Her debut actually came in June at Churchill Downs going 5 furlongs. She had a really good trip behind the leaders and tried to close, but finished second by 1 3/4 lengths. She then ran in the My Dear Stakes at Woodbine where she finished third by 9 lengths after an even effort. A drop back to the maiden ranks in start number 3 resulted in a second by 3/4 of a length after a battle down the stretch. She tried to to press the pace in her fourth start, but ended up losing by 8 1/4 lengths to Gamble’s Ghost. She finally broke through in her fifth start with an off the pace effort. She had to battle all the way to the wire, but held on by a neck. She appears to be a step below the best in here, particularly the horse to her outside.

4. Gamble’s Ghost – She debuted here on August 14 with an impressive run. She had a poor break and had to sit well off the pace. She quickened impressively on the far turn as she made up 5 1/2 lengths and won by 8 1/4 in the end. Next up was the Grade 2 Natalma where she tried to run the same race. She could not catch the runaway winner with a second by 5 lengths. She should enjoy the two turns and despite being the heavy favorite, she is the choice here.

5. Allwehaveisnow – She won her only race on August 26. She ran in a $50K maiden claimer where she took the lead soon after the start and did not have any trouble after that. She won by 5 lengths that day and now goes into Grade 3 company. If she tries to go to the lead, she will have to battle with the rail horse and that could knock both of them by race end.

6. Garavogue Colleen – She made her debut on September 13 in a race slated for the grass, but taken off and put on the main track at 1 1/16 miles. She sat off the pace and went by the leaders in the stretch to win by 3 1/4 lengths. That was only a field of four horses that day, but it was at this distance of 8.5 furlongs. She is a conundrum in this spot, but worth a glance at underneath.


This is a short field and there are only two options from the win angle. #4 Gamble’s Ghost should enjoy the two turns and has ran the most impressive races of any horses in this field. #2 Swoop and Strike is the only other horse that could cause an upset from this point of view. A better break and a good spot in front of Gamble’s Ghost could give her the first run and needed distance to stave her off. For third, #6 Garavogue Colleen will be taken. She won at this distance in her debut, albeit against a tiny field of only four horses. She could improve to take the show dough.

Top selection – #4 Gamble’s Ghost

2nd selection – #2 Swoop and Strike

3rd selection – #6 Garavogue Colleen

Check back on Sunday evening for a recap of the Grade 3 Mazarine Stakes.