The Woodward – Grade I
1 1/8 Mile Dirt Stake Purse $750.000 Open 3 Year Olds And Up.
1st Stranger D J C Racing Stables Ortiz I Jr
There was a little part of me that screamed with relief as this grand old stager mounted a full stretch effort to beat the three year old bias that is so prevalent here at HRP. Gaining his first black type win of the season after three great efforts for his new owner he dug deep with all the tenacity we expect from him to get up and win by a head. BC bound now could this grand veteran continue this amazing streak his owner is having this season.
2nd Flamenco Beach Mb Stables Hernandez R M
I dont wish to take anything away from this great effort but you really have to question the weight for age status of HRP when two good but not outstanding three year olds can beat all but two of the best older horses in the game at grade one level. To be fair this ex claimer had won three in a row coming into this and his effort to win the WV governors Stakes was very good but when you compare it to the form of some of the older horses it is pretty clear that the weight advantage was a big factor. He looked home and hosed for much of the stretch and it will be interesting to see where he is placed against the rest of his age group going forwards to the big Autumn races.
3rd Bronx Bomber Aer Stables Velazquez J R
I spent a minute and forty five seconds of this race waiting for this four year old to take advantage of his good trip and explode to the front but as they hit the final furlong it was clear the best he could hope for was another stakes placing. He was beaten less than a length in the end and was game to the line but he looks destined to have bridesmaid syndrome.
4th Eclipse My Knowledge Nakamura Stables Talamo J
Taken back from his wide draw this three year old flew home for fourth just a length behind the winner. The weight for age was enough to see him beat some great older horses and his trainer may have to be quick now to get him into a BC race in time because on this effort there is no reason he wouldnt run well.