3 BEL The Woodward (GI)
$500.000 3yo&Up 1 1/8m Dirt 3yo 121lbs Older 124lbs
Big Sandy is the venue for Saturday’s Woodward (GI) going a mile and an eighth on the BEL main track and man oh man do we get a great group for this one!! We get both the one/two finishers from this years BEL (GI) and we can all remember how big that race was… neither of them are even in my top three picks… THAT is a loaded field. I’m going with Splash Mountain as the top selection here today. The six year old is having another great season and looks poised to score another big race. He’s already won the Suburban (GII) over this track this year and looks to keep his hot hand going. Another big-time runner is Space Commander and he get’s my second spot. He was fourth in that Suburban (GII) but came back to win the Whitney in his next start, then was closing late to be third in the JC Gold Cup (GI), both of those in up-state. Let’s go to the far outside post and give Graveyard a big look today. He hasn’t missed the board in ’21 and looked real good winning the Pacific Classic (GI) at DMR last out. If not for the post, I’d probably make him my top choice.
This is just an unbelievable field and certainly should have a Classic feel to it.. let’s see how this goes.
Here’s The Field –
He hasn’t won a race in two years but was second in a pair of Alw races this season. He’s been off of the board in all of his stakes attempts this year and I have to believe he would light up the tote-board if he got the job done with this bunch. He’s an outsider, for sure.
It’s been another solid season for this 5yo gelding and he has three big wins, although two of them were dead-heats. Got it done in the Pegasus World Cup (GI), then shared the purse in the Gold Cup (GI) at SA and the Whitney (GI) at SAR. In his most recent he was third in the JC Gold Cup (GI), also at SAR. He’s tough and you have to pay attention to him every single race… same here.
One win from the TC and it’s been tough going since… well, that’s certainly an embellishment of preposterous proportions… When his eight race win streak was snapped in the BEL (GI) he came back to be second in the Haskel (GI) then was fourth in the Travers (GI) as the 1.25/1 favorite. Can he get back to the winning ways here today?
Upset the apple-cart in the BEL (GI) to deny the TC to his next-door neighbor, and was sold after that win. It’s been tough going under the new ownership as he was seventh in the Haskel (GI) and sixth in the Pacific Classic (GI). His biggest win came over this surface so, maybe he makes another headline in this one…
Now a 6yo and just as good as he ever was… and that’s pretty damned good. He’s won the OP Hcp (GII) and the Suburban (GII) this season, and just missed last out when second at SAR in the JC Gold Cup (GI). You don’t put almost $8mil in the bank running in claimers at MNR… this rascal is classy and a true legend. I’d give him a big look today as well
Broke maiden two back then was third vs. Alw company in his most recent, so this is asking a lot from the 3yo colt. He’s only had six starts and jumps into the deep end of the pool with a bunch of sharks. I think they’d be happy with anything close to a check.
His only seasonal win came in the Ali (GIII) at KEE back in April, but he’s been close in three other races, showing runner up finishes in the PIM Special (GIII) and the Pacific Classic (GI) last out. He ws also third in the Foster (GII) at CD, so he certainly knows how to run with this type of competition. He may have some odds (again) as well.
Two graded wins for this one, taking the LA Stakes (GIII) at FG to kick off the season, and he won the PRM Cornhusker (GIII)… but his last pair have been forgettable, to say the least. Beat one in the Whitney (GI) then was tenth of fourteen in the JC Gold Cup (GI), both of those at The Spa this summer. He will run a bad race, but he can also play upsetter, so….
Three wins in five seasonal starts and he hasn’t missed the board all year… Won the PIM Special (GIII) and the Pacific Classic (GI) last out, so he’s topped a few of these here today already. He was third in the Suburban (GII) over this track, closing a big gap late in that one. Distance certainly doesn’t seem to be an issue… more, it’s can he get going in time to get it done?
COZMAN 5 / 2 / 9 Willie’s Green Card 9 / 2 / 5
Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES