I will be looking to the $1 million Woodbine Mile which will be contested by a field of 8 over the turf course at Woodbine. Last year’s Woodbine Mile was a great race. El Tormenta was able to get by Got Stormy right at the finish line to complete the upset at 44-1. I don’t think we will see 44-1 taking this years’ version, but value can still be found.
#1 March to the Arch – Ridden by Patrick Husbands and trained by Mark Casse – March to the Arch requires a fast pace in order to win his races. Last time out at Woodbine he was victorious in the Grade 2 King Edward Stakes by more than 2 lengths. However, in that race the speed was very fast going the half in 46 seconds flat. I don’t think March to the Arch will get that same set-up to run into, but he’ll likely be coming from last. I think there is just too much to ground he’ll have to make up in the end. I can’t quite take him at the low odds he’ll be, but he is surely one to respect.
#2 Armistice Day – Ridden by David Moran and trained by Barbara Minshall – This is going to be a tough race for this horse to jump into and have any kind of chance. Last time out he finished 3rd against a much softer field at Woodbine going a mile and an eighth. He does shorten up in distance which help his running style of being near the front, however he just hasn’t performed well enough against lesser competition to believe he has a shot in here.
#3 Shirl’s Speight – Ridden by Kazushi Kimura and trained by Roger Attfield – This lightly raced colt is 2-2 at Woodbine so far, and poses an interesting threat. He has won at 7furlongs over the turf and then he won at a 1 and 1/16 mile over their tapeta surface in the Grade 3 Marine Stakes. Clearly the mile should suit him just fine, and he will likely find himself on or near the lead here. He was able to improve from his first start to his second start, and no reason to think that can’t continue to happen. We’ll just have to see if Woodbine’s top 2 year old can make the jump here. I believe he is a threat with some value.
#4 Starship Jubilee – Ridden by Justin Stein and trained by Kevin Attard – The 2019 Canadian Horse of the Year is looking to become the third female to win this event. She had her four-race win streak snapped last time out in the Grade 1 Diana Stakes at Saratoga. The event featured Rushing Fall, Mean Mary, and SisterCharlie which are 3 of the top turf horses in all of North American. There was absolutely no shame in that defeat at Saratoga. Woodbine’s leading jockey Justin Stein takes the call here, and when they turn for home he will have Starship Jubilee absolutely rolling.
#5 Olympic Runner – Ridden by Daisuke Fukumoto and trained by Mark Casse – Olympic Runner looks to be up against it here in this race. He has run well in graded stakes in the last 2 race, however those were sprinting on the tapeta. He stretches out in distance to the mile which he has only ran one time in a 2nd place finish. Also, in 5 starts on the turf he is winless which makes this task even tougher. I just don’t see this one as having much of a shot here.
#6 Admiralty Pier – Ridden by Stephen Bahen and trained by Barbara Minshall – This horse looks to be the most likely pace setter in this race. The last 5 times out Admiralty Pier has gne straight to the lead in graded stakes. He was able to win 2 of those races including a race against March to the Arch at Tampa Bay in March of 2020. He also set the pace in the King Edward in which March to the Arch was able to turn the tables and run him down. There seems to be less competition for the lead in this race then in races past so he will be dangerous on the front end.
#7 Value Proposition – Ridden by Luis Contreras and trained by Chad Brown – Chad brown is the best turf trainer in North America and he enters Value Proposition in here after losing in the Grade 3 Poker at Belmont in July. He will likely be sitting mid-pack and Brown has this one ready based on the steady workout tab leading into this race. He will certainly be in the hunt coming down the stretch, as he has 5 races on turf and 3 of those are wins.
#8 War of Will – Ridden by Rafael Hernandez and trained by Mark Casse – This is by far the best of the Mark Casse trio. War of Will is most likely going to be the favorite when loading into the gate, and it is well deserved. Last time out at Keeneland he was able to win the Grade 1 Makers Mark Mile. He was also the winner of the 2019 Preakness Stakes. He will take up a nice stalking position, and should rate a big chance down the stretch. While War of Will is certain to be the favorite, he can absolutely be beaten in this race.
1: #4 Starship Jubilee
2: #8 War of Will
3: #3 Shirl’s Speight
4: #6 Admiralty Pier