We have a big day of racing at Woodbine on the agenda on Saturday. It’s the biggest day on the calendar for Woodbine, highlighted by the $1,000,000 Queen’s Plate. This is the wealthiest race in Canada and dubbed as the Kentucky Derby of Canada. Along with the Queen’s Plate, there are 13 races on the docket worth a total of $2,360,500, including two $250,000 stakes races.
Kentucky Downs is the other track with big time racing on Saturday. There are five stakes events at Kentucky Downs, with the feature race of the day, the Kentucky Turf Cup (Gr. 3) worth $1,000,000. The $1,000,000 Preakness Stakes (Gr. 1) is set for October 2 at Pimlico in Maryland. It’s unfortunate that a Triple Crown won’t be on the line.
I tried to speak it into existence with Tiz the Law, but that came to a screeching halt after he placed in the Kentucky Derby. There isn’t going to be much suspense in the Preakness. It appears that Tiz the Law won’t be pointed to Pimlico, unfortunately. That would have
However, I am interested in seeing how Authentic runs in this race. He has a chance to prove that his win in the Derby was no fluke. His biggest threat will likely be Art Collector, who was scratched from the Derby with a minor injury. In the Queen’s Plate, it’s likely going to be all Clayton and Curlin’s Voyage, but we’ll see if somebody can sneak up and pull off an upset. Head below for our free Woodbine selections and Queen’s Plate pick for September 12, 2020.
Race 8 – Bison City Stakes
Post Time: 4:17 p.m. EST
Distance: 1 1/16 Miles
The Bison City Stakes is one of $250,000 stakes races at Woodbine on Saturday afternoon. This event will cover 1 1/16 miles on the all weather track, with eight horses expected to be participating. Mizzen Beau and Afleet Katherine should be the horses to watch in this event.
Mizzen Beau is 2 for 8 in his career and made an adequate run in the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks (Black Type) on August 15. That was a tough race, and Mizzen Beau was able to hang in there to beat six other horses.
Mizzen Beau has finished 5th and 4th in two stakes races. In his other stakes outing, he finished 5th in the $125,000 Fury Stakes (Black Type) on July 5. His most recent win was on March 7 in a $32,500 event by 2 ¼ lengths over Judy’s Way.
Mizzen Beau might need to catch a break somewhere along the way in this race, but should at least be able to be competitive. Jockey Steven Bahen and Mizzen Beau have already seen Afleet Katherine before. They met in the Kentucky Oaks just under a month ago, with Afleet Katherine finishing comfortably ahead of Mizzen Beau by two spots.
Afleet Katherine was 1 ¾ lengths behind winner Curlin’s Voyage, but still was able to grab place money. She is 2 for 3 in her career with wins on July 5 and July 25 in a $123,500 and $101,200 event. Afleet Katherine was an underdog in both races and took care of her competitors with ease.
Despite the jump in class to a $250,000 event, this doesn’t look any tougher than she has beaten in her career so far. She won’t have to worry about Curlin’s Voyage here. After coming up a spot short in the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, look for Afleet Katherine to record the biggest win of her career on Queen’s Plate Day on Saturday.
Race 9 – Canadian Stakes
Post Time: 4:51 p.m. EST
Distance:1 ⅛ Miles
The $250,000 Canadian Stakes is the next $250,000 event at Woodbine on Saturday. This should be another good race, with Elizabeth Way and Cardiac Parc likely getting involved in the stretch on Saturday. It will take 1 ⅛ miles to complete this course on the turf. Elizabeth Way comes from Ireland and will be making her seventh race on North American soil today. She started 7th, 2nd, 6th, 5th, 2nd overseas. Elizabeth Way has gone 3 for 6 in North America, with two wins at Gulfstream Park and one at Woodbine on June 27.
Elizabeth Way won the $175,000 Nassau Stakes (Gr. 2) in her debut run at Woodbine. She beat Another Time by a neck to record the biggest win of her career. Elizabeth Way followed up for 3rd in the $175,000 Dance Smartly Stakes (Gr. 2) on August 15. Theodora B., who I think has a chance in this one, went on to win that race.
Keep in mind that Elizabeth Way caught a lot of back luck in that race. She got caught at the top of the stretch in traffic and was blocked from going anywhere. However, Elizabeth Way was able to make up ground in the stretch. That was encouraging. If she doesn’t run into the same scenario on Saturday, Elizabeth Way should put together a strong run.
Cambier Parc should be tough to beat. This filly has been a force for trainer Chad Brown. She has finished 1st, 3rd, 1st, 1st in her previous four races. Cambier Parc is coming off a win in the $300,000 (Gr. 1) Del Mar Oaks by 1 ¼ lengths on August 17, and then a 1 length win in the $500,000 (Gr. 1) Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup on October 12, 2019.
This is a layoff for Cambier Parc, but is a $1,250,000 horse expected to compete right off the break. That’s really the only concern for Cambier Parc in the Canadian Stakes. Nevertheless, Cambier Parc has looked good in the morning and should be good to roll. Chad Brown likely has her ready. I’m on Cambier Parc in the $250,000 Canadian Stakes.
Race 10 – Queen’s Plate
Post Time: 5:41 p.m. EST
Distance:1 ¼ Miles
It’s Queen Plate’s time at Woodbine in Toronto. Race 10 brings us the feature race of the day, with a mile and ¼ on the all weather track for a $1,000,000 purse. Clayton and Curlin’s Voyage will be the most popular horses going into the big event. Many are expecting a duel between the colt and filly. Clayton is the morning-line favorite from the No. 12 post position.
I like Clayton as a horse, but did not catch a favorite spot in the gate. Clayton will have to fight through some traffic to get to the front, but is a strong horse. He is 3 for 3 in his career and coming off two wins.
Most recently Clayton won the $150,000 Plate Trial Stakes (Black Type) by a half length over Halo Again on the all weather track. Good run by Halo Again, who I think has a chance in this one as well. Prior to that win, Clayton won a $101,200 allowance race by 3 lengths over Elusive Knight.
The only loss in his career was on June 14 against Lucky Curlin. Clayton lost by a length as the favorite in the $101,200 event. Since winning the Plate Trial Stakes, Clayton completed a 5-furlong workout with a time of 1:01.60 and 4-furlong clocked at 48.40 seconds on September 5 in his final tune up.
Curlin’s Voyage is a hot filly, but will have to fight through traffic, too. She is coming off a win in the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks by 1 ¾ lengths over Afleet Katherin. Curlin’s Voyage is also a winner of the $125,000 Mazarine Stakes (Gr .3) in October. Since then, Curlin’s Voyage has gone 4th, 1st, 2nd, 1st, 1st.
She completed a couple of sharp workouts on August 27 and September 4 with times of 47.20 seconds at 4 furlongs and 1:00.60 at 5. Like Clayton, Curlin’s Voyage did not get a favorable draw for her post position, though. She will have to work hard, and at 1 ¼ miles, working too hard to get through traffic might take too much out of her by the time the stretch arrives.
Merveilleux is a better horse than the 10/1 odds indicate. Clayton’s stablemate, and another filly in the Queen’s Plate, Merveilleux is also better than what she showed in the Woodbine Oaks where she showed 3rd. She had nowhere to go at the top of the stretch and got boxed in, despite having plenty in the tank. If that doesn’t happen, there’s a decent change Merveilleux clears Curlin’s Voyage in the stretch.
Merveilleux should be fine for a mile and ¼ . She has been electric in the morning with recorded times of 58.40 seconds at 5 furlongs and 47 seconds at 4 furlongs. After having to go from the outside to the front for Clayton and Curlin’s Voyage, they might tire out in the stretch at this distance. Merveilleux could easily run them down with a strong performance today. I’m on her at what should be rather generous odds by post time.