Let’s preview the 2014 Woodbine Mile with a list of the entries and some predictions on the potentially contenders in this year’s race.
The Woodbine Mile has been dominated by Wise Dan over the last 2 years as he has used the race as a springboard to back-to-back wins at the Breeders’ Cup Mile. The 2014 version of the Woodbine Mile, however, is wide open with Wise Dan out of the field this year as he continues his impressive rehabilitation from injury that saw him take 1st in the Bernard Baruch Handicap just a few weeks ago.
With Wise Dan out of the 2014 Woodbine Mile field it’s much tougher to pick a winner which is just what we want as horse racing bettors since that means bigger odds for our exotics. There are a number of capable entries into the Woodbine Mile this year and we’ll preview all of the contenders before eventually making predictions after we’re done.
Woodbine Racetrack has hosted the Woodbine Mile since 1981 and the race is open to 3-year-olds and up that want to run 8 furlongs on a turf surface. The purse for the 2014 Woodbine Mile is a smooth $1,000,000 and it attracts a solid field since it is one of the Breeders’ Cup’s Win & You’re In races on the schedule. Wise Dan set the time record at the Woodbine Mile last year and also holds the record for most wins at 2, while his jockey John R. Velazquez has the record for most wins by a rider at 4.
Before we preview the 2014 Woodbine Mile entries you’ll want to sign up for an account at Bookmaker Sportsbook. They are giving our readers a 15% cash bonus on top of their first deposit and they let their customers wager on horse racing daily from tracks all the country – all from the comfort of their home!
2014 Woodbine Mile – Preview of the Entries:
Ancil – This experienced horse has seen 2 of his 3 career wins come on turf, although 2 of those wins were at the allowance level. Ancil did win the Turf Dash earlier this year at Tampa Bay Downs but has since finished no stronger than 8th while running in the Shakertown, Twin Spires Turf Sprint, and the King’s Stand Stakes. This is a horse that had much more success at longer distances earlier in his career so now that he’s off the sprint circuit he could show improvement.
Best Bard – Pedigree-wise you have to like the fact that Best Bard’s sire is Shakespeare who won the Woodbine Mile back in 2007. This horse has raced nearly his entire career at Woodbine Racetrack but has never been above the maiden or allowance level. Best Bard finally won an allowance last time out at 7 furlongs in his 17th career race and might not be a threat to win but he has a number of top 3 finishes at this track over the previous 3 years.
Bobby’s Kitten – Sired by Kitten’s Joy who was a turf superstar at a mile or longer, the pedigree is there for a nice showing at the Woodbine Mile. Bobby’s Kitten has extensive experience at this distance on turf and has wins in the Pilgrim and the Penn Mile as well as a 3rd place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last year. He’s fresh off a 2nd in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame at Saratoga and figures to be a huge threat at the Woodbine Mile.
Dorsett – This Woodbine Mile entry has never finished better than 4th in 7 tries above the maiden and allowance level, but he does have a habit of nabbing 4th place for those betting on exotics. Dorsett has faced a solid level of competition while running in 7 graded stakes over his career and is sired by 2005 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Artie Schiller so I can’t recommend tossing him despite the lack of graded victories.
Grand Arch – You have to put this horse amongst the 2014 Woodbine Mile favorites considering he’s never finished outside of 3rd place through 15 career races. That being said, Grand Arch has never won a graded stakes, although he did win the King Edward at 1 mile at Woodbine just a few months ago. He’s sired by Arch who was a strong runner but never raced on anything but dirt.
His Race to Win – This Woodbine Mile entry has won graded stakes at this track lately after taking the Seagram’s Cup and the Ontario Derby over the last year or so. His Race to Win has seen his greatest success on synthetic surfaces but does have plenty of turf experience at longer than a mile so the distance here shouldn’t be an issue.
Jack Milton – Sired by War Front, this entry has a solid dirt pedigree but has raced all 13 career races on turf. Jack Milton has been in against some of the best turf horses in the sport and has held his own, finished top 3 in 8 of his 11 graded stakes. He’s fresh off a 3rd in the Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga and his last 5 races have all been on turf at a 1-mile distance. Jack Milton will be one of the 2014 Woodbine Mile betting favorites.
Kaigun – His pedigree suggests he needs at least a mile to be effective and all but 1 career races have come at that distance. Kaigun won the Play the King Stakes at Woodbine last time out at 7 furlongs but also has recent impressive 2nd place finishes in the United Nations at Monmouth Park and the Maker’s Mile at Keeneland. This is a horse with a legitimate chance at the Woodbine Mile.
Lockout – Recent 2nd place finisher at the Play the King Stakes at Woodbine has struggled to do well at 1 mile or longer. He’s ran his last 4 races at 7 furlongs or fewer with mixed results but has extensive experience at Woodbine Racetrack having raced his last 7 here with mixed results. Sired by Limehouse who never finished better than 3rd over his last 6 career races and found most of success on dirt.
River Seven – This horse has seemingly regressed in a big way in 2014 after finishing out 2013 with 3 straight victories. In River Seven’s 2014 runs he’s finished no better than 3rd while racing his last 4 at Woodbine. A year ago this horse had massive potential but it’s tough to know what to expect in the Woodbine Mile considering how average he’s looked over the past 8 months.
Summer Front – This is another horse sired by War Front and Summer Front has finished 2nd in 3 straight races against strong competition at the Eddie Read Handicap, Shoemaker Mile, and the Fort Marcy. Summer Front has faced top competition throughout his career and has numerous graded stakes victories on his resume’. This is going to be a tough horse to defeat the 2014 Woodbine Mile.
Trade Storm – This 6-year-old Qatar Racing invader has massive experience at a mile or longer on turf and he wouldn’t have been shipped over if his handlers didn’t pinpoint this race as a likely way to get their horse into the Breeders’ Cup with a win. Trade Storm was 3rd in the Woodbine Mile last year and has since finished 2nd in 3 of 6 recent races but has also finished outside the top 9 in 2 of those 6. Although he may not have the victories of other potential Woodbine Mile entries, you can bet on this horse to finish in the top 3 based on experience alone.
2014 Woodbine Mile Predictions:
Without betting odds having been released on the Woodbine Mile yet it’s tough to make predictions, but I’m already penciling in Trade Storm into my trifecta box. He might not win but he’s extremely likely to finish in the top 3 based on experienced at this distance on turf and his previous finish here.
Bobby’s Kitten is another horse I think will have a great showing at the Woodbine Mile. I think experience on turf at the 1-mile distance is going to be something that separates the contenders from the pretenders at the Woodbine Mile and this horse could easily win the race.
For our last spot in the trifecta box I’d take whoever has the longer odds between Jack Milton and River Seven. Although horses like Grand Arch and His Race to Win might be among the favorites, I think these two longer shots have a great chance to finish in the top 3. River Seven seems likely to have the longer odds given his recent struggles, and if the price is right I’d take a chance on a return to form in a Woodbine Mile field that isn’t overpowering.