Moreno Looks Like the One to Catch in Grade I Woodward
Category : News
Fri 29/08/2014 - 22:53 EDT
The $600,000 mile and an eighth grade I Woodward Stakes at Saratoga August 30 is headlined by Whitney winner Moreno taking on eight rivals in what figures to be a superb betting race.
Moreno (2/1) surprised many by wiring the field last out in the Grade I Whitney August 2 which included the heavily favored Palace Malice. The four year-old Moreno, trained by Eric Guillot, has shown an affinity for the Saratoga dirt narrowly missing a grade one victory in the Travers Stakes last year. In the week leading up to the Woodward, the outspoken Guillot has spoken clearly about Moreno’s intention to be on the lead again in the Woodward.
Itsmyluckyday takes another shot and adds blinkers
Itsmyluckyday (5/2 ML) chased Moreno last out in the Whitney and actually looked as if he might pass the winner at one point in the stretch before settling for second. The Edward Plesa trainee will add blinkers for this start and could engage Moreno much sooner in this time around. Plesa connects at 17% with starters wearing blinkers for the first time. Both Itsmyluckyday and Moreno recorded career-best Beyer figures last time out at 107 and 109 respectively.
Zivo should be picking up the pieces late
The rest of the field will have running to do, but Zivo (5/1) beat Moreno in his last start – the Grade II Suburban July 5 at Belmont Park. Zivo, a true closer, will benefit if things heat up on the front end between Moreno and Itsmyluckyday. Micromanage (8/1) could find himself in a good stalking position for trainer Todd Pletcher.
The Grade 2 $1.25 million Pennsylvania Derby features the two biggest names from the Triple Crown trail September 24 at Parx as a field of 12 gathers in one of the most intriguing betting races of the year.
The $1 million Cotillion Stakes September 24 at Parx features a true clash of the titans as the six-horse field is headlined by the undefeated, five-time grade 1 winner Songbird who figures to face the most stern challenge of her career.
In a completely wide open renewal of the Presque Isle Mile September 18 at Presque Isle Downs, 13 runners including the also-eligible will contest the eight furlong trip over synthetic footing.
Champion Songbird is set to make her much-anticipated return to the races in the $200,000 Summertime Oaks at Santa Anita on Saturday. The Grade 2 event will be run at a mile and a sixteenth and has attracted a field of seven.