Friday, April 27, 2018

Handicapper's Corner: Whimsical Stakes (G3)

Something Out of the Ordinary for Whimsical Stakes

By: Michael Amo, ThoroFan Chairman

If the field of eight fillies and mares don’t challenge, then the name of the race might. The Whimsical Stakes is a $125,000 six furlong race for 4-year-olds and up fillies and mares. As the name suggests we might expect something “out of the ordinary” from this race over the synthetic surface at Woodbine Race Course. 

It is always good when handicapping spring races from the north of the border to check to weather forecast. We can expect a wet and cold race day. There is a 60% chance of rain on Saturday with temperature reaching a race time high of 41 degrees. Luckily, the synthetic track should hold up well with any amount of rain. There is a good chance the rain will tapper off at the listed 4:59 post time. That’s good news for the jockeys. 

Handicapping this race will require we find an angle that plays nicely with the Woodbine surface, distance and weather. Lets see how the field stacks-up.

   1.   Jessica Krupnick (Uncle Mo) is shipping in for a first time try at Woodbine and with no synthetic racing surface experience. One of three that might want the lead out of the gate. Post position not right for this strategy. With the step-up in class not sure she will be there at the end.

   2.   Sky Flower (Flower Alley) is another shipper without Woodbine experience, albeit a nice record over synthetic tracks. Her trainer does well on synthetics; 24% win stat. Has been running close to this class level. Has tactical speed to be running at the end. A piece at best.

   3.   Just Be Kind (Sky Mesa) is a local filly who has been wintering in Florida. There she finished 4th in a grade 2 stakes race at Gulfstream Park in March. Could surprise.

   4.   Sugar Jones (Old Forester) is another local horse who is working bullets for this this comeback after five months off. Although the right class for these, may need this race to return to best form. Wait until the next race to invest.

   5.   Let It Ride Mom (Into Mischief) is another one returning home after a six month rest. Last year won $100K race at Woodbine and competed honestly in Saratoga last summer. Her last race was a turf-DRF-Key-race where she weakened but 3 of the 11 starters came back to win races. She is fond of synthetic surfaces, Canadian racing and going from turf to synthetic. Maybe it is her turn to shine.

   6.   Scotty Model (Mr. Scotty) is has been in Arkansas where she has been preparing for her return north. Shows nice works over a muddy track at Oaklawn Park. May not be bothered by bad weather Saturday. She has a 75% in the money record when racing at Woodbine. This includes a 50%-win record. Her last race, Spring Fever, at Oaklawn Park was a key race, as well. Look for this mare to be coming at the end with hot jockey Hernandez up. Likely winner.

   7.   Silent Sonet (Silent Name) is returning after a rest at Gulfstream Park where trainer Gonzalez did well shipping Woodbine horse into the south Florida track. Bullet workouts suggest she is coming back ready to fire. Another good one, but with less racing experience than most of the others.

    8.   Moonlite Promise (Malibu Moon) is the Morning Line favorite at 2-1. Keeps jockey Boulanger for her return to her preferred track and surface.  She is a front runner that may be compromised by the outside post. At low odds, may be value challenged. High weight doesn’t offer any encouragement. Maybe.
The likely foul weather may impact if rain continues at race time. It is likely to see Jessica Krupnick (#1), Silent Sonet (#7) and Moonlite Promise (#8) vying for the lead into the first and lonely turn. Pace should be hot. They will be pushed by Sky Flower (#2) and Sugar Jones (#4) for a while. As the stretch appears these two should fade to the on-rushing three closers – Just Be Kind (#3), Let It Ride Mom (#5) and Scotty Model (#6).
Here is my prediction for the finish:

   1.   Scotty Model (#6)
   2.   Just Be Kind (#3)
   3.   Silent Sonet #7)
   4.   Jessica Krupnick (#1)

Handigamble play is:
   1.   $10 Exacta Box #3, #6, #7) = $60
   2.   $.50 Tri Box #1,#3,#6,#7) =    $12
   3.   $25 to place on # 3           =     $25
   4.   $1 Exacta Key  #1 over #3,#6,#7  =$3

Good Luck but keep the day job.

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