Garrity's Sunday Stakes picks four races at Woodbine in Toronto, where it's Queen's Plate Day
It’s Queen’s Plate day, the biggest day of the year for horse racing in Canada, and we have four plays on the slate at Woodbine, which has a stakes-filled, 11-race card. The synthetic main track in suburban Toronto will be fast, and the turf course firm, so let’s go.
Woodbine, Race 6, 3:03 pm ET
Grade 3 Ontario Colleen Stakes, 1 mile, Turf, 3-Year-Old Fillies
Eight go in this Grade 3 turf race for sophomore fillies. Top trainer Chad Brown does not ship horses to Woodbine all that much, so when he does, we pay attention, especially when, as is the case with 8-Misspell, his starter has the best late-pace figures in the field. Misspell showed significant improvement in her last start, which was her first of the year, closing furiously to finish second, just a nose behind the winner, in an allowance at Saratoga on July 17; we like the fact that Brown is running her in a Grade 3 stake, rather than another allowance, as that kind of aggressive placement is a sign that Brown thinks that she is sitting on a big one. We will bet her to win at 2-1. The bet: Woodbine, Race 6, $40 to win on 8-Misspell.
Woodbine, Race 9, 4:55 pm ET
Grade 2 Dance Smartly Stakes, 1 ¼ miles, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
A field of seven lines up for the Dance Smartly. We like another Brown runner, 5-Etoile, a French-bred 5-year-old mare who finished second in this race last year. Look for her to be mid-pack, or perhaps even a bit farther back, early, and to be rolling down the long Woodbine stretch. She looks to outclass this field, so we will bet her to win at 2-1. The bet: Woodbine, Race 9, $40 to win on 5-Etoile.
Woodbine, Race 10, 5:42 pm ET
$1,000,000 Queen’s Plate, 1 ¼ miles, synthetic, 3-Year-Olds
The 162nd running of the Queen’s Plate -- yes, this race has been contested since 1860 -- drew a field of thirteen. Twelve of them are males, and one is a female, and we like the chances of the filly, 6-Munnyfor Ro, quite a bit. She spent the winter and spring in Kentucky, breaking her maiden at Keeneland in April, but what causes us to give her the nod here is her last start, when she beat nine other 3-year-old fillies to take the Woodbine Oaks. She showed significant improvement in that start, which is good; she also showed the ability to relax early, and finish strongly, which is better, because we think that closing running style is going to work well with the way we expect the Queen’s Plate to be run. We will bet her to win at 9/2. The bet: Woodbine, Race 10, $35 to win on 6-Munnyfor Ro.
Woodbine, Race 11, 6:25 pm ET
Grade 1 HIghlander Stakes, 6 furlongs, Turf, 3 & Up
Grade 1 stakes races for turf sprinters don’t come around very often, so it is unsurprising that the field of the Highlander came up strong, with a talented and deep group of eight older horses. We are going for a price here, in the form of 1-Old Chestnut, as the 4-year-old Mark Casse trainee seems to be rounding into form, coming into this off a good win in an allowance race, and we think the early pace, which should be fast, will suit his closing running style. We will bet him to win at 10-1. The bet: Woodbine, Race 11, $30 to win on 1-Old Chestnut.
That’s all for today. Until the next time, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.