A half-dozen three-year-olds will try to pad their resumes by winning today's only graded stakes race. Toronto, Canada's Woodbine Racecourse hosts the Grade III, Marine Stakes in the seventh race on Sunday afternoon's card.
The lightly raced youngsters will run 1 1/16 miles on Woodbine's all-weather (AW) track, some horses like the synthetic stuff and some don't. It's not an issue today as each horse in the field has at least one trip around the Bine's AW track.
Although it's not a focus today, keep in mind that many jockeys told The Player's edge Podcast that turf tends to be a better indicator than dirt for horses that might like AW tracks. It works the other way too, horses with AW success will probably run better on turf than dirt. It's not a foolproof tool, but one that should be in your handicapping handbook.
Next on the checklist is distance. Half of the field will be running the longest race of their careers. FROSTED OVER's (PP: 2 ML 4-1) longest run is 7 furlongs. His trainer Mark Casse hits at just 11% in first routes. EASY TIME (PP: 3 ML 5/2) has made it a mile on turf. He was closing hard in the final strides, an additional sixteenth probably works to his benefit. CANDY OVERLOARD (PP: 4 ML 10-1) hasn't made it past 6 ½ furlongs but has moved forward in each of his three AW starts. Although trainer Krista Cole-Simpson is yet to win in six attempts at a going a mile or more for the first time, CANDY OVERLOARD appears to need longer distances.
Race shape is the next thing to consider and there isn't much in the way of early speed here. FROSTED OVER and KEEP GRINDING (PP: 6 ML 8-1) should pull the string but neither is fast out of the blocks. The pace should be modest. However, sometimes horses that usually sprint but aren't close to the front in shorter races, move forward in longer runs. Maybe CANDY OVERLOAD does surprises with a wire-to-wire attempt? Doubtful, but you never know.
In all likelihood, they'll race around the Marine Stakes tightly packed until the final turn at an honest to moderately slow pace. As such, it might be wise to focus on the horses with the latest octane.
It appears TITLE FORCES (PP: 1 ML 2-1), FROSTED OVER and CANDY OVERLOAD will be coming the hardest late. EASY TIME and KEEP GRINDING have shown flashes of late punch but have backed up at the end too.
What do we have? A race with inexperienced horses without a standout contender, most likely a lack of early pace and a mad rush to the finish line for the Marine Stakes hardware. Getting the most value is the way to go as a case for all six to win can be made.
In my opinion, FROSTED OVER provides the best bang for the buck. He tried Woodbine for the first time in his last, scoring the maiden win with the top, last race speed figure. He sat off the pace in a field of 11 before rolling by 4 ¾ at the wire. Since, he put in the fastest 4 furlong workout of 44 on July 2nd. His bullet work of 46.3 was about the same fraction he ran in his winning effort. That tells me two things:
1. He likes Woodbine's AW surface
2. He'll likely be better today than his highest, last race speed figure effort
Exotic players might consider wheeling FROSTED OVER in exactas and trifectas with their favorite picks.
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