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Woodbine Picks: $250K Summer and $250K Natalma

Horse Racing Radar
Rich Bieglmeier
Sunday, September 20, 2020

There is just a trio of stakes races this Sunday, but two of them are win and you are in Breeders' Cup Challenge Series qualifiers.

Woodbine Race 7 - $250,000 SUMMER STAKES - GRADE I

Woodbine Race 9 – $250,000 NATALMA STAKES – GRADE I

The Summer Stakes' winner gets a ticket to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf and the Natalma champ will go on to the Juvenile Fillies Turf at Keeneland Racetrack on Friday, November 6, 2020. While Sunday's winners will get their share of a quarter-million-dollars, both the Breeders' Cup Turf and Juvenile Turf have $1 million jackpots. So, there is a lot at stake in Toronto today.

We'll sneak a peek of our handicapper's selections for the pair of Breeders' Cup Challenge Series races to see who he thinks with be racing in Kentucky in early November. In both races, we see two horses as the most likely to snag the checkered flag and run onto the 2020 Breeders' Cup.

SUMMER STAKES

 
 
 

GRETZKY THE GREAT (PP: 4 ML 2-1), could it be any other way in a Canadian race than the great Gretzky scoring? We don't think so either. The two-year-old son of NYQUIST has won his last two, which included the top, last race speed figure. He ran a strong 6-furlong time last out, indicating he's getting better.

READY TO REPEAT (PP: 3 ML 9/2) is our main challenger for the Summer Stakes title. He was the public's choice in his last versus GRETZKY but has all sorts of problems from the get-go, bumped after coining out of the box sideways. He did manage to finish third after straightening out. A cleaner trip might show why bettors made him the even-money favorite in his last start.

NATALMA STAKES

 
 
 

ALDA (PP: 5 ML 9/5) came off the sidelines following a short rest and continued to show improvement from her previous outings. She recorded the best, last race speed figure and should move forward in a significant way if her first two race cycle is any indication. However, improvement is not necessary as the same race as her last effort would be enough today.

LADY SPEIGHTSPEARE (PP: 6 L 5/2) won her debut with ease, smashing a field of 10 by 3 3/4 lengths despite being bumped at the gun. Since, she's put in a couple of strong workouts, including a 5-furlong bullet on September 13th. Her strong training sessions suggest she'll be sharp and ready to take the next step.

Although it's a quiet weekend of stakes racing, its consequences will carry right on into the late fall. Ugh, summer is over already? COVID owes one, two summers next year! It will be two races for the price of one today at Woodbine.

We see GRETZKY THE GREAT taking the Summer Stakes and then seeing him line up in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. Perhaps, he can catch a ride with our expected Natalma Stakes winner ALDA for the 572-mile road trip from Toronto, Canada to Lexington, Kentucky.

Get today's full picks for all tracks and races at Guaranteed Tip Sheet.