The Grade I, $800,000 Woodbine Mile is the centerpiece on a terrific 13-race card at Woodbine this Saturday. Twelve titans of the turf have signed on to do battle in this one, several hailing from across the pond. The Woodbine Mile will be Race 12, with an approximate post time of 6:34 p.m. EST. Several nationally-important jockeys have shipped in, so pay close attention if you’re participating in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#1 WORLD APPROVAL (7-2) made trainer Mark Casse look like a genius when he cut back to a mile to crush the competition in the Grade I Fourstardave at Saratoga last time out. He’s won three of his last four starts and enters the Woodbine Mile off a career-best speed figure. WORLD APPROVAL is 0-for-2 at this course but raced at 1 1/2-miles in both starts. John Velazquez should be able to save ground with WORLD APPROVAL racing near the lead before commencing a late bid.
#7 CONQUEST PANTHERA (12-1) fought hard for his first stakes win when taking the Play The King over this course. He’ll probably be a big price in here since he’s never won a route but he’s usually good for a minor award. CONQUEST PANTHERA is working lights-out for Casse since his last start and retains Patrick Husbands in the saddle. This continually-improving horse is worth a long look.
#10 LANCASTER BOMBER (9-2) is the more intriguing part of Aiden O’Brien’s one-two punch in the Woodbine Mile (the other being DEAUVILLE). His odds are wholly unappetizing considering he has just a maiden win to his credit, but he’s been campaigned aggressively. As a result of his 1-for-11 career record, he’ll be allowed to carry just 112 lbs; far below what his chief rivals have been assigned (next-lowest impost is 117, up to 124 for WORLD APPROVAL). LANCASTER BOMBER’s best starts have come on firm ground, which he should get on Saturday. He was a fast-closing second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last year and was a game second to the highly-regarded Barney Roy at Royal Ascot two starts back, both over firm courses. Wayne Lordan will fly in to ride.
#6 DEAUVILLE is hard to endorse on top as the 5-2 favorite. He failed to get the job done despite a perfect trip in the Arlington Million under Sir Ryan Moore. Jamie Spencer ships in as DEAUVILLE cuts back, which could make a difference, but he’s not worth more than a saver bet.
The play: $3 exacta 1/7,10, $2 exacta 1/6, $2 win 7 ($10)
DFJ analysis: John Velazquez has only two mounts but has a very good shot in both Race 5 (Giada Vegas, 4-1) and the Woodbine Mile (WORLD APPROVAL). As long as he hits the board in both races he’ll be worth the investment.
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