EARLY LOOK AT THE GRADE 1 RICOH WOODBINE MILE (12)
Arod (IRE) / Qatar Racing Limited / David Simcock
Conquest Panthera / Gary Barber / Mark Casse
Deauville (IRE) / Mrs. Fitri Hay, Mrs. John Magnier, Mr. Michael Tabor and Mr. Derrick Smith / Aidan O’Brien
Disco Partner / Mrs. Patricia A. Generazio / Christophe Clement
Dragon Bay / Brent McLellan, Russell McLellan and Stuart C. Simon / Stuart Simon
Dutch Connection (GB) / Godolphin / Charlie Hills
Glenville Gardens / Janice Attard / Sid Attard
Lancaster Bomber / Mr. Michael B. Tabor, Mr. Derrick Smith and Mrs. John Magnier / Aidan O’Brien
Long on Value / Wachtel Stable, Kerr, George J. and Barber, Gary / William I. Mott
Mondialiste / Geoff and Sandra Turnbull / David O’Meara
Tower of Texas / Thomas F. Van Meter II and Scott Dilworth / Roger Attfield
World Approval / Live Oak Plantation / Mark Casse
LONG ON VALUE STRETCHES OUT FOR MILE
Long On Value already has done some serious traveling this season with trips to Dubai and England stamped on his passport.
The Value Plus bay is scheduled to make the relatively minor jaunt from his Sarotoga home base for the 21st running of the Ricoh Woodbine Mile, which is slated for Saturday, Sept. 16.
“We started thinking about it after he pulled up from his last race,” said Mott, who had watched Long On Value finish a closing third in the Grade 2 Troy Handicap at 5 ½-furlongs over the Saratoga turf on Aug. 6.
“He gets a mile, and we just decided this is what we want him to do.”
While Long On Value has been sprinting of late, the 6-year-old horse has won two stakes at one mile and one at 1 1/8 miles on the turf. Those successes came in the one-mile Mystic Lake Derby at Canterbury Park, the Grade 2 Twilight Derby at Santa Anita, and the Grade 3 Canadian Turf Cup at Gulfstream Park.
“If he’ll settle early, he’ll generally close pretty well,” said Mott.
Mott also believes that Long On Value has taken his globetrotting in stride despite having just two months between his races at Meydan and Ascot and then six weeks to his latest at Saratoga.
“He traveled well; it was no issue for him,” said Mott. “He ran a big race, when he came back.”
Joel Rosario has ridden Long On Value in his last eight starts, beginning with a victory in last year’s 5 ½ furlong Lucky Coin at Saratoga which remains their last success.
Rosario and Mott will be teaming up in the Woodbine Mile for the third time after finishing fourth, beaten 1 ½ lengths by Tepin, with 7.90 third choice Full Mast last year and second, between a half-length by Mondialiste, with 2.30-1 favourite Lea in 2015.
Long On Value…(Chelsea Durand/NYRA)
THIRD TIME’S A CHARM FOR ‘TEXAS’?
Tower of Texas will take his third shot at the Ricoh Woodbine Mile on September 16 at the Toronto oval.
Trained by Roger Attfield and owned by Thomas F. Van Meter II and Scott Dilworth, Tower of Texas finished seventh in his first Woodbine Mile attempt in 2015 and came within half a length of the favoured filly, Tepin, last year at odds of 23-1.
“He ran a great race, didn’t he? And he didn’t have the great trip down at the rail,” said Attfield, recalling Tower of Texas’ close runner-up effort in the 2016 Woodbine Mile. “If he was ever going to beat that filly, it was going to be on that day, but he gave it a good try and I was very happy with him. I was very, very happy with him.”
The six-year-old son of Street Sense and Rare Opportunity returned to the races fresh this spring scoring his fifth career victory in the Connaught Cup (Gr. 2) on June 3 at Woodbine. He was third in the King Edward Stakes (Gr. 2) on July 2 followed by a fourth-place finish in the Play the King Stakes (Gr. 2) last time out on August 19.
“He’s had issues every year of his life and he comes back the next year,” said Attfield of the hard-trying, six-year-old gelding who is approaching the million dollar earnings mark. “He’s still going really, really well and he’s coming into the race in great shape.
“He could have run a better race [in the Play the King] with a better trip or better pace scenario, but he always gives me his best. I can never complain; he gives me his best every time.”
The Hall of Fame trainer is one of the most accomplished horsemen in Canada, but the Woodbine Mile is one race that has eluded him. A 10-time starter in the Mile, Attfield also came close with Perfect Soul, who finished third in his 2003 Sovereign Award-winning campaign and second the following year.
“Obviously, it’s one of our major races, one that I haven’t won yet, so it would be nice to get it done,” said Attfield. “It would mean a lot to me. Anytime you win a Group 1, it’s important more so.”
Woodbine’s leading jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva will retain the mount on Tower of Texas.
Attfield could be in store for a big Ricoh Woodbine Mile weekend with the promising two-year-old filly Delamar expected to compete in the $250,000 Natalma Stakes (Gr. 1), a Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ event, following a maiden-breaking victory on August 25.
“I think she’s a really quality filly and she’s doing really, really well,” said Attfield of the Into Mischief-Delmarva filly owned by Robert S. Evans. “She had a tremendous work the other day and I’m looking forward to running her.”
Attfield also has Moonlight Sky pointed toward the $250,000 Canadian Stakes (Gr. 2). Triton Stable owns the four-year-old Sky Mesa-Vargas Girl filly, who faced stakes competition for the first time on August 11 finishing third in the Flaming Page.
“I think the distance will really help her," noted Attfield. "I think the longer, the better for her. She’s coming into the race very nicely and I’m looking forward to running her also.”
MANDATORY JACKPOT HI-5 PAYOUT SLATED FOR WOODBINE MILE CARD
A mandatory payout for the Thoroughbred Jackpot Hi 5 is slated for Saturday, September 16, as part of a tremendous Ricoh Woodbine Mile card.
Following Woodbine’s Sunday, September 10 card, wagering on the Jackpot Hi 5 will be suspended on Wednesday, September 13 and Friday, September 15. The Jackpot Hi 5 currently boasts a carryover of $1,332,741.43.
For fans and horseplayers wanting further details on WEG’s Jackpot Hi 5, including details, strategy and carryover info., visit www.woodbine.com/JackpotHi5.