TORONTO, September 4, 2018 – Each week, track announcer Robert Geller comments on some of the performances that caught his eye, highlighting horses to key in on for upcoming races at Woodbine.
ARTILENA (August 22 – Race 1, No. 1, 1st)
Now you see me, now you don’t. That was the disappearing act that promising two-year-old filly staged when facing just three other rivals in an 11 length romp. Yes, she was the odds-on favourite and yes, she was a cut above the rest but more than the margin was how effortlessly Artilena travelled throughout. In contrast to her debut second when she closed steadily at five furlongs, in this, her second start, Artilena was clear from the outset of the seven furlongs and set a good clip. The acid test comes next out in the Grade 1 Natalma Stakes where this Ontario-bred two-year-old will face open company. Being by Artie Schiller, the switch to turf should be in her favour and she looks ready for the mile given that it seemed at the wire as if Artilena could have gone around again.
PREFERRED GUEST (August 29, Race 5, No. 9, 2nd)
First-time starter Preferred Guest came roaring home up the rail to nab second when debuting in the Muskoka Stakes won by the undefeated Speedy Soul. Closing from the second half of the full field, the Mark Casse newcomer was doing her best work at the finish of the 6-1/2 furlongs and outran her 17-1 odds with the favourite Silent Mistake a head away third. Admittedly the pace of the race was keen and the track had been playing well to closers but to her credit, Preferred Guest overcame some traffic issues at the 1/8th pole when forced to steady. An Ontario-bred two-year-old filly, Preferred Guest put the writing on the wall with her stakes-placed effort and should be dangerous next time out.
Follow Geller on Twitter @WoodbineGeller for more insights on racing at Woodbine.