TORONTO, September 25, 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.
LUCAS n’ LORI (September 1, Race 2, No. 3, 2nd)
First-time starter Lucas n’ Lori was playing catch up after a slow beginning but responded well at the end of seven furlongs to suggest there is every reason to get on board next time out, which happens to be in the opener at a mile and 70 yards on Wednesday night. Trained by Kevin Attard, Lucas n’ Lori came from the tail to get within a length of red hot favourite Bens Last Call yet four and a half lengths ahead of third placed finisher, Five More Minutes. Chances are the son of Exhi could break better than in this debut and will have taken benefit from the experience.
SUNNIVA (September 1, Race 8, No. 2, 5th)
Troubled trip goes a long way to summing up the real story behind Sunniva in her Woodbine debut for her third lifetime start when an unlucky fifth. Bumped at the start and shuffled back before the turn for home, it was in late stretch that Sunniva was most compromised as her rally was cut off. Without that traffic check, the three-year-old could easily have hit the board and possibly threatened the winner, Alnilah. Being by Speightstown and having previously raced from five furlongs to a mile and 70 yards at Monmouth Park, it will be interesting to see at what distance and on what surface trainer Malcolm Pierce next chooses for her. Either way, Sunniva put the writing on the wall in the maiden special weight and could offer value.
JUENESSE DOREE (September 3, Race 5, No. 6, 3rd)
Lane four on turf was never going to be that easy for closers on this Labour Day program when Juenesse Doree put in the late giant strides for an eye-catching third at the mile behind in form stakes winner Red Cabernet. Juenesse Doree snuck in for third behind Kylla Instinct despite not appearing to have found sufficient racing room throughout the narrower stretch. In her third start at Woodbine since her allowance optional claiming victory at the about 7-1/2 furlongs distance at Gulfstream Park, this was the first time that the Kentucky bred four-year-old filly sparked real interest here. The off-the-pace ride from Jerome Lermyte seemed to suit her as she defied her 12-1 odds. In the barn of Mark Casse, Juenesse Doree is worth some thought next time out.
Follow Geller on Twitter @WoodbineGeller for more insights on racing at Woodbine.