TORONTO, July 30, 2019 – 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.
TIKAL (Sunday, July 14, Race 5, No. 2, 2nd)
Had it not been for the outstanding break by winner Meet Cute and a slow one by first-time starter Tikal, the result may well have been different. With all runners off the bit trying to keep up early, even turning for home, Tikal looked unlikely to hit the board. Meet Cute began to tire inside the final furlong with Tikal getting up in the dying stages for a game second, beaten merely a head. The three-year-old by Street Boss was climbing a little up the backstretch and had to switch course from a wider path to the rail into upper stretch. Tikal did best of the four debutants in this six furlong maiden allowance and looks live for trainer Terry Jordan on the main track next time out.
OPUS NORTH (Sunday, July 21, Race 4, No. 7, 2nd)
After bobbling the break, first-time starter Opus North trailed the field throughout the major part of the mile trip on inner turf before gaining up the rail into the final stretch. The three-year-old ran home well off a decent pace to wind up fourth to another debut runner in Pioneer Man, who had previously trialed over the oval. Opus North was level pegging with the winner toward the tail-end as they made their runs but the inside path proved more of an obstacle course. To his credit, jockey Steven Bahen wove cleverly between horses, continuing to gain strongly behind the top trio despite brief breaks of momentum. This well-bred son of Candy Ride by a Storm Cat dam showed plenty of raw talent in a useful maiden allowance field. Trainer Roger Attfield is enjoying a high strike rate with his previously unraced crop and 11/1 odds for Opus North should be hard to find next time out.
Follow Geller on Twitter @WoodbineGeller for more insights on racing at Woodbine.