TORONTO, November 6, 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.
NATURE’S FORTUNE (Wednesday, October 23, Race 4, No. 3, 2nd)
Runner-up to Town Cruise over 1-1/16 miles on the inner turf, Nature’s Fortune sliced up the rail to gain good ground on the winner, beaten only a length at the wire. Trainer Gail Cox and owner Sam-Son Farm have been formidable this season and, though he has yet to have won in four starts this meet, Nature’s Fortune has picked up two useful seconds, the previous at odds of 20-1 on the main track at the same distance. In fact, his most recent win came as a four-year-old on Tapeta in mid-November at a mile and a quarter. As we approach the tail-end of the 2019 season, it would not surprise to see a repeat of that type of effort. Nature’s Fortune faced a good quality field last time out and, irrespective of surface, should be suited under similar race conditions.
FIRST SPRING (Sunday, October 27, Race 7, No. 8, 3rd)
In a lively renewal of the Grey Handicap that was taken off the turf and run at the extended distance of 1-1/16 miles on the main track, First Spring caught the eye with his gutsy third-place finish to defending champion Gray Phantom, who held off the rapidly closing Dani’s Victory. First Spring proved competitive for trainer Alexander McPherson, having claimed the four-year-old from the Mark Casse barn at his previous start when he was a fast-finishing third to the in-form Skynyrd at 6-1/2 furlongs. In the Grey Handicap, First Spring took benefit of a seam up the rail into the final turn before switching out, getting into tight quarters mid-stretch. His latest two performances have been the best of his four at Woodbine to date, having previously campaigned at Gulfstream Park. First Spring appears to have found his level and could be dangerous next time out.
Follow Geller on Twitter @WoodbineGeller for more insights on racing at Woodbine.