TORONTO, December 3, 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.
FIRMLY GROUNDED (November 17, Race 4, No. 8, 2nd)
Given the level of opponents he faced in his debut when runner-up, Firmly Grounded may find himself in a soft enough spot next time out to go one better. The well credentialed winner, Street Silence, had no trouble in wiring the field on a day where the rail and inside speed was prime. Mid-pack early, rider Sahin Civaci guided Firmly Grounded toward the better part of the track in the stretch and continued to close ground at the end of the six furlongs. Sent off at 23-1 odds, Firmly Grounded, owned by 3 Sons Racing Stable Ltd., is in the barn of Robert Tiller that have combined successfully over the years. A three-year-old son of Victor’s Cry, Firmly Grounded looks suited again at the $25,000 provided no huge class-droppers or shippers come to spoil the party.
SWILLING (November 22, Race 5, No. 2, 2nd)
In her third lifetime start, three-year-old filly Swilling put in her boldest effort yet, beaten a hard-fought head when second to Ygritte in the 1-1/16-mile maiden allowance. Swilling tossed her head at the break, dropping to the tail, making a looping run at the leaders inside the final quarter. In a grinding finish, the daughter of Discreet Cat never gave up, stretching the winner every step of the way in a stirring battle to the wire. For Swilling, this was her first try on the main track. Her previous two starts took place on the grass, the inner and E.P. Taylor respectively, both at seven furlongs and in this recent performance on the stretch-out, out-ran her 7-1 odds, turning the tables on the more favoured Joyful Cat. Given the improving direction that the Catherine Day Phillips filly is heading, Swilling looks well worth following next time out.
Follow Geller on Twitter @WoodbineGeller for more insights on racing at Woodbine.