TORONTO, October 11, 2020 – Track announcer Robert Geller comments on some of the performances that caught his eye in this regular segment, highlighting horses to key in on for upcoming races at Woodbine.
STEPHEN (October 4, Race 3, No. 9, 2nd)
In contrast to his unplaced debut in the Simcoe Stakes at 5-1/2 furlongs on the main track, Stephen looked far more comfortable next time out when going long at the 1-1/16 miles. Held up for a run before the turn for home, once Stephen saw daylight, he came running, whittling down a significant lead established by pacesetting winner Tio Magico to miss out by merely a half-length. By Constitution from a Harlan’s Holiday dam, the two-year-old displayed an affinity for a route. This race was originally scheduled for turf but was switched to Tapeta due to rain, suggesting that trainer Kevin Attard has surface options now that Stephen has tipped his hand. Both the winner and the runner-up drew well clear of rivals with 7-1/4 lengths back to first-time starter Tourist’s Dream in third, suggesting that the top pair is useful as the betting had suggested. Stephen may be a short price next out but a win looks to be just around the corner.
CALIFORNIA LILY (October 6, Race 8, No. 7, 1st)
Yet again, trainer Mark Casse has unveiled an exciting fresh face to the Woodbine circuit, this time in two-year-old filly California Lily. A chestnut daughter of California Chrome, who even looks like her sire, her dominant debutante win in a maiden allowance at 5-1/2 furlongs did him proud. Put straight on the lead by Rafael Hernandez, not only did she withstand early pace pressure and then some, from the top of the lane home, she effortlessly disposed of her lone remaining challenger, Polar Appeal, another first-time starter, to draw off to a spectacular 5-1/2 length winning margin. Fidelia flew home to be a head away in third with 4-1/4 lengths back to Secrets Told then Swift Delilah, each of whom closed with interest from well back. One never tires of witnessing promising horses and California Lily won in a manner that suggests she is of stakes quality.
BEQUIA (October 3, Race 6, No. 11, 5th)
Finished well for fifth in her debut going long on the E.P. Taylor at 1-1/16 miles, weaving through traffic at 23-1 odds.
WHATSWROINGWITHYOU (October 3, Race 7, No. 8, 2nd)
Closed good ground wide out on the inner turf at five furlongs in $40,000 claimer to place second at odds of 16-1 behind more experienced galloper Queen Rhonda.
Follow Geller on Twitter @WoodbineGeller for more insights on racing at Woodbine.