TORONTO, June 18, 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.
TRUE CASTLE (Saturday, June 8, Race 5, No. 6, 2nd)
In a 14-horse field, 19-1 first-time starter True Castle went within half a stride of victory, runner-up to lukewarm favourite Pink Scribbles, who may have been lucky to snap “seconditis.” Trapped mid-pack on the rail midway to upper stretch, once rider Justin Stein was able to hook into a clear path a furlong out, True Castle began pegging the winner back. At the end of the six furlongs to this $40,000 optional claiming maiden, the daughter of Yes It’s True had come within a neck of an upset win. Trainer David Bell had put some useful works into True Castle, who can now build on her promising debut for owner Ivan Dalos. A return at this same level could see the filly bring his famous purple and green block silks into another winner’s circle photo.
WARRIOR’S HEART (Saturday, June 8, Race 10, No. 6, 2nd)
The step forward by Warrior’s Heart to finish second in the Ontario Bred Sales Graduate Maiden after his debut fifth a month prior appeared significant. Not only was the three-year-old facing a switch of surface from all weather to turf, he was also stretching out from six furlongs to the 1-1/16 miles and responded well to both changes. It is worth noting that the winner, Encierro, and third placed finisher, Mr Leo, both came from back in the field whereas Warrior’s Heart raced handy to the pace throughout. Though no match for the winner, Warrior’s Heart rallied gamely once angled away from the inside, holding second place quite clearly. Trainer Ian Black and rider Emma-Jayne Wilson have teamed up with good success for owner Piano Bar Racing, especially on turf. By Warrior’s Reward, the grey outran his 15-1 odds in his only grass try and may well offer value again next out.
Follow Geller on Twitter @WoodbineGeller for more insights on racing at Woodbine.