TORONTO, September 4 – 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.
VERBOTEN (08-25-17 Race 5, No. 3, 1st)
The manner in which Verboten strolled by highly touted newcomer Silent Poet in his debut win was memorable. Reaching the wire hard held under Patrick Husbands, the length and three-quarters margin could have been so much more. The nine and a quarter length gap between second and third finishers underlines the strength of the top two who dominated this maiden special weight over six furlongs on turf. A Kentucky-bred son of Elusive Quality from a Giant’s Causeway dam, Verboten was arguably the most visually impressive two-year-old winner of the meet so far. There is much anticipation as to which race trainer Malcolm Pierce will next choose for him with added distance unlikely to prove any obstacle. On the strength of that first out score, everything points to Verboten being a coming stakes winner.
REVERSE (08-27-17 Race 8, No. 1, 3rd)
It might seem superfluous to put a three-year-old filly on a watch-list given that she has already won three of her six starts this season but in the case of Reverse, her recent third in the Ontario Colleen Stakes suggests that she has taken another step forward. Won by the highly talented Enstone over Selena Stakes winner Grizzel, 26/1 longshot Reverse loomed large in mid-stretch as though she may even reel the winner in fading late yet still three-quarter lengths ahead of Mythical Mission. Her trip was not trouble free, hopping the break and getting checked at the 5/16th. Not only did Reverse prove her previous win on turf to be no fluke — the two prior having come on Tapeta –- also the mile distance appeared within her wheelhouse. A versatile filly that has been in high demand at the claiming box, Reverse was acquired by trainer Ricky Griffith two starts back. Looking ahead, both allowance and softer Ontario-bred stakes options remain possibilities.
Follow Robert on Twitter @WoodbineGeller for more insights on racing at Woodbine.