TORONTO, August 30 – 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.
AVIE’S MINESHAFT (08-19-17, Race 5, No. 2, 2nd)
Dixie Moon may have been the winner of this maiden special weight but it was runner-up Avie’s Mineshaft who caught the eye. If the betting was any guide, much was expected from Dixie Moon, sent out a short-priced favourite. Racing on the front end throughout, she got the job done by a respectable length and a half. Avie’s Mineshaft, also in her first lifetime start, began to muster momentum at the top of the lane, improving her position to be the sole challenger to the winner. Her stretch effort may have been a bit stop-start due to greenness but it feels that she has the goods to unleash a powerful move. By Mineshaft from an Empire Maker dam, trainer Josie Carroll looks to have another useful two-year-old filly in her care. Avie’s Mineshaft went off at odds of 10/1 in her debut second over the 7f on Tapeta. Be prepared to take shorter odds next time out as she appears like a coming winner.
LEAVEM IN MALIBU (08-20-17, Race 7, No. 2, 3rd)
It is hard to believe that it had been exactly one year between races for Leavem in Malibu who returned to the racetrack on Breeders Stakes Day with a late closing third to Ikerrin Road over the 7f on Tapeta. A rising three-year-old star in 2016, Leavem in Malibu tackled each leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, following his sixth in the Queen’s Plate with second in the Prince of Wales and third in the Breeders Stakes. With such a backlog of potential, trainer Mark Casse has clearly allowed as much time as was needed to get Leavem in Malibu back on course. The pace scenario in his return turned out to be a little milder than expected, adding further value to the manner in which the now four-year-old railed home from the back of the field to narrowly miss second, just over a length and a half from the winner. There is every indication that Leavem in Malibu still has that turn of foot that stamped him as a three-year-old talent and if fully sound, should progress from this allowance optional claimer ($62,500) to a win soon.
Follow Robert on Twitter @WoodbineGeller for more insights on racing at Woodbine.