TORONTO, May 17 – Each week, track announcer Robert Geller will comment on some of the performances that caught his eye, highlighting horses to key on in upcoming races at Woodbine. Follow Robert on Twitter @WoodbineGeller for more insights on racing at Woodbine.
CLICKITY CLACK (08-07-17 Race 2 No 4, 2nd)
When the top two finishers in a race draw off by a significant margin over the opposition – in this case a whopping 11 lengths – it is usually a positive sign for each of them. Newcomer Clickity Clack found herself in that scenario, fighting tooth and nail the length of the stretch with the previously raced Safe to Say, only to lose in a head-bob at the wire. A 2YO daughter of Silent Name, Clickity Clack showed good speed throughout the six furlongs. For a moment, it appeared that Safe to Say would sweep on by but to her credit, Clickity Clack dug in and proved equal to the challenge. Safe to Say, exiting a turf race won by the subsequently stakes-placed Mo Big Cat, prevailed narrowly as the favourite. In a tough loss, Clickity Clack clearly tipped her hand for trainer Tony Gattellaro and looks set to add further barn success.
JUAN STORMY NIGHT (08-11-17 Race 7 No 5, 3rd)
Sent off at 13/1 odds Juan Stormy Night battled gamely down the lane with runner-up Canmore over 1-1/16M trip won by Bangor Ridge who ran them both down late. This was the second successive third place finish by Juan Stormy Night who may finally be turning the corner. It was merely the eighth lifetime start for this 6YO gelding that seemed to be travelling keenly near to the pace throughout the entire trip of this optional claimer. Even though it is still hard to trust the form of Juan Stormy Night, keep in mind, from his previous race when third for a $16,000 tag, both runner-up Starinthmaking and sixth home Tinker Ring have since won. Juan Stormy Night should continue to represent value as he searches for a breakthrough win that is looking more and more tangible.
Hell N Wild (08-13-17 Race 2, No 2, 2nd)
There was a nice turn of foot displayed by first-time starter Hell N Wild in her debut second when in for a $40,000 claiming tag over 6f on the main track. Jockey David Moran came to win the race half-way down the lane, swooping at the same time as the eventual winner Cry Bao who drew off to score by 1-3/4L with a further 1-1/2L back to Perfetto that closed ground for third. A daughter of Bellamy Road from a D’Wildcat dam, Hell N Wild proved herself competitive off the bat and would not have to improve much from her debut effort to break through if trainer Michael Doyle is willing to run her back at the same level.
Hollywood Critic (08-13-17 Race 9 No 3, 7th)
Everyone knows that three into one won’t go but that’s what it felt like watching Hollywood Critic run into a dead-end when seeking a path mid-stretch in his first try at Woodbine. Officially seventh home in a field of ten, the shipper appeared to be making in-roads when he hit the traffic jam that left questions as to how much closer he may have finished otherwise, having resulted in an inquiry. The 6f grass contest proved a salty enough allowance optional claimer in which Call Me Wally swamped rivals for a solid repeat win. My sense is that Hollywood Critic had quite a lot left and should offer excellent value next time out, having run a far better race than what shows on paper. Nicely bred by Blame, trainer Barbara Minshall does ever so well with her turf horses and there is no reason why Hollywood Critic should prove an exception.