Wise Dan, the stylish winner of the G2-Fourstardave at Saratoga in his last start, leads a field of nine in Sunday's Grade 1 Woodbine Mile in Canada (post time: 5:42pm Eastern; TV: TVG). The Woodbine Mile is a "Win and You're In" race for the 2012 Breeders' Cup Challenge.
Among the horses joining Wise Dan in the field are three shippers from Europe (2-Dance And Dance (IRE), 7-Cityscape (GB) and 9-Worthadd (IRE)), along with two of the top local horses (1-Ridiing the River and 5-Big Band Sound).
A winner of four of his last five races, all against graded stakes company, Wise Dan is currently in the best form of his 17-race career. The only recent blemish on his record is a second place finish by a head to Ron the Greek in the G1-Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill back on June 16th. Wise Dan had a bit of an excuse for that loss after getting knocked around early in the race and coming wide off the far turn. According to the Trakus chart for the Foster, Wise Dan ran 42 feet further than Ron the Greek (6021 vs. 5979), a difference that certainly cost him the win.
Dance And Dance ran in last year's Woodbine Mile and finished 6th, beaten a length and three-quarters at the wire. he came back to run in the G1-Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland and, once again, struggled to make much of an impact. Since that time, he's bounced around between Group 3 and non-stakes company and will likely need to show major improvement in order to have a legitimate shot against this field.
The class of the European raiders appears to be Cityscape, a recent second place finisher to Excelebration (IRE) in the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville in France. Excelebration is also known as "Frankel's Whipping Boy".
Worthadd has run all over Europe in the past two years with stops in Germany, France and Italy. He finished 20 lengths behind Frankel (GB) in the G1-Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot in June but bounced back to run second by a neck to Sir Oscar in a Group 2 race at Hanover, Germany. Worthadd appears to be a solid runner but lacks the class of Cityscape.
Below are the entries, post positions and morning line odds for Sunday's Grade 1 Woodbine Mile.
|G1-Woodbine Mile; Post Time: 5:42pm Eastern, TV: TVG|
|1||Riding the River||P. Husbands||D. Cotey||10/1|
|2||Dance And Dance (IRE)||G. Gomez||E. Vaughan||12/1|
|3||Wise Dan||J. Velazquez||C. Lopresti||6/5|
|4||Artic Fern||J. Stein||M. Keogh||20/1|
|5||Big Band Sound||T. Pizarro||D. Vella||6/1|
|6||Hunters Bay||E. Wilson||R. Baker||15/1|
|7||Cityscape (GB)||J. Doyle||R. Charlton||5/2|
|8||Hollinger||A. Solis||R. Attfield||20/1|
|9||Worthadd (IRE)||L. Contreras||M. Prescott||8/1|