By Emily Shields
Trainer Mark Casse has been here before.
In 2016 Casse campaigned the popular and brilliant mare Tepin to win the Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1) at Woodbine Racetrack, and he brings another filly this year in Got Stormy. She is the 8-5 choice in a field of 11 runners, with only one other filly entered. The race is slated to go as the ninth on a 12-race card with four stakes events.
The $1 million race boasts international appeal, with local runners such as Silent Poet taking on American shippers like Synchrony, while Awesometank (GB) comes from England.
Got Stormy always showed talent, winning a stakes race at Penn National as a sophomore last year. She won on to win stakes at Belmont Park and Woodbine in succession, then struggled when closing out the year. This season she has been superb, running third in the Jenny Wiley (G1) at Keeneland and second in the Distaff Turf Mile (G2) at Churchill Downs before winning back to back stakes at Saratoga. Most recently she defeated males in the Fourstardave Handicap (G1) at Saratoga, including fellow rival Raging Bull (Fr).
Chad Brown shipped two runners North, with Raging Bull being the 3-1 second choice in the race. He has run in nothing but grade 1 company for the last ten months, winning the Hollywood Derby before finishing fourth at Keeneland and Churchill Downs then third at Belmont Park. He is rounding back into form now and improving. Joel Rosario will be up.
Awesometank (GB) was second in the grade 1 Beverly D at Arlington last out, which was her American debut. She had previously been running in England for William Haggas, where she won four stakes races. She is three for six at the distance.
Synchrony is 6-1 on the morning line. He was a winner over this track for Michael Stidham last out June 29 going this distance. He is a multiple graded stakes winner in the last two years, is by Tapit, and is out of a top class mare in Brownie Points. He worked a bullet at Fair Hill on September 7, going five furlongs in a minute flat.
Kiaran McLaughlin ships in Lucullan at 8-1. He won the Lure Stakes by a nose at Saratoga last out and is unbeaten in two starts this year after coming back off a 13 month layoff. Luis Saez will ride the five-year-old son of Hard Spun.
Silent Poet rounds out the top contenders. He was a winner in the grade 2 Play the King last out, and has won four of his last six starts and six of 11 overall. Gary Boulanger will ride the Nick Gonzalez-trained son of Silent Name (Jpn).
Watch the Ricoh Woodbine Mile live on TVG Saturday.
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