$500k Woodbine Oaks

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$500,000 Woodbine Oaks at Woodbine on Race 10 (Saturday, August 15, 2020: 5:57 p.m./ET; 2:57 p.m./PT) Mile and an eighth on the main track (three-year-old Canadian foaled fillies.)

Five stakes races highlight the card at Woodbine Racecourse in Ontario, Canada this Saturday. And guess what? TVG’s got you covered with in depth analysis of the most prestigious race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds fillies every year, the Woodbine Oaks, which goes as Race 10 on an 11-race card. Let’s preview the field in post position order:

#1 CURLIN’S VOYAGE scored a gutsy victory in the seven-furlong Fury Stakes last time out as the favorite, defeating #9 JUSTLEAVEITALONE and #10 INFINITE PATIENCE in the process. She has won twice routing, once while breaking her maiden in 2019 and the other coming against #7 MERVEILLEUX and #4 NOVEMBER FOG last fall in the Ontario Lassie Stakes. Top Woodbine jockey Patrick Husbands teams up with high percentage conditioner Josie Carroll.

#2 PILOT EPISODE is a maiden entering this race for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey. She makes her second start off a brief vacation. Daughter of SPEIGHTOWN has never competed at a distance farther than seven furlongs and has only hit the board once. Luis Contreras hops off #3 BAYOU BELLE To ride this gal, which is interesting. Watch the odds board for additional clues.

#3 BAYOU BELLE won a maiden optional claimer on July 23 by over five lengths while adding blinkers. Speed figures indicate she’ll need to improve significantly to beat the best signed on.

#4 NOVEMBER FOG went off at 22/1 in the Ontario Lassie Stakes last December and finished third behind #1 CURLIN’S VOYAGE and #7 MERVEILLEUX. In two subsequent starts this year, she was never in contention for the win against first level allowance company. All signs indicate she will need to run a career best just to hit the board.

#5 AFLEET KATHERINE makes her career debut over a synthetic surface for trainer Kevin Attard. In her first two career races, she won a maiden special weight and allowance, respectively, sprinting seven furlongs on turf. By Afleet Alex out of an Include mare, this gal should enjoy the longer distance she’ll run at today. Although lightly raced, she should be marked down as a contender.

#6 MIZZEN BEAU was last seen stalking the pace before finishing fifth in the Fury Stakes behind #1 CURLIN’S VOYAGE and two others who enter back in this spot. Both career wins have come on dirt, and her synthetic and turf form is subpar. Siding elsewhere.

#7 MERVEILLEUX adds blinkers for trainer Kevin Attard, who wins at 14% with the ‘blinkers on’ angle. This gal won an allowance race in her first start of 2020 before running fourth in the Selene (G3) last month. In December, she finished a head behind #1 CURLIN’S VOYAGE, who is considered a major player in this race. Legit player.

#8 LASTING UNION has never raced over a synthetic surface before. In two career two-turn races, this Michael Matz trainer filly broke her maiden at Laurel before winning an allowance race by 12 at Delaware, finishing ahead of a next out winner. One major question is how will she handle the synthetic surface? Expect her to be close to the pace as both career victories came on the lead.

#9 JUSTLEAVEITALONE went off at astronomical odds (65/1) as a maiden two starts ago in the Fury Stakes and came up a head short to #1 CURLINS VOYAGE. She returned in lifetime start number eight in a two-turn race and broke her maiden by a half-length while all out to do so. She has only raced twice for trainer John Mattine and has improved greatly since moving to his barn, adding blinkers and racing on synthetic. Maybe her form is going in the right direction and her last two starts aren’t flukes after all.

#10 INFINITE PATIENCE has always been well regarded. Daughter of SUNGOLD was undefeated in five starts at Hastings on dirt as a two-year-old and went off at low odds in all five races. Making her first start off a nine-month layoff in the Fury Stakes, she finished a length behind #1 CURLIN’S VOYAGE and #9 JUSTLEAVEITALONE. She certainly didn’t embarrass herself that afternoon and she could be even more fit with that race under her belt. This is the acid test.

SELECTIONS

1. #7 MERVEILLEUX - Bullet work while adding blinkers.

2. #1 CURLIN’S VOYAGE - Consistent gal should get a pace to chase.

3. #10 INFINITE PATIENCE - Win machine stacks up with this field.

LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY - #5 AFLEET KATHERINE - Has pedigree to back up routing.

WAGERING STRATEGY

I’ll box my top two picks and longshot value play in exactas and also play a trifecta key using all four of my selections.

BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)

$8 Exacta Box: #1 CURLIN’S VOYAGE and #5 AFLEET KATHERINE and #7 MERVEILLEUX ($48).

$1 Trifecta: #7 MERVEILLEUX over #1 CURLIN’S VOYAGE over #5 AFLEET KATHERINE and #10 INFINITE PATIENCE ($2). 

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