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Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Woodward Stakes is on tap for Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York this Saturday, August 30. A group of horses three years old and upward will take to Saratoga's dirt track and race 1 1/8 miles for the winner's share of the $600,000 purse.
A field of 10 older horses will line up in the Woodward Stakes - race 11 on Saratoga's busy Saturday card. Post time is 6:46 PM. Here is a brief look into the past performances of all 10 combatants for this lucrative Grade 1 stakes - the final grade I race of the Saratoga Race Course season for older horses.
Moreno - is coming off a terrific win here at 10-1 odds in the $1.5 million Grade 1 Whitney Stakes in front running fashion August 2 after a good second in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap July 5, a distant twelfth in the Grade 1 Met Mile June 7, an OK fourth in the Grade 3 Pimlico Special May 16 and a decent third behind Game On Dude and Imperative in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic April 19. He ended 2013 with a disappointing tenth in the Breeders' Cup as well. The Eric Guillot pupil won the Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes in impressive fashion by seven lengths last July 6 and followed that with a respectable third behind Palace Malice and Will Take Charge in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes July 27. He had a pair of good seconds at the end of the summer before his Breeders' Cup experience as well - in the Grade 1 Travers behind Will Take Charge and ahead of Orb and in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx September 21. Moreno has been trending upward again after an uncharacteristic stretch and looks good to go Saturday. He leaves from post 4 as the 122 pound highweight and 2-1 favorite with Junior Alvarado in the reins.
Itsmyluckyday - enters off a good second behind Moreno in the Grade 1 Whitney Stakes here August 2 after a nice three race graded stakes win streak - the Grade 3 Salvator Mile Stakes July 6 at Monmouth Park and two minor stakes races on that same track. Before that was a fourth in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap in March and a DNF thanks to a pelvic fracture in the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park June 16. He finished a very good second in the 2013 Preakness Stakes behind Oxbow as the fifth choice at 10-1, had a second behind Orb in last year's Florida Derby and a win over Shanghai Bobby by two lengths in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes last January 26 with a fifteenth in the Kentucky Derby sandwiched in there. Itsmyluckyday has been in some big races in the past, enters in terrific form, will wear blinkers for the first time and will have Paco Lopez guiding him from the rail as the 5-2 second choice.
Zivo - has five starts this year and five wins for trainer Chad Brown - three minor stakes scores including the Commentator Handicap on this track May 31, the Kings Point Stakes in February at Aqueduct and the Whodam Stakes at Aqueduct in January. Last time out was another terrific win - in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park as the longest shot in the field July 5. He now has nine wins, two seconds and four third place finishes in 15 career starts and enters this weekend absolutely on fire. He will have Jose Lezcano aboard from post 7 at 5-1 on the morning line.
Long River - Kiaran McLaughlin trained colt entered the Excelsior Stakes in March on a three race win streak - the Evening Attire Stakes January 18 after the Time for a Change Stakes December 1 and then finished a good second behind Romansh in the Grade 3 Excelsior. He hasn't been great since - failing to place in his last three starts overall. Lat time out was a fifth in the Grade 2 Monmouth Cup July 27 which followed a seventh in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap in June and a fifth in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic in April. Long River hopes to rebound from an unflattering stretch with Rosie Napravnik aboard from post 2. He is a coupled entry along with...
Romansh - Thomas Albertini trained colt is coming off disappointing seventh in the Grade 1 Whitney August 2 which followed another disappointing fifth in the Grade 2 Suburban at Belmont Park July 5, a decent third behind Palace Malice and Goldencents in the Grade 1 Met Mile June 7 with a 108 Beyer Speed Figure, a terrific win in the Grade 3 Excelsior Stakes at Aqueduct March 22, a very disappointing last of eleven in the uber-competitive Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream February 9 and a nice 9 /4 length win with a 110 Beyer Speed Figure in the Grade 3 Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct November 2 - inconsistent to say the least. This after failing to place in his first two graded stakes tries. Romansh has four wins and two third place finishes in 12 career starts but has won two of his last six overall with three off the board finishes over that span as well. Jose Ortiz has been tabbed to ride gate 6 at 8-1 odds.
Woodward Stakes betting online at Saratoga Race Course with OffTrackBetting.com
Micromanage - Todd Pletcher trained colt has 18 career starts with five wins, four seconds and three third place finishes. He is coming off a good win by 8 1/2 lengths in the minor Birdstone Stakes on this track August 7 after an ugly seventh in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap and an OK second behind Norumbega as favorite in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational May 7. Before that was an OK third as odd-on-favorite in the minor Drosselmeyer Stakes in May. He did have a career best performance in March however - a 4 1/4 length win in the Grade 3 Skip Away Stakes at Gulfstream after a seventh in the Grade 3 Mineshaft in February. Micromanage has placed in three of his last four starts and enters on OK form. Javier Castellano rides from the post 3 at 8-1 on the morning line.
Norumbega - Shug McGaughey trained colt has 14 career starts with four wins, three seconds and a third place finish and has been a tad inconsistent lately. He enters off a disappointing eighth in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap in July after a terrific win ahead of Micromanage at 10-1 odds in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational Stakes June 6, a disappointing eighth in the Grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes in April and a pair of good seconds - the Grade 3 Skip Away Stakes at Gulfstream March 29 and the Grade 3 Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct November 2. He won two of three starts before that - both Allowance races. Norumbega has two wins and two seconds in his last six starts with two eighth place finishes in there as well - tough to figure out. Javier Castellano gets the call aboard the 10-1 shot from post 8.
Prayer for Relief - Dale Romans pupil was very good at this time last year - a win in the Grade 3 Cornhusker Handicap in June and a pair of seconds - in the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap and the Texas Mile but he has struggled a tad since. Last time out was an OK fourth in the Grade 1 Whitney on this track which followed a decent third in the Grade 2 Suburban July 5, an eighth in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs June 14 and a good second in the Grade 3 Pimlico Special May 16. Before that was a fourth in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap April 12, a sixth in the Grade 3 Mineshaft Handicap and an OK third in the minor Louisiana Handicap. His last win came in December - in the minor Tenacious Handicap at Fair Grounds. He hopes to break a seven race losing streak and will have Joel Rosario aboard from gate 5 at 12-1.
Last Gunfighter - Chad Brown trained colt had a six race win streak snapped last July with a respectable second in the 2013 Suburban Handicap behind Flat Out at Belmont Park. He returned to the winner's circle in the Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin Stakes at Monmouth Park August 18 but fell back to a fifth in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup and another fifth in the Breeders' Cup Classic. After the Breeders' Cup Last Gunfighter posted two straight wins - the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup in November and the minor Mountainview Handicap at Penn National in his first start of 2014 while earning a Beyer Speed Figure over 100 in both races. Since those wins he has been disappointing to say the least - an ugly ninth in the Grade 2 Suburban at Belmont Park July 5 was followed by a fifth last time out in the Grade 3 Whitney Stakes here August 2. He has placed in 14 of 18 career starts - nine wins, three seconds and two third place finishes - impressive indeed but is coming off the worst stretch of his life. Joe Bravo rides from gate 9 at 15-1 odds.
Stephanoatsee - Nick Zito pupil started 2014 with an eighth in the Grade 3 Mineshaft Handicap and has raced in Allowance company only since - a second last time out here July 25 being his best result over that span. He was at his best at the end of 2012/beginning of 2013 when he posted a win in the minor Barbaro Stakes, finished third in the Grade 3 Discovery Handicap and was second in the Grade 2 Strub. But he has placed in just one of his last eight starts and appears to be over his head in this one. Stephanoatsee leaves from the outside post with Joel Rosario in the irons of the longest shot in the field - 30-1.
Race 11 on Saratoga's Saturday card with a Post Time of 6:46 PM.
|1||Long River||I. Ortiz, Jr.||K. McLaughlin|
|1A||Romansh||J. Ortiz||T. Albertrani|
|2||Itsmyluckyday||P. Lopez||E. Plesa, Jr.|
|3||Micromanage||R. Maragh||T. Pletcher|
|4||Moreno||J. Alvarado||E. Guillot|
|5||Prayer for Relief||J. Velazquez||D. Romans|
|6||Zivo||J. Lezcano||C. Brown|
|7||Norumbega||J. Castellano||C. McGaughey III|
|8||Last Gunfighter||J. Bravo||C. Brown|
|9||Stephanoatsee||J. Rosario||N. Zito|
|Race Tracks||Time (EST)|