2017 Woodward Stakes Preview, Entries & Odds

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Dave Bond | OTB Writer

OffTrackBetting.com - The G1 Woodward Stakes comes our way this Saturday, September 2 at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York. 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 $750,000 purse.

A short but quality field of five will take to the track in the Woodward Stakes - race 11 on Saratoga's busy Saturday schedule. Post time is 6:46 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all five entries for this intriguing G1 stakes.

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2017 Woodward Stakes Entries at Saratoga Race Course

Gun Runner 2-5

Steve Asmussen trained colt was tops in the 2016 Road to the Kentucky Derby Standings last year - he is currently rated as one of/if not-the-best race-horse in the world. He had five career starts prior to the Run for the Roses with four wins - two straight wins ahead of the Derby - the G2 Louisiana Derby and the G2 Risen Star Stakes - both results at Fair Grounds. He finished a respectable third in the Derby and recorded a win in the G3 Matt Winn Stakes after that at Churchill Downs last June 16. He has looked good in eight starts since - a good 5 1/4 length win last time out in the G1 Whitney Stakes on this track August 5 followed another a win in gate-to-wire fashion by an eye-opening seven lengths with a 107 BRIS Speed Rating in the G1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs June 17. Before that was a good second behind Arrogate in the $10 million Dubai World Cup March 25, a 5 3/4 length win in the G3 Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn Park February 20, another win in the G1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 25 and a second in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. Gun Runner has hit the board in his eight seven starts overall and has won four of five starts ahead of this weekend against some of the best competition in the world and hopes to keep his roll going from get 2. Florent Geroux gets the call on the obvious morning line favorite.

Rally Cry 5-2

Todd Pletcher trained colt has four wins, a second and three third place finishes in 10 career starts - competitive virtually every time out. He arrives off a good 8 3/4 length win with a 109 BRIS Speed Figure in the minor Alydar Stakes on this track August 6 which followed a disappointing sixth in the G1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park June 10, an Allowance score on that track April 30, a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream March 15, a third in the minor Easy Goer Stakes last June and an Allowance score last April. Before that was a sixth in his only other graded stakes action to date - the G3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct in March, 2016. Rally Cry has won two of his last three starts overall but has yet to hit the board in graded stakes company. Jockey John Velazquez hopes to change all of that from post 3.

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Neolithic 6-1

Todd Pletcher trained colt has placed in eight of his 10 career starts - three wins, three seconds and two third-place finishes. He arrives off an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track August 5 which followed an OK third in the Group 1 Dubai World Cup at Meydan in March and a respectable third in the G1 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream in January. Before that was an Allowance score at Gulfstream December 14, a second in the G3 Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct November 12 and another second in an Allowance at Belmont Park October 10. Neolithic has been competitive against some top quality fields and hopes to be again Saturday with Jose Ortiz in the irons of the third betting choice from the rail.

War Story 8-1

Has placed in his 11 of 22 career starts - five wins, three seconds and three third place finishes. He arrives off a slightly disappointing fourth in the G1 Whitney Stakes on this track August 5 which followed a good two length win in the G2 Brooklyn Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park June 10, an OK third in the G2 Charles Town Classic April 22 and consecutive fifths - the G3 Fred W. Hooper Stakes March 4 and the G1 Pegasus World Cup January 28 - both at Gulfstream. Before that was a good win in the minor Queens County Stakes at Aqueduct December 17, a fourth in the G1 Cigar Mile on that track November 26, an eighth in the Breeders' Cup Classic and an OK second in the minor Pa Derby Champion Stakes at Parx September 24. He also finished eighth in the 2015 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. War Story had been trending upward before last time out and hopes for a strong bounce back with Irad Ortiz guiding him from gate 4.

Discreet Lover 30-1

Uriah Lewis trained colt has three wins, six seconds and four third place finishes in 29 career starts. He enters off a fifth in the G1 Whitney Stakes on this track August 5 which followed an OK third in the minor Carl Hanford Memorial Stakes at Delaware Park July 15, a seventh in the minor State Dinner Stakes at Belmont Park July 3, a third in the listed Mountainview Stakes at Penn National in May and an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Parx April 29. He posted consecutive runner-up finishes in November as well - the best coming in the minor Richard W. Small Stakes at Laurel Park in November but he's failed to place in his six graded stakes starts. Discreet Lover has hit the board in just three of his last eight starts overall and will be after his first ever stakes score Saturday. Manuel Franco gets the call from post 5.

2017 Woodward Stakes Odds & Entries

Race 11 on Saratoga's Saturday card with a Post Time of 6:46 PM.

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Neolithic 6-1 Jose Ortiz Todd Pletcher
2 Gun Runner 2-5 Florent Geroux Steven Asmussen
3 Rally Cry 5-2 John Velazquez Todd Pletcher
4 War Story 8-1 Irad Ortiz, Jr. Jorge Navarro
5 Discreet Lover 30-1 Manuel Franco Uriah St. Lewis

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