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OffTrackBetting.com - The G2 Eclipse Stakes will be run this Saturday, May 20 at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario. Horses four years old and upward will chase the winner's share of the $175,000 purse when they take to Woodbine's All Weather Track and race 1-1/16 miles.
A field of nine will give it a go in the Eclipse Stakes - race 7 on Woodbine's Saturday schedule. Post time is 4:24 PM. Let's take a brief glance into the past performances of all nine entries for this G2 stakes.
Are You Kidding Me 8-5 - 2015 and 2016 Canadian Sovereign Award winner for champion older male and two-time defending champion in this race had a nice two race win streak in the summer of 2015 including the G2 Nijinsky Stakes and the Eclipse Stakes. He won three graded stakes in 2016 as well - the G2 Autumn Stakes in November, the G3 Durham Cup Stakes in September and the 2016 Eclipse Stakes in May. He also posted a couple of good seconds in 2016 - the G2 Sky Classic August 21 and the G3 Seagram Cup August 1 (both on this track). He arrives at this year's Eclipse off an Allowance score on this track April 29 which followed five months away from the track and an eighth in the G1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs in November. Are You Kidding Me has dominated this race the last two years and arrives having posted three wins and two runner-up finishes in his last six starts overall. Alan Garcia has been tabbed to ride the obvious morning line favorite in his Title defense from gate 2.
Unbridled Juan 3-1 - has placed in all 16 career starts for trainer Josie Carroll - four wins, six seconds and six third place finishes. He makes his graded stakes debut Saturday off a third in an Allowance here April 29, a second in the minor Queen's County Stakes at Aqueduct December 17 and a win and consecutive thirds in Allowance Optional Claiming races on New York tracks. Unbridled Juan has been a factor in every career start and hopes his success against lesser competition translates in his major step up Saturday. Luis Contreras gets the call on this intriguing second betting choice from post 5.
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Eirigh 5-1 - has 21 career starts for trainer Todd Pletcher with five wins, two seconds and two third place finishes. Last time out was a fifth in the minor Danger's Hour Stakes at Aqueduct April 9 which followed an eighth in the G1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap February 11 and an Allowance score at Tampa Bay January 16. Before that was 14 months away from the track, a sixth in the G2 Autumn Stakes November 8, 2015 and an Allowance score October 17 of 2015. Eirigh has failed to place in his four career graded stakes starts and hopes for a major breakthough Saturday from gate 4. Emma-Jayne Wilson has the mount on the morning line third choice.
Go Around 6-1 - Bill Mott trainee won two straight races to start 2016 including the minor Tampa Turf Classic and has been just OK since. Last time out was a second in the minor EG Vodka Turf Classic at Tampa Bay April 2 after a fourth in the Sunshine Millions Turf Stakes at Gulfstream in January, a fifth in the minor El Prado Stakes in December and a third in an Allowance in October. He now has four wins, two seconds and four third place finishes in 15 career starts and will chase his first win in just over a year in his Woodbine debut. Rafael Manuel Hernandez is scheduled to ride from gate 6.
Riker 8-1 - Canada's Sovereign Award winner as 2015 Champion 2 Year Old Colt and multiple stakes winner has 11 career starts for trainer Nicholas Gonzalez with five wins - all at Woodbine. He hasn't looked great lately however - an Allowance Optional Claiming score last time out April 29 followed a sixth in a similar race at Gulfstream March 16, another sixth in an Allowance here last July, a fifth in the G3 Marine Stakes on this track last May, an eighth in the G3 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland April 16 and consecutive sixths - the G2 Tampa Bay Derby March 12 and the 2015 Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He did post a win before that however his stakes graded stakes debut - the G3 Grey Stakes in October, 2015. Riker was untouchable in his first four career starts but hasn't looked the same since. That said he does arrive off his first win in 18 months. He tries to build on that effort from post 7 Saturday with Jesse Campbell aboard.
Royal Son 12-1 - Mark Casse trained gelding has four wins, two seconds and a third place finish in 15 career starts. He won the minor John Battaglia Memorial Stakes by an impressive 5 1/4 lengths in February, 2015 and went on to three straight fifth place finishes including the G2 American Turf Stakes and the G3 Spiral Stakes. He finished 2015 with an OK third in the G2 Autumn Stakes on this track November 8 and a disappointing sixth in the G3 Valedictory Stakes November 29. Royal Son had five starts in 2016 - a sixth in the G2 Autumn Stakes last time out November 6, an Allowance score October 14 (both on this track), a seventh in the minor Old Friends Stakes at Kentucky Downs, a fourth in the G3 Seagram Cup in August and an impressive 4 1/2 length Allowance Optional Claiming score here July 17. He looks for his first ever graded stakes in his first start of 2017 when he leaves from post 3 with Patrick Husbands guiding him.
Noble Thought 15-1 - has placed in all eight career starts for trainer Malcolm Pierce - three wins, three seconds and two third place finishes. He makes his stakes debut Saturday off a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Tampa Bay March 21 and consecutive Allowance Optional Claiming scores on that track to start 2017. He had three starts on this track to start his career with a second and two third place finishes - all in 2015. Eurico Rosa Da Silva will be guide Noble Thought in his stakes debut Saturday from the outside post 9.
Dragon Bay 15-1 - has placed in eight of 15 career starts for trainer Stuart Simon - three wins, two seconds and three third place finishes. He enters off a fifth in an Allowance at Keeneland April 19 after a seventh in the G3 Canadian Turf Stakes at Gulfstream Park March 4, a win in the minor English Channel Stakes at Belmont Park in October and an OK second in the G3 Ontario Derby on this track in September. He failed to hit the board in his previous three starts. Dragon Bay shoots for his first graded stakes score Saturday in less-than-spectacular present form and will have Gary Boulanger guiding him from gate 8.
Oakton 20-1 - has 18 career starts for trainer Pat Parente with just three wins and four second place finishes. Last time out was a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming here April 29 which followed a sixth in a similar race at Fair Grounds February 4, a second in a similar race on that track January 6, a ninth in the minor Buddy Diliberto Memorial Stakes in December and a good second on this track in the G2 Autumn Stakes in November. Oakton has been up and down lately and will chase his first ever stakes score from the rail Saturday. David Moran has been tabbed to ride.
Race 7 on Woodbine's Saturday card with a Post Time of 4:24 PM.
|1||Oakton||20-1||David Moran||Pat Parente|
|2||Are You Kidding Me||8-5||Alan Garcia||Roger Attfield|
|3||Royal Son||12-1||Patrick Husbands||Mark Casse|
|4||Eirigh||5-1||Emma-Jayne Wilson||Todd Pletcher|
|5||Unbridled Juan||3-1||Luis Contreras||Josie Carroll|
|6||Go Around||6-1||Rafael Hernandez||William Mott|
|7||Riker||8-1||Jesse Campbell||Nicholas Gonzalez|
|8||Dragon Bay||15-1||Gary Boulanger||Stuart Simon|
|9||Noble Thought||15-1||Eurico Da Silva||Malcolm Pierce|