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Another year, another Woodbine Mile Stakes (Can-G1) contender for trainer Charles Lopresti. Last year, he shipped Turallure across the border and posted a minor upset. This year, he has morning-line favorite Wise Dan. The son of Wiseman’s Ferry (whose half brother Successful Dan is a multiple graded-stakes-winning stablemate) has been nothing short of outstanding in his 17-race career: he owns 10 wins and it doesn’t seem to matter whether he sprints or routes or what surface he’s on – the handsome chestnut knows how to get the job done.

Wise Dan is almost undefeated at a mile, but for a near-miss behind the outstanding Gio Ponti in a Grade 1 race last fall at Keeneland Race Course. Perhaps not surprising for a horse who had a long 2011 campaign, the Woodbine Mile will be only his fourth race of this year: the gelding is fresh and has been galloping as strong as ever since shipping back to Lopresti’s barn at Keeneland after a successful stay at Saratoga Race Course.

Looking to upset the favorite is the local contingent of Riding the River and Big Band Sound. The former, also a son of Wiseman’s Ferry and a dual Grade 2 winner at the meet, is getting jockey Patrick Husbands in the irons for the first time and drew the rail. Big Band Sound, meanwhile, should be closer to the pace as he usually races at seven furlongs or shorter.  His first try at the mile distance was a neck loss to Riding the River two starts ago and he came back with a Grade 2 score at seven furlong after overcoming a bout of second-itis.

Two legendary trainers will saddle the local longshots: Reade Baker entered Hunters Bay, a Grade 3 winner who is cutting back in distance; and Roger Attfield has Hollinger, a hard-knocking 5-year-old who shows up and runs his race every time, no matter the distance or level of competition. Also local is Artic Fern. The probable early speed in the race, Arctic Fern is an allowance winner stepping up off a solid effort.

As with most years, there is a super-strong European contingent, headlined by Dubai Duty Free (UAE-G1) winner Cityscape. The chestnut with the distinctive white face has yet to find the winner’s circle since his signature March victory, but he has come close in the three starts since. It should be noted that this will be the son of Selkirk’s fifth start in 2012: not just at five different tracks, but in five different countries! 

Also racking up the horse equivalent of frequent flier miles are Dance And Dance, who was a barely beaten sixth in last year’s Woodbine Mile; and Worthadd, a bay son of Dubawi whose best races have been in Germany and who will get local top rider Luis Contreas in the irons.

My Selections:

Wise Dan

Hollinger

Dance And Dance

Cityscape

$1 Million Ricoh Woodbine Mile (Can- G1)

Woodbine, Sunday, Race 10, 5:42 p.m. EDT

3-year-old and older, Turf

PP Horse

Jockey

Weight

Trainer

ML Odds

1. Riding the River (KY)

P. Husbands

121

D Cotey

10-1

2. Dance and Dance (IRE)

G.K. Gomez

117

E F Vaughan

12-1

3. Wise Dan (KY)

J. Velazquez

121

C Lopresti

6-5

4. Arctic Fern (KY)

J. Stein

117

M Keogh

20-1

5. Big Band Sound (KY)

T. Pizarro

121

D J Vella

6-1

6. Hunter's Bay (KY)

E. Wilson

119

R E Baker

15-1

7. Cityscape (GB)

J. Doyle

124

R Charlton

5-2

8. Hollinger (ON)

A.O. Solis

117

R L Attfield

20-1

9. Worthadd (IRE)

L. Contreras

119

M Prescott

8-1

 

Image Description

Molly Jo Rosen

Growing up halfway between Hollywood Park and Del Mar, Molly Jo Rosen spent more time at the "horse beach" than the sandy ones. One ride on a pony named Coco at 18 months old had her hooked, and she spent 15 years as a showjumper before a routine birthday trip to Del Mar came with the realization that racing was the life she wanted.

Since then, Molly Jo has traveled across the country working on the best backstretches, frontstretches and farms in the industry. She has held positions with TVG, Churchill Downs, Three Chimneys Farm, and Puglisi Racing, among others.

Now managing member of the Post Parade Racing ownership group, Molly Jo also runs 2yoSales.com (providing data to leading trainers on the juvenile sales), co-hosts the popular podcast Post Parade with The Filly and The Clocker, and can be heard Sundays on "The Fast Track" on Fox Sports 1340 am.

Molly Jo serves her blend of pony punditry at FocusedFilly.com.

Image Description

Molly Jo Rosen

Growing up halfway between Hollywood Park and Del Mar, Molly Jo Rosen spent more time at the "horse beach" than the sandy ones. One ride on a pony named Coco at 18 months old had her hooked, and she spent 15 years as a showjumper before a routine birthday trip to Del Mar came with the realization that racing was the life she wanted.

Since then, Molly Jo has traveled across the country working on the best backstretches, frontstretches and farms in the industry. She has held positions with TVG, Churchill Downs, Three Chimneys Farm, and Puglisi Racing, among others.

Now managing member of the Post Parade Racing ownership group, Molly Jo also runs 2yoSales.com (providing data to leading trainers on the juvenile sales), co-hosts the popular podcast Post Parade with The Filly and The Clocker, and can be heard Sundays on "The Fast Track" on Fox Sports 1340 am.

Molly Jo serves her blend of pony punditry at FocusedFilly.com.

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