Friday, August 31, 2012

The 2012 Woodward Stakes



Tomorrow's Woodward Stakes is a nice chance for me to redeem myself after getting so soundly beaten in the Travers last week. In spite of this loss of cash and pride, I still get a kick out of that dead heat finish, though - it's just not something you see every day.

On paper, the Woodward is all about Mucho Macho Man, the morning line favorite in a small field. But I must say I'm intrigued by the rail horse, Rule, trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by the red hot Ramon Dominguez. There are certainly a lot of question marks here, but you wouldn't be getting 12-1 in the morning line if there weren't.

Rule threw in a real stinker in the Whitney a little less than three weeks ago (shown above) and this is clearly why you're getting such generous odds. That and the fact that he's coming into this race, another Grade 1 affair, on such a short rest. But Todd Pletcher's a hall of fame trainer who's won a whopping 28% of his races this year and Dominguez is not far behind at at 23% - neither of these guys would be involved if they didn't think the horse was ready. Based on this, I'm prepared to accept the idea that the dismal Whitney was just one of those things, and Rule is feeling better now.

Rule's a stalker. Trickmeister, in the four slot, is pure speed and Mucho Macho Man tends to do his best work near the front. If the latter gets locked in a speed duel with Trickmeister, Rule could sneak in with a big upset, providing he doesn't get pinned down on the rail and can get up a little quicker than the late-running To Honor and Serve.

So how about this for tomorrow's G1 Woodward Stakes:

1 - Rule
3 - Mucho Macho Man
6 - To Honor and Serve

It could happen - you never know! Tune in Tomorrow night for results and video!