The Aiden O’Brien trained Deauville is the 5-2 morning line favorite in a field of 12 that will go in the $800,000 Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1), with the winner stamping a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup this fall at Del Mar.
The Woodbine Mile is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), the winner earning an all-expenses paid trip to Del Mar.
O’Brien not only sends out the morning line favorite, he also will saddle Lancaster Bomber (9-2) who was second in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) behind Oscar Performance. The colt was sixth I the Sussex Stakes (G1) at Goodwood in his most recent outing.
Mark Casse will be seeking his second Woodbine Mile in a row, saddling World Approval, who won the Fourstardave Handicap (G1) at Saratoga over yielding footing in his last outing.
Casse saddled Tepin to victory in last year’s edition of the race.
The 2015 winner Mondialiste (8-1) is back looking for another win. The David O’Meara trainee was sixth in the Strensall Stakes (G3) at York in his last start. He made three starts in the U.S. last year including winning the Arlington Million (G1).
The race is one of three Breeders’ Cup Challenge races on Saturday. At Churchill Downs, juveniles take center stage. The $150,000 Iroquois (G3) serves as a prep for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and the $200,000 Pocahontas (G2) winner earns an automatic starting spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).
Let’s head out to Woodbine for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Woodbine Race 12 The Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1) Post time 6:34 ET
1 World Approval 7-2
6 Deauville 5-2
10 Lancaster Bomber 9-2
8 Mondialiste 8-1
World Approval appreciated the cut back to a mile last out as he earned a career top speed fig winning the Fourstardave Handicap (G1) in his first start at a mile. He has now won three of his four starts this year, the lone loss a fifth in the Manhattan (G1) two back at Belmont Park where he was beaten 1 ¾ lengths. He made two starts here last year, setting the early fractions and holding on until late in a third in the Northern Dancer (G1) and then weakening to finish eighth in the Canadian International (G1), both of those trips at 1 ½ miles. Casse won this race last year with Tepin after Euro invaders won this race in the two previous years. He draws the rail and should be forwardly placed in a race without a ton of early pace signed up. He seems to do his best running with some cut in the ground which likely is not going to be the case today.
Deauville tracked the early pace, got to the front and battled on gamely until late in a third-place finish in the Arlington Million (G1) last out, beaten ¾ of a length for the top spot. The colt made two starts in North America last year, winning the Belmont Derby (G1) and running third in the Arlington Million. His last go at a mile came at Royal Ascot three back where he was a third in the Queen Anne Stakes (G1) behind a couple of good runners in Ribchester and Mutakayyef, the latter coming back to win the Group 2 Fred Cowley MBE Memorial Summer Mile Stakes in his next outing. Spencer is in to ride and he has not done us any favors over the past decade when riding in North America.
Lancaster Bomber makes his second trip to North America, the O’Brien trainee running a troubled second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) last year. He has now lost nine races in a row but ran a good second two back in the St. James Palace Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot. He brings some speed to the table and there is not much pace in here. He should prove tough to catch if able to shake loose early.
WIN: World Approval to win at 5-2 or better.
EXACTA: 1,6 / 1,6,8,10
TRIFECTA: 1,6 / 1,6,8,10 / 1,6,8,10,11
Get Michael’s Best Plays Report each Saturday which will include all of the U.S. based Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races from now to October and Michael Dempsey’s 2-Day Breeders’ Cup Report.
Michael’s two-day Breeders’ Cup Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for every race on the two-day championship event from Del Mar on Nov. 3-4.