Down to the Wire + Weekend Quick Picks

This week on Down to the Wire we discussed the Raven Run, which will be run on Saturday at Keeneland and has drawn a very competitive field, as well as, the two feature races from Woodbine on Sunday: the E.P. Taylor and Canadian International. For in depth analysis of those races, you can watch the video below (my for those races are also listed below).

Weekend Picks: 


Ascot Race 1 -- Group 2 Champions Long Distance Cup
While Leading Light's form puts him ahead of this group, the heavy going is a serious concern for him in my eyes and for that reason I'll take a stand against him at a short price. Forgotten Rules looked a good thing when blowing them away after being well backed in his bumper debut at Punchestown and in a race that will be a true stamina test, he's the one to be on as he looks good for even further than this distance.

Ascot Race 3 -- Group 1 Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes
Under good conditions, this is a competitive field, but I have distance concerns over testing ground for nearly every runner in here other than Silk Sari, who has won well going further. The ground is the obvious query for her, as she's never been tested under these conditions and her half siblings haven't exactly been wet track lovers. That being said, Dalakhani's influence may make the different on that front, and against a questionable group at this distance under these conditions, she stands out to me. 

Ascot Race 4 -- Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
It's hard to knock the form of Charm Spirit in this race after having won three straight, the most recent of which being over the likes of Toronado. The ground is not a concern and although he finished behind Night of Thunder in the 2000 Guineas, that form was reversed in their most recent start and over testing ground, Charm Spirit holds an even bigger advantage over his fellow market leader, in my opinion. While Night of Thunder doesn't appear to have progressed much since his Classic win, Charm Spirit is the later developer who appears to hold the edge at this point in time. At a bigger price, Captain Cat intrigues as a place chance over more testing ground than he's ever faced given that he narrowly missed over further than this earlier in the season. 

Ascot Race 5 -- Group 1 Champions Stakes 
Cirrus Des Aigles is clearly your most likely winner and even moreso with him getting his ideal conditions, but Pether's Moon is incredibly intriguing to me for e/w value as he currently sits at a big price. Not only did he win in testing conditions in Turkey, but he's good for further than this and enters here in solid form having won two straight and three of his last four. He's only finished outside the top three once in four attempts at Ascot, as well. Surely this consistent fellow is overpriced here. 

Keeneland Race 9 -- G3 Raven Run S
1. #4 Pirate's Trove (8/1) -- looks to get an ideal pace setup in first dirt attempt, dirt breeding, has won all three starts to date
2. #6 Divided Attention (6/1) -- classy juvenile came back in a big way in delayed 3yo debut at Saratoga, visually impressive when drawing away off a wide move in that one
3. #10 La Madrina (8/1) -- Tapit 1/2 to Verrazano has always shown promise, surely well meant in this spot


Woodbine Race 6 -- G1 Canadian International
#4 Brown Panther (2/1) -- Classier and more versatile of the two Euro raiders, any rain only helps his cause as he's the one true stayer in the field, Lasix & Ryan Moore for Hillstar means this runner may actually drift a bit oddswise, defeated Hillstar at Chester this season

Woodbine Race 10 -- G1 E.P. Taylor
1. #6 Deceptive Vision (2/1) -- Extremely impressive when seen winning the local prep even if she had everything go her way, solid season locally could be topped off with a win here
2. #1 Eyeful (20/1) -- Form is a bit muddied up, but she wants good ground, further, and enters here in good form

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