2019 Woodward Stakes Study Guide

Aug 29, 2019 John Mucciolo/TwinSpires.com

A field of nine will go postward in Saturday’s $750,000 Woodward Stakes (G1) at Saratoga . Defending champ and recent Whitney Stakes (G1) runner-up Yoshida leads the cast in the “Win & You’re In” contest, which offers a starting berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita on November 2 to the winner.

Here is the field:

Mr. Buff Career Racing Stats

30 Starts
10 Wins
6 Place
4 Show
Total Career Earnings: $678,786

Top BRIS Speed rating (105) when second in a 2018 allowance race at Aqueduct

Owner: Chester and Mary Broman
Breeder: Chester and Mary Broman (NY)
Trainer: John Kimmel
Jockey: Jose Lezcano

Sire: Friend or Foe
Dam: Speightful Affair
Color: Chestnut

Potential pacesetter in the field rolls in off of a pair of dominant black-type wins including the Evan Shipman Stakes on this course most recently. Talented Empire State-bred has been victorious in six of his last eight outings, and the gelding will take them as far as he can on the lead with Jose Lezcano in the controls.

Bal Harbour Career Racing Stats

16 Starts
5 Wins
4 Place
2 Show
Total Career Earnings: $388,755

Top BRIS Speed rating (105) when neck runner-up in the Monmouth Cup (G3)

Owner: Red Oak Stable
Breeder: Red Oak Stable (KY)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Javier Castellano

Sire: First Samurai
Dam: Casino Attraction
Color: Chestnut

One of three in the field for Todd Pletcher, this four-year-old is winless from four races this campaign but continues to show improvement. The Red Oak homebred was a brave second in the Monmouth Park Cup (G3) in preparation of his return to The Spa. Four-year-old gelding could make the frame with another step forward in this spot.

Vino Rosso Career Racing Stats

13 Starts
5 Wins
0 Place
3 Show
Total Career Earnings: $1,353,125

Top BRIS Speed rating (105) when fourth in the 2018 Belmont Stakes (G1)

Owner: Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable
Breeder: John D. Gunther (KY)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: John Velazquez

Sire: Curlin
Dam: Mythical Bride
Color: Chestnut

Grade 1 hero ran well when third in the Whitney Stakes (G1), and the colt will have the blinkers removed for this assignment. Todd Pletcher pupil is classy and he looks to be heading into this race in fine fashion after a wicked bullet move on the surface most recently. The chestnut will track the pace and try to run them down inside the final furlong beneath regular rider John Velazquez.

Mongolian Groom Career Racing Stats

14 Starts
2 Wins
2 Place
3 Show
Total Career Earnings: $369,141

Top BRIS Speed rating (104) finishing third in the Pacific Classic (G1)

Owner: Mongolian Stable
Breeder: Calumet Farm (KY)
Trainer: Enebish Ganbat
Jockey: Luis Saez

Sire: Hightail
Dam: Bourbonesque
Color: Dark Bay

Dark bay gelding should be as fit as any runner in the field making his ninth 2019 appearance. California invader was game when just missing third in the Pacific Classic (G1), and he has held up well while facing some of the best horses on the West Coast. Sneaky contender could be dangerous with any kind of improvement on Saturday, and he will have Luis Saez in the silks for the initial time.

Preservationist Career Racing Stats

9 Starts
5 Wins
1 Place
2 Show
Total Career Earnings: $637,300

Top BRIS Speed rating (116) in Suburban Stakes (G2) victory

Owner: Centennial Farms
Breeder: Emory A. Hamilton (KY)
Trainer: James Jerkens
Jockey: Junior Alvarado

Sire: Arch
Dam: Flying Dixie
Color: Bay

Whitney (G1) fourth made his mark two prior when streaking home a very impressive winner of the Suburban Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park. Bay son of Arch tired when leading in his Saratoga debut most recently, but the lightly raced six-year-old will likely track the action early in this adventure. This obvious win contender shows a strong six-furlong morning drill on the Oklahoma training track last out.

Forewarned Career Racing Stats

18 Starts
6 Wins
4 Place
0 Show
Total Career Earnings: $245,613

Top BRIS Speed rating (98) when fifth in the Whitney Stakes (G1)

Owner: Uriah St. Lewis
Breeder: Preston Stables LLC (OH)
Trainer: Uriah St. Lewis
Jockey: Anthony Salgado

Sire: Flat Out
Dam: Fortune Play
Color: Gray/Roan

Top-four contender was fifth in the Whitney and is eligible to move up in a second run at Saratoga. The Ohio-bred colt lands in a field where the pace might be swift and contested, which will set-up his solid late run. Four-year-old colt will be guided home by Anthony Salgado in his first mount of the meeting.

Yoshida Career Racing Stats

16 Starts
5 Wins
4 Place
0 Show
Total Career Earnings: $2,370,648

Top BRIS Speed rating (107) in a second-place finish in the Whitney Stakes (G1)

Owner: China Horse Club International Ltd., Head of Plains Partners and WinStar Farm LLC
Breeder: Northern Farm (JPN)
Trainer: Bill Mott
Jockey: Joel Rosario

Sire: Heart’s Cry
Dam: Hilda’s Passion
Color: Bay

Japanese-bred is a Grade 1 winner on both turf and dirt, including an impressive win in this race in 2018. This classy five-year-old had a superb prep for the Woodward when a huge runner-up in the Whitney (G1), further proving his affinity for the Saratoga main strip. The Bill Mott pupil has trained well in the interim and will be the one to hold off inside the final furlong under Joel Rosario.

Wooderson Career Racing Stats

9 Starts
3 Wins
3 Place
0 Show
Total Career Earnings: $171,830

Top BRIS Speed rating (104) in Alydar Stakes runner-up performance

Owner: Let’s Go Stable
Breeder: Heaven Trees Farm (KY)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Sire: Awesome Again
Dam: Lotta Kim
Color: Bay

This half-brother to the legendary Rachel Alexandra ran arguably his best race to date when a clear second in the Alydar Stakes here on August 2. The four-year-old is a two-time winner in 2019 and is clearly a horse on the improve, as well. Kentucky-bred colt could capitalize if the pace is swift early on. Jose Ortiz inherits the mount atop the late runner.

Tom’s d’Etat Career Racing Stats

13 Starts
7 Wins
2 Place
1 Show
Total Career Earnings: $716,892

Top BRIS Speed rating (107) in 2017 Saratoga allowance tally

Owner: G M B Racing
Breeder: SF Bloodstock LLC (KY)
Trainer: Albert Stall Jr.
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

Sire: Smart Strike
Dam: Julia Tuttle
Color: Bay

Alydar Stakes victor loves this venue and moved his local mark to three-for-three following his stakes victory. Well-bred son of Smart Strike has put a trio of strong races together in succession, and the lightly raced six-year-old has as good of a chance as any in the field if he runs his best. The prime contender picks up Irad Ortiz Jr. for the ride. 

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