2023 Whimsical Stakes & Jacques Cartier S Odds

Woodbine’s spring racing calendar continues apace with two Grade 3 races taking place across the weekend. Forming part of Saturday’s card is the G3 2023 Whimsical Stakes. First run back in 2006, Mark Casse has won two of the last five running’s of the race and looks to have a great chance with Our Flash Drive. 

Preakness Stakes Odds

A multiple graded winner, she was last seen back in November when winning the 2022 Bessarabian Stakes. The favorite that day, she won like a short priced favorite should and as long as she is race fit will start as the one they will all need to catch. 

Rounding off a superb weekend of racing will be the Grade 3 Jacques Cartier Stakes. A field of seven will head down to post with last year’s defending champion Arzak looking to defend his crown from 12 months ago. It certainly won’t be easy to repeat the feat as he will face stiff competition from the likes of Red River Rebel, Candy Overload and Ironstone who are all likely to feature heavily in the betting. 

Whimsical Stakes

Grade 3, 6 furlongs, Dirt, open to fillies and mares aged four and over. Total prize pool: $150,000

Mark Casse has long been established as one of the leading trainers at Woodbine and he has achieved tremendous success in the Whimsical Stakes, winning two of the last five renewals of the race.

He arrives strong handed and will saddle three of the eight runner field. 

His best chance looks to be with Our Flash Drive. The heavy favorite for the contest, this will be her first race of 2023 but Casse will hope she can repeat the same level of performance as when last seen.

A convincing winner of the 2022 Grade 2 Bessarabian Stakes, she had far too much class, blowing her rivals away with ease inside the final furlong. A repeat of that here should see her come out on top.

Looking to cause her stablemate some problems will be Miss Speedy. A winner of four of her ten career starts, most of her victories have come at a lower level than this. Not seen on track since January when she ran poorly in the 2023 Inside Information Stakes, Casse will be hoping a return to the Woodbine dirt will spark a better performance. 

Casse’s final runner Ambassador Lune has placed form at this level in the past but is likely to start the race as one of the outsiders.

Hoping to spoil the party for the Casse trio will be the Tim Girten trained Baby No Worries. She heads into the race on the back of a career best performance in the 2023 WEBN Frog Stakes where she was very unlucky not to have won. Untried at this level, she could be one to keep an eye on with interest. 

Likely to feature at the top of the betting will be the Stuart Simon trained Hard Edge

Similarly to Our Flash Drive, she will be having her first start of the year and will be competing at this level for just the second time. A winner of three of her eleven career starts, she will be looking to build on her latest victory that came back in allowance company. 

Whatever horse top Woodbine jockey Kazushi Kimira ends up riding should always be worth a second look, and although Basalt Street will start as one of the outsiders, she isn’t without a hope. 

A winner of her last three starts, including a win over course and distance just a month ago, she is race fit and clearly thriving. Kimura knows the Woodbine dirt like the back of his hand and she looks to be the best value angle of the race. 

Owen’s Tour Guide and Forest Drift complete the lineup, but both look to have plenty to prove if they are to contend here. 

2023 Whimsical Stakes Odds & Betting Pick

When looking back at Our Flash Drive’s dominant performance back in the Bessarabian Stakes it’s hard to make a case for any other horse in the contest. In what was a competitive Grade 2 race, she streaked clear of the rest of field and looked like a horse worthy of winning Grade 1 races. If fully tuned up she will take all the beating.

HorseJockeyTrainerOdds by Jazzsports
Miss SpeedySahin CivaciMark Casse+500
Forest DriftDaisuke FukumotoRobert Tiller+2000
Our Flash DrivePatrick HusbandsMark Casse+100
Owen’s Tour GuideRafael HernandezW.V. Armata+1200
Baby No WorriesAntonio GallardoTim Girten+400
Ambassdor LunaDeclan CarrollMark Casse+1500
Basalt StreetKazushi KimuraKevin Attard+1200
Hard EdgeEswan FloresStuart Simon+600

Jacques Cartier Stakes

Grade 3, 6 furlongs, Dirt, open to horses aged four and over. Total prize pool: $150,000

Sunday’s Woodbine card will feature this year’s renewal of the Jacques Cartier stakes where a field of eight are due to head down to post.

Looking to repeat his success in the race from twelve months ago, connections of Arzak will be hoping a return to Woodbine will see a spark in form.

Highly tried since his win in the contest last year, Arzak’s winless run now stands at five. Having been off track since November last year, trainer Michael Trombetta will be hoping the five-month layoff will see a stronger and better horse return.

Red River Rebel and Candy Overload will be renewing rivalries after racing several times against one another throughout their careers.

On recent form it looks like Red River Rebel has plenty to find on his old rival who finished several places ahead of him when winning the 2022 Kennedy Road Stakes. A Grade 2 contest, the Kennedy Road was Candy Overload’s best performance of his career, but he hasn’t been able to kick on from his breakthrough success.

Having raced only once this year, he timed his challenge too late and could only finish third in the 2023 Big Daddy Stakes. More will be needed here, but if he can show the level of form he did in the Kennedy Road he will be a major player.

Ironstone will be having his first run of the year but looks another likely contender. A winner in Claiming company, he produced a solid performance to finish second in the 2022 Prince of Wales Stakes and has been a previous winner at this level in the past.

Wildly inconsistent, he can be hard to read, but if turning up on a going day he could be one to side with.

Mark Casse looks to have a strong chance with Candy Overload, but his second-string Ice Chocolat is another who starts with solid prospects.

Winless in his last three, his form ties in nicely with Candy Overload, finishing a narrow second in last year’s Kennedy Road. Having led throughout most of the race it only took a closing burst from Candy Overload to nab him on the line. Having only lost by half a length, he could be the best value angle of the race.

2023 Jacques Cartier Stakes Odds & Betting Prediction

A muddling affair awaits in this year’s Jacques Cartier Stakes with most of the field arriving out of form. Candy Overload looks a likely contender but has form to prove since winning last year’s Kennedy Road. Ironstone could be one to keep an eye on and has shown he can win races of this type in the past. Likely to start at a decent price he could be one to back in what is bound to be a wide-open contest.

HorseJockeyTrainerOdds by Jazzsports
Ready for a FightEmma – Jayne WatsonJohn Charlambous 
ArzakKazushi KimuraMichael Trombetta 
Red River RebelKaveh NichollsKrista – Cole Simpson 
Old ChestnutDeclan CarrollMartin Drexler 
IronstoneRafael HernandezW.V. Armata 
Ice ChocolatTBCMark Casse 
Candy OverloadSahin CivaciMark Casse 
AnarchistLuis ContrerasJosie Carroll 

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