Eclipse Stakes and more Woodbine Stakes Betting Preview

Woodbine’s summer card continues at a frenetic pace with another superb weekend of racing in store. With three graded races headlining the cards across both Saturday and Sunday, we take a look at the fancied runners in the Grade 2 Royal North and the 2023 Eclipse Stakes, as well as the Grade 3 Belle Mahone Stakes.

Headlining Saturday’s card is this year’s renewal of the Royal North Stakes. A field of eleven has been declared with the Mark Casse trained Our Flash Drive looking to land a third successive Graded Stakes contest following her success in the 2023 Grade 3 Whimsical Stakes and 2022 Grade 2 Bessarabian Stakes.

Rounding out Saturday’s card is the Grade 3 Belle Mahone Stakes. An intriguing field of nine is headlined by the 2022 Queen’s Plate winner, Moira. Having her first run since finishing fifth in the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, she is set to start as the heavy favorite. 

Wrapping up the weekend is the Grade 2 Eclipse Stakes where the David Moran trained Artie’s Storm will try to repeat his success in the race from twelve months ago.

Belmont Stakes Odds

Belle Mahone Stakes

G3, 1 mile and a sixteenth, dirt, open to fillies and mares aged four and over. Total prize pool: $150,000

Drawing Saturday’s racing action to a close is this year’s renewal of the Belle Mahon Stakes. Another race for the girls, this year’s contest is set to be dominated by the 2022 Queen’s Plate Winner Moira.

Boasting by far the best form in the field, she is due to go off at a short price and that isn’t a surprise given her impressive form at Woodbine. A winner of four of her five starts at the track, there appears to be very few chinks in her armor.

With most of the field looking like they will be battling it out for second, Souper Hoity Toity looks to be the next best in the field. Trained by Mark Casse she has had a solid career which has seen her win five of her eight career starts. No stranger to the Woodbine dirt, she returns to the scene of her greatest win, where she was successful in the 2022 Selene Stakes. Having already had one run this season, she could be fitter than Moira and could be capable of serving it up to the favorite.

Another horse to keep an eye on in the betting could be Il Malocchio. Trained by Martin Drexler she heads into the race having tasted success in two of her last three starts. The winner of the 2022 Maple Leaf Stakes, she is another who has shown she can win a race of this nature, but whether she has the class to beat Moira remains to be seen.

2023 Belle Mahone Stakes Odds and Prediction

With nine runners declared for this year’s Belle Mahon, it certainly won’t be a cakewalk for Moira, but her form is the best in the field and she should take some stopping. Although there are a couple of horses at a bigger price who will want to try and cause the upset, Moira should have too much class and should come out on top.

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
MoiraKazushi Kimura-250
Souper Hoity ToityLuis Contreras+2000
Souper Hoity ToityPatrick Husbands+500
Sister SeagullEmma-Jayne Wilson+2000
Il MalocchioSahin Civaci+800
Missy GreerDeclan Carroll+2000
PurrfectRyan Munger+2000
Saratoga VisionJeffrey Ian Alderson+2000
Keyflower (FR)Rafael Manuel Hernandez+1500

Royal North Stakes

G2, 6 and a half furlongs, turf, open to fillies and mares aged four and over. Total prize pool: $175,000

The Mark Casse trained Our Flash Drive headlines a field of eleven in this year’s Royal North Stakes. 

Heading into the race following two successive Graded Stakes victories she rightly starts as the one they will all need to beat. Having her first run of the season in the 2023 Whimsical Stakes, her length and a half victory was easier than the winning margin suggested. Clearly thriving, she could easily repeat that performance here.

Looking to serve it up to the favorite is likely to be the Jonathan Thomas trained Bay Storm. Stepping up in trip, she will be hoping to go one better than when last seen in the 2023 Unbridled Sydney Stakes. Winless in her last six starts, she has faced some tough opposition during that winless stretch. With her sights slightly lowered she will be hoping for a return to the winner’s circle.

Rounding out the top three in the betting is likely to be Adaay in Asia. Trained by Christophe Clement, this will be her first American start following a successful British career that yielded several handicap wins. Whilst those wins weren’t at the very highest level, she has certainly shown she is no mug, and depending on how she has settled to life Stateside she is likely to rate a danger to all.

Baby No Worries, proved to be no match for Our Flash Drive in the Whimsical, but her third place finish was a decent effort considering that was her first ever start on turf. With that run now behind her, her connections will be hopeful of yet another big run.

2023 Royal North Stakes Odds and Prediction

Despite the unknown presence of Adaay in Asia, this race looks perfectly set up for Our Flash Drive. Clearly thriving, her connections will be hoping this year’s Royal North will merely be a steppingstone towards bigger races later this season.

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
ImagerySahin Civaci+1500
Bay StormJohn R. Velazquez+300
DemodogRafael Manuel Hernandez+1000
Millie GirlDeclan Carroll+2000
Our Flash DrivePatrick Husbands+180
Sweet Enough (GB)Emma-Jayne Wilson+2000
Owen’s Tour GuideJose Luis Campos+2000
Baby No WorriesAntonio A. Gallardo+1200
Ambassador LunaSahin Civaci+2000
Adaay In Asia (GB)Kazushi Kimura+400
Forest DriftDaisuke Fukumoto+2000

Eclipse Stakes

G2, 1 mile and a sixteenth, dirt, open to horses aged four and over. Total prize pool: $175,000

Headlining Sunday’s Woodbine card is this year’s renewal of the Eclipse Stakes. A field of eleven has been declared in what looks like an open contest.

Last year’s winner Artie’s Storm will be back for another crack and will be looking to be the first horse to record back-to-back success in the race since Are You Kidding Me won the race back in 2015 and 2016. 

His win last year was the best effort of his career, but since that breakthrough win, he has now gone six starts without success. Having been off track since December this has been the target and his trainer Paul Buttigieg will be hoping for another big performance.

One horse that is bound to prove popular in the betting is Avoman. Like Artie’s Storm, he will be having his first run since December when he won the 2022 Steady Growth Stakes, where he beat Artie’s Storm in the process. Winning in a determined fashion, Artie’s Storm finished some way back and his connections will be hopeful he can repeat the trick here.

One of the least exposed horses in the field will be Tyson. Unbeaten in his first two career starts, his connections will be hoping for a third win in succession and his first Graded victory. 

Bringer of Rain has won two of his last six starts but did place third in the 2022 Grade 3 Ontario Derby. Whilst he has never tasted success at this level, he has shown he can compete and could be the value angle of the race.

When looking for value, another horse that should fall under that category is the Martin Drexler trained Conglomerate. A winner just a few weeks ago over course and distance, that win came in Allowance company but was still impressive. He has failed to fire at this level previously but could be one to keep an eye on.

2023 Eclipse Stakes Odds and Prediction

With most of the eleven-runner field heading into the race with questions to answer, the horse to back could be Tyson. The rawest horse in the field, he should improve from his solid win last time out and gets the tentative selection here.

HorseJockeyTrainerOdds according to JazzSports
AvomanJustin SteinJohn Charalambous+2000
War BomberSahin CivaciNorman McKnight+400
Wolfie’s DynaghorstJohn VelazquezJonathan Thomas+250
TysonPatrick HusbandsJosie Carroll+450
Artie’s StormDavid MoranPaul Buttigieg+800
Bringer of RainEmma-Jayne WilsonBarbara Minshall+2000
TreasonKazushi KimuraJosie Carroll+600
ConglomerateRyan MungerMartin Drexler+2000
LuckmanLuis ContrerasVito Armata+2000
CarrothersDeclan CarrollMartin Drexler+1200
RondureRafael HernandezKaterina Vassilieva+1000

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