It’ll be a big weekend for turf racing at Woodbine with five graded stakes races and four paid entries to the Breeders Cup on the line. The main event of the weekend is one of the marquee turf events in North America–the Grade 1 $1 million Woodbine Mile at Toronto’s Woodbine Race Track. Not only will this be the highlight of the Woodbine card this weekend but is very likely the biggest race in North America this weekend–both in terms of money and prestige.
Heading the field for the Woodbine Mile is 2015 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Tepin. Tepin has had a light but successful schedule this year–she’ll be making her first start since June when she won the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at England’s Royal Ascot meet. She’s been preparing for the Woodbine Mile at Saratoga with trainer Mark Casse. In her final workout before the race she went four furlongs in 49.71 seconds on Saratoga’s turf training track. Trainer Casse is very pleased with her preparations: “She’s doing super, just super. She’s training as good as she ever has, if not better.”
Tepin will face what looks like seven challengers in the Woodbine Mile. Three are European shippers– Mr. Owen finished sixth in last year’s Woodbine Mile and is back for another shot. Mutakayyef has finished ‘in the money’ in his three 2016 starts, all in England, including two wins. Arod might go off as the long shot in the field but is coming off a nice third place performance on August 27 in the Group 2 Doom Bar Celebration Mile at Goodwood. Three are local horses–Glenville Gardens, Passion for Action, and Tower of Texas. Of that group, Glenville Gardens is probably the biggest threat to Tepin. Glenville Gardens enters on a three race winning streak including a prep race for the Woodbine Mile, the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes. In the Play The King Stakes he beat both Tower of Texas and Passion for Action. Also likely for the Woodbine Mile is Full Mast who was the post time favorite in the Play The King Stakes but could do no better than fourth.