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Check out our predictions and odds for the Bessarabian Stakes at Woodbine!
S Joseph Jr
OUR FLASH DRIVE
S Joseph Jr
*Odds provided by author Brian Zipse.
$10 Exacta Part Wheel - Our Flash Drive over Artie’s Princess, Hazelbrook and Loyalty = $30
$10 Exacta Part Wheel - Artie’s Princess, Hazelbrook and Loyalty over Our Flash Drive = $30
If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Our Flash Drive (5/1).
Already a three-time stakes winner this year, Hazelbrook is in search of another when she tops a field of nine in Saturday’s Grade 2 Bessarabian Stakes, going seven furlongs on the all-weather track at Woodbine.
Trained by Lorne Richards, the 4-year-old daughter of Bayern, has won four of five starts in 2022 which includes victories in the Grade 3 Hendrie, the Sweet Briar Too, and the Grade 3 Ontario Fashion in her last start.
Chief among her competition include Artie’s Princess from the barn of Saffie Joseph, Jr. and Our Flash Drive, who is trained by Mark Casse. Both trainers will send two out in the Bessarabian.
Artie’s Princess, a 5-year-old We Miss Arties mare, is the defending champion of the race and comes in off a victory in the Grade 2 Presque Isle Downs Masters for her second stakes win in the last three starts.
Meanwhile, Our Flash Drive has been running mostly against strong competition on the turf, but just missed last time on the Woodbine all-weather track last out in the Grade 3 Ontario Matron.
The 3-year-old filly Loyalty should also be given strong consideration on Saturday. The two-time stakes-winning daughter of Hard Spun is 4-for-5 lifetime and her only career loss came in her only try on the turf.
It’s difficult to knock this hard-hitting 4-year-old daughter of Bayern. Trained by Lorne Richards, she has four wins and a very good second out of five starts this year.
A winner of two of four starts earlier in her career, she has clearly become one of the top sprinters in Canada in 2022. Like the Seaway, where she was second two starts back, this promises to be one of her toughest tests yet, though. She also has not in her two tries at the 7-furlong distance, as well.
Obviously a big threat to add her fourth stakes victory of the year, I am looking at a couple of others here that I like just a little bit better.
Last year’s winner looks to be rounding into the best form of her season, coming in off an impressive rallying victory in the Grade 2 Presque Isle Downs Masters last out. Note that top rider Jose Ortiz rode her there in Pennsylvania and will travel up to Canada for this engagement, as well.
She did come up surprisingly empty late when beaten by Hazelbrook two starts back, but look for Ortiz to have her more relaxed early as he did in the last win.
The classy mare easily leads the field in career earnings and earned a hard-fought victory in this race last year. She is clearly a major threat to repeat. In fact, I like her second best in this deep and talented field.
The lone 3-year-old in the field, this Florida-bred filly has done little wrong in a five-race career which only began seven months ago. She’s won all four of her career starts on all-weather tracks, including three at Woodbine.
A daughter of Hard Spun, she comes into the Bessarabian off back-to-back stakes victores, including an easy score in the Dutchess Stakes six weeks ago. Trained by Josie Carroll, she also brings strong tactical speed to the table here.
Sharp and talented, this will be her test to see if she can step up and beat very good older females. She is a real threat to do just that.
After eight consecutive starts on the grass, most of which came against graded stakes quality competition, this well-bred daughter of Ghostzapper returned to the all-weather surface at Woodbine and ran a solid race going 8 1/2-furlongs in the Grade 3 Ontario Matron for trainer Mark Casse.
She was run down late, but all in all, the troubled trip was a very solid effort. Having had good success over the track and trip before switching to the turf, the race should set her up well here.
Having clearly proven her class over the past few seasons, I expect her to find success at this level. She also should sit a good trip behind the early speed as she cuts back to seven furlongs. She is the top pick.
A stakes winner on both turf and the all-weather track at Woodbine last year, she comes into this test off a pair of sharp efforts on the grass, including another stakes win.
Although she has had plenty of good performances in stakes sprints over the last few seasons, it’s hard to get past the fact that she seems to fall short against the best competition.
Eighth in the Woodbine Oaks in 2021, she was handled pretty easily by Artie’s Princess and Hazelbrook in consecutive starts this summer. I can’t completely dismiss her, but I prefer others.
This Munnings filly has not yet found the winner’s circle in five tries this season but comes in off a sharp second behind Hazelbrook in the Ontario Fashion.
The second from the Casse barn, she actually has been beaten by that one in her last three races, with two of them being competitive.
First or second in eight of fifteen career starts, she has a chance to be in the picture in the stretch drive once again, but I do like others better in this relatively deep field.
After going zero for six to begin her career, this daughter of Awesome Patriot returned from a long layoff to romp home the easiest kind of winner of a maiden race just two weeks ago.
The return effort, which came over the same track and distance she will see on Saturday, was fast enough to believe she deserves consideration as she jumps right up into graded stakes action.
I believe the bump up in class will be tough for her to overcome, but she certainly could be an early pace factor on Saturday.
The second of two from the Joseph barn, this Tonalist filly does have plenty of stakes experience but unfortunately, has not won any in seven attempts. Having said that, she has run some good races at the distance and comes in off a decent effort in her last.
She closed for the show last time behind Artie’s Princess at Presque Isle, and I do believe she is a threat to do something similar here. Overall, though, there are too many to like better in this spot.
This import from England has made only one start so far this year and finished way back in an allowance race at Keeneland. The daughter of Lope de Vega was able to win three starts last season back in England, but all three came on the grass.
She has finished off the board in her only two career starts on an all-weather surface. The cut back to the 7-furlong distance should suit her, but she will need to show a lot of improvement for trainer Roger Attfield to compete here.
Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.
Email: [email protected]
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