E.P. Taylor Stakes (Woodbine) Predictions, Top Picks, Odds

Post Position and Odds E.P. Taylor Stakes

Check out our predictions and odds for the E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 WALIYAK 12/1
BET HERE
J Mitchell R Varian
2 ETOILE 3/1
BET HERE
I Ortiz Jr C Brown
3 COURT RETURN 10/1
BET HERE
L Contreras J Carroll
4 KALIFORNIA QUEEN 8/1
BET HERE
A Gallardo C Brown
5 FAMILY WAY 12/1
BET HERE
K Kimura B Walsh
6 MUTAMAKINA 5/1
BET HERE
D Davis C Clement
7 MERVEILLEUX 15/1
BET HERE
A Gallardo K Attard
8 GREAT ISLAND 9/2
BET HERE
R Hernandez C Brown
9 KEYFLOWER 20/1
BET HERE
E Hardouin M D Sanchez
10 LA DRAGONTEA 4/1
BET HERE
J Rosario C Clement

Best Bets for the E.P. Taylor Stakes – Picks

Here are my plays ($58 in total)

$5 Exacta part wheel – La Dragontea and Etoile over La Dragontea, Etoile, Waliyak, Great Island and Keyflower = $40

$3 Exacta part wheel – Waliyak, Mutamakina and Keyflower over La Dragontea and Etoile = $18

If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick La Dragontea (4/1).

A deep and talented field of ten fillies and mares, led by five combined from the barns of top turf trainers Chad Brown and Christophe Clement, will battle it out for the top prize in Sunday’s Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine.

A historic 1 ¼-mile test, it is the most prestigious of all turf races in Canada for female horses.

Four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown will be in search of a second straight victory in the E.P. Taylor, and has a strong contingent of three to get the job done. Leading the way for his hopes will be last year’s winner, Etoile, who will be making only her third start of 2021.

Brown will also saddle the top two from this year’s Grade 3 Matchmaker, in Great Island and Kalifornia Queen. The former followed up that victory with a strong runner-up performance in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl at Belmont Park last time at Saratoga.

Christophe Clement, meanwhile, counters with two English-breds, both of whom have a big chance on Sunday, having won graded stakes at Woodbine in their most recent race. La Dragontea was a strong winner of the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes in September, while Mutamakina exits a victory in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly Stakes in August.

E.P. Taylor Stakes Predictions

Etoile

The defending champion of the E.P. Taylor should be tough once again this year.

In fact, it seems like old times, as last year, the French-bred daughter of Siyouni used a second-place finish in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly to prep for her Grade 1 E.P. Taylor score.

Once again, she is coming into the race having rallied strongly to be the runner-up in the Dance Smartly. Also a Group 3 winner back in her early days in France, trainer Chad Brown should have her primed and ready to run her best over a turf course she clearly likes. The likely favorite in a wide-open race, she looks like the one they have to beat.

La Dragontea

This English-bred 4-year-old will make her second straight start at Woodbine after scoring nicely in the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes four weeks ago for trainer Christophe Clement.

Favored on that afternoon, she looked strong in repelling the stretch challenge of Court Return. Having begun her career in England, the daughter of Lope de Vega really seems to be coming into her own for one of the top turf trainers in the business.

Having won a solid allowance race at Saratoga in August, there is good reason to believe that she is ready to pick up her third straight win on Sunday. She is the top pick.

Great Island

This lightly raced 5-year-old is the second of three from the powerhouse barn of trainer Chad Brown. A daughter of Scat Daddy, she has never failed to finish in the money in eight career starts, and has won 2-of-5 against stakes competition.

Two starts back she ran by her stablemate Kalifornia Queen to win the Grade 3 Matchmaker at Monmouth Park, and last time she was second to the America’s best turf mare War Like Goddess in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl. Rider Joel Rosario gets off her to ride my top pick, but still, she is an obvious major threat.

Mutamakina

The second from Clement, this Nathaniel mare has won two graded stakes races since arriving from Europe last summer.

A late-running winner of the Grade 3 Long Island last fall in New York, she scored her first victory of this season with a half-length score over Etoile in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly Stakes at Woodbine on August 22.

It’s worth noting that Dylan Davis will be in the saddle on Sunday, and the previous two times he rode her were her wins in the Long Island and Dance Smartly. She is one of many with a legitimate chance in this wide-open event.

Kalifornia Queen

The third from Chad Brown, this German-bred daughter of Lope de Vega began her career in Europe and was a Group 2 winner in Germany. Since coming to the United States, she has failed to win in four graded stakes tries, with her only win coming in allowance company.

Having said that, she does seem to be rounding into form, having missed by only a half-length in consecutive graded stakes at Monmouth and Saratoga.

I’m not sure she gets over the hump against this bunch, but it would be no big surprise if she runs a strong race.

Court Return

This Canadian-bred daughter of Court Vision ran a big race to just miss in the E.P. Taylor last fall at odds of 41/1.

The Josie Carroll-trained mare has failed to win since that effort, but she once again seems to be rounding into top form in the fall at Woodbine. She has rallied well in her last two to be within shouting distance of Mutamakina, Etoile and La Dragontea.

It’s been a while since she has won a race, but she has run enough races on this course to be considered for the exotics. I do like others better, but she should not be discounted in here.

Waliyak

Europeans are always dangerous coming over to Woodbine in the fall, and this one looks to be as well. A 4-year-old daughter of Le Havre bred in France, she has done most of her running in England.

Improving in each season, she has finished in the money in all six of her starts this year and has become a consistent performer against Group 3 competition in both England and France. Coming off a nice win four weeks ago, she seems to be in career-best form.

Never better, she looks to be a real threat in her North American debut, especially if the Woodbine turf course is less than firm.

Family Way

This gray Uncle Mo filly began her career in France, where she won twice. Since coming to America, she has finished in the money in four of five starts, with two wins.

Unfortunately, her lone try against graded stakes competition was the one race where she finished off the board.

Still, she is hard to completely throw out, coming off two solid performances in stakes races in Kentucky, including a win last time at Kentucky Downs. She’s not one of my top picks, but one of many to consider for the exotics.

Merveilleux

This Canadian-bred filly has been a regular in important stakes races North of the border the past two seasons. A winner of two stakes races last fall, they both came against fellow Canadian-breds.

This year, she has been mostly competitive while racing against graded stakes competition. Two starts back, she rallied nicely to finish within three-quarters of a length from the win behind Mutamakina and Etoile in the Dance Smartly.

A daughter of Paynter, she appears to appreciate the 10-furlong trip. I prefer others, but she is also not out of it.

Keyflower

The only 3-year-old in the field, she should have pretty attractive odds as she makes her first start in North America.

Bred in France, she has won only 2-of-8 in her native land, but is coming off a listed stakes win at Bordeaux on September 4.

In that race, she burst through a tight spot to win by three-quarters of a length. The Team Valor filly will be racing against tougher on Sunday, but she is better than ever and seems to appreciate the distance. As long shots go, you could do worse.

How to Watch the E.P. Taylor Stakes

E.P. Taylor Stakes Race Information
What E.P. Taylor Stakes (Grade 1)
Location Woodbine
Time Sunday, October 17 — 4:37pm Eastern time
How to Watch TVG
Purse $600,000

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

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.

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