Woodbine Mile Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks

Woodbine Mile 2020

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Shirl’s Speight (8/1)

Post Position and Odds – Woodbine Mile

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2020 Woodbine Mile at Woodbine Racetrack

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
P Husbands M Casse
D Moran B Minshall
K Kimura R Attfield
J Stein K Attard
D Fukumoto M Casse
S Bahen B Minshall
L Contreras C Brown
R Hernandez M Casse

Best Bets for the Woodbine Mile

Here are my plays ($40 in total)

$6 Exacta Box – War of Will and Shirl’s Speight = $12

$6 Exacta Box – March to the Arch and Shirl’s Speight = $12

$4 Exacta Box – Starship Jubilee and Shirl’s Speight = $8

$4 Exacta Box – Value Proposition and Shirl’s Speight = $8


Shirl’s Speight (8/1)

Already having a huge year, last year’s Canadian Horse of the Year Starship Jubilee will attempt to take things to another level when she takes on seven males in the $1 million Woodbine Mile on Saturday at Woodbine.

The winner of four stakes races already this year, the 7-year-old mare is very familiar with the surroundings, having won six times over the Woodbine turf course. The last time the daughter of Indy Wind competed there, she won the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor last October.

Chief among her rivals in the one-mile turf test will be a pair from the barn of Mark Casse. Morning line favorite War of Will accounted for the Preakness last year on the dirt and comes in off a win on the grass in the Grade 1 Maker’s Mark Mile back in July at Keeneland. Meanwhile, March to the Arch is a seasoned surfer who ran away with the local prep for the Woodbine Mile in his most recent start.

Adding intrigue to the field of eight will be the lightly raced Shirl’s Speight. Impressive and unbeaten in his two career starts, the Roger Attfield-trainee will be making a big step up in class after an easy win last time in the Marine Stakes against fellow 3-year-olds.

As a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series ‘Win And You’re In’ race, the winner of the Woodbine Mile will be offered an all fees paid berth into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland on November 7.

How to Watch the Woodbine Mile

Woodbine Mile Race Information
What Woodbine Mile (G1)
Where Woodbine
When Saturday, September 19 — 5:39pm Eastern time
How to Watch NBCSN & TVG
Purse $1,000,000

Race Analysis

War of Will

An American classic winner of almost $2 million, the 4-year-old son of War Front is clearly the classiest horse in the field. He’s a grade 1 winner on both turf and dirt and has won graded stakes at different distances and at different tracks. On Saturday, he will look to earn his most important career victory on the grass. I’m still not sure whether he is better on turf or dirt, but he looks good on each. It does appear that the one-mile distance in his sweet spot, though, and drawn to the outside, he should be able to work out a good trip which will likely put him in the thick of things in the final furlong.

March to the Arch

Not only does he have a sharp win over the course last time, but he also owns an excellent overall record over the Woodbine turf course. A consistent late runner, he has often found traffic issues during his career. Likely to be last early in this mid-sized field, his best chance will be to swoop by them all on the outside in the late stages. The faster and more contested the early pace, the better for this 5-year-old son of Arch. He is one of the most likely ones to be there at the wire.

Starship Jubilee

It’s always interesting to see a really good female take on the boys, and this is a very good female. In a year when the Woodbine Mile lacks a strong international presence, this seems to be the time for her to take a shot in what would be the biggest win in her illustrious career. She should sit a good stalking trip and have every chance to strike at the top of the lane. Is she good enough to beat all the boys? I’m not sure, but she definitely is in this one with a real chance.

Value Proposition

It seems like you cannot have a big turf race these days with the presence of trainer Chad Brown, and Saturday will be no different. This one is a lesser-known and lightly raced colt, but undoubtedly the talent is there. After winning two of three in his sophomore season, he has returned with two solid runs at a mile to begin his 4-year-old season. His return win was sharp, and then in the Poker (G3), he ran into some trouble while finishing third. He will need to improve to win this but certainly is eligible to do just that in his third race off the layoff.

Shirl’s Speight

Deciding on Shirl’s Speight in the Woodbine Mile boils down to whether you believe he is just another talented 3-year-old to come down the pike or is he rather something very special. I actually lean to the latter. Remember they tried to get him into the Kentucky Derby in his third career start before a cough ended that dream. He’s trained by one of the all-time greats in Canada, and I believe Roger Attfield would not be pointing him so high unless he knew he had something very good. Bred to be a good one, he continues to work lights out since scoring an easy stakes win in only his second start. Clearly that debut performance on the Woodbine turf was eye-catching. This is an awfully big ask of such an inexperienced colt, but I think he might just be up to the challenge.

Admiralty Pier

Was quick to pack it in last year in the Woodbine Mile at odds of more than 100-1. This year, he looks to be a better horse, but whether he can jump up and win a race like this remains a big question. It looks pretty likely that he will be the one setting the early pace, but my guess is there will be enough early pressure to make his task a little too tough.

Olympic Runner

The longshot of the trio trained by Mark Casse, he has been knocking heads with salty sprinters of late. While he has not been on the lead in those races, he might well be closer to the pace on Saturday as he stretches out to a mile. His narrow loss last time against Pink Lloyd demonstrates his sharp form, making him the most interesting of the three longshots.

Armistice Day

The outsider in the field, he has won only once in seven tries on the grass, and obviously that came against a much cheaper level of a class than he will see in the Woodbine Mile. I find him hard to recommend in this spot.

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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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