Woodbine Mile Predictions, Expert Picks, Odds

Woodbine Mile Odds and Post Position

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2022 Woodbine Mile at Woodbine!

PP Horse TwinSpires Odds Jockey Trainer
1 MIGHTY HEART 20/1

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J Stein J Carroll
2 IVAR 9/2

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J Talao P Lobo
3 WAKANAKA 6/1

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M Franco W Mott
4 FINEST SOUND 8/1

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A Atzeni S Crisford
5 MODERN GAMES 9/5

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W Buick C Appleby
6 SHIRL’S SPEIGHT 10/1

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E Wilson R Attfield
7 HOMER SCREEN 12/1

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J Bravo N Drysdale
8 GET SMOKIN 15/1

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R Hernandez M Casse
9 WAR BOMBER 20/1

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S Civaci N McKnight
10 TOWN CRUISE 15/1

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D Fukumoto B Greer
11 MARCH TO THE ARCH 15/1

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P Husbands M Casse

Woodbine Mile Predictions and Best Bets

Here are my plays ($60 in total)

$10 Exacta Part Wheel – Modern Games over Shirl’s Speight, Ivar and Finest Sound = $30

$5 Exacta Part Box – Modern Games, Shirl’s Speight and Ivar = $30

If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick Modern Games (9/5).

Woodbine Mile Predictions

A good looking winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last fall, Modern Games returns to North America as the one to beat in Saturday’s Grade 1 Woodbine Mile.

The Charlie Appleby-trained Modern Games will be making his first appearance back in the continent since his big victory on the grass at Del Mar last November.

As a 3-year-old, the Dubawi colt has won only once in four starts, but that victory came in the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains in May. The Godolphin homebred may have run his best race yet when second last out to Baaeed in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes.

Chief among his rivals will be the Grade 1 winner Ivar. Imported from Brazil, the two-time Breeders’ Cup Mile runner finished a good third at Del Mar in the race last year.

A winner of half of his 12 lifetime starts, for trainerPaulo Lobo, the 6-year-old son of Agnes Gold comes into Saturday’s test off a track record win in the $100,000 Jonathan Schuster Memorial Stakes at Horseshoe Indianapolis in his first start of the season.

Carrying the flag for the females in the $1 million Woodbine Mile will be the Bill Mott-trained 4-year-old Wakanaka.

A Group 3 winner in Italy last season, the Irish-bred filly scored an impressive win over Woodbine’s E.P Taylor turf course in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly Stakes eight weeks ago.

As a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” race, the Woodbine Mile winner will be receive an all fees paid berth into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile, to be run on November 5 at Keeneland.

Woodbine Mile Predictions and Race Analysis

Modern Games

After a very good juvenile season and a big win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, this son of Dubawi returns to North America to prove that he has become one of the top milers in the world.

His win in a French classic early this year was top notch, but it was his last race which seems to set him apart from the group here. Baaeed is the best turf horse in the world and this young Charlie Appleby runner gave him a very good race in the Grade 1 Sussex.

Saturday’s big race at Woodbine will actually be a drop in class for him. It will be interesting to see if he can run another big race after his huge effort at Goodwood. As consistent as he is, and as well as his trainer does shipping, it seems likely. He is the top pick.

Ivar

This son of Agnes Gold has run numerous big races since coming up from South America a few seasons ago. While it’s true that his big Grade 1 victory came almost two full years ago, he still looks every bit the part of a top notch miler.

In fact, he’s run in the last two editions of the Breeders’ Cup Mile since that Grade 1 win and was beaten by a grand total of 3 1/2-lengths combined. He’s only run once so far in 2022, but his win in Indiana featured his customary strong stretch kick which carried him to victory.

His races have been very spaced out for trainer Paulo Lobo, but he continues to fire. On his best, he is one of the two horses to beat and is very hard to dismiss here.

Wakanaka

This daughter of Power was a nice filly over in Italy and she has proven to be a solid graded stakes filly on this side of the pond. Although it took her five tries to record a stakes win in America, she has kept top company and looks to be on the improve.

She actually found a little bit easier competition last time and made the most of it with a nice win in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly Stakes in July. It also gave her some quality experience over the local turf course.

She’s a threat, but I do not believe any of her races to this point are quite good enough to get the job done against this group of males.

Finest Sound

This son of Exceed and Excel looks to be in career best form for his first trip to North America. While he has yet to record a stakes victory, he has run second in some strong races, including the Group 1 Jebel Hatta in Dubai early this year, as well as the Group 2 Celebration Mile last out at Goodwood.

Trained by Simon Crisford, he’s actually crossed the wire first or second in five of his last six races overseas. One of four Irish-bred horses in the field, he looks to fit with this group from a class perspective as well.

While Modern Games is the one to beat, the other European will be the one with the odds and can be easily included on your tickets.

Shirl’s Speight

This son of Speightstown is a two-time winner on the Woodbine turf early in his career, and a three-time winner this year. One of the victories this year came against a strong field in the Grade 1 Maker’s Mark Mile at Keeneland.

Unfortunately, he has lost three straight since, but back at a flat mile, he might be ready to return to his best. A similar effort to his win at Keeneland, puts him in with a big shot here. With a good trip, he should have the turn of foot to make his presence felt in the Woodbine stretch.

Trained by the master Roger Attfield, I expect him to offer solid value here and will be included in my exotics.

Homer Screen

This one is a little bit of a wildcard of the Woodbine Mile field. Like Ivar, he is a native of Brazil, who found solid success there. Since being imported to the United States, he has run in four stakes races in Southern California.

One last year and three this year, he has been competitive in all, but has not done enough to ever quite look like a winner. Perhaps he will appreciate the new surroundings at Woodbine.

His races in California came against good competition and are certainly not bad, but not quite good enough to endorse his chances against this tough field.

Town Cruise

Last year he pulled off a mild upset by cruising wire-to-wire at odds of 8/1. That alone makes him a threat here, but this edition looks to be even tougher. There will also be more speed for him to contend with this time around.

And finally, his form going in last year was noticeably better than it is this year. He could show improvement third-time off the layoff, but I will be betting against two consecutive wins in the Woodbine Mile for him.

Get Smokin

The first of two from Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse, this speedy son of Get Stormy was a two-time stakes winner in 2021. He has yet to find the winner’s circle in five starts this year, but has been competitive in all four graded stakes he’s run in North America.

It will likely be him and last year’s winner who debate the early pace on Saturday. His recent form is good enough to believe that he can contend in this Grade 1 race, but honestly I would like his chances better if Town Cruise were not in the race.

He is always dangerous with his good early foot, but with other speed in the race, I am looking elsewhere.

March to the Arch

The second from the Casse barn, unlike his stablemate this one will come from well back early. The Live Oak homebred has amassed better than $1.1 million in career earnings and has good history over the Woodbine turf with three stakes wins.

The 7-year-old son of Arch also ran second in the 2020 edition of the Woodbine Mile and was fourth last year. A reliable closer, he could be helped if his stablemate is part of a hot early pace.

He’s always in with a chance, but I’m wondering if his very best days are behind him. I will take a pass on him this time around.

Mighty Heart

This one has made quite a name for himself the past couple of seasons and has the hardware to show for it. Unfortunately, he has not been able to bring his very best this season in four starts. The last three are all decent efforts, but now he will face the toughest test of his career.

He’s also not nearly as proven on the grass as he is on other surfaces. It would be a feel-good story if he could somehow win this, but I do not like his chances. This spot looks a little too tough for the Canadian champion.

War Bomber

This gelded son of War Front has proven to be a nice horse north of the border with a stakes win in each of the last two seasons, including a Grade 3 score in the Seagram Cup last month over Woodbine’s all-weather track.

This race is a big jump up from that one, though, and he would need to bring a career best effort on Saturday to contend. The Irish-bred could be part of the early pace, but I like too many others to give him serious consideration for the win.

How to Watch the Woodbine Mile

Woodbine Mile Race Information
Race Woodbine Mile (Grade 1)
Location Woodbine
Time Saturday, September 17 — 5:35pm Eastern time
How to Watch TVG
Purse $1,000,000

 

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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.

Email: [email protected]

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