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Race Preview: Natalma & Summer Stakes - Woodbine, September 14, 2013

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Matt Carter

September 14th, 2013

The Woodbine Mile is on Sunday, but there are two stake races on Saturday at the Toronto track that are worth checking out. First up is the Grade 2 Natalma for two-year-old fillies.

Ready to Act is the 5-2 morning line favorite for trainer Chad Brown coming off of a maiden score in a five and one-half furlong race at Saratoga in late July. The daughter of More Than Ready was overlooked on the board, but powered home to win by a half length. A move forward makes her tough, but she is not a slam dunk.

Spring Likeacobra, by Sprint At Last out of the dam Queen Cobra, has a win over the Woodbine turf course and has always been well regarded as the connections started her career off in a stakes race. She, like the favorite, will be doing her best running late.

The pace of the race is a tough one to find as none of the fillies look to be true front-runners. Perhaps Skylander Girl will take the early initiative or perhaps long shot Spanish Flower will go straight to the lead. Whatever the pace, it's going to be a furious drive to the line.

Two races later is the Grade 2 Summer Stakes for the colts and geldings and there looks to be three horses to concentrate on. Asserting Bear and Tropic of Artie come out of a one-two finish in a maiden special weight race over the Woodbine turf course, a race where Asserting Bear was 34-1. No price like that on Saturday; however, as he is the 5-2 morning line favorite. School On a Hill is entered for the Juvenile Turf at Kentucky Downs on Saturday too, but if he goes here he will be tough to beat his first start for trainer Wayne Catalano. Matador may be a fourth contender with improvement off the fourth place finish in his debut over the Polytrack last month.

Post time for the Natalma and start of the late pick-4 is 3:49 pm ET. The Summer Stakes is scheduled to break from the gate at 4:53.
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