Woodbine: How to bet the E. P. Taylor Stakes

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

October 16th, 2020

What do you do when you’re handicapping a Grade 1 turf race and the field contains only one clear frontrunner on paper?The answer depends on the quality of the frontrunner.

In the case of Sunday’s $600,000 E. P. Taylor (G1) at Woodbine, the answer seems pretty straightforward. #4 Theodora B. has elevated her game to a new level since she adopted frontrunning tactics this season, and it’s going to take a big effort for anyone to beat her.

Trained by Michael Dickinson, Theodora B. already boasts a major victory over the course and 1 1/4-mile distance of the E. P. Taylor. Two starts back, the 5-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper shook loose on an easy lead in the Dance Smartly (G2) and dug down deep in the homestretch to defeat #3 Etoile by three-quarters of a length.

Theodora B. proved the effort wasn’t a fluke when she returned to wire the 1 5/16-mile TVG S. at Kentucky Downs, where she defeated Grade 1-placed Mrs. Sippy in a gallant drive to the finish line.

If Theodora B. shakes loose on another uncontested lead in the E. P. Taylor — a distinct possibility — she may prove impossible to catch under jockey Justin Stein.

Etoile and #7 Elizabeth Way, who finished second and third in the Dance Smartly, are logical contenders to round out the exotics. But just as intriguing is #1 Rideforthecause, a daughter of Candy Ride, bred and owned by Sam-Son Farm.

Rideforthecause benefited from a fast pace when she rallied to victory in the 1 1/8-mile Canadian (G2) at Woodbine last month. But the improving 4-year-old was also tons the best down the homestretch and defeated two-time Grade 1 winner Cambier Parc by four lengths.

With just 10 starts under her belt, Rideforthecause still has upside, and it’s possible we haven’t seen her best.

Let’s bet Theodora B. on top in the exacta and trifecta, with Etoile, Elizabeth Way, and Rideforthecause equally underneath. If our perfect combination comes in, we’ll cash for a nice payday.

$6 exacta: 4 with 1,3,7 ($18)
$2 trifecta: 4 with 1,3,7 with 1,3,7 ($12)
Total: $30

Good luck