Woodbine: How to bet the E. P. Taylor Stakes
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.
$6 exacta: 4 with 1,3,7 ($18)
$2 trifecta: 4 with 1,3,7 with 1,3,7 ($12)