It might be as simple as singling Wonder Gadot and playing a Pick 5 around the Queen’s Plate winner–who will be odds on to win her second Canadian classic when she starts in the Prince of Wales Stakes today at Fort Erie–because I’m singling elsewhere.
The 20-cent Pick 5 begins with race 5 at 6:05 p.m. EDT and includes the $400,000 Prince of Wales Stakes, which is race 8 on the 9-race card that begins at 4:10p ET. In addition to the Pick 5, there are Pick 4s on races 2 and 6 plus rolling doubles and Pick 3s. Post time for the Prince of Wales is 7:38.
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Coming off a scintillating effort in winning the Queen’s Plate on June 30 at Woodbine, Wonder Gadot is the 7-to-5 favorite to defeat her five Prince of Wales rivals, and if I actually thought she’d be anywhere near even money in the Pick 5 pool then I’d single her and take my chances, but this is a pari-mutuel game, and my read on the competition is that it is more likely to single her and go deeper elsewhere. She’ll be no higher than 3-to-5 in the win pool and could have at least 75% of the Pick 5 pool through her.
So I’ll go deeper in the Prince of Wales and hope to be in a spot to pull for an upset. I.e., I think the key to making this Pick 5 pay big is beating Wonder Gadot—not middling upsets elsewhere.
But beating Wonder Gadot won’t be enough. I also have to get Race 5—first leg of the Pick 5—right. Yes, I have to get them all right, but especially this one-mile turf affair for $6,250 claimers because I’m singling a non morning line favorite in #3 Smooth Passage, who reunites with Krista Carignan after breaking slowly under Pierre Mailhot last time. The former is a 20% turf rider while the latter is just 10% on the sod, and Smooth Passage – Carignan are 1-for-1 together on the turf. A better break, and Smooth Passage can win this gate-to-wire considering “E” types win at a 20% clip going long on the Fort Erie turf.
Smooth Passage is my Pick 5 single and worth a bet at his morning line price of 7-to-2.
As for the rest of the way, I’m using all the logicals so nothing too cagey or crazy except to point out that #6 Ciminio doesn’t have to win the nightcap at 9-to-5 morning line. There’s some decent zip in here, and #2 Cepelinas can make things interesting late getting a weight break with apprentice Daisuke Fukumoto up, dropping in class, and drawing inside for the first time in awhile.
As for the Prince of Wales, there are some things that auger improvement on others that could make the difference against Wonder Gadot.
The two finishers behind her in the Queen’s Plate (see below for a race replay)–#5 Aheadbyacentury and #3 Cooler Mike—are both making their dirt debuts in the Prince of Wales, and both of their pedigrees have good numbers with their dirt starters. #4 Home Base is the quickest of the alternatives, but his best number came sprinting. Another negative is the dam’s progeny is winless in 6 dirt route starts, BUT a mitigating positive factor is Home Base is a gate-to-wire threat under Joe Rocco Jr.
I’ll post my grid once scratches are up, but for now here’s the preliminary Pick 5 ticket:
Race 5, 20-cent Pick 5 part wheel… 3 with 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 with 1, 4, 7, 9 with 1, 3, 4, 5 with 2, 6, 7 ($48)