Photo via Americas Best Racing
It's the most significant week of racing here at Aqueduct Park. The meet's highlight takes place this weekend, the Woodward ( a final prep race before the Breeders Cup) and the Champagne Stakes ( A possible early look at some of the 2023 Kentucky Derby Runners. Unfortunately, a small field of five faces to run in this year's Woodward Stakes with the favorite Life is Good is set to run on a gloomy and stormy afternoon in New York City, which could pose problems for some horses. Here's a look at the field for the 2022 Woodward Stakes and your best bets guide presented by Emmitt Davis
Life is Good
Todd Pletcher's G1 Breeders Cup Dirt Mile winner Life is Good looks to run one more time before he races in his second Breeders Cup this November at Keenland Park. The Whitney winner comes into the Woodward with three wins in his four-season starts, with a win in the G1 Pegasus World Cup, where he won by 3 1/4 lengths over co-favorite Knicks Go. Now Life is Good faces off against other horses who haven't done anything this season and leads the field at 1-5 odds. So, the Woodward shouldn't be a problem for him as he has consistently proven that he is one of the best racehorses racing right now. I have Life is good, winning the Woodward with ease and by more than five lengths.
Rob Atras looks to run his FanDuel Tapit Stakes winner Law Professor in the Woodward Stakes, hoping to see a second win from his trainee. Law Professor comes into the Woodward fresh off a win on September 1st in the FanDuel Tapit Stakes at Kentucky Downs but hasn't done anything worth noting other than that. The Twin Creeks Racing Stables horse took a four-month break taking the summer off this season after a horrible ninth-place finish in the Oaklawn Mile Stakes. So now Law Professor enters the program at 10-1 odds which is why Id stay away from placing a wager on this horse for winning the Woodward. However, place, Show, Trifecta, and Superfecta bets id consider when betting on Law Professor.
Photo Via Americas Best Racing
Thomas Shelby looks to win the first ever stakes race of his life as he takes on the field of five for the Woodward. The David Jacobson trainee won his most recent race, an allowance optional claiming at Monmouth Park, but has struggled in all of his stakes races starts. This summer, Thomas Shelby raced at Horseshoe Indianapolis in the Michael G. Schaefer Memorial Stakes, an ungraded stakes race, where he finished in seventh place. However, that's not his only poor performance this year, as he finished fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Okaklawn and fourth place in the Grade three Essex Handicap. I would avoid betting on him in the Woodward as the field is much better than him in this race.
The second Todd Pletcher trainee in the small field of five looks to grab his first graded stakes win since his 2020 first-place finishes in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. Keepmeinmind sits at six-one odds after he finished fifth in the Grad 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes, won by Olympiad, on the first week of September. Now Keepmeinmind has just started the season as he took the winter, spring, and summer off before taking on the fall meeting, as he won his opening race, an Allowance, at Saratoga. That said, we could see a good run by the Todd Pletcher Trainee, but I don't think he can overtake his fellow trainee, Life is good, in the Woodward Stakes.
Flight Line opens as the favorite for the Woodward
Dexter Haddock's Informative looks to keep his winning streak going as he sits last in the program at 12-1. Informative spent most of his season at Belmont Park and Monmouth Park this summer, racing in four graded stakes races, including a run in the Hill n Dale Metropolitan Handicap, where he finished in fifth. However, this season Dexter Haddock's Informative won his most recent start at Monmouth Park in the Grade Three Phillip H Iselin Stakes. Informative also had a third-place finish in the Grade Three Monmouth Cup Stakes and a fifth-place finish in the Grade Three Westchester Stakes. So do I think informative has a shot of winning the Woodward? Unfortunately, no. But for the price of 12-1, he is an excellent possible option for being a high payout longshot.
So there you have it, the 2022 Woodward Stakes, the co highlight of the Belmont at the Big A Fall Meet. Sure, the tiny field sucks, but it should be a great race even if the weather doesn't play out as it's supposed to rain for the whole day. I've backed Life is Good for the entire article, and I will support him winning the Woodward even if the track isn't Fast and Firm. So here are my final bets for the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes.
WPS- Life is Good
S- Thomas Shelby
Trifecta- 1 5 3
Best of luck to all, and for anyone in attendance, like I will be, bring an umbrella should it be a rainy and cold afternoon. Be on the lookout for some of our next upcoming stakes preview, the Chillingworth Stakes, which is set to be out this Saturday. So stay safe, everyone, and good luck!