Woodbine plays host to the Grade III Bessarabian Stakes on Saturday, which includes the well-backed Our Secret Agent and Gidgetta.
Horse racing betting markets have the pair one-two in the betting, but it’s an open contest with many winning chances.
Favorite Seeks Consecutive Wins
Our Secret Agent scored a classy win in the Grade III Hendrie Stakes at Woodbine last start, which should be a good form guide.
The 4-year-old filly by Secret Circle hadn’t won from her first 11 starts, but that’s not to say she wasn’t a class act. She placed in the Duchess Stakes before running third in the Bessarabian Stakes last year.
There is no disgrace in running third behind Artie’s Princess and Boardroom, and that form was franked with a placing in the Grade II Nassau Stakes.
The overdue win last start came by 3½ lengths with jockey Kazushi Kimura in the saddle.
“Today, it seemed like there were not too many closers, just the one (Amalfi Coast) from Kevin (trainer, Attard),” Kimura told Bloodhorse. “That’s why I just stayed with him, and it was as easy win. It was a great race. I just wanted to sit second and just try and stay steady.
“That was pretty comfortable for her. When I came from the corner, she exploded and that was an easy win.”
The ease of the win is a good sign, which is why the sportsbook has her at 2-1 in betting.
Owens Confident With Juxtapose
The betting suggests Juxtapose won’t be a threat, but the Steven Owens-trained mare is always around the mark.
She already owns two wins this year, and with a good trip, she could pose a threat at double-figure odds.
“Juxtapose, she’s a nice little filly who tries hard every race,” praised Owens. “She’s a little difficult to train, but she gives 110 percent every time we take her out there in the afternoon.
“She’s always been a very consistent horse. She’s very aggressive in the morning, but she’s all business when the gate opens.”
“Juxtapose, she’s a nice little filly who tries hard every race… she gives 110 percent every time we take her out there in the afternoon.” – Trainer Steve Owens on his Grade 2 Bessarabian Stakes hopeful. Preview here: https://t.co/fuCG3OmYJS pic.twitter.com/4MnNtwmdWh
— Woodbine Communications (@WoodbineComms) November 11, 2021
We are surprised that betting online markets have her at 20-1, but bettors can lock in the value. She will likely land on the speed and look to hold off the talented Bessarabian Stakes field.
Gidgetta Brings Strong U.S. Form
The daughter of Fast Anna owns two wins and three placings from eight starts, with all but one run coming at Santa Anita.
We expect Californian form to stack up nicely at Woodbine, and her win at allowance level last start was a step in the right direction.
She didn’t handle the level of opposition when running sixth in the Wilshire Stakes at Santa Anita. That came behind Warren’s Showtime over the mile, so she is better suited to conditions in the $150,000 feature.
We wouldn’t be overlooking Gidgetta’s chances of success, so include her in Bessarabian Stakes selections.
Skygaze Headlines Maple Leaf
Another feature race on the Woodbine card is the Maple Leaf Stakes, where Skygaze should be the runner to beat.
The 4-year-old filly by American Pharoah started her career with a third placing in the Mazarine Stakes at Woodbine before placing at allowance level at Fair Grounds.
Her first win came in September when taking out the Belle Mahone on this track. She backed it up with a second placing in the Grade III Ontario Matron behind Art of Almost, so her form checks out.
Most of the early betting moves have come for the Mark Casse-trained filly, who could have the class edge over this field.
Stablemates Art of Almost, Crystal Glacier and Broadway Lady haven’t been as strongly backed, but all four runners have a legitimate chance of taking out the Maple Leaf Stakes.