We have entered this season’s final week of (big handicap division) competition at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York, as the horse racing world gears up for the $600,000 Woodward Stakes 2016. This Grade 1 race features a field of nine of the world’s best thoroughbreds (three-years-old and up), highlighted by top contender and futures odds favorite, Frosted, who’s sure to be atop everyone’s predictions list and with good reason.
The road to the 2016 Breeders’ Cup continues with the Woodward Stakes, scheduled for Saturday evening at 5:46 p.m. ET (Race #10), and here’s some additional key information. Horse racing bettors should note that the distance in this year’s race will be 1 1⁄8 miles (9 furlongs) on a dirt surface, and the weight qualifications are set at weight-for-age.
2016 Woodward Stakes’ Top Contenders
Frosted (3/5): The last time Frosted went 9 furlongs at Saratoga Race Course it resulted in a huge victory for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and Godolphin Racing LLC. With a winning time of 1:47.77, the son of Tapit captured the Whitney Handicap (G1) last month and comes into the Woodward Stakes riding a huge wave of momentum. That win not only played a huge role into becoming a landslide favorite to win Saturday’s race, but it also made it two in a row for the Metropolitan Handicap (Met Mile-G1) champion. The 4-year-old colt drew post position number three, weighed in at 124 pounds and will have jockey Joel Rosario on mount.
Mubtaahij (5/1): Hailing all the way from Ireland, Mubtaahij comes in as a projected runner-up, which has to make trainer, Kiaran McLaughlin smile as he’s destined for a great event. However, it’s worth noting that at 5/1, the son of Dubawi isn’t exactly expected to give Frosted any sort of trouble. As a matter of fact, the Essafinaat product has yet to prove that he can win on American soil, as his four career wins have all taken place overseas (Meydan in Dubai, UAE). Nevertheless, some would say this four-year-old colt is inching closer to erasing that stigma, as he’s coming off a third-place finish in July’s Suburban Handicap (G2) behind Effinex and Samraat, respectively. Mubtaahij drew post position number nine, weighed in at 118 pounds and will be teaming up with jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. in this one.
Bradester (6/1): Listed with the third best horse racing futures odds at 6/1 is Bradester, one of the most battle-tested and successful thoroughbreds in the 2016 Woodward Stakes field. Trained by Eddie Kenneally, this six-year-old horse from Kentucky is undefeated in 2016. To the delight of Joseph W. Sutton, the son of Lion Heart is 3-0 this year, and riding the momentum of victories at the Majestic Light, Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) and Monmouth Cup (G2). With that said, Bradester has to prove he can conquer this track, as his only start at Saratoga resulted in a second-place effort at an AlwOC in 2013. He weighed in at 122 pounds and will be sprinting out of post position number four with jockey Joe Bravo controlling the pace on mount.
- 2016 Woodward Stakes Predictions: Frosted (3/5)
Woodward Stakes 2016 Post Positions, Contenders & Futures Odds
- Shaman Ghost: 12/1
- Breaking Lucky: 20/1
- Frosted: 3/5
- Bradester: 6/1
- Catholic Cowboy: 50/1
- Samraat: 10/1
- Tale of Verve: 20/1
- Tapin Mojo: 50/1
- Mubtaahij: 5/1