Horse Racing Picks: Woodbine Mile Preview and Betting Picks

Horse Racing Picks: Woodbine Mile Preview and Betting Picks

A $1 million Grade 1 race is finally upon us as the Ricoh Woodbine Mile Stakes takes place this weekend with 11 runners confirmed as entered.

One of the marquee races of the year, with the winner guaranteed entry into the Breeder's Cup Mile later this year, we'll see some of the best horses over this 1-mile distance in the world compete with each other for the big purse and the honor of going down in history.

We'll preview the field for you and break down each runner before giving you our best free horse racing picks for the event to see if we can earn you some extra cash this weekend.

Woodbine MileBetUS
Mighty Heart+2000
Finest Sound+1000
Modern Games+140
Shirl's Speight+1200
Homer Screen+1000
Get Smokin+1000
War Bomber+2000
Town Cruise+2000
March to the Arch+1200

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Woodbine Mile 2022 Information

  • Saturday, September 17, 2022
  • Woodbine race track
  • 5:35 pm local time
  • 3 y/o's and up
  • 1-mile turf race
  • $1,000,000 purse

The Field

1 - Mighty Heart (ON)

Mighty Heart stole the hearts of many race fans when the one-eyed stud won the Queen's Plate and Prince of Wales Stakes in 2020 before falling just short of the Canadian Triple Crown at the Breeders' Cup.

It's going to be hard to back him, though, because he's winless in four starts in 2022, and he's finished in fifth or worse in each of his last three starts on grass. His jockey, Justin Stein, has had success in this race before back in 2020, but he would need a miracle to be able to get a win again on this horse.

Horse racing picks - AVOID

2 - Ivar (BRZ)

Ivar finished third in the 2021 Breeders' Cup, an improvement from his fourth-place finish in the same race in 2020. But since May 2020, when he came to the USA, he's made just nine starts and suffered injuries but has made a name for himself as being a real threat for this race.

Trainer Paulo Lobo will no doubt ensure he's in tip-top condition to give him the best chance of winning, and if he runs to his best, he is definitely a real contender for taking the prize money.

Ivar To win the 2022 Woodbine Mile

Check out our review for BetUS sports betting here.

3 - Wakanaka (IRE)

A wonderful filly, Wakanaka could be a surprise contender for the win here.

The way she runs is by keeping close to the pack before turning up the heat late on and battling for the lead, which could be an ideal strategy in a race that is bound to be full of top, top horses. Trainer Bill Mott won this race in 1997, and owners Team Valor and Gary Barber won it in 2006, so there is an experience on her side, but it feels like the level may be too high for her on this occasion.

Horse racing picks - AVOID

4 - Finest Sound (IRE)

Finest Sound is a fine horse with good speed and a consistent record, but he's never won a career stakes race, and that is highly unlikely to change here.

He has finished in the top three in 15 of 20-lifetime races, including a second place last month in his last outing, but without that top-level experience of getting over the line first, it's impossible to back him in such a stacked race. Maybe an each-way bet would be worthwhile, but I'd avoid it.

Horse racing picks - AVOID

5 - Modern Games (IRE)

My favorite to win this race comes from the Godolphin camp, as Modern Games looks to make a name for himself Stateside.

He won the Emirates Poule d'Essai des Poulains in June and then finished as runner-up to the unbeaten Baaeed in the Qatar Sussex Stakes in July, showing the level he is capable of running at.

Ridden by William Buick, this whole crew will be looking for their first success in the Woodbine Mile, and Modern Games is the perfect horse to get it done. Expect a strong run throughout and a top-three finish as a minimum.

Modern Games To win the 2022 Woodbine Mile

6 - Shirl's Speight (KY)

We'll keep this one short and sweet.

Speight enters the race off a fifth-place finish, and his last three races have been a shadow of the level we know the horse can run at. At five years old, maybe he's coming to the end of his run, but he would need a huge turnaround in performance to be anywhere near the top end of the run here.

Horse racing picks - AVOID

7 - Homer Screen (BRZ)

Dominant back in Brazil, Homer Screen has struggled with the firmer turf down in California, and this race could be a way of helping him unlock some of that potential again.

A long shot, definitely. But coming from a trainer that has won this race three times, there may be some value in backing him for a podium finish on the ground that suits him more.

Homer Screen Top 3 finish

Check out our review for BetOnline sports betting here.

8. Get Smokin (KY), 9. War Bomber (IRE), 10. Town Cruise, 11. March to the Arch

The final four runners don't have much hope in this race either when it comes to actually winning it, but they're worth a mention because if they're running, they could win.

Get Smokin is likely to be one of the pace-setters of the race, but after going winless in five races this season, he's unlikely to be able to hold out for the finish come to the end of the mile.

War Bomber is a talented four-year-old entering his peak, but this is a big step up in class for him. He usually pushes the pace, but against other top horses who will have a similar strategy, he's likely to just fall away down the pecking order unless jockey Sahin Civachi tries something new.

Town Cruise was impressive last year and peaked perfectly to actually win this race in 2021. But since then, we've seen him struggle to recapture that form and most recently finished fifth in the King Edward stakes. He's obviously capable, but while he'll show promise, he'll likely fall as we hit the business end of the race, and anything in the top half of the field will be a positive result for him.

As for March to the Arch, a seven-year-old is simply not winning this race. He hasn't won in 2022, and even at the peak of his race career, he wasn't fast enough to win this one, so it's a stretch to see him doing it this year.