2021 Woodward Stakes Free Picks

Breeders’ Cup season is around the corner, and some of the best in the handicap division will be preparing in the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes on Saturday, October 2 at Belmont Park. The horse race betting event offers a $500,000 purse and covers a mile and an eighth over Belmont Park’s sweeping main track.

The 2021 Woodward Stakes drew a field of six runners, including many of the major East Coast contenders for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Woodward Stakes winners who have also won the Breeders’ Cup Classic in the same year include Gun Runner (2017), Saint Liam (2005), Ghostzapper (2004), Cigar (1995), and Alysheba (1988). Curlin and Skip Away also won both races, though in different years.

Where to Bet the Woodward Stakes

When trying to have a profitable weekend at the races, handicapping the Woodward Stakes well matters. But, it matters just as much where you bet the Woodward Stakes online. Our betting experts can help you choose the right place to bet the race. They have reviewed many online betting sites and found the best sportsbooks for playing the races.

Our experts can help you find ones with smooth user interfaces, trusted deposit and cash-out features, and the best odds. Sportsbooks are also offering great incentives for playing the Woodward Stakes, including sign-up bonuses, deposit bonuses, and horse racing rebates.

It is worth it to take time to learn about the best online sportsbooks since different ones offer incentives that suit different betting styles. Choose the ones that are right for you, make your account, and place your bets with confidence!

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Woodward Stakes Horses and Odds

This is the official field for the 2021 Woodward Stakes including post positions, trainers, and jockeys:

  1. Dr Post (Todd Pletcher/Irad Ortiz)
  2. Maxfield (Brendan Walsh/Jose Ortiz)
  3. Art Collector (Bill Mott/Luis Saez)
  4. Mo Gotcha (Naipaul Chatterpaul/Jalon Samuel)
  5. Code of Honor (Shug McGaughey/Paco Lopez)
  6. Forza Di Oro (Bill Mott/Junior Alvarado)

Leading into the race, compare top online sportsbooks to find the best odds on the field for the Woodward Stakes. Make sure to watch the odds at each site where you register, and then be ready to place your bet when you see an overlay on the horse you think will win the race! Then, get ready to watch the race and root your selection home.

Free Woodward Stakes Picks

Now that you know how to find the best places to play the race, let’s get to know the best horses in the 2021 Woodward Stakes.

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Woodward Stakes Handicapping

Even with a field of only six horses, the pace should be sharp. #4 Mo Gotcha, a longshot who has yet to prove himself against graded company, wired a seven-furlong race recently and should have the early speed to vie for the lead. It is difficult to imagine that he remains a factor late, but should ensure some early gas.

#6 Forza Di Oro is another who has yet to prove himself against the very best, though he is more lightly-raced and has a bit more upside than Mo Gotcha. He also has a better post; the outside gate should help the Bill Mott trainee work an outside pressing trip. He has excellent form at Belmont, and should be able to handle the one-turn mile well.

#3 Art Collector should be able to sit just off of those. He may not be quite as fast as Mo Gotcha and Forza Di Oro early, but he can win races from a stalking place as well. He is well proven at a mile and an eighth, and though going that long over a one-turn configuration is new, he is an extended one-turn winner going seven furlongs. And, he keeps his rider Luis Saez, who has been riding hotter in 2021 than perhaps any other jockey in America.

#2 Code of Honor should also be fairly close to the pace, though not too close to get burned up in a battle. Though much of his career has shown him flashing home from well off the pace, a switch to aggressive jockey Paco Lopez for the Iselin (G3) at Monmouth last out showed a refreshingly tactical new dimension.  Code of Honor already has a lot of strong form over the Belmont course, and should prove one of the toughest horses in this race.

#2 Maxfield has been versatile pace-wise through his entire career, though newly-added blinkers may keep him closer to the pace than he has been in most of his races. Tactical speed does play well at Belmont, however, and Maxfield has been able to take his good races anywhere he goes. A mile and an eighth may be near his distance limit, but he won the Stephen Foster (G2) well enough to suggest he can stay it.

#1 Dr Post rounds out the field. He tends to rally from midpack or further back when facing good horses such as these. That isn’t typically the best style at Belmont, though, and his form over the course is hit-or-miss. He also still has to prove that he can hold his own against top-quality older horses such as these. There is an outside chance that he could find the exotics if other horses run below their best, but that seems the ceiling.

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Woodward Stakes Free Picks

Now that you know where and how to bet the race online, here are the best bets for Sunday’s 2021 Woodward Stakes:

  • $20 to win – #5 Code of Honor
  • $1 exacta box –  #5 Code of Honor and #3 Art Collector
  • $0.50 trifecta key – #5 Code of Honor with #3 Art Collector, #6 Forza Di Oro, and #2 Maxfield
Tonya Holms

Tonya has been working in the horse racing industry for nearly two decades, moving up from groom to horse owner, to marketing and media. She learned the tricks of handicapping while working in horse racing broadcasting both in the United States and Canada. In her spare time, she loves to read and take care of the farm animals: sheep, goats, ducks, and chickens.