Weekend Stakes Preview 7/9

Saturday features four preps for Arlington Million Day

Arlington Park’s signature event, the Arlington Million is coming up next month and Saturday is the final chance for local hopefuls to prep for the slough of stakes that day. The Grade 3 Arlington Handicap is the main prep for the Million and drew a very talented field including Grade 1 winner Up With the Birds and the popular The Pizza Man. Up With the Birds was fourth in the Arlington Million last year and is coming off a third place finish in the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes at Pimlico. He scored his biggest career win taking home top honors in the Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap. The Pizza Man has dominated at Arlington Park over the years, compiling 8 wins from 11 starts at the Chicago oval. Last year he won the $400,000 American St. Leger Stakes on Million Day and figures to be a solid favorite in this spot. Veteran Yankee Dealer will take a shot up in class as he’s been winning optional claiming events on the grass in recent starts. But he’s very consistent and could get up for a piece of the pie at a price. Bill Mott will send out recent Monmouth Stakes winner Triple Threat who won his first start in the States at the Jersey Shore last time out.

The Grade 3 American Derby serves as a prep for next month’s Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes for three year olds. World Approval comes out of a pair of losses to Divisidero who has turned into an extremely talented three year old turfer. World Approval was third in the Grade 2 American Turf two starts back and last time finished fourth in the $200,000 Pennine Ridge Stakes at Belmont. He’ll make his Arlington debut on Saturday but figures a big shot in the American Derby. Firespike has been keeping solid company recently as he comes out of the Grade 2 American Turf as well where he ran a dull seventh. Prior to that he was third in the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes at Turfway. He should appreciate the slight drop in class and should be running late.

The Modesty Handicap on Saturday is the prep for the Grade 1 Beverly D. at Arlington Park next month. The Modest drew a field of ten including multiple graded stakes winner Riposte. Riposte drew the far outside and is coming off one of his worst recent efforts, a seventh place finish in the Grade 2 New York at Belmont. He’s at his best on or near the lead so with that outside draw he might very well be put into the race earlier to save ground under jockey Jose Lezcano. The Grade 3 Stars N Stripes features eleven runners including The Pizza Man who is cross entered in the Arlington Handicap. He stands out in the group but if he doesn’t go give Xtra Luck an extra look as he’s coming off a good win in the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap. Selections for the Arlington Handicap

  1. The Pizza Man
  2. Up With the Birds
  3. Quiet Force

Longshot: Triple Threat Selections for the American Derby

  1. World Approval
  2. Firespike
  3. Raagheb

Longshot: Crittenden Selections for the Modesty Handicap

  1. Lot’s O Lex
  2. Riposte
  3. Overheard

Longshot: Walk Close Selections for the Stars N Stripes

  1. The Pizza Man
  2. Xtra Luck
  3. For Greater Glory

Longshot: Yankee Dealer

$200,000 Great Lady M Stakes tops Los Alamitos Thoroughbred Saturday

Grade 1 winner Warren’s Veneda will take on the undefeated Sunday Rules in the $200,000 Great Lady M Stakes at Los Alamitos on Saturday. Warren’s Veneda will shorten back to a sprint distance after a good second place finish behind Beholder in the Grade 3 Adoration Stakes. She won the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Invitational earlier this year and has been in great form since December. But she’ll have to beat Sunday Rules who has been perfect in five starts. Sunday Rules has been in front at every point of call in her five race career and has crushed all her rivals. This will be her toughest test but if she can shake free early again she will be tough. Fantastic Style who has drawn to her outside has very good early speed and has been in front at first call of all five of her career starts, so she could be the one to really push Sunday Rules and set it up for a closer. Selections for the Great Lady M.

  1. Warren’s Veneda
  2. Sunday Rules
  3. Clearly Confused

Longshot: Living The Life

Big field assembled for the Grade 3 Parx Dash

If you like turf sprint action then the $200,000 Grade 3 Parx Dash will be right up your alley. Eleven runners are entered in the five furlong event including Ben’s Cat. Ben’s Cat won this race last year by a nose over Tightend Touchdown who he’ll have to face once again. At age 9, Ben’s Cat continues to run big races on the grass and most recently finished second beaten a nose in the Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup. Amelia’s Wild Ride beat Ben’s Cat that day at Penn National and comes to Parx for the first time in his career. He likes to be just off the pace and from the ten hole he’ll be able to see what those inside of him are doing as they rush towards the turn. Bold Thunder drew the rail which for him might not be too bad as he likes to gun for the lead. If he can get clear he’ll be tough but if he doesn’t get to the lead and gets shuffled back then it will be curtains for him. Elvis Trujillo will ride Power Alert who has produced some nice wins over some of these rivals in recent starts. Selections for the Parx Dash

  1. Bold Thunder
  2. Ben’s Cat
  3. Power Alert

Longshot: Stormy Rocit

Forbidden Apple Stakes is Belmont weekend feature

With Saratoga quickly approaching, the action at Belmont is winding down with the $150,000 Forbidden Apple Stakes for older turf milers headlining the weekend. Reload comes into the race on a three race winning streak, however only one of those comes in 2015 as he was on the shelf for quite a while. The comeback was magnificent though as the Shug McGaughey trainee scored with ease by two and a half lengths. He’ll have to tango with some very tough older runners though like Wicked Strong, Vyjack and King Kreesa. Wicked Strong is a Grade 1 winner on dirt and will try the grass for the first time as his connections try to re-ignite his career. He was fifth in the Met Mile last time out so the class relief and the surface switch might be what shakes him back into form. Vyjack was barely beat last time out by King Kreesa in the Poker Handicap. King Kreesa will be out on the lead and if he can shake loose he’s always dangerous. Vyjack was trying the turf for the first time in the Poker Stakes and he ran a very good second. He could improve once again in his second start on grass and should be a major player in the Forbidden Apple Stakes. Selections for the Forbidden Apple Stakes

  1. King Kreesa
  2. Reload
  3. Vyjack

Longshot: Grand Arch

Saturday Stakes Action at

Arapahoe Park

Race 7                  CTBA Lassie Stakes                   5:30pm EST

Race 8                  Rocky Mountain Derby               5:55pm EST

Arlington Park

Race 5                  American Derby                        4:19pm EST

Race 6                  Arlington Handicap                    4:50pm EST

Race 7                  Modesty Handicap                    5:21pm EST

Race 8                  Stars N Stripes Handicap            5:52pm EST

Belmont Park

Race 9                  Forbidden Apple Stakes             5:28pm EST

Canterbury Park

Race 8                  Lady Canterbury Stakes             5:17pm EST

Race 9                  Mystic Lake Mile                        5:47pm EST

Delta Downs

Race 4                  Live Oak Stakes                        8:30pm EST

Race 5                  Flying Breed Stakes                   8:55pm EST

Race 6                  Louisiana Juvenile Stakes           9:20pm EST

Race 7                  Flashy Hemp Stakes                     9:45pm EST

Race 8                  Delta Downs Derby                   10:10pm EST

Race 9                  Louisiana Classic Stakes              10:35pm EST

Race 10       Lee Berwick Futurity                          11:00pm EST


Race 8                  D.S. Shine Futurity                   9:49pm EST

Race 9                  D.S. Shine Futurity                   10:16pm EST

Lone Star

Race 4                  TTA Sales Futurity                    8:59pm EST

Race 6                  Valor Farm Stakes                     9:55pm EST

Race 8                  Assault Stakes                          10:51pm EST

Race 9                  TTA Sales Futurity                    11:19pm EST

Los Alamitos TB

Race 8                  Great Lady M Stakes                 8:43pm EST

Monmouth Park

Race 11       Long Branch Stakes                           5:43pm EST


Race 8                  Parx Dash Handicap                   4:04pm EST

Prairie Meadows

Race 7                  Iowa Stallion Stakes                     10:11pm EST

Race 8                  Iowa Stallion Filly Stakes            10:37pm EST


Race 4                  Ca. Governor’s Cup                            5:45pm EST


Race 8                  Passing Mood Stakes                 4:37pm EST






Leave a Reply