Colonial Turf Cup on top of huge Saturday at Colonial Downs
Colonial Downs has two huge days of turf stakes during the short Summer season, and Saturday night is the first one as four stakes events will be run including the featured $300,000 Colonial Turf Cup. A field of eight runners have assembled for the Grade 2 event which is carded at a mile and three sixteenths. Air Support was second in this race last season and actually won the Virginia Derby two years ago, so he’s certainly done some of his best work at Colonial Downs. Javier Castellano will ride and Air Support has drawn post 6. Swift Warrior is a multiple Grade 3 winner and had a wide trip on his way to a fifth place finish last time out in the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes at Pimlico. Jose Espinoza will return to ride, as he was not on board in the Dixie but did ride for Swift Warrior’s previous two efforts, both wins. Atigun will take money like he always does and deservedly so as he’s now put forth two really solid turf tries in his last two starts, with a win against allowance rivals and a second in the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap. Julian Leparoux will ship in to ride Atigun.
The Grade 3 All Along is for older fillies and mares and headlines the undercard, with a small but select field to go the mile and one eighth. Todd Pletcher will send out Channel Lady and should could be a big favorite in this spot. She’s lightly raced and already a Grade 3 winner, and was beaten by two of the top fillies in the land in both her last starts, Centre Court and Stephanie’s Kitten. Grade 2 winner Hudson Steele returns off a long layoff in the Da Hoss Stakes while Saintly Love will look to make it five in a row in the Old Nelson Handicap, a race for older runners who have started for $25k or less.
Colonial Downs will have a special first post time of 5pm EST on Saturday.
BetPTC.com Selections for the Colonial Turf Cup
- Air Support
- Swift Warrior
BetPTC.com Selections for the All Along Stakes
- Channel Lady
- Appealing Cat
Longshot: Welcome Dance
BetPTC.com Selections for the Da Hoss Stakes
- Change of Command
- Action Andy
- Hudson Steele
Longshot: Powder Mountain
BetPTC.com Selections for the Old Nelson Handicap
- Saintly Love
- Target Sighted
- Livingston Street
Longshot: Julius Geezer
Victoria Stakes part of another big weekend at Woodbine
The $150,000 Victoria Stakes is the Saturday headliner at Woodbine and Sunday it will be the $200,000 King Edward Stakes on the grass. The Victoria Stakes is at five furlongs for the two year olds that includes a few maiden winners and a few first time starters as well. No Fruit Degroote was an impressive maiden breaker at Delaware Park in his debut and ships up north for his second career start. Bold N Golden broke his maiden at Woodbine against state bred maiden special weights and did so by coming from off the pace, which showed some maturity for a first time starter. An intriguing horse with experience could be Irish Media who was third in an open maiden event at Woodbine. Conquest Whiplash figures to get a lot of attention, even though he’s a first time starter. Top trainer Mark Casse sends out this $370,000 auction purchase and Casse is a decent 13% with firsters.
BetPTC.com Selections for the Victoria Stakes
- Conquest Whiplash
- Irish Media
- Bold N Golden
Longshot: Ba Ba Brett
Cal Fair Season gets underway with Pleasanton racing
Racing in Northern California takes on a nomadic feel for the next few months, as the popular California Fair circuit is underway. First up is Pleasanton which opens up on Thursday and will race on a Thursday through Sunday schedule through July 7th. Then it’s on to Sacramento for the Cal Expo meet which goes from July 12th to the 21st. The popular Santa Rosa Fair gets underway on July 26th and goes for three weekends, and features turf racing as well as a couple of quality stakes races. Ferndale runs from August 11th to August 25th and then it’s Stockton’s turn from September 20th to September 29th. The Big Fresno Fair will wrap up the fair season with a two week meet that runs from October 3rd to October 14th.
The featured stake event on Saturday at Pleasanton is the $50,000 California Wine Stakes for three year old fillies at six furlongs. Jerry Hollendorfer will send out Let Faith Arise who will get the services of Russell Baze in the irons. Let Faith Arise is coming off a huge win against allowance optional claimers at Golden Gate Fields. Marks Mine looks like the speed of the speed from down in the number two post and if he can relax under Frank Alvarado he could be tough.
BetPTC.com Selections for the California Wine
- Marks Mine
- Let Faith Arise
- Special Summer
Longshot: Tribal Gal
Hollywood Oaks leads So. Cal Saturday at Hollywood
The $150,000 Hollywood Oaks is the feature in Southern California on Saturday afternoon at Hollywood Park. Just five runners will contest and three of the five are stakes winners, including Ciao Bella Luna who won the Grade 2 Beaumont at Keeneland two starts back over a synthetic surface. Doinghardtimeagain was dominant in the Melair Stakes last time out on Gold Rush Day at Hollywood Park. Doinghardtimeagain has good tactical speed which could help her in a race that on paper doesn’t have much speed. Don’t be surprised if Ondine goes for the lead from the outside gate under Martin Garcia as she’s inexperienced against Stakes company and might be best if unopposed.
BetPTC.com Selections for the Hollywood Oaks
- Ciao Bella Luna
Saturday Stakes Action at BetPTC.com
Betfair Hollywood Park
Race 3 Hollywood Oaks 5:01pm EST
Race 9 JJ’s Dream Stakes 4:26pm EST
Race 10 Frank Gomez Memorial 4:53pm EST
Race 8 It’s Binn Too Long Stakes 10:25pm EST
Race 7 Debutante Stakes 9:05pm EST
Race 10 Roxelana Stakes 10:42pm EST
Race 4 Old Nelson Handicap 6:18pm EST
Race 5 Da Hoss Stakes 6:44pm EST
Race 6 All Along Stakes 7:10pm EST
Race 7 Colonial Turf Cup 7:46pm EST
Race 11 Blue Sparkler Stakes 6:00pm EST
Race 9 Donald Levine Handicap 4:01pm EST
Race 8 California Wine Stakes 7:52pm EST
Race 10 Mountain Top NM Bred Futurity 6:54pm EST
Race 3 Tommy Smith Stakes 3:43pm EST
Race 8 Victoria Stakes 4:22pm EST