Weekend Newsletter 9/4

Saturday is opening day at Kentucky Downs

Saturday marks the start of the short, but oh so sweet Kentucky Downs meet. Kentucky Downs only races for five days, going Saturdays September 6th and 13th, and Wednesdays September 10th, 17th and 24th. But the fields are huge, the purses are big, and the betting action is intriguing at the European style turf course. Saturday there is a trifecta of stakes races with the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile, the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies, and the $250,000 Dueling Grounds Derby topping the ten race card. Grade 2 winner Global View will challenge Grade 3 winner Medal Count in the Dueling Grounds Derby which is set at a mile and 5/16ths. Global View has done all his best running on the grass and is a deep closer. With the long uphill stretch at Kentucky Downs, if he’s got something left at the end he could be very dangerous. Medal Count has only run on the turf once in his career, and it was a score in an allowance event at Gulfstream Park. He’ll be returning to the grass in the Dueling Grounds Derby and if there’s one thing he has to his advantage, it’s his love of going a long distance. He was second to Tonalist in the Belmont Stakes this year.

The Juvenile Fillies features a field of twelve going seven furlongs and is filled primarily with maiden winners looking to earn their stripes in the stakes ranks. The Steve Asmussen trained So Cal figures to get some attention off a good speed figure debut score at Saratoga over the main track there. Julien Leparoux rides So Cal and if the debut was any indicator, they should be right up on the engine early. Late Spring could be a good closing option for players, as she rallied from sixth to win her maiden breaking effort going away at Ellis Park. Each year Ellis provides some good horses in those maiden turf events, so give this one a look. The Juvenile boys race turned up a field of ten and with any turf race in the States these days, a Kitten’s Joy runner looks live. Luck of the Kitten was a big winner last time out on the grass at Arlington Park and with the cut back to seven furlongs she should be double tough. Seven furlongs with stretch a quarter mile up the hill probably plays more like a mile in terms of stamina and breeding.

The Saturday card at Kentucky Downs kicks off at 2:35pm EST. Selections for the Dueling Grounds Derby

  1. Global View
  2. Proud Azteca
  3. Can’thelpbelieving

Longshot: Rankhasprivileges Selections for Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies

  1. Late Spring
  2. So Cal
  3. Emmajestic

Longshot: Dark Rain Selections for the Kentucky Downs Juvenile

  1. Luck of the Kitten
  2. Czar
  3. Reality

Longshot: Big Big Easy

Churchill Downs opens up for September meet

Churchill Downs will kick off a 12 day September meet on Friday night under the lights. Racing will go all weekend with four good stakes events on Saturday including the Iroquois Stakes which is the first race of the year to offer up Kentucky Derby points for 2015. The $200,000 Pocahontas is the richest race on the card for two year old fillies. Take Charge Brandi probably has the best resume of any of the contenders in the field. She broke her maiden first out and followed that up with a second place finish in the Grade 3 Schuylerville at Saratoga. She was a well beaten fifth in the Adirondack and this will be her first try at two turns. Kenny McPeek will send out Pangburn who was a winner at a mile on the grass at Ellis Park in her debut. She’ll try the main track and she lures the services of Joel Rosario for the Pocahontas.

The $100,000 Iroquois drew a field of nine and Mr. Z will likely be getting a lot of attention at the windows. He was a good debut maiden winner at Churchill before finishing second in both the Saratoga Special and the Sanford, both graded events. Mr. Z will break from post two and right to his inside is Hashtag Bourbon who was an impressive winner of the Mountaineer Juvenile. Like many of these horses he’ll be making his first venture around two turns. Cleveland Sound might be one who improves with the added distance as he gets first time Lasix for the always solid Graham Motion barn.

The Grade 3 Locust Grove came up with a very quality field of seven runners. Molly Morgan drew the outside and is coming off a hard fought win in the Grade 3 Gardenia at Ellis Park. Ria Antonia is still looking to find her form since she took the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile but she shows up in here for her first try against older runners. On Fire Baby has enjoyed great success at Churchill including winning the Grade 1 La Troienne this past spring. She threw in a clunker last time and was given some time off, so if she comes back firing, she’s a major player. The Ack Ack came up light with only five runners, but they are a good bunch. Flashback has burned serious money in his last four starts and will make his Churchill debut. Right to Vote and Bradester will battle out up front together and who gets the lead could have a big say in who gets the win. Selections for the Pocahontas

  1. Pangburn
  2. Phoenix Park
  3. Queen’s Ready

Longshot: Loom Selections for the Iroquois

  1. Hashtag Bourbon
  2. Mr. Z
  3. Cleveland Sound

Longshot: Lucky Player Selections for the Locust Grove

  1. Molly Morgan
  2. On Fire Baby
  3. Tapit’s World

Longshot: Don’t Tell Sophia Selections for the Ack Ack

  1. Bradester
  2. Right To Vote
  3. Carve

Saturday is Super Derby Day at Louisiana Downs

The biggest event of the summer at Louisiana Downs, the $400,000 Grade 2 Super Derby will be run as part of a stakes loaded Saturday program. Seven stakes in total and over a million dollars in purse money will be paid out, and the horsemen filled up the entry box as the fields are full. Eleven three year olds will contest the Super Derby including Vicars in Trouble. Vicars in Trouble is coming off a game third place finish in the West Virginia Derby and he’s already a Grade 2 winner by virtue of his Louisiana Derby score. He should be forwardly placed and Louisiana Downs is always a track that gives an advantage to the front-running types. Iowa Derby winner Jessica’s Star drew the rail for the Super Derby and is coming off a heartbreaking loss in the Ohio Derby to East Hall. East Hall is also in this field and the Ohio Derby was a career best effort for him. Alamo Heights and Ide Be Cool are both coming out of the local prep, the Super Derby Prelude. Alamo Heights closed from off the pace that day and was able to reel in Ide Be Cool. Ide Be Cool is a total front runner so he’ll have to avoid going at it too hard with Vicars in Trouble early on. Ide Be Cool has won two of three at Louisiana Downs though so he definitely has a home court advantage.

Louisiana bred String King headlines the Unbridled Stakes for older boys over the grass. String King has won many state-bred stakes over the years and is 5 for 12 career at Louisiana Downs. He’ll have to hold off Red Strike who comes into this race off a big turf win at Indiana Downs. The $75,000 River Cities Stakes is the turf event for the older fillies and mares and drew a full field of twelve runners. Malibu Yankee will make her LaD debut and is coming off a stakes win up at Evangeline Downs. Miss Addison might have the local advantage as she’s 3 for 4 over the Louisiana Downs course and picks up leading jockey Richard Eramia.

The Super Derby card gets underway at Louisiana Downs at 1:00pm EST. Selections for the Super Derby

  1. Jessica’s Star
  2. East Hall
  3. Vicar’s in Trouble

Longshot: Alamo Height Selections for the Unbridled

  1. String King
  2. Red Strike
  3. Coalport

Longshot: Well’s Gold Selections for the River Cities

  1. Miss Addison
  2. Malibu Yankee
  3. Sassy Kitten

Longshot: Hot Tempo

Racing opens at Belmont and Los Alamitos open up on Friday

The Fall Championship Meet at Belmont and the September meet at Los Alamitos both get underway on Friday. Racing at Belmont will be run on the traditional Wednesday through Sunday schedule. The biggest day of the meet will be on Saturday September 27th when there are five Grade 1’s that are all the final east coast preps for the Breeders’ Cup, including the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Los Alamitos starts an 11 day meet on Friday that will include the $200,000 Los Alamitos Mile on Saturday. Racing will get underway at Los Alamitos at 5pm EST and will be run on a Thursday through Sunday schedule after opening weekend.

Saturday Stakes Action at


Race 7                  Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes               5:00pm EST

Race 8                  Arlington-Washington Futurity                      5:30pm EST


Race 9                  Yankee Affair Stakes                                   5:17pm EST

Churchill Downs

Race 4                  Ack Ack Handicap                                       2:19pm EST

Race 8                  Locust Grove Stakes                                   4:25pm EST

Race 9                  Iroquois Stakes                                          4:55pm EST

Race 10                Pocahontas Stakes                                     5:27pm EST

Finger Lakes

Race 4                  Lady Finger Stakes                                2:31pm EST

Race 7                  Aspirant Stakes                                      3:52pm EST


Race 10       Florida Stallion Affirmed Stakes                      5:34pm EST

Race 11       Florida Stallion Susan’s Girl Stakes                  6:06pm EST

Kentucky Downs

Race 7                  Kentucky Downs Juvenile                            5:35pm EST

Race 8                  Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies                6:04pm EST

Race 9                  Dueling Grounds Derby                             6:35pm EST

Laurel Park

Race 4                  All Brandy Stakes                                        2:40pm EST

Race 6                  Thirty Eight Go Go Stakes                            3:40pm EST

Race 8                  Dave’s Friend Stakes                                   4:40pm EST

Race 9                  Japan Racing Association Stakes                 5:10pm EST

Los Alamitos

Race 6                  Beverly Lewis Stakes                                   7:30pm EST

Race 8                  Los Alamitos Mile                                        8:30pm EST

Louisiana Downs

Race 5                  Louisiana Stallion Stakes                            3:04pm EST

Race 6                  Sunday Silence Stakes                                 3:35pm EST

Race 7                  Louisiana Stallion Stakes                             4:04pm EST

Race 8                  Happy Ticket Stakes                                     4:38pm EST

Race 9                  River Cities Stakes                                       5:07pm EST

Race 10                Unbridled Stakes                                        5:40pm EST

Race 11                 Super Derby                                              6:12pm EST


Race 3                  Eleven North Stakes                           1:52pm EST

Race 7                  Jersey Girl Handicap                           3:58pm EST

Race 8                  Charles Hesse Handicap                    4:28pm EST

Race 9                  NJ Breeders’ Handicap                       4:58pm EST

Northlands Park

Race 8                  Birdcatcher Stakes                             6:15pm EST


Race 7         Teresa Garofalo Memorial                           3:07pm EST

Race 8         Marshall Jenney Handicap                          3:34pm EST

Race 9         Banjo Picker Stakes                                     4:01pm EST

Race 10       Roanoke Stakes                                         4:28pm EST

Race 11       Mrs. Penny Stakes                                      4:55pm EST


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