Weekend Stakes Preview 10/1

Keeneland Fall Meet kicks off on Friday

Keeneland will kick off the annual Fall Meet on Friday and the next few weeks will feature amazing racing action from the Bluegrass State. While Saturday will be a big day that includes the Grade 1 $1,000,000 Shadwell Turf Mile, the meet will be a build up to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships that will be run October 30th and October 31st. Arlington Million winner The Pizza Man will make his first start since winning the Million in the Shadwell Turf Mile. The Pizza Man has won three straight races and while this will be the first start of his career at Keeneland, he is 2 for 2 at the mile distance. He’ll face twelve rivals including Grade 1 winner Bobby’s Kitten who makes just his second start since winning the BC Turf Sprint last year. He dueled and faded in the Grade 2 Play King last time out, so hopefully he’ll get a less intense trip for his backers this time out. The race has some European flavor as well with three shippers coming over, most likely prepping for the Breeders’ Cup. Aiden O’Brien sends over War Envoy who drew the rail and earlier this year won a race at Royal Ascot against 27 rivals.

The Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity is the next stop for Grade 2 winner Exaggerator who won the Saratoga Special this summer. He likes to rally from off the pace and will be making his first try at two turns. Mike Smith will ride Hawkbill who ships over for Godolphin after winning three straight in Great Britain. The son of Kitten’s Joy has been competing on synthetic so this will be his first time on a dirt course. Tepin drew a tough outside post as she’ll look to continue her strong 2015 campaign in the Grade 1 First Lady. She won three big races to start the year and has finished second in her last two, missing by a nose in the Grade 1 Diana and a head in the Grade 2 Balston Spa. Drawn outside she’ll have to find a good spot early and her tactical speed should allow Julien Leparoux to do just that. Crowley’s Law drew the rail and looks to improve off her US debut, a 3rd in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel.

Leigh Court will try and defend her crown in the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes on Saturday. She’s finished second in both her starts this season, but both were solid efforts against graded company. She’ll now return to Keeneland where she won this race by 3 lengths last year. She’ll have to take down Judy the Beauty who is also winless in 2015. Judy The Beauty lost to the very talented La Verdad last time out and just hasn’t shown that same punch down the stretch that won her a Breeders’ Cup event last year. But she’s back at Keeneland, a track she’s 4 for 4 at and where she won this race in 2013. The very talented Undrafted headlines a monster field in the Woodford Stakes, a turf sprint that can go any one of 14 ways. First post at Keeneland is 1:05pm EST and racing will run primarily on a Wednesday through Sunday schedule. Selections for the Shadwell Turf Mile

  1. Grand Arch
  2. The Pizza Man
  3. War Envoy

Longshot: King Kreesa Selections for the Breeders’ Futurity

  1. Rated R Superstar
  2. Uncle Vinny
  3. Hawkbill

Longshot: Gametown Selections for the First Lady

  1. Tepin
  2. Sky Treasure
  3. Crowley’s Law

Longshot: Cara Marie Selections for the TCA Stakes

  1. Sweet Whiskey
  2. Leigh Court
  3. Judy The Beauty

Longshot: Fioretti Selections for the Woodford Stakes

  1. Shore Runner
  2. Amelia’s Wild Ride
  3. Undrafted

Longshot: Holy Lute

Jockey Club Gold Cup tops Super Saturday at Belmont

The $1,000,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup tops a huge Saturday of racing at Belmont as horses make their final New York preps for the Breeders’ Cup as part of ‘Super Saturday’. Just six runners will contest the Jockey Club Gold Cup and while top runners like Liam’s Map and Honor Code are sitting this one out, it leaves an opening for someone to step up and stamp themselves as a BC Classic contender. Tonalist won this race last season and he’s had a productive year this season, having not been off the board in 4 starts. He won this race last year from way off the pace and with only five rivals, getting a setup might be a challenge for him. Efffinex beat Tonalist two back in the Suburban and followed that up with a dull fourth place finish in the Woodward, finishing behind Coach Inge and Wicked Strong, both of whom he’ll face in the JCGC. Coach Inge and Constitution could find themselves with a decided pace advantage as they both should be up front with little to no pressure from anyone else. Constitution appears to be the speedier of the two, but Coach Inge will get first run ahead of the other closers.

The Hill Prince Stakes drew a very wide open field with no real standout. Three year old turf runners will compete including World Approval who most recently took home the Grade 3 Saranac win. Courtier is also intriguing in this race coming off a nice win at Indiana Grand last time out. He’s shown good speed before and last time showed a new dimension coming from well off the pace. His versatility could come in handy. The Grade 1 Champagne Stakes for two year olds goes as Race 8 and is stacked with solid maiden winners, as well as Grade 1 winner Ralis. Ralis crushed his rivals in the Hopeful and is once again paired up with Javier Castellano. Of the maiden only winners, the Graham Motion trainee Rafting was very solid last out at Saratoga and gets Lasix for the first time here.

The Frizette is for the two year old fillies and looks like a matchup between stakes winner She’s All Ready and European shipper Nemolia, both of whom have won two straight. She’s All Ready won a state bred stake at Saratoga last time out, so she’ll see open company for the first time in her career. Stephanie’s Kitten will look to defend her title in the Flower Bowl Invitational. She was third in the Beverly D. at Arlington last time out, finishing just behind Watsdachances in that spot. Watsdachances also shows up here in the Flower Bowl and those two figure to take a lot of action at the windows. Honor Code figures to be one of the shorter prices on the card as he takes on just six rivals in the Kelso. His wins in the Met Mile and the Whitney Stakes stand out amongst this group. Selections for the Jockey Club Gold Cup

  1. Coach Inge
  2. Constitution
  3. Effinex

Longshot: Looks To Spare Selections for the Hill Prince

  1. Courtier
  2. Jay Gatsby
  3. Tale of Life

Longshot: Winter Springs Selections for the Champagne

  1. Rafting
  2. Ralis
  3. Magna Light

Longshot: Sunny Ridge Selections for the Frizette

  1. Nemoralia
  2. Anna Rae
  3. She’s All Ready

Longshot: Nickname Selections for the Flower Bowl

  1. Watsdachances
  2. Curvy
  3. Stephanie’s Kitten

Longshot: Rosalind Selections for the Kelso

  1. Honor Code
  2. Red Vine
  3. Appealing Tale

Longshot: Tamarkuz

Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship is Saturday

Sprinters will take center stage at the Great Race Place as the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship will be run. Masochistic will look to get back to his winning ways after losing at 2/5 in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby to Wild Dude. Prior to that he won the Grade 1 Triple Bend, and he’s 3 for 4 at Santa Anita. Wild Dude finished second in the Grade 2 Pat O’Brien after winning the Bing Crosby and he should appreciate the return to six furlongs. An intriguing addition to this race is three year old Gimme Da Lute who comes into the race on a four race win streak, including a score in the Grade 2 Los Al Derby. The shortening up distance will be the question for him, but from a pure numbers standpoint, he’s fast enough to contend with the best of these.

The Grade 3 Eddie D. Stakes will go down the hill at Santa Anita and drew a field of eleven runners. Midnight Storm has a big class advantage in here as he’s Grade 1 placed and a Grade 3 winner. However he’ll be trying the downhill turf course for the first time and it’s a tricky run. But if he’s able to get a clean trip towards the front of the group, watch out. Jimmy Bouncer drew the rail and is another with early speed. He was leading the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile in mid-stretch last time out and now shortens up in here. Selections for the Santa Anita Sprint Championship

  1. Masochistic
  2. Wild Dude
  3. San Onofre

Longshot: Distinctiv Passion Selections for the Eddie D.

  1. Midnight Storm
  2. Majestic City
  3. Jimmy Bouncer

Longshot: Maltes

Saturday Stakes Action at

Belmont Park

Race 5                  Kelso Handicap                                  2:33pm EST

Race 6                  Flower Bowl Stakes                            3:09pm EST

Race 7                  Frizette Stakes                                  3:43pm EST

Race 8                  Champagne Stakes                            4:18pm EST

Race 9                  Hill Prince Stakes                               4:53pm EST

Race 10               Jockey Club Gold Cup                         5:28pm EST

Gulfstream Park

Race 2                  Meadow Star Stakes                            1:15pm EST

Race 7                  My Dear Girl Stakes                            4:00pm EST

Race 8                  Our Dear Peggy Stakes                      4:33pm EST

Race 9                  Foolish Pleasure Stakes                       5:08pm EST

Race 10              Armed Forces Stakes                         5:41pm EST

Race 11               In Reality Stakes                                6:15pm EST


Race 5                  Woodford Stakes                              3:25pm EST

Race 6                  Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes  4:00pm EST

Race 7                  First Lady Stakes                               4:35pm EST

Race 8                  Breeders’ Futurity                              5:10pm EST

Race 9                  Shadwell Turf Mile                             5:45pm EST


Race 8                  Roamin Rachel Stakes                         4:04pm EST

Santa Anita

Race 6                  Eddie D. Stakes                                 6:30pm EST

Race 8                  Santa Anita Sprint Championship   7:30pm EST

Race 9                  Swingtime Stakes                              8:00pm EST


Race 8                  Durham Cup Stakes                                    4:29pm EST

Zia Park

Race 12               Lubbock Stakes                                 7:23pm EST





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