Weekend Stakes Preview 10/16

Canadian International and EP Taylor top huge Woodbine Sunday card

Over two million in purses are up for grabs on Sunday at Woodbine as the $1,000,000 Canadian International and the $500,000 EP Taylor headline a fantastic program of racing. Ten older runners will tackle the demanding 12 furlong International and it’s a quality cast of marathon turfers. Dynamic Sky and Reporting Star ran second and third in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer in their last start and while Dynamic Sky hasn’t won yet at Woodbine, he’s been taking on the best of the best. Reporting Star could be the speed and if he’s somehow able to relax he certainly is a big contender in this spot. Big Blue Kitten is a multiple Grade 1 winner however he’s looking to rebound after a fourth place finish in the Turf Classic at Belmont. He’s never run at Woodbine but his huge late kick might be ideally suited to the long Woodbine stretch. The Pizza Man didn’t fire in his first trip up to Woodbine as he finished fifth in the Northern Dancer. But he’s been remarkably consistent on the grass with 12 wins from 17 starts and he’s got a win at this distance.

The $500,000 EP Taylor drew eight runners including Canadian Stakes winner Deceptive Vision. Deceptive Vision finally put it all together last time winning the Canadian, but even before that she’d been knocking at the door against top level competition. She’ll have to beat a couple of European shippers as well as Just The Judge who ran a credible third in the Grade 1 Beverly D. in her North American debut. Jamie Spencer will make the trip to Woodbine to ride Just The Judge in the EP Taylor. The $300,000 Nearctic features Lockout who has been nipping at the bud to breakthrough at the Grade 2 level. After just missing in the Grade 2 Play King, Lockout tried the Woodbine Mile and found the waters just a little deep. The slight class drop could make him a big contender.

The Woodbine Sunday card gets underway at 1pm EST Selections in the Canadian International

  1. Big Blue Kitten
  2. Dynamic Sky
  3. Hillstar

Longshot: War Dancer Selections for the EP Taylor

  1. Deceptive Vision
  2. Just The Judge
  3. Meri Shika

Longshot; Eyeful Selections for the Nearctic

  1. Lockout
  2. Excaper
  3. Paso Doble

Longshot: Caspar Netcher 

Saturday is Empire Showcase Day at Belmont Park 

The New York bred will be on showcase on Saturday at Belmont Park as eight stakes races and almost two million in purses will be paid out as part of Empire Showcase Day. The $300,000 Empire Classic is the linchpin to the card and drew a solid field of nine to go nine furlongs. Saratoga Snacks won this race last year but was coming into the race in much better form last year. In fact he was just beaten in a non-conditioned allowance for state breds last time out by a few of the rivals he’ll face on Saturday. So Lonesome comes into this race off a big four length win in the Albany Stakes at Saratoga. So Lonesome had been focusing primarily on turf racing in recent starts but his effort in the Albany must have convinced his connections he loves the main track. He scored a huge speed figure in his last race and will likely be up on the engine early on in the Empire Classic. Sioux is a new shooter to the scene with only five career starts. But he’s racked up three wins and his last two were against allowance runners and he destroyed both fields. This marks his first foray into stakes company but if he continues to improve he could be very tough.

The $250,000 Empire Distaff feature Princess Violet, who just three starts back ran second behind Untapable in the Mother Goose, a Grade 1 event. She tuned up for this race with a big allowance win and with the return to state breds she could be very tough in this spot. Sunny Desert was a win machine early in her career but has struggled in 2014. If Sunny Desert also picks up the services of Joel Rosario on Saturday who did ride her to a third place finish in a Grade 2 last year. The $200,000 Ticonderoga drew a very tough field for being a state bred race, including Grade 1 winner Discreet Marq. Discreet Marq has been competing in Grade 1 company pretty regularly and was just sixth in the First Lady Stakes, a race she was bet to 5/1 in. Effie Trinket won this race last year and while she hasn’t won a race since then, she’s been very competitive in Grade 2 races as well as state-bred stakes.

The Empire Showcase card gets underway at 12:20pm EST and features eight stakes events. Selections for the Empire Classic

  1. Beautyinthepulpit
  2. Sinastra
  3. So Lonesome

Longshot: Sioux Selections for the Empire Distaff

  1. Princess Violet
  2. Tahoe Tigress
  3. Sunny Desert

Longshot: Carameaway Selections for the Ticonderoga

  1. Discreet Marq
  2. Stock Fund
  3. Effie Trinket

Longshot: Selenite

Lexus Raven Run tops Keeneland Saturday

The Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes drew a big field of thirteen three year old fillies set to go seven furlongs. Miss Behaviour has been made the morning line favorite and is coming off a sensational win in the Charles Town Oaks and is a Grade 2 winner. This summer she was a good second in the Grade 1 Test Stakes, which was at this seven furlong distance. The race features a number of horses who have been very impressive in the lower ranks and will make a big jump in class. Horses like Pirate’s Trove who has won a pair of stakes at Woodbine and is undefeated in three starts. Taris was a dominating winner in an allowance in Presque Isle Downs and will make her Keeneland debut. Divided Attention was a dominant winner at seven furlongs last time out at Saratoga and comes into this race with one of the higher speed figures from her last start. Shug McGaughey sends out La Madrina who worked her way through her conditions and now gets the acid test. He’s kept her sprinting and she broke her maiden at seven furlongs, something that’s not always easy to do. Selections for the Raven Run

  1. La Madrina
  2. Miss Behaviour
  3. Taris

Longshot: Sweet Whiskey

Maryland Million Day is Saturday at Laurel

One of the biggest days in Maryland racing will be run on Saturday when the Maryland Million Day card is run. The pioneer of state-bred days, Maryland Million features seven great stakes races including the $150,000 Maryland Million Classic. Eighttofasttocatch is back to defend his title in the Classic and will also be returning to the main track. After having most of 2014 off, Eighttofasttocatch returned last month with a try on the grass in the Japan Racing Stakes. He finished eighth in that turf effort but the return to the Laurel main track should help him as he’s a crazy 13 for 26 over that course. Wild Louie is another who loves Laurel as he’s 5 for 16 over the course. He was third in this race last year but comes into the race off a very dull effort at Timonium. Seventeenohsix is coming off a big front running victory in his last start and he could be the one to try and go with Eighttofasttocatch early on.

The Maryland Million Turf offers up a $125,000 purse and it sees a rematch of last year’s dramatic finish between Roadhog and Ben’s Cat. Roadhog got up and caught the mighty Ben’s Cat last year in this race and Ben’s Cat is obviously out for revenge. Ben’s Cat is 17 for 29 over the turf and even though he’s been beaten in his last two starts, he is still a force to be reckoned with in this race. The Maryland Millions Sprint is always one of the more entertaining races on the program and this year drew a field of eight runners. Tujoes could be an interesting runner as he was obviously claimed for the purpose of running in this spot. He’s been running at Parx and his win two starts back would make him a serious player in this spot. Avarice does have an advantage over Tujoes in that he’s won a couple races at Laurel Park and has been competing in stakes events recently.

The Maryland Million Day card gets underway on Saturday at 12:15pm EST Selections for the Maryland Million Classic

  1. Seventeenohsix
  2. Eighttofasttocatch
  3. Excessive Drama

Longshot: Concealed Identity Selections for the Maryland Million Turf

  1. Ben’s Cat
  2. Roadhog
  3. Talk Show Man

Longshot: Wlly D’Rocket Selections for the Maryland Million Sprint

  1. Tujoes
  2. Avarice
  3. Always Smiling

Longshot: DC Dancer

Golden Gate Fields and Delta Downs get underway this week

Live racing returns to a couple of popular tracks this week as Golden Gate Fields in California and Delta Downs in Louisiana both get underway this week. Golden Gate Fields Fall Meet got underway Thursday and runs until December 14th, primarily on a Thursday through Sunday schedule. Delta Downs in Vinton, Louisiana races all the way through until mid-March, with first post time at 6:50pm EST. The headliner of the Delta Downs meet comes up on November 22nd with the $1,000,000 Delta Jackpot and the $500,000 Delta Princess card. The Jackpot card features a special early post time of 2:15pm EST.

Saturday Stakes Action at

Belmont Park

Race 2                  Sleepy Hollow Stakes                         12:52pm EST

Race 3                  Maid of the Mist Stakes                      1:25pm EST

Race 4                  Mohawk Stakes                                 1:56pm EST

Race 5                  Iroquois Stakes                                 2:29pm EST

Race 7                  Empire Distaff                                   3:35pm EST

Race 8                  Empire Classic                                    4:09pm EST

Race 9                  Ticonderoga Stakes                           4:41pm EST

Race 10                Hudson Stakes                                  5:15pm EST

Charles Town

Race 1                  WV Breeders’ Classic Stakes                7:00pm EST

Race 2                  WV Breeders Classic Stakes                 7:28pm EST

Race 3                  Vincent Moscarelli Memorial                 7:56pm EST

Race 4                  Dash For Cash Breeders’ Stakes           8:24pm EST

Race 5                  TBA Onion Juice Stakes                      8:52pm EST

Race 6                  WV Breeders’ Distaff                          9:20pm EST

Race 7                  Tourism Breeders’ Classic                    9:49pm EST

Race 8                  Jefferson Cavada Classic Stakes            10:18pm EST

Race 9                  WV Breeders’ Classic Stakes                10:47pm EST

Golden Gate Fields

Race 8                  Miss America Stakes                           4:15pm EST

Gulfstream West

Race 7                  Cellars Shiraz Stakes                           4:14pm EST

Race 9                  Showing Up Stakes                            5:17pm EST


Race 9                  Raven Run Stakes                              5:14pm EST

Laurel Park

Race 1                  MM Nursery Stakes                            12:15pm EST

Race 2                  MM Distaff Handicap                           12:52pm EST

Race 4                  MM Sprint Handicap                            2:03pm EST

Race 5                  MM Ladies Stakes                              2:41pm EST

Race 8                  MM Lassie Stakes                               4:29pm EST

Race 9                  MM Turf                                             5:01pm EST

Race 10                MM Classic                                        5:37pm EST

Santa Anita

Race 3                  California Flag Handicap                       5:00pm EST

Turf Paradise

Race 7                  Bienvenidos Stakes                            7:04pm EST


Race 8                  Ruling Angel Stakes                                    4:36pm EST



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