Weekend Stakes Preview 10/17

Lexus Raven Run headlines Keeneland weekend

Without a doubt one of the best betting races of the weekend will be the $250,000 Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland.  Fourteen runners and two also eligible horses were entered for the seven furlong event and there is no real standout.  Many of the horses are looking to jump up and put themselves in the realm of top sprinters in the Midwest.  Ciao Bella Luna will get some support, as she’s one for one at Keeneland, and that one win was a score in the Beaumont Stakes last April, a Grade 2 event.  She returned to the west coast and finished second in a listed stakes before finishing fourth in the Hollywood Oaks, trying to go two turns.  She went to the sidelines and now returns for a new barn, the Wayne Catalano barn.  Sittin at the Bar comes into this race with four straight stakes wins, but all of them were against state bred runners in Louisiana.  In fact the only losses she has in her last seven starts are against graded competition.

One interesting play could be Silsita.  Her only career attempt over a synthetic was a score in the Grade 3 Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway Park, a race that she beat Pure Fun.  She won a stakes at Saratoga before finishing sixth in the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes.  The Grade 2 Raven Run will be the 9th race at Keeneland and is slated to go to post at 5:23pm EST. Selections for the Raven Run

  1. Silsita
  2. Primed For Passion
  3. Sittin at the Bar

Longshot: Fully Living

Saturday is Maryland Million Day at Laurel Park

Maryland Million Day is one of the original big state-bred cards, and it always features great action and betting opportunities.  Eighttofasttocatch will likely get a lot of support in the feature event, the $150,000 Maryland Million Classic.  Eighttofasttocatch likes to go bursting out to the front and seems to have caught a field that won’t require much effort for him to get the early lead.  Eighttofasttocatch has big time speed and has a big class advantage over his rivals.  Most of the other horses have been competing in higher level claiming or allowance/optional claiming events.  Romancing the Gold was claimed for $25,000 last time out and could pay immediate dividends for the Gregory DiPrima barn.  Seventeenohsix is another who should be coming from just off the pace and if Eighttofasttocatch doesn’t go on with it, then he could certainly be the one to pick up the pieces.  He got crushed in his last two starts at Parx, but his one try at Laurel Park was a solid third place finish in a $100,000 stakes against open rivals.

Whenever there’s a Maryland state-bred race Ben’s Cat can always be expected to participate.  The 7 year old has racked up 23 wins from 35 starts and is just shy of 1.7 million dollars in the bank.  Ben’s Cat is actually cross entered in both the Turf and the Sprint and will likely be a massive favorite if he goes in the Turf and probably would still be a huge favorite in the Sprint as well.  The Turf drew eleven runners and outside of Ben’s Cat, Roadhog and Change of Command both could be contenders.  Roadhog has won a pair of stakes in his last three starts and is the defending champion in this race. Change of Command was second in this race last year and has done some great work since then, including a win three starts back in the Elkwood Stakes at Monmouth Park.

Ju Ju Eyeballs was once claimed for $15,000, and since then she’s won five starts including a pair of stakes events, and she could be the one to beat in the Maryland Million Distaff.  Spring Dance was second in the Oaks last year and she’s won four of seven in her career thus far.  The Ladies Stakes appears to be wide open with lots of the participants having been competing solidly against upper level claimers and allowance level runners.  Monster Sleeping might have a bit of class advantage as she’s been able to be competitive with stakes runners before.

Maryland Million Day gets underway with a special early post time on Saturday of 12:15pm EST. Selections for the Maryland Million Classic

  1. Eighttofasttocatch
  2. Seventeenohsix
  3. Romancing The Gold

Longshot: Wild Louis Selections for the Maryland Million Turf

  1. Ben’s Cat
  2. Roadhog
  3. Change of Command

Longshot: Saintly Love Selections for the MM Distaff

  1. Ann’s Smart Dancer
  2. Ju Ju Eyeballs
  3. Spring Dance

Longshot: A and Out Selections for the MM Ladies Stakes

  1. Monster Sleeping
  2. Coco Punch
  3. Dance With Glo

Longshot: Moral High Ground Selections for the MM Sprint

  1. Ben’s Cat
  2. Ribo Bobo
  3. Action Andy

Longshot: Pitch N Roll

$500,000 up for grabs in West Virginia Breeders’ Classic at Charles Town

It must be nice to have a good West Virginia bred, because Saturday night there will be tons of cash up for grabs on West Virginia Breeders’ Classic night.  Nine stakes events will cover the program, with the $500,000 Classic the feature event.  Ten runners and a pair of also eligible horses have been entered, with Lucy’s Bob Boy the prohibitive 4/5 morning line choice.  Lucy’s Bob Boy won this race last year by eight lengths and has won 15 of 19 in his career for trainer Sandra Dono.  The lone loss outside of the state was in a Grade 3 at Monmouth, but he’s settled back in since then, with a pair of stakes wins.   Russell Road was the king of Charles Town before Lucy’s Bob Boy came along and the seven year old will look to get back to the top of the mountain.  He’s won an incredible 26 races and over a million and a half in earnings.  He’s still in good form, not missing an exacta in a long time, but he’ll have to step it up to beat Lucy’s Bob Boy as well as Fred High who beat him in the Roger Ramey Stakes last time out.

The West Virginia Breeders’ Classic night card gets underway at 7:15pm EST Selections for the Breeders’ Classic

  1. Lucy’s Bob Boy
  2. Russell Road
  3. Golden Set

Longshot: Clink Clink Clink

California Flag Handicap goes down the hill at Santa Anita

The California Flag Handicap will feature a field of ten talented runners, taking on one of the most unique courses in the country as they go down the hill at Santa Anita for a $100,000 pot.  When it comes to the hill, sometimes experience is a nice thing to have, something Ain’t No Other and Dixieland Blues both have.  Both have a win and some on the board finishes, but neither has proven dominant down the hill.  Mobilized hasn’t had a win in quite a while, but he’s been keeping some tough company, running in numerous graded stakes events.  Trainer Gary Mandella can hit and if Mobilized can get running late, he could take it home.  Circa’sgoldengear might be a good price play in here, getting some more ground to work with and when he kicks late, he can be very tough.

The California Flag Handicap is the 8th race at Santa Anita on Saturday and post time is 7:30pm EST. Selections for the California Flag Handicap

  1. Circa’sgoldengear
  2. Mobilized
  3. Aint’ No Other

Longshot: Atta Boy Pete

Saturday Stakes Action at

Charles Town

Race 1                  WV Dash For Cash                                 7:15pm EST

Race 2                  WV Moscarelli Memorial                       7:45pm EST

Race 3                  WV Lotteries Classic                              8:15pm EST

Race 4                  WV Department of Tourism Stakes      8:45pm EST

Race 5                  WV TBA Onion Juice Classic                  9:15pm EST

Race 6                  WV Breeders’ Classic Distaff                 9:45pm EST

Race 7                  WV Jefferson Bank Cavada Classic        10:15pm EST

Race 8                  WV Breeders’ Classic Stakes                  10:45pm EST

Race 9                  WV Triple Crown Nutrition Stakes         11:15pm EST


Race 9                  Billy Montgomery Stakes                     10:00pm EST

Golden Gate Fields

Race 6                  Miss America Stakes                           6:15pm EST

Indiana Downs

Race 8                  Indiana Futurity                                 5:11pm EST

Race 9                  Miss Indiana Stakes                            5:39pm EST

Race 10               Too Much Coffee Stakes                    6:07pm EST

Race 11               Frances Slocum Stakes                       6:35pm EST


Race 9                  Lexus Raven Run Stakes                     5:23pm EST

Laurel Park

Race 1                  Maryland Million Nursery Stakes            12:15pm EST

Race 2                  Maryland Million Lassie Stakes               12:52pm EST

Race 4                  Maryland Million Sprint                         2:03pm EST

Race 7                  Maryland Million Ladies Stakes              3:48pm EST

Race 8                  Maryland Million Distaff                        4:22pm EST

Race 9                  Maryland Million Turf                           4:55pm EST

Race 10               Maryland Million Classic                        5:31pm EST

Santa Anita

Race 8                  California Flag Handicap                       7:30pm EST

Turf Paradise

Race 7                  ATBA Fall Sales Stakes                        6:02pm EST

Race 8                  ATBA Fall Sales Stakes                        6:29pm EST


Race 6                  Labeeb Stakes                                  3:20pm EST

Race 8                  River Memories Stakes                        4:24pm EST

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