Weekend Stakes Preview 10/23

Fayette Stakes tops Keeneland Saturday

The $200,000 Grade 2 Fayette Stakes headlines another big Saturday of racing at Keeneland. Eight runners will go a mile and one eighth including Departing and Long River. Departing is a Grade 2 winner has only raced sparingly as a four year old and is coming off a second place finish in the Homecoming Stakes at Churchill Downs last time out. Departing will be making his first start at Keeneland for trainer Al Stall and Robby Albarado will once again be on board. Long River is coming off arguably one of the best efforts of his career, a third place finish in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup behind Tonalist. The Godolphin owned horse should find himself just off the early pace or even on the lead as there isn’t a ton of early speed in this race. Both Coltimus Prime and Call Me George have showed speed before but neither are confirmed front runners. Stephanoatsee has finished fifth in a pair of Grade 1 races in his last couple of starts. He’s a deep closer and he doesn’t win much, but he usually always puts in a run, so if they do tire up front he could be one to pick up some pieces. Seven year old Mister Marti Gras is another deep closer who always seems to put in a good late run. He’ll be trying the Keeneland dirt for the first time like the rest of them, so it could be a matter of who takes best to the surface that ends up in the winner’s circle. Selections for the Fayette

  1. Stephanoatsee
  2. Code West
  3. Departing

Longshot: Coltimus Prime

Grade 3 Bold Ruler tops stakes double at Belmont Park

Belmont Park is winding down it’s fall meet and this Saturday will be another stakes showcase as the $200,000 Bold Ruler and the $100,000 Chelsea Flower top a strong 10 race program. The Bold Ruler is carded as race 3 and drew seven runners to contest the seven furlongs. River Rocks and Sage Valley were both assigned the high weight of 117 pounds. River Rocks is a go to the front type of horse and he’s coming off a huge second place effort in the Grade 2 Kelso in his last start. He’s been very strong as a four year old and posted a couple of big speed figure wins against allowance runners two and three starts back. This seems like a very logical next race for him and he’s a big player. Sage Valley is making his second start off a long layoff. He ran a very good second in an allowance race that was a race he obviously needed as he hadn’t run prior to that for 11 months. His best race makes him a contender and his trainer Rudy Rodriguez has been heating up in recent months. Salutos Amigos has come alive since joining the David Jacobson and has been putting in some fine efforts against tough competition. He picks up Cornelio Velasquez who rode him to a victory earlier this year and the seven furlongs should be a good distance for him.

The $100,000 Chelsea Flower Stakes is on the grass and drew a field of eleven runners as well as three main track only entrants. The race is made up mostly of maiden breakers including first out winner Ack Naughty. Ack Naughty has been saddled with the far outside post position, but her debut saw her win from the eleven hole going a mile at Belmont. The Shug McGaughey trained Path was a big winner in his second career start, but his first start on grass. He once again has Javier Castellano on board and will be a contender in this spot. Selections for the Bold Ruler

  1. Salutos Amigos
  2. River Rocks
  3. Confrontation

Longshot: Joe Tess Selections for the Chelsea Flower

  1. Miss Chatelaine
  2. Ack Naughty
  3. Path

Longshot: Margaret Reay

Jean Lafitte is final local prep for the Delta Jackpot

Delta Downs will host the $200,000 Jean Lafitte Stakes on Saturday night which is the final local prep for the $1,000,000 Delta Jackpot that will be run next month. The Jean Lafitte produced last year’s Jackpot winner in Rise Up this year the race drew eight runners. Golden Actor shows up after winning a maiden event at Gulfstream Park West last time out. Golden Actor has put up two strong speed figures in his first two races and jockey Jose Gallego will follow him up to Delta Downs for the Jean Lafitte. Golden Actor drew the rail and right along side him will be Big Big Easy who is coming off a big win at Churchill Downs in his last start. One of the most experienced runners in the field, Big Big Easy broke his maiden at Indiana Downs before trying stakes company on the grass at Kentucky Downs. After that turf debacle he rebounded with a big figure win at a mile at Churchill Downs.

Tom Amoss will ship down Control Stake who is a maiden breaker at Indiana Grand. The key angle to this shipper is that he picks up the services of Gerard Melancon who is perennially one of the top riders at Delta Downs. Netcents might have a little bit of a home field advantage as he at least has a win in Louisiana. He scored nicely last time at Louisiana Downs, scoring a victory that would make him competitive if he stretches out well.

The Jean Lafitte is the 9th race of the night at Delta Downs and post time is scheduled for 10:33pm EST. Selections for the Jean Lafitte

  1. Big Big Easy
  2. Control Stake
  3. Netcents

Longshot: Waha Wild

Lexie Lou heads west to try out the Grade 3 Autumn Miss

Queens Plate winner Lexie Lou will ship west to Santa Anita on Saturday to take on nine rivals in the one mile Autumn Miss Stakes. Already a millionaire, Lexie Lou was the top filly in Canada this year. She tried the Grade 2 Canadian last time out and finished tenth beaten twenty four lengths. So trainer Mark Casse has elected to send her west and give Santa Anita a try. She’s never run at a mile but she ran great on the turf two starts back. She’ll be taking on some tough California runners like Diversy Harbor and Alexis Tangier. Diversy Harbor has been competing at the top of the filly ranks on the grass this year and was last seen running sixth in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks. She is Grade 1 placed and this seems like a good spot for her from a class perspective. Alexis Tangier just scored a big win in the Unzip Me Stakes going down the hill last time out. She’s a perfect 3 for 3 on the turf and 2 for 2 at Santa Anita, but this will be her stiffest test yet. Selections for the Autumn Miss

  1. Alexis Tangier
  2. Diversy Harbor
  3. Zindaya

Longshot: Famous Alice

Saturday Stakes Action at

Belmont Park

Race 3                  Bold Ruler Handicap                 1:52pm EST

Race 8                  Chelsea Flower Stakes               4:27pm EST

Delta Downs

Race 9                  Jean Lafitte Stake                    10:33pm EST

Golden Gate Fields

Race 6                  Pike Place Dancer Stakes           6:15pm EST

Gulfstream West

Race 9                  Gin Rummy Champ Stakes          5:17pm EST

Indiana Downs

Race 6                  Sterlie Bertram Memorial Stakes  7:26pm EST

Race 7                  Miss Roxie Futurity Final             7:53pm EST

Race 8                  Governor’s Stakes Final              8:21pm EST

Race 9                  QHRAI Derby Final                      8:49pm EST

Race 10               Indiana Championship                9:17pm EST


Race 9                  Fayette Stakes                         5:14pm EST

Northlands Park

Race 11                Canadian Juvenile                     7:30pm EST

Santa Anita

Race 8                  Autumn Miss Stakes                   7:30pm EST

Turf Paradise

Race 7                  Princess of Palms Stakes            6:07pm EST


Race 8                  River Memories Stakes               4:36pm EST








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