Weekend Stakes Preview 1/1

Grade 2 Doubleheader tops Santa Anita Saturday

Now that the calendar has flipped to 2015, each horse is a year older and each stakes schedule at every track resets for a new year. Santa Anita will feature a pair of Grade 2 events on Saturday, with the Grade 2 San Gabriel for the older male turf runners and the Grade 2 Santa Ynez for the newly turned three year old fillies. The San Gabriel drew a field of nine to go a mile and one eighth including Finnegans Wake who is coming off a win in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup. Finnegans Wake generally likes to rally from way off the pace and if he can get some pace up front early he could be very tough to catch. Grade 1 winner Tom’s Tribute has mostly been a miler, so he’ll be stretching out a furlong in this spot. He is 1 for 1 at the mile and one eighth distance and that was a Grade 1 score in the Eddie Read Stakes. Kieren Fallon will ride Skyring who should be one of if not the pacesetter. Skyring seems an all or nothing type as when he can get out front and relax he can be dangerous. But if he’s pressed he tends to fold up the tent and wait for another day. Dynamic Sky comes down from the Northeast after putting together a very good 2014 campaign. He’s coming off a big win in the Grade 3 Red Smith, a race that was loaded with talent way beyond it’s Grade 3 status. He beat Big Blue Kitten that day, but he had a good trip and will need to workout another good one here.

The Grade 2 Santa Ynez sees Conquest Harlanate look to kick off her three year old campaign after a big two year old season. She won Grade 2 and Grade 3 events last year before finishing up the track in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly Turf. This will be her first try over the dirt and Mike Smith will ride her for the first time. Xoxo could be the pacesetter as she’s two for two in race she’s got the early lead. She’ll have to handle Seduire early on who drew the inside and has two stakes wins sprinting, both going wire to wire. Seduire is capable of putting up rocket fast early times and if she can somehow clear from the rail she could be long gone. Selections for the San Gabriel

  1. Finnegans Wake
  2. Tom’s Tribute
  3. Dynamic Sky

Longshot: Persuasive Paul Selections for the Santa Ynez

  1. Rattataptap
  2. Conquest Harlanate
  3. Seduire

Longshot: Xoxo

Jerome Stakes is New York Saturday feature

The Jerome Stakes is one of the first steps in New York for three year olds to take towards the Grade 1 Wood Memorial coming up later this spring. Nine three year olds will contest the one mile and seventy yard race including recent Grade 2 winner El Kabeir who drew the far outside post for the Jerome. El Kabeir gained notoriety with a huge ten length maiden win at Saratoga this year and went wire to wire to win the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes in his last start. He was all out that day to hold on and with the tough post in the Jerome, he’ll have to be on his game to win. Just inside of him is Nasa who is coming off a big win in the Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes at Parx. This will be his first start outside of the mid-atlantic region. Nasa is trained by John Servis and is owned by Someday Farm who bred and owned Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones who also came out of Pennsylvania. Ackeret also ships up from Parx and is coming off a big speed figure allowance win. Being so lightly raced he’s certainly eligible for a step forward. He goes for the Rudy Rodriguez barn who is always dangerous.

The Jerome is the 8th race on the Saturday card at Aqueduct and post time is 3:48pm EST. Selections for the Jerome Stakes

  1. Ackerat
  2. Now We Are Free
  3. El Kabeir

Longshot: Ostralenka

Another monster Stakes Saturday at Gulfstream

Gulfstream Park will once again load up on stakes events on Saturday as five $100,000 events will take place on the South Florida oval. The action starts out in the Grade 3 Old Hat Stakes for three year old sprinting fillies. Fashion Alert will look to rebound from a loss in the Grade 1 Alcibiades, a race she led in mid-stretch but faded late. The cut back to sprinting could be just what she wants. Temper Mint Patty will cut back to sprints after a bad try at two turns in the Delta Jackpot last time out. Dale Romans excels at Route to Sprint and that’s the move in play in the Old Hat for Temper Mint Patty.   Ekati’s Phaeton returns to the Gulfstream main track where he was a perfect two for two as a two year old. He tried the lawn and it didn’t work out and ran a good second in a stake last time out at Gulfstream Park West.

Wesley Ward sends out a couple of talented turf runners in the Dania Beach including stakes winner Crown the Kitten. Crown the Kitten won the El Joven at Retama Park last time out and lands the services of Joel Rosario for the Dania Beach. He’ll also send out Wayward Kitten who has never been out of the exacta in three starts and has run at two turns on the grass in each start. Three year old Sprinters will take center stage in the Spectacular Bid Stakes. Bluegrass Singer has drawn the rail and is coming off a huge allowance win at Gulfstream going a mile. His two career wins have both been at Gulfstream and he could be one of those horses who really loves that surface. It’s Not Me and Ready For Rye both have big time early speed and both are coming into this race off of big speed figure wins. If one of them can establish control early they could be tough, but this race has tons of early gas.

The Ginger Brew Stakes features three runners each coming into the race with two straight wins. Both Cardinal Cove and Right on Kitten are both 2 for 2 in their careers and Devine Aida comes into this race with two big wins in her last two and her first trip over the grass hints at some serious ability. The Mucho Macho Man Stakes is the final stakes event and is a stop for the three year olds looking to get on the Florida Derby trail. Juan and Bina has run two huge races over at Gulfstream Park West and ships to Gulfstream for this race. Both starts have been at a mile so the distance isn’t a question. Shadwell Stable sends out Mawthooq who was a huge maiden winner last time and flashed some serious talent. John Velazquez will ride and Mawthooq figures to be very tough indeed if he can handle the class hike. Selections for the Old Hat

  1. Ekati’s Phaeton
  2. Fashion Alert
  3. Temper Mint Patty

Longshot: Little Miss Julia Selections for the Dania Beach

  1. A Lot
  2. Crown the Kitten
  3. Night Prowler

Longshot: Wayward Kitten Selections for the Spectacular Bid

  1. It’s Not Me
  2. Ready for Rye
  3. Tizcano

Longshot: Barbados Selections for the Ginger Brew

  1. Devine Aida
  2. Cardinal Cove
  3. Titanium Jo

Longshot: Jersey Jules Selections for the Mucho Macho Man

  1. Juan and Bina
  2. Mawthooq
  3. Brother Bobo

Longshot: Ami’s Flatter

Saturday Stakes Action at


Race 8                  Jerome Stakes                         3:48pm EST

Fair Grounds

Race 7                  Bonapaw Stakes                       5:24pm EST

Gulfstream Park

Race 4                  Old Hat Stakes                         2:07pm EST

Race 7                  Dania Beach Stakes                   3:34pm EST

Race 8                  Spectacular Bid Stakes              4:03pm EST

Race 9                  Ginger Brew Stakes                   4:32pm EST

Race 10               Mucho Macho Man Stakes          5:01pm EST

Laurel Park

Race 5                  What A Summer Stakes            2:29pm EST

Race 6                  Fire Plug Stakes                        2:58pm EST

Race 7                  Nellie Morse Stakes                   3:27pm EST

Race 8                  Native Dancer Stakes                3:57pm EST

Santa Anita

Race 7                  Santa Ynez Stakes                    6:30pm EST

Race 8                  San Gabriel Stakes                    7:00pm EST

Sunland Park

Race 3                  Shue Fly Stakes                        3:05pm EST

Turfway Park

Race 6                  Wintergreen Stakes                   8:40pm EST



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