Weekend Stakes Preview 11/19

$1,000,000 Delta Jackpot tops huge card at Delta Downs 

Saturday is Delta Downs’ biggest day of the season with the $1,000,000 Delta Jackpot as the centerpiece. Along with the huge purse, Kentucky Derby points are on the line for these ten two year olds. Exaggerator has been given the role of 2/1 morning line favorite as he is coming off a fourth place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He’s already a Grade 2 winner and was second in the Grade 1 Breeders’ futurity at Keeneland two starts back. They’ve drawn towards the outside in post nine but with the long run to the first turn they should be able to find a cozy spot early. Sunny Ridge was second in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes and elected to skip the Breeders’ Cup and point to this race. He’s got good tactical speed and has been better since stretching out to a mile two starts back. Forevamo drew the rail and was the winner of the Jean Lafitte Stakes at Delta, which is the main local prep for the Jackpot. He was a maiden going into that race but went off as the favorite and won in solid fashion over Harlan Punch who also shows up in this race. Doug O’Neill sends out Found Money who ships over from the west coast after a good second place finish in the $200,000 Golden State Juvenile. That was a state bred race but his numbers that he’s put up lately make him a big contender in this spot.

The $400,000 Delta Princess drew just a field of seven runners and that could be because of La Appassionata. Made the 3/5 morning line favorite, La Appassionata has been dominant in two starts thus far in her career, including a big win in the $100,000 My Trusty Cat Stakes last time out at Delta, beating several of the rivals she’ll see again on Saturday. None of the new shooters she’ll see look to be up to her ability so it’s certainly her race to lose. Above Fashion and Learning Curve could be good underneath options for exotic plays. The $250,000 Delta Mile drew a field of eight including Departing who is the 8/5 favorite. An earner of well over a million dollars in his career, Departing is coming off a second place finish in the Lukas Classic at Churchill Downs. He’ll have to beat Rise Up who is a perfect 2 for 2 at Delta Downs including a win in the 2013 Delta Jackpot.

The Delta Downs Saturday card gets underway at a special 2:15pm EST first post time and features a slew of state bred stakes as well as the big events which start in race 5. Selections for the Delta Jackpot

  1. Found Money
  2. Exaggerator
  3. Harlan Punch

Longshot: Whitmore Selections for the Delta Princess

  1. La Appassionata
  2. Above Fashion
  3. Learning Curve

Longshot: Angelita Selections for the Delta Mile

  1. Mister Pollard
  2. Departing
  3. Rise UP

Longshot: Ring Necked Selections for the Treasure Chest

  1. Diva’s Diamond
  2. Kyriaki
  3. Haunted Heroine

Longshot: Walk of Stars

Fair Grounds opens up this week

Fair Grounds in New Orleans opened up this week as the track kicks off it’s annual Fall/Winter meeting. First post will generally be at 2:25pm EST daily with the exception of some special days, which include a Starlight Racing program on Friday November 20th at 6:00pm EST. Fair Grounds will primarily race on a Thursday through Sunday schedule. Fair Grounds biggest day of the year is on closing weekend as Saturday March 26th is Louisiana Derby Day. The road to the Louisiana Derby will feature great stakes action as three year olds prep to make their way towards the Kentucky Derby.

Cardinal Handicap tops Churchill Downs Stakes Double

Saturday at Churchill Downs will feature a pair of stakes events including the $100,000 Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap. Thirteen older filly and mare turfers will go nine furlongs in what should be a very competitive betting race. Button Down ships down from Woodbine after finishing fifth in the Grade 1 EP Taylor Stakes. She was only beaten two lengths that day and prior to that was a very good second in the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes at Woodbine. She should appreciate the class drop and the obvious question will be whether or not he can take to the Churchill Downs turf course. Wiener Valkyrie came to Belmont for her first US start last time out and ran second at 66/1 in the Grade 3 Athenia. She’ll certainly be a lower price after that effort but she goes for a barn most haven’t heard of with only 3 starts this year. Graham Motion will send out Faufiler in the Cardinal and she is also coming out of the Athenia at Belmont. She was 8th that day beaten two and three quarter lengths but has a bit better European resume than Wiener Valkyrie.

The $80,000 Bet On Sunshine Stakes is for sprinters and features Grade 3 winner Alsvid among others. Alsvid won the Aristides here in his lone Churchill Downs start on the main track and is coming off a 13th place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Clearly this is a massive class drop which he should appreciate. His main competition could come from Doubledown again who ran a good second in a stake at Keeneland first off the claim for trainer Mike Maker. Selections for the Cardinal Handicap

  1. Button Down
  2. Faufiler
  3. America Mon Amie

Longshot: Lacy Selections for the Bet on Sunshine

  1. Doubledown Again
  2. Bagg O’Day
  3. Brewing

Longshot: W.B. Smudge

Saturday Stakes Double at Aqueduct

A pair of stakes events top the Saturday program at Aqueduct including the $100,000 Artie Schiller Stakes at a mile on the grass. Ten runners are set to go with 4 main track only runners incase it washes off the grass. Lubash has made a million bucks the hard way and has been in some of the best form of his career this season as an eight year old. She figures to have a big shot again Saturday in this spot as she should be just off the pace early on. Shug McGaughey will send out Grade 3 winner Reload in the Artie Schiller. Reload is a mile specialist as he has 3 wins from 4 starts at that distance. John Velazquez will take the mount on Reload and while this is a bit of a class jump for him, he figures to be a big contender.

Two year old New York breds will go to post in the $100,000 Notebook Stakes. Sudden Surprise drew the outside and figures to be a big contender as he won three straight races to start his career. He went wire to wire in all three starts but last time out failed to get the lead and finished fourth in a NY bred stakes. There’s plenty of other speed in this race so if he doesn’t get the lead he could be in trouble. Todd Pletcher trains Sudden Surprise but he also will send out Spooked Out who could be the main competition. Spooked Out was a sensational maiden winner last time out and with the rail draw expect him to send towards the lead in here. Selections for the Artie Schiller Stakes

  1. Reload
  2. Lubash
  3. Sky Flight

Longshot: Saratoga Snacks Selections for the Notebook Stakes

  1. Spooked Out
  2. Sudden Surprise
  3. Love That Jazz

Longshot: Steve’s Image

Saturday Stakes Action at


Race 4                  Notebook Stakes                      1:50pm EST

Race 8                  Artie Schiller Stakes                  3:50pm EST

Charles Town

Race 7                  West Virginia Futurity                9:55pm EST

Churchill Downs

Race 9                  Bet on Sunshine Stakes             4:45pm EST

Race 10               Cardinal Handicap                      5:15pm EST

Del Mar

Race 8                  Red Carpet Handicap                 7:00pm EST

Delta Downs

Race 2                  Orleans Stakes                         2:44pm EST

Race 3                  La. Jewel Stakes                      3:12pm EST

Race 4                  La. Legacy Stakes                     3:43pm EST

Race 5                  Delta Mile                                4:14pm EST

Race 6                  Delta Downs Princess                4:43pm EST

Race 7                  Delta Jackpot                              5:15pm EST

Race 8                  Treasure Chest Stakes              5:45pm EST

Race 9                  Sam’s Town Stakes                    6:15pm EST

Gulfstream Park West

Race 4                  My Charmer Handicap                2:05pm EST

Race 6                  Tropical Park Turf                     3:05pm EST

Mahoning Valley

Race 3                  Glacial Princess Stakes               1:38pm EST

Race 5                  First Lady Stakes                      2:32pm EST


Race 8                  Glorious Song Stakes                 4:40pm EST



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