Weekend Stakes Preview 11/19

Delta Jackpot tops huge Saturday in Louisiana

It will be a huge weekend in the Bayou as the $1,000,000 Delta Jackpot is Saturday and Fair Grounds opens on Friday. The Delta Jackpot is part of a special daytime card of racing at Delta Downs on Saturday that gets underway at 2:15pm EST. The Jackpot drew a full field of ten with a mix of stakes winners and horses who have been running well in stakes events. Ocho Ocho Ocho was dominant when winning the Juvenile Sprint at Santa Anita on Breeders’ Cup Saturday. Cynics will say he rode a biased track to a wire to wire score, but he drew away impressively and should be part of the pace early on in the Jackpot. Golden Actor has the home field advantage as he’s won two races in a row at a mile, the last one being at Delta Downs. Last time out he blitzed seven rivals in the $200,000 Jean Lafitte, the primary prep for the Jackpot. Russell Baze and Jerry Hollendorfer will bring Prime Engine over to Delta after a pair of big wins on the West Coast. Prime Engine beat a highly touted Trackattacker in the Gottstein Futurity at Emerald Downs last time out. Although you don’t often see horses from Emerald Downs at Delta Downs, back in 2006 Pirates Deputy won the Gottstein and then ran second in the Jackpot, so it’s not unprecedented for horses from Emerald to have success in this race. Conquest Tsunami figures to be part of the early pace as well as he’s coming off a wire to wire score in the Street Sense Stakes. His only defeat was a sixth place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity and he’s been on the lead early in every race.

The $400,000 Delta Princess Stakes managed to lure Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Take Charge Brandi. D. Wayne Lukas will bring her back after she went wire to wire to win that Grade 1 event at 60/1. She had been crushed in her previous three races and the track seemed to be speed favoring when she won. If nobody goes with her early she could be tough, but it’s possible that win was an anomaly. Temper Mint Patty will be making her first start outside of New York in the Princess. Temper Mint Patty was just second in a New York bred Stakes event and prior to that won a stake at 7 furlongs. It could be the distance got to her and she’s going to have to go another sixteenth this time. Vivian Da Bling dominated the local prep at Delta Downs last time, but her lone defeat was against graded company in the Adirondack so she could be vulnerable to the class hike. Selections for the Delta Jackpot

  1. Ocho Ocho Ocho
  2. Golden Actor
  3. Wake Up Nick

Longshot: Red Button Selections for the Delta Princess

  1. Vivian Da Bling
  2. Temper Mint Patty
  3. Take Charge Brandi

Longshot: Skipulate Selections for the Delta Mile

  1. Sunbean
  2. Grand Contender
  3. Agent DiNozzo

Longshot: Mighty Brown Selections for the Treasure Chest

  1. Class Included
  2. Kiss to Remember
  3. Eden Prairie

Longshot: Spring In the Air

Fair Grounds gets underway on Friday

Fair Grounds in New Orleans will kick off the annual Fall/Winter meet on Friday with a special “Starlight Racing” night that gets underway at 6pm EST. Fair Grounds will race on a Thursday through Sunday schedule early on with Monday’s added to the mix in January. The biggest day of the season is the Louisiana Derby Day which is run on closing day March 28th. The three year olds will build up to that race with the Lecomte and the Risen Star which race in January and February respectively. The first big card of the meet is on December 13th with the annual Louisiana Champions Day for Louisiana breds. The first stakes race of the season is the Thanksgiving Handicap on Thursday November 27th, part of Fair Grounds annual big Thanksgiving day program.

Turf Marathoners go in the Red Carpet Handicap at Del Mar on Saturday

Eleven fillies and mares will go a mile and three eighths on Saturday in the $100,000 Red Carpet Handicap at Del Mar. Appealing Cat is the 121 pound highweight and is shipping west after a third place performance in the Dowager Stakes at Keeneland, a mile and one half event. She’ll cut back a furlong after that performance which was her first try beyond nine furlongs. She should be fit after that run and he could be a big threat on Saturday. Appealing Cat drew the rail and her main competition could be way on the outside in the form of Scotter Bird. Scotter Bird is coming off a huge win in a non-conditioned allowance that was contested at a mile and one half. That was also her first try beyond a mile and a quarter and he she too seemed to relish the added ground. Lady of Gold ships west for trainer Graham Motion and is transferring from the polytrack of Woodbine where she finished second in a Grade 3 event. Selections for the Red Carpet Handicap

  1. Lady of Gold
  2. Scooter Bird
  3. Bee Brave

Longshot: Winning Rhythm

Stakes double at Aqueduct on Saturday

Aqueduct will be showcasing the New York sired runners on Saturday with a pair of New York Stallion Sires Stakes. The fillies and mares edition will go as Race 5 and the boys will run in Race 8 and both races are carded at 7 furlongs. The filly division features a field of ten including the defending champ in the race Sunny Desert. Uncle Southern is coming off a terrible performance in the Arctic Queen Stakes but prior to that she won a pair of races, including a state-bred stakes at Saratoga. Vicki’s Dancer hasn’t won since winning a similar version of this race last year at Aqueduct. She often finds her way into the exotics though and figures to be a contender to be in the mix.

The boys division drew ten runners as well and features West Hills Giant who was second in this race last year. He hasn’t won in a long time and figures to be a money burner as he’ll certainly take action at the windows. Loki’s Vengeance seems to be an all or nothing type runner as he either wins or gets beaten by quite a ways as of late. He has good tactical speed though and should be prominent late if he fires his best shot. Gridley Here is in career form and has won his last two races in huge fashion for trainer Ken McPeek. He’ll pick up the services of Luis Saez who will take over for Joel Rosario. Selections for the NYSS Fillies

  1. Storied Lady
  2. Skye Saratoga
  3. Sunny Desert

Longshot: Royal Suspicion Selections for the NYSS Colts and Geldings

  1. Loki’s Vengeance
  2. Gridley Here
  3. Chapman

Longshot: John’s Island

Friday and Saturday is the Breeders’ Crown at The Big M

Harness lovers will have one of their biggest weekends of the season on Friday and Saturday night as the Meadowlands hosts the 2014 Breeders’ Crown programs. The two night event will feature twelve championship races for over $12,000,000 in purses. Events for pacers and trotters of all ages and divisions will be contested over the two nights. Both evenings of harness action get underway at 7:15pm EST. Four final events will be run on Friday night and eight final events will go on Saturday evening.

Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap looks wide open at Churchill

Churchill Downs has been running plenty of big field turf stakes this fall and the Cardinal Handicap on Saturday is another to add to that list. Fourteen older fillies and mares will go the nine furlongs and I’m Already Sexy has been assigned the highweight of 119 pounds. She’s coming off a fourth place finish in the Grade 2 Goldikova at Santa Anita, a race she led in mid-stretch and got caught in the final sixteenth. Calvin Borel will take over the mount on I’m Already Sexy for the first time and having drawn the rail, there shouldn’t be much debate on what his tactics will be. Strike Charmer comes into this race off a second place finish in the Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf at a mile behind I’m Already Sexy. Both of Strike Charmer’s career wins come at Churchill Downs and it could be a return to the twin spires that gets her back to her best. Nellie Cashman was a Grade 2 winner as a three year old and got back to her winning ways last time in an optional claimer at Laurel Park. Selections for the Cardinal Handicap

  1. Royal Fury
  2. Nellie Cashman
  3. Strike Charmer

Longshot: Bitty Kitty

Saturday Stakes Action at


Race 5                  New York Stallion Series Stakes           2:16pm EST

Race 8                  New York Stallion Series Stakes           3:42pm EST

Charles Town

Race 8                  A Huevo Stakes                                    10:11pm EST

Churchill Downs

Race 9                  Cardinal Handicap                               4:35pm EST

Del Mar

Race 8                  Red Carpet Handicap                          7:00pm EST

Delta Downs

Race 2                  Sam’s Town Stakes                              2:45pm EST

Race 3                  Louisiana Legacy Stakes                      3:12pm EST

Race 4                  Louisiana Jewel Stakes                       3:44pm EST

Race 5                  Treasure Chest Stakes                       4:13pm EST

Race 6                  Delta Princess                                     4:43pm EST

Race 7                  Delta Jackpot                                      5:15pmEST

Race 8                  Delta Mile                                         5:45pm EST

Race 9                  Orleans Stakes                                  6:15pm EST

Gulfstream Park West

Race 7                  Tropical Turf Handicap                        3:29pm EST

Race 9                  My Charmer Handicap                        4:27pm EST


Race 3                  Sun Power Stakes                             3:50pm EST

Race 8                  Showtime Deb Stakes                        6:20pm EST


Race 8                  Glorious Song Stakes                          4:24pm EST




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