Weekend Stakes Preview 11/5

Long Island Handicap kicks off Aqueduct opening weekend 

Aqueduct opened up on Wednesday and the opening weekend feature is the $200,000 Long Island Handicap for fillies and mares on the turf. At a mile and one half the Long Island drew a field of eleven runners. Danza Cavallo is coming off a second place finish in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational behind Stephanie’s Kitten who came back to win the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf last week. She was actually second in this race last season, missing by just a neck. Rosalind is just inside Danza Cavallo and is coming back to the States after running third in the Grade 1 EP Taylor at Woodbine. She went to the front that day in the EP Taylor and that was a new dimension for her. Her last win came from off the pace so it will be interesting to see how jockey Junior Alvarado positions her.

Another speedy type is Golden Espony who drew the rail. She’s two for two at the mile and one half distance and both of those wins were won in wire to wire fashion. She couldn’t get out well in the Glens Falls last time out and that resulted in a terrible 9th place finish. Todd Pletcher will send out the very sharp Gotachancetodance who will be making his stakes debut. She likes to come from off the pace and has won 3 of her last 5 starts with two second place finishes in the other two. Mutatis Mutandis ran a very credible third in her US debut which was in the Flower Bowl Invitational. She’ll have to make up almost four lengths on Danza Cavallo but the second time local start could certainly lead to improvement. Selections for the Long Island

  1. Gotachancetodance
  2. Danza Cavallo
  3. Golden Espony

Longshot: Evidently

Saturday is Sunshine Millions Preview Day at Gulfstream West

Florida breds will be prepping for the big Sunshine Millions Card on Saturday as it’s Sunshine Millions Preview Day at Gulfstream Park West. Eight races with $100,000 purses will be contested including the Classic Preview which drew a field of seven runners. Saraguaro comes off a win in the Foolish Pleasure Stakes, besting Southern Barbeque who is a contender in this race that day. That effort was a bit of an anomaly for Saraguaro so he’ll have to prove that he’s up for a repeat to win here. East Hall got back to his old winning form last time out winning a small stake at Gulfstream Park. He was a Grade 2 winner at age 3 and even won this race last year. But his 2015 campaign had been a rough one until he finally broke through last time out.

The Distaff Preview drew a field of nine runners including the speedy Flutterby. Flutterby has won two straight stakes races and has been faring very well at these elongated sprint distances. The other thing she has working in her favor is that there isn’t a lot of other speed signed on. Grade 2 winner Reporting Star might have a big class advantage in the Turf Preview which is carded as race 2 early on the card. Reporting Star is Grade 1 placed and finished a solid fifth in both the Woodbine Mile and Canadian International, both hugely prestigious Grade 1 events. Veteran Old Time Hockey might be his biggest competition but in reality he’ll have to run one of his better career races to keep pace with Reporting Star. Much of the stakes action is made up of Juvenile races for two year olds, both sprinting and longer races on the lawn. First post time on Saturday is 12:35pm EST. Selections for the Sunshine Millions Classic Preview

  1. East Hall
  2. Southern Barbeque
  3. Saraguaro

Longshot: Yourdreamsormine Selections for the Sunshine Millions Distaff Preview

  1. Flutterby
  2. Moment of Delight
  3. My Sweet Dove

Longshot: Legal Laura Selections for the Sunshine Millions Turf Preview

  1. Reporting Star
  2. Old Time Hockey
  3. One Step Salsa

Longshot: Starship Zorro

Chilukki Stakes is Churchill Saturday feature

The $200,000 Grade 2 Chilukki Stakes is the feature on Saturday at Churchill Downs on what is a very good card in Louisville. Birdatthewire will make her return to the races for the first time since a fifth place finish in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks last spring. She was a multiple Grade 2 winner this past winter at Gulfstream but did break her maiden here at Churchill. Corey Lanerie gets the mount and he’s off to a fast start at Churchill Downs and figures to be a player for the riding title this season. Gold Medal Dancer figures to get a lot of attention in this spot even though she’s coming off a dull effort and long layoff. She’s ran some of her best races at Churchill Downs including a third place finish in the Grade 1 La Troienne Stakes getting beaten by only ¾ of a length.

Shanon Nicole is another coming off a long layoff as she hasn’t been seen since a third place finish in the $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic. She won a pair of big listed stakes in the summer of 2014 but her tries against Graded Stakes level runners were both big defeats. Just to her inside in the 7 hole is Keen Pauline who won the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan earlier this year. She was well beaten in a pair of Grade 1 events following that win so the class relief should help her out a little. Miguel Mena will take over the mount on Keen Pauline for trainer Dale Romans. Selections for the Chilukki Stakes

  1. Gold Medal Dancer
  2. Keen Pauline
  3. Birdatthewire

Longshot: Ahh Chocolate

Del Mar Saturday is topped by the Kathryn Crosby Stakes

The Bing Crosby meet continues this weekend and the feature is named after his wife as the $75,000 Kathryn Crosby Stakes goes to post as race 8. Eight fillies and mares will go on the grass including Grade 2 winner Nashoba’s Gold. She was one of the top fillies in the area last season but went out of form early in 2015 and headed to the sidelines. She now returns for trainer Carla Gaines and looks to get back on track. She’ll face mostly allowance/optional claimer type runners who are trying to make the step up to stakes competition. Chaulk O Lattey has been tough in the optional claiming races as a frontrunning sort and figures to be right on the pace in here. She did try a state-bred stakes two starts back and finished a good second in that effort.

Neil Drysdale will send out Energia Fribby in what will be just her second start here in the US. She’s been all over the planet, having run in Brazil, Great Britain and most recently Dubai before coming to Southern California. She closed to finish third in that local debut and figures to improve with further acclimation. Cast in Silver was second in that stake just ahead of Energia Fribby and while she might not be the best candidate to win this race, she’s usually reliable to be in the superfecta somewhere at a price. Selections for the Kathryn Crosby Stakes

  1. Chaulk O Lattey
  2. Nashoba’s Gold
  3. Energia Fribby

Longshot: Cast in Silver

Saturday Stakes Action at


Race 8                  Long Island Handicap                3:50pm EST

Charles Town

Race 7                  My Sister Pearl Stakes               9:55pm EST

Churchill Downs

Race 10              Chilukki Stakes                         5:15pm EST

Del Mar

Race 8                  Kathryn Crosby Stakes               7:00pm EST

Golden Gate

Race 7                  Golden Nugget Stakes              6:45pm EST

Gulfstream Park West

Race 2                  Millions Preview Turf                  1:05pm EST

Race 3                  Juvenile Filly Sprint                    1:35pm EST

Race 4                  Millions Turf Sprint Preview         2:05pm EST

Race 5                  Millions Classic Preview               2:35pm EST

Race 6                  Millions Distaff Preview Stakes     3:05pm EST

Race 7                  Juvenile Turf                                     3:35pm EST

Race 9                  Juvenile Filly Turf                      4:35pm EST

Race 10               Juvenile Sprint Stakes               5:05pm EST

Mahoning Valley

Race 3                  Ohio Debutante                       1:38pm EST

Turf Paradise

Race 5                  Jeff and Jack Coady Stakes      6:02pm EST

Race 7                  Chandler Stakes                       7:05pm EST


Race 8                  Jammed Lovely Stakes              4:26pm EST

Zia Park

Race 11               Lovington Stakes                      6:33pm EST




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