Weekend Stakes Preview 12/12

Grade 1 CashCall Futurity tops huge Hollywood Park Saturday

The last Grade 1 in the history of Hollywood Park will be run this Saturday when thirteen two year olds tackle the mile and one sixteenth $750,000 CashCall Futurity.  The Grade 1 event drew some of the top two year olds around including two of the possible favorites, who drew right next to each other in Shared Belief and Tap it Rich.  Shared Belief arrived at Hollywood Park after a huge maiden score at Golden Gate Fields and proceeded to crush his rivals in the Hollywood Prevue last time out.  Corey Nakatani will once again ride for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and while the distance may be the big question, speed and ability are not.  Shared Belief was dominant in the Hollywood Prevue and put up a big speed figure.  Tap It Rich finished fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and was closing well at the end against the top two year olds in the world.  He’s proven at two turns as both races have been around two bends, but this will be his first time over the synthetic course.

Tamarando is coming off a big score in the Real Quiet Stakes last time out at Hollywood Park.  He’s already run seven times this year and has three victories, so seasoning is certainly not the issue.  Bond Holder won the Grade 1 Frontrunner at Santa Anita earlier this year and was a decent fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at 12/1.

The Native Diver Handicap and Hollywood Turf Cup are the two main undercard events.  The Native Diver Handicap drew some tough old veterans, but it might be Hear the Ghost, a lightly raced three year old who gets some of the attention.  He was a big winner of the San Felipe this year before going to the bench with an injury.  He came back with a strong second in an allowance event against older runners, which could set him up for a big run.  He’ll have to take down Setsuko who’s coming in off a huge layoff and Blueskiesnrainbows who was just second in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon.  The Hollywood Turf Cup drew just six runners including the very fast Temeraine.  Temeraine has taken on some of the top turfers in the country in recent starts, finishing fifth in the Arlington Million and 5th in the Canadian International.  The class relief will make him very tough in this spot. Selections for the CashCall Futurity

  1. Shared Belief
  2. Tap it Rich
  3. Tamarando

Longshot; Rankhasprivileges Selections for the Native Diver Handicap

  1. Hear the Ghost
  2. Blueskiesnrainbows
  3. Soi Phet

Longshot: Mobilized Selections for the Hollywood Turf Cup

  1. Temeraine
  2. Lucayan
  3. Arctic North

Longshot: Irish Surf

Sugar Swirl highlights Gulfstream program on Saturday

The $100,000 Sugar Swirl is the Saturday feature as Gulfstream Park now gets into the winter portion of the season.  The top barns are all returning to South Florida and the Sugar Swirl drew some quality names.  R Free Roll figures to go favorite coming off a huge win in the $100,000 Bold World Handicap that saw her go wire to wire and put up a big speed figure.  She bested Heart Stealer that day who will be back to challenge in the Sugar Swirl.  R Free Roll has run at Gulfstream Park just one time and it was a decent second place finish in a stakes last season.  Heart Stealer scored in her last start at Gulfstream Park, a huge ten length win against allowance/optional claimer.  Classic Point is an interesting runner as she was keeping tabs with some tough company in New York this past summer.  She was second just a neck behind Dance To Bristol in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss before running a very good fifth in the Grade 1 Ballerina.  She seems to be at her best when she’s up close to the lead and she got back to her frontrunning style last time when beaten just a neck in the Punkin Pie Stakes at Belmont.  But this race is loaded with speed, so it could turn into a contest of who can work out the best trip. Selections for the Sugar Swirl

  1. Munnings Sister
  2. R Free Roll
  3. Heart Stealer

Longshot: Twice Told Tale

Saturday is Louisiana Champions Day at Fair Grounds 

Fair Grounds will be celebrating the Louisiana bred runners on Saturday with ten stakes events on the card for the state breds.  String King will take his game off the grass and onto the dirt and try the $150,000 Classic.  He’s been the king of the grass for state-breds lately but he’s going to try the Fair Grounds main track for just the second time and his first try was a clunker.  He’ll have to take on Sunbean and Populist Politics who will both get some serious consideration.  Sunbean was on the Kentucky Derby trail for much of last year.  After some time off he showed up back with Louisiana breds at Evangeline and took home the top spot in the Louisiana Legends Mile.  He has three wins from five starts over the Fair Grounds main track so we know the home course will suit him well.  Sunbean won the Gold Cup Classic at Delta last time, besting Populist Politics who was favored that day.  Populist Politics found himself further back than usual and still came running that day, so expect him to maybe be a little closer on Saturday.

The card gets underway at 1:30pm with three quarter horse stakes events before getting into the thoroughbred portion of the card, with stakes for all levels on grass and the main track. Selections for the Louisiana Champions Day

  1. Sunbean
  2. Populist Politics
  3. Skip the Pinot

Longshot: Hud’s Rebellion

Lassie Stakes part of Woodbine’s closing weekend

After over 7 months of great racing, the Woodbine season is coming to an end this weekend.  The $150,000 event for two year old fillies will see a rematch of Lexie Lou and Paladin Bay, who have been 1-2 in both their last starts against each other.  Paladin Bay got the nod in the Princess Elize while Lexie Lou took home top honors in the South Ocean.  Lexie Lou certainly has a tactical advantage as speed is her game while Paladin Bay likes to come from off the pace.  There isn’t much other speed signed on, so Lexie Lou will certainly have the chance to slow things down up front. Splashy Gizmo has been sprinting pretty exclusively and will make her first try at two turns in the Lassie.  She won her maiden and non-two nicely and was second in the Fanfrelche beaten just a neck. Selections for the Lassie Stakes

  1. Lexie Lou
  2. Paladin Bay
  3. Splashy Gizmo

Longshot: My Bid

Saturday Stakes action at

Betfair Hollywood Park

Race 3                  Hollywood Turf Cup                   4:30pm EST

Race 7                  Native Diver Handicap                6:35pm EST

Race 9                  CashCall Futurity                       7:37pm EST


Race 8                  Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap             4:00pm EST


Race 10                 EVD Futurity                            10:25pm EST

Fair Grounds

Race 1                  La. Champions Day QH Derby     1:30pm EST

Race 2                  La. Champions Day QH Juvenile   2:00pm EST

Race 3                  La. Champions Day QH Classic     2:29pm EST

Race 4                  La. Champions Day Lassie           2:57pm EST

Race 5                  La. Champions Day Turf             3:24pm EST

Race 7                La. Champions Day Ladies Sprint   4:23pm EST

Race 8                  La. Champions Day Ladies S.       4;53pm EST

Race 9                  La. Champions Day Juvenile        5:23pm EST

Race 10               La. Champions Day Classic          5:53pm EST

Race 11               La. Champions Day Sprint           6:23pm EST


Race 9                  Sugar Swirl Stakes                    4:33pm EST


Race 7                  Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity            5:14pm EST

Sunland Park

Race 5                  Challenger Six QH and TB H.      3:55pm EST

Turf Paradise

Race 7                  City of Phoenix Stakes               5:58pm EST


Race 4                  Ontario Lassie Stakes                2:26pm EST

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