Weekend Stakes Preview 12/18

Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity tops Southern Cal Weekend

The Los Alamitos winter meeting is wrapping up but is going out with a bang with the Grade 1 $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity. Dortmund isn’t a stakes winner yet but he’s been so impressive in his first two starts that he figures to get a lot of attention at the windows. The Bob Baffert trainee won his maiden breaker on November 2nd at Santa Anita by four lengths and followed that up with a huge Optional Claiming win at Churchill Downs on Thanksgiving weekend. Now he returns to Southern California with a lot of hype and figures to be a short price in just a field of five. His main competition could be from Mr. Z who is coming off a very strong performance in the Grade 3 Delta Jackpot. He was second that day but was beaten only a nose. He only has one win in seven career starts but he’s been second four times including in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland. He worked a strong five furlongs at Los Alamitos this week so it appears he took well to the surface.

With those two figuring to top the wagering, value players will look possibly to Firing Line. Firing Line got a strong speed figure for his maiden breaking score last time out at Del Mar. Rafael Bejarano will take over the mount and since there isn’t much speed in the race he figures to be closer early on. No Problem drew the number two post and he very well could be the early speed in the race. He’s coming off a Grade 3 win in the Bob Hope Stakes, a race he was 17/1 in. The Los Alamitos Futurity is the 8th race on Saturday at Los Alamitos and post time is 7:00pm EST. Selections for the Los Alamitos Futurity

  1. Firing Line
  2. Dortmund
  3. Mr. Z

Letellier Memorial tops stakes double at the Fair Grounds

The long march to the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks and Louisiana Derby starts on Saturday at Fair Grounds as the six furlong $60,000 Letellier Memorial and the $60,000 Sugar Bowl headline the Fair Grounds program. The Sugar Bowl is the first race on the card and features five two year old colts and geldings including the Steve Asmussen trained Cinco Charlie. Cinco Charlie is a Grade 3 winner and last time out crushed his rivals in the $100,000 James Lewis Stakes at Laurel Park. His main detraction as a contender in this race could be that he is an early speed type and his main competition looks to be another early speed type in the form of Control Stake. Control Stake went wire to wire at the Fair Grounds last time out in an optional claiming event and figures to send as he’s drawn down towards the inside from James Graham. They look like clearly the top two horses in this race.

The $60,000 Letellier Memorial it will be six two year old fillies competing at six furlongs. Promise Me Silver is a perfect 3 for 3 in her young career and won the $100,000 Debutante at Churchill Downs in June. She came back off a layoff to dominate the Texas Stallion Stakes at Retama last time out in November and should be a prime contender in this race. I’m a Looker figures to be rallying from off the pace in the Letellier and is coming off a second place finish against optional claimers at Churchill Downs. Carolina Jasmine is still a maiden after three starts but her speed figures in those efforts do make her somewhat of a player in this spot. Selections for the Sugar Bowl Stakes

  1. Control Stake
  2. Cinco Charlie
  3. Bourbon Cowboy Selections for the Letellier Memorial

  1. Promise Me Silver
  2. I’m a Looker
  3. Carolina Jasmine

Longshot: True to You

Tropical Park Derby and Oaks top Gulfstream Weekend

Gulfstream Park has been featuring huge fields and great racing action so far during the Winter Championship Meet and that will continue this Saturday with the $75,000 runnings of the Tropical Park Oaks and Derby both drawing huge fields. The Tropical Park Derby for three year olds gives the sophomore’s one last chance to run against their own age group. Bashart, Other Creek and Smooth Daddy all come out of graded races and all figure to appreciate the class relief they’ll get on Saturday. Bashart has hit the board in two straight Grade 3 events and will try out Gulfstream Park for the first time. Bashart is at his best when he’s close up early, but so is Smooth Daddy. Smooth Daddy ran a pair of solid races in his last two, both Grade 3 races in New York. He was on the lead in both that seems to be the style he’s developed in recent starts. Other Creek figures to add more pace up front and he’s coming off a good second in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Stakes at Churchill Downs last time out. If you’re looking for a closer at a price then Ironicus could be the horse as he’s a confirmed closer who should get a good pace setup and always seems to kick home late.

The Tropical Park Oaks drew fourteen runners including Sandiva who drew way on the outside in the 14 hole. She’s coming off a fifth place finish in the Grade 2 Mrs. Revere and should appreciate the class relief. Reade Baker will ship down Save The Park who has rattled off three straight big wins up in Toronto at Woodbine. Paco Lopez will get the mount and she’s a horse who is getting better with each start. Kiaran McLaughlin sends out Dancing House for Godolphin who is coming off a nice win at Keeneland last time out. She was out for most of 2014 and this figures to be a good step for her to get back to competing in graded stakes like she was as a two year old. Selections for the Tropical Park Derby

  1. Ironicus
  2. Bashart
  3. Smooth Daddy

Longshot: Breitling Flyer Selections for the Tropical Park Oaks

  1. Dancing House
  2. Save The Park
  3. Sandiva

Longshot: Bikini Beauty

Saturday Stakes Action at

Charles Town

Race 8                  Eleanor Casey Memorial              10:11pm EST

Delta Downs

Race 8                  B-Connected Stakes                      10:05pm EST

Fair Grounds

Race 1                  Sugar Bowl Stakes                      1:00pm EST

Race 8                  Letellier Memorial                      4:21pm EST

Gulfstream Park

Race 8                  Tropical Park Derby                      3:58pm EST

Race 10               Tropical Park Oaks                         4:57pm EST

Los Alamitos

Race 8                  Los Alamitos Futurity                 7:00pm EST

Mahoning Valley

Race 4                  Bobbie Bricker Memorial             2:08pm EST

Sunland Park

Race 9                  Bold Ego Handicap                    5:44pm EST

Turf Paradise

Race 4                  Kachina Handicap                      5:17pm EST

Race 7                  Hank Mills Sr. Handicap              6:41pm EST



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