Weekend Stakes Preview 12/19

Soviet Problem Stakes headlines final weekend of racing ever at Hollywood Park 

Betfair Hollywood Park will shut it’s doors after Sundays card, ending an amazing 75 year run.  The $200,000 Soviet Problem Stakes will headline the Saturday program which will feature eleven races.  Ten two year old fillies will go in the Soviet Problem Stakes which is a seven furlong event for cal-breds.  Swiss Lake Yodeler is coming off a smashing win in the Golden State Juvenile Fillies Stakes at Santa Anita on November 1st and will actually shorten up a furlong for the Soviet Problem.  While she has an experience edge over many of the rivals she’ll face on Saturday, she might not have a speed edge on Global Hottie who has turned in two huge tries so far in her career.  Her big maiden score last time out was in her first start over the Hollywood Synthetic track, so she certainly seemed to relish the going.  Sprouts was a multiple stakes winner earlier this season before getting thumped in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante last time out.  But she’ll look to rebound after getting some time off and a return to Betfair Hollywood Park where she’s 2 for 3 career.

First post time at Hollywood Park on Saturday is 3:30pm EST

  1. Global Hottie
  2. Sprouts
  3. Swiss Lake Yodeler

Longshot: Casey’s Clem

Six Stakes for “Santa Super Saturday” at The Fair Grounds

Fair Grounds will offer up a bevy of great stakes racing action on Saturday, with six added money events as part of the twelve race card.  The Blushing K.D. Handicap kicks off the stakes action and is for older fillies and mares on the grass.  Imposing Grace comes into this race off a huge Grade 3 score in the Arlington Matron back in May.  She’s been away from the races since then so the layoff is a question mark, but trainer Wayne Catalano certainly could have her ready to fire.  Class Included also comes into this race off a stakes win, albeit a more recent triumph, taking home the Treasure Chest Stakes at Delta Downs.  She’s a Grade 3 winner and while she’s only raced twice on the grass, one of those was a second place finish against open allowance runners at Keeneland.  Two year-old fillies will go in the Letellier Memorial, a race where three of the six runners are already stakes winners.  Closing Report was dominant in a pair of wins at Lone Star Park while She’s Offlee Good won the Arlington-Washington Lassie before being beaten in the Grade 1 Alcibiades.

The Bonapaw Stakes will bring together twelve speedy sprinters on the grass.  Multiple graded stakes winner Sum of the Parts will be making just his second start at the Fair Grounds over the grass and his debut wasn’t a pretty 7th place showing.  He’ll have to beat Great Mills who is a win machine at Fair Grounds, with four triumphs from just six starts.  Great Mills is at his best if he can get loose on the lead so look for David Flores to be aggressive early on.  Strong Impact could be an interesting price horse as he’s never run at Fair Grounds and has been in over his head.  He should appreciate the drop in class.  The Tenacious Handicap features the red-hot Grand Contender taking on a talented group of older runners.  Grand Contender has won three straight including a recent triumph in the Delta Mile.  He’ll have to best horses like Prayer For Relief and Agent DiNozzo, who ran a closing second behind Grand Contender last time out.

The Buddy Diliberto Memorial will go over the grass and drew a full field of twelve.  Grade 1 winner King David got back to his winning ways last time out and always seems to put in a big closing kick.  He should appreciate the long Fair Grounds stretch.  Daddy Nose Best reeled off three straight turf wins earlier this season and tried Grade 3 runners last time, finishing fifth.  He could improve with the class relief on Saturday.  Also keep an eye on Pure Tactics who is a very consistent runner and already 2 for 4 over the Fair Grounds grass.  The Sugar Bowl Stakes is the final stakes event on the card and is for two year olds.  Albano has an advantage that none of his rivals have and that’s the fact that he has a run, and a win over the Fair Grounds course.  Everyone else is shipping in.  D’Cajun Cat was an impressive maiden breaker at Churchill Downs before fading to finish fifth in the Grade 3 Bashford Manor.  After taking most of the summer and fall off he returns in this spot. Selections for the Blushing K.D.

  1. Class Included
  2. Artemus Kitten
  3. Same Cross

Longshot: Twirl Selections for the Letellier Memorial

  1. She’s Offlee Good
  2. Closing Report
  3. Divine Beauty

Longshot: Toni’s Hollyday Selections for the Bonapaw

  1. Great Mills
  2. Strong Impact
  3. Channel Marker

Longshot: Billy Two Hats Selections for the Tenacious Handicap

  1. Grand Contender
  2. Agent Dinozzo
  3. Voodoo Storm

Longshot: Hip Four Sixtynine Selections for the Buddy Diliberto

  1. Pure Tactics
  2. Daddy Nose Best
  3. King David

Longshot: Mr. Vegas Selections for the Sugar Bowl

  1. D’Cajun Cat
  2. Albano
  3. Be Well

Longshot: Joedini

Two year old turfers in the Grade 3 Dania Beach at Gulfstream

A very talented group of runners will line up on Saturday in South Florida for the Grade 3 Dania Beach at Gulfstream Park.  Calder Dash winner Bon Accord returns to Florida after running a very credible 4th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf in his last start.  Joel Rosario will once again be on board for trainer Antonio Sano.  Bon Accord proved his routing ability over the Polytrack at Keeneland when she was a late closing third in the Grade 3 Bourbon.  Pleuven could be the main danger though as he comes across the pond from France.  He was last seen in July winning a race at Longchamp in Paris.  He’s lightly raced but comes to the States with great European credentials and draws the services of Alan Garcia.  Request and Hesinfront are both just maiden breakers, but both of them got their first wins in style on the grass.  Request won a tough maiden event at Belmont in his debut while Hesinfront took home a win over the grass at Churchill in his third career start.  Both are getting tested for class in the Dania Beach, but both should represent themselves well. Selections for the Dania Beach

  1. Pleuven
  2. Request
  3. Bon Accord

Longshot: Hesinfront

Saturday Stakes Action at

Betfair Hollywood

Race 10                Soviet Problem Stakes                        8:05pm EST

Charles Town

Race 7                  Holiday Handicap                               9:58pm EST

Race 8                  Eleanor Casey Memorial                       10:25pm EST

Fair Grounds

Race 5                  Blushing KD Handicap                         3:56pm EST

Race 6                  Letellier Memorial                               4:25pm EST

Race 7                  Bonapaw Stakes                                4:54pm EST

Race 8                  Tenacious Handicap                            5:22pm EST

Race 9                  Buddy Diliberto Memorial                  5:48pm EST

Race 10               Sugar Bowl Stakes                             6:18pm EST

Gulfstream Park

Race 9                  Dania Beach Stakes                            4:33pm EST

Sunland Park

Race 10               Bold Ego Stakes                                6:04pm EST

Turf Paradise

Race 7                  Hank Mills Sr. Handicap                       5:45pm EST

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