Weekend Stakes Preview 12/4

Saturday is Claiming Crown Day at Gulfstream Park

Gulfstream Park will be headlining some of the top claimers in the country on Saturday as the track will play host to the Claiming Crown.  Claiming Crown is a gathering of the top claimers in North America who will compete in a series of starter allowance events with the feature being the $200,000 Claiming Crown Jewel.  Bernie The Maestro will go for Ken and Sarah Ramsey who always have a lot of horses in the Claiming Crown.  Bernie The Maestro has won two straight including a nice score in the Schaefer Memorial at Indiana Downs last time out.  His biggest challenger on Saturday in the Crown Jewel could be right to his outside in the form of Voodoo Storm.  Voodoo Storm really woke up since being claimed for $25,000 by trainer Tim Glyshaw three starts back.  He dominated an allowance event at Mountaineer two starts back and won the $100,000 Mountaineer Mile by almost eight lengths in his last start.

The Claiming Crown Emerald is the premier grass event on the card and featues Modern Marvel, a horse who comes into the race with six straight wins.  Like many of the top horses on Claiming Crown day, Modern Marvel has done a ton of his best work in starter allowance races throughout the year.  But he did step up and try the $100,000 Unbridled Stakes at Louisiana Downs two starts back where he won by a neck.  He’s 2 for 4 at Gulfstream on the grass to so he definitely likes the course.  Plainview looks like the speed of the speed and he’s coming off a pair of second place finishes in stakes events in New York, including the Grade 3 Knickerbocker Stakes.

The Claiming Crown Express is for the sprinters at six furlongs and features some stakes quality runners.  Ribo Bibo drew the inside and was most recently second behind the great Ben’s Cat in the Fabulous Strike Handicap at Penn National.  Before that he won the Maryland Millions Sprint.  JB’s Unc could be an interesting up and comer and drew the far outside in the Express.  He’s won four straight against mostly starter allowance company, but the last one was against open allowance runners.

The Claiming Crown also includes the Iron Lady for older fillies and mares routing and the Glass Slipper for fillies and mare sprinters.  The Rapid Transit is for seven furlong runners while the Tiara is for the older fillies and mares on the grass. Selections for the Claiming Crown Jewel

  1. Voodoo Storm
  2. Bernie The Maestro
  3. Flatter This

Longshot: Isutalkintome Selections for the Claiming Crown Emerald

  1. Plainview
  2. Major Marvel
  3. Best Actor

Longshot: Grip Hands Selections for the Claiming Crown Iron Horse

  1. Deputiformer
  2. Whatthecatdrugin
  3. Francois

Longshot: Red Hills Selections for the Claiming Crown Tiara

  1. Deanaallen’skitten
  2. Brandy’s Secret
  3. Marataya’s Tune

Longshot: Raro Selections for the Claiming Crown Rapid Transit

  1. Mel Beach
  2. Loveyouallthetime
  3. Kingsford Drive

Longshot: Grande Shores Selections for the Claiming Crown Express

  1. Ribo Bobo
  2. JB’s Unc
  3. Never Stop Looking

Longshot: Chelsea Brook Selections for the Claiming Crown Glass Slipper

  1. Admitit
  2. Centrique
  3. One Last Frog

Longshot: First Acquittal Selections for the Claiming Crown Iron Lady Stakes

  1. Winiliscious
  2. Action Lady
  3. Daddy’s Jewel

Longshot: Princess Malia

Tampa Bay Downs winter/spring meet is underway

Tampa Bay Downs is always a favorite among horseplayers, with the big fields, big pools, and competitive racing.  The Florida track opened up on Wednesday and will race all winter and deep into the spring.  First post each day will be at 12:25pm EST and racing will be run primarily on a Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday schedule, with Thursdays added in the mix for the month of February.  Headlining the season of course will again be the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on Saturday March 8th.

The opening weekend will feature a stakes double on Saturday, with the $100,000 Inaugural Stakes and the $100,000 Sandpiper stakes being conducted for the two year olds.  The Sandpiper Stakes is race 6 for the two year old fillies and features multiple stakes winner Secret Kitten.  Secret Kitten breezed through her first three races before suffering a loss last time out in the Juvenile Filly Sprint.  She’ll be tested by Enquete who has won two huge wins to start her career.  The Inaugural Stakes is for two year olds and features lots of lightly raced and talented juveniles.  Cool Cowboy has two huge wins so far in his four race career and the last one was his first try on dirt.  Callmeoldfashion just has one career start, but it was a big win at Woodbine, which is a very tough circuit. Selections for the Sandpiper

  1. Enquete
  2. Secret Kitten
  3. My Sweet Dove

Longshot: Golden Friendship Selections for the Inaugural

  1. Callmeoldfashion
  2. Cool Cowboy
  3. Exquisite Monarch

Longshot: Early Entry 

Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet headlines stakes double at Betfair Hollywood Park

Rosalind is coming off a great third place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies last time out and will look to get that Grade 1 win on Saturday, this time in the Hollywood Starlet.  Rosalind came roaring from far back and just missed catching She’s A Tiger and Ria Antonia in the Breeders’ Cup and she’ll try to bring her deep closing game to Hollywood Park.  Usually speed isn’t difficult to find in two year old races, however there isn’t a ton of early gas in this event.  Taste Like Candy might show speed as she’s just a maiden winner but that was at five and one half furlongs.  She’ll have to stretch out in just her second start which is never easy.  Bajan has turned in a couple stakes wins in a row, both at seven furlongs.  She’ll be making her first start at two turns, however with five races under her belt, she has plenty of seasoning.  Untapable is the big question mark as she was bet very hard in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and had a brutal trip, falling far back and then having to check to avoid a fallen rival.  If she runs back to her Grade 2 Pocahontas Stakes win from two starts back, she’ll be tough.

The Bayakoa Stakes is a Grade 2 event that features Grade 2 winner Fiftyshadesofhay.  Fiftyshadesofhay won the Black-Eyed Susan earlier this year as well as the Iowa Oaks.  She’s been taking on some of the top fillies in recent starts so she should appreciate what looks like a little bit of class relief.  Warren’s Veneda is a perfect 2 for 2 at Hollywood Park and just won the Cats in the Cradle Stakes last time out. Selections for the Hollywood Starlet

  1. Untapable
  2. Bajan
  3. Rosalind

Longshot: Arethusa Selections for the Bayakoa

  1. Fiftyshadesofhay
  2. Warren’s Veneda
  3. Curvy Cat

Longshot: Charm the Maker

 Saturday Stakes Action at

Betfair Hollywood Park

Race 6                  Hollywood Starlet Stakes           6:04pm EST

Race 8                  Bayakoa Handicap                     7:05pm EST


Race 6                  Tropical Turf Handicap               3:00pm EST

Race 7                  Fred Hooper Handicap               3:30pm EST

Race 8                  My Charmer Handicap                4:00pm EST

Fair Grounds

Race 1                  Kudzu Juvenile Stakes               2:00pm EST

Race 3                  Magic City Classic Stakes            2:57pm EST

Golden Gate Fields

Race 3                  Gold Rush Stakes                      4:45pm EST

Gulfstream Park

Race 3                  Iron Lady Stakes                      1:38pm EST

Race 4                  Claiming Crown Glass Slipper  2:07pm EST

Race 5                  Claiming Crown Express          2:36pm EST

Race 6                  Rapid Transit Stakes                3:05pm EST

Race 7                  Tiara Stakes                             3:34pm EST

Race 8                  Claiming Crown Iron Horse     4:02pm EST

Race 9                  Claiming Crown Emerald             4:33pm EST

Race 10              Claiming Crown Jewel                5:03pm EST


Race 7                  Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante         5:14pm EST

Laurel Park

Race 4                  Gin Talking Stakes                    1:59pm EST

Race 7                  Broad Brush Stakes                   3:25pm EST

Race 8                  Marylander Stakes                     3:55pm EST

Sunland Park

Race 6                  Jess Burner Handicap                4:20pm EST

Race 10                 KLAQ Handicap                        6:03pm EST

Tampa Bay

Race 6                  Sandpiper Stakes                      2:53pm EST

Race 8                  Inaugural Stakes                       3:51pm EST

Turf Paradise

Race 4                  Caballo Del Sol                          4:25pm EST


Race 8                  Kingarvie Stakes                       4:25pm EST


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