Weekend Stakes Preview 2/12

Barbara Fritchie Stakes headlines Laurel Saturday Stakes Triple

The $300,000 Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Stakes tops a three stakes card at Laurel Park on Saturday. A field of eleven has been drawn for the seven furlong event including recent Grade 1 and Grade 2 winner Sam’s Sister. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is off to an incredible start in 2015 and Sam’s Sister has been one of the reasons why. She won the Grade 1 La Brea on opening day at Santa Anita and followed that up with a length and a half score in the Grade 2 Santa Monica. Now she’ll ship east for the Fritchie and once again Elvis Trujillo will be on board for the mount. Sam’s Sister will be spotting at least 7 pounds to everyone in the field including Lady Sabelia who has become the queen of Laurel. With five wins from ten career starts at Laurel, Lady Sabelia clearly enjoys the surface there. She’s won a pair of $100,000 stakes in a row at Laurel and will now try graded stakes company in the Fritchie. She’s very speedy early so it could be Lady Sabelia who Sam’s Sister has to reel in late in the race. Not to be forgotten is Princess Violet who drew the rail and will be shortening up from two turns to run in the Fritchie. She just missed by a nose in the Grade 3 Go For Wand Handicap at Aqueduct in her last start and should be rolling from off the pace late under Jose Ortiz.

The $100,000 John Campbell Handicap and the $100,000 Maryland Racing Media Stakes are the other two added money events on the card. The John Campbell Handicap drew a field of eleven runners and it’s a very talented group. Former Grade 3 winner Went The Day Well has been assigned the high weight of 117 pounds and is coming off a win at Aqueduct against allowance/optional claiming company. Speedster Cerro should be one of the early leaders and speed can always be dangerous. Page McKenney is coming off a very strong effort in the Claiming Crown Jewel Stakes last time out where he closed from way off the pace to just miss getting the win. He’s 0 for 8 at Laurel but has finished second 4 times in those eight starts. The Maryland Racing Media Stakes drew a field of eleven as well and appears to be wide open on paper. Miss Mischief figures to be one of the choices but she seems to be at her best on a synthetic surface. George Weaver sends down Lunar Surge who is a late closer who doesn’t win a whole lot but should be running late. Selections for the Barbara Fritchie

  1. Lady Sabelia
  2. Sam’s Sister
  3. Princess Violet

Longshot: Best Behavior Selections for the John Campbell Handicap

  1. Sailor’s Revenge
  2. Page McKenney
  3. Souper Lucky

Longshot: Feisty Albert Selections for the Maryland Racing Media

  1. Lunar Surge
  2. Zucchini Flower
  3. Shayjolie

Longshot: Disco Barbie

Santa Maria Stakes is Santa Anita Saturday feature

The Grade 2 $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes for older fillies and mares headlines a Saturday Stakes double at the Great Race Place. Tiz Midnight will look to rebound after a disastrous sixth place finish as the heavy favorite in the Paseana Stakes. Prior to that she had won the Grade 2 Bayakoa so clearly she is capable at this level on her best day. The track was wet-fast the day of the Paseana so it could be the moisture in the track she didn’t like. Sweet Marini will try to stretch out in the Santa Maria after nearly winning the Grade 2 Santa Monica last time out. She was in front in mid-stretch and finished second behind Grade 1 winner Sam’s Sister in the Santa Monica. The Bob Baffert trainee is on the improve and should be prominent early on and if she can get the distance she’ll be very tough. Baffert will also send out Awesome Baby who will be making her second start since a nine month layoff last year. She showed promise as a younger horse and should move forward off that initial start this season.

The $75,000 Sweet Life Stakes will go down the hillside turf course and drew eleven runners. Maybelline will try the grass for Bob Baffert in this spot, but she drew the number one hole which can often be troublesome on the hillside course. Tom Proctor sends out Bobbi Grace who won going down the hill in her first start on the course. She will once again be ridden by Gary Stevens and should be a big player in this spot. The race features a couple of horses shipping in from overseas including Spirit of Xian for trainer Richard Mandella. Mandella sometimes takes his time with his new horses but the drills have been good and Joe Talamo will take the reigns. Selections for the Santa Maria

  1. Thegirlinthatthing
  2. Sweet Marini
  3. Tiz Midnight

Longshot: Awesome Baby Selections for the Sweet Life

  1. Bobbi Grace
  2. Minks Aprise
  3. Shh She’s Ours

Longshot: Pankhurst

Monday offers Presidents’ Day holiday racing

Monday is Presidents’ Day and there is a wide variety of great stakes action going on across the country. The Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park is the next step in the road to the Arkansas Derby and will be run Monday afternoon. Laurel Park will feature three stakes events with the Grade 3 General George as the feature event. Santa Anita will run the Grade 2 Buena Vista Stakes as part of their holiday card. Holiday Monday racing will also be run at Aqueduct, Golden Gate Fields, Fair Grounds and many other great tracks around the country, and will have all the action!

El Camino Real is Golden Gate Fields biggest race of the year

The $200,000 El Camino Real Derby has Kentucky Derby points on the line as ten three year olds will look to get on the Derby trail. Multiple Graded Stakes winner Conquest Typhoon will start his three year old campaign in the El Camino Real Derby. He’s ran well over a synthetic track up at Woodbine so the transition to Golden Gate Fields Tapeta surface should be within his range. He was fourth in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf so he’s certainly at a class advantage on Saturday. His main competition could come right to his outside as Mischief Clem drew the 10 hole for the El Camino Real Derby. Mischief Clem scored a big upset last time out in the Cal Cup Derby against California breds. He’ll try open company in this spot but a repeat of that effort will make him a contender. Cross the Line heads up the Golden Gate based runners as he’s coming off a score in the California Derby, the main prep for this race. He’s scored two impressive victories in his last two races and goes for one of the hottest barns in the country in Jerry Hollendorfer. Selections for the El Camino Real Derby

  1. Ernest Shackleton
  2. Conquest Typhoon
  3. Cross The Line

Longshot: Stand and Salute

Saturday Stakes Action at


Race 8                  Broadway Stakes                      4:13pm EST

Golden Gate Fields

Race 7                  El Camino Real Derby                 6:45pm EST

Gulfstream Park

Race 10             Hurricane Bertie Stakes             5:00pm EST

Race 11               Cooper City Handicap                5:30pm EST

Laurel Park

Race 7                  John B. Campbell Handicap         3:27pm EST

Race 8                  Barbara Fritchie Handicap           3:57pm EST

Race 9                  Maryland Media Stakes               4:27pm EST


Race 9                  Essex Handicap                        6:09pm EST

Sam Houston

Race 6                  Jim’s Orbit Stakes                     9:25pm EST

Race 8                  Two Altazano Stakes                10:19pm EST

Race 9                  Jersey Village Turf Stakes          10:46pm EST

Santa Anita

Race 8                  Santa Maria Stakes                    7:00pm EST

Race 9                  Sweet Life Stakes                    7:30pm EST


Sunland Park

Race 9                  Pepper’s Pride Handicap            5:44pm EST


Tampa Bay Downs

Race 8                  Wayward Lass Stakes                3:50pm EST


Turf Paradise

Race 4                  Sun City Handicap                     4:17pm EST

Race 6                  Phoenix Gold Cup                     5:17pm EST

Race 7                  Turf Paradise Handicap              5:47pm EST



Race 6                  Cincinnati Trophy Stakes            8:40pm EST





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