Weekend Stakes PReview 2/26

Swale Stakes tops Gulfstream Park Stakes Trifecta

Gulfstream Park will offer another huge Saturday of racing this week topped by the $200,000 Swale Stakes for three year olds at 7 furlongs. The Grade 2 event features the seasonal debut of Grade 1 winner Daredevil. Daredevil crushed maidens in his debut and followed that up with a two and a half length win in the Champagne Stakes at Belmont, a Grade 1 race. He had a terrible time of it in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and now returns as a three year old for Todd Pletcher, who always hits with these type runners at Gulfstream Park. Ready For Rye could be his biggest competition as he’s coming off a second place finish behind Barbados in the Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream last month. Ready For Rye has good stalking speed and will be stretching out to seven furlongs for the first time in his career in the Swale. XY Jet drew the outside in the Swale and is coming off a second place finish behind Barbados in the Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes. This seems like an obvious spot for him and he should be right up on the lead for jockey Edgard Zayas.

The $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes is carded as the 11th race on the card and features a field of eleven running on the grass. Night Prowler leads a number of horses who are coming out of the Grade 3 Dania Beach Stakes, a race he won last time out coming from off the pace. He’ll have to tangle with several horses who finished just behind him in that race as well as High Noon Rider who returns to the turf for trainer George Weaver. High Noon Rider was sent out in the Holy Bull last time and was pulled up out of the race and will return to the grass in this spot, a surface he ran over in the first two starts of his career with no real success.

Three year old turf fillies will go in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride Stakes at a mile and a sixteenth. Consumer Credit and Quality Rocks were 1-2 respectively last time out in the Sweet Chant Stakes last month at Gulfstream Park. The Chad Brown trained Consumer Credit rolls into this race on a three race winning streak and she could very well improve off that win last time out as this is her second start off the layoff. Quality Rocks dueled early on in the Sweet Chant last time and couldn’t keep pace with Consumer Credit late, so if she can relax more early she might be a player in here. Selections for the Swale

  1. Souper Colossal
  2. Daredevil
  3. Senor Grits

Longshot: XY Jet Selections for the Palm Beach

  1. Dubai Sky
  2. Night Prowler
  3. High Noon Rider

Longshot: Eh Cumpari Selections for the Herecomesthebride

  1. Consumer Credit
  2. Quality Rocks
  3. Sweet Swingin

Longshot: Tumminia

Santa Ysabel tops Santa Anita Saturday

The $100,000 Grade 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes for three year old fillies tops a very nice Southern California Saturday card of racing at Santa Anita. Some very promising runners are in this race including recently Grade 1 placed Light The City. Light The City was just second after a bit of a wide trip in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes last time out. It was her first spin around two turns and that experience and fitness could make her tough in this spot. Glory ships down from Golden Gate Fields after a good second place finish in the California Oaks. The Jerry Hollendorfer runner ran the best race of her career, a maiden breaking score at Santa Anita in her lone start at SA. Bob Baffert will send out Enchanting Lady who will run for the first time since scoring a big win in the Landaluce Stakes last summer at Santa Anita. She went to the sideline after that win but has been working sharply for her return. Curlin’s Fox was highly touted in her debut and lived up to her 3/5 billing rallying from off the pace to win her maiden race going down the hill. She’ll stretch out and go to the main track for this spot which is asking a lot, but she’s clearly talented. Selections for the Santa Ysabel

  1. Light the City
  2. Enchanting Lady
  3. Glory

Longshot: Rattataptap

John Battaglia Memorial is final prep for the Spiral Stakes

The Spiral Stakes is the biggest race of the year at Turfway Park, and the John Battaglia Memorial serves as the final local prep for the big race. Eleven three year olds will contest the event including The Great War. The Great War was a million dollar auction buy and was fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes last year behind Texas Red and company. He shipped to Turfway last time out and absolutely crushed his opponents in the 96 Rock Stakes, the prep for this event. He won by over seven lengths that day and should be a strong favorite in this spot. He will however have to contend with a difficult post position as he’s drawn out in post number 11. Firespike is a stakes winner from the barn of Mike Maker who is coming off a score in a stakes event at Ocala. Edgar Prado will return for the mount and this horse figures to be a strong contender in the John Battaglia. Graham Motion will send up Midnight Trace who has run two good races to start his career. He broke his maiden out first out over the grass and ran third in a tough allowance event last time, also over the lawn. He still should be improving and Motion has had success bringing horses onto the synthetic surface for the first time. Selections for the John Battaglia Memorial

  1. The Great War
  2. Firespike
  3. Midnight Trace

Longshot: Mini Cosmo

Saturday Night is the Maxxam Cup at Sam Houston

The $100,000 Maxxam Gold Cup will go Saturday night at Sam Houston and drew a field of six older runners. Grade 1 placed Albano has been given the role of morning line favorite. He was second in the Grade 1 Haskell last summer and kicked off his 2015 campaign with a third place finish in the Louisiana Handicap at Fair Grounds. Kerwin Clark will once again ride for trainer Larry Jones who always does well when he ships in to Sam Houston. Trainer Karl Broberg brings in Hattaash in for the Maxxam Gold Cup, a horse he claimed for $35,000 two starts back. He ran against $50,000 Optional claimers last time and finished third and his best race puts him in the mix here. CJ’s Awesome has some early speed and should be part of the mix early on in this race. He’s finished fourth in a pair of Grade 2 events in his last pair, so the class relief should be something he will appreciate in this spot. Selections for the Maxxam Cup

  1. Albano
  2. CJ’s Awesome
  3. Hattaash

Longshot: Endurance

Saturday Stakes Action at

Fair Grounds

Race 7                   Dixie Poker Ace Stakes                         5:22pm EST

Race 9                   Black Gold Stakes                                 6:22pm EST

Gulfstream Park

Race 5                   Herecomesthebride Stakes          2:30pm EST

Race 10                Swale Stakes                                       5:00pm EST

Race 11                Palm Beach Stakes                               5:30pm EST


Race 6                   Downthedustyroad Breeders’ Stakes       4:39pm EST

Race 8                   No Double Breeders’ Stakes                   5:38pm EST

Sam Houston

Race 7                   Jersey Lilly Stakes                                9:52pm EST

Race 8                   Texas Heritage Stakes                          10:19pm EST

Race 9                   Maxxam Gold Cup                                10:46pm EST

Santa Anita

Race 8                   Santa Ysabel Stakes                             7:00pm EST

Sunland Park

Race 9                   Curribot Handicap                                6:25pm EST

Turfway Park

Race 6                   John Battaglia Memorial                        8:40pm EST


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