Weekend Stakes Preview 3/27

Top three year olds clash in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park

Gulfstream Park will feature a mammoth 14 race card on Saturday that will include the Grade 1 $1,000,000 Florida Derby as the centerpiece.  The Florida Derby drew eight runners including a rematch of the top finishers in the Fountain of Youth Wildcat Red and General A Rod.  Wildcat Red and General A Rod went at each other right from the opening bell in the Fountain of Youth and were never separated by more than a head at any point around the oval.  The Todd Pletcher trained Constitution could add some more speed to the mix, but it’s entirely possible it could be the top two from the Fountain of Youth battling again in the Florida Derby.  The difference in the Florida Derby though is that they will be getting chased by Cairo Prince.  Cairo Prince is a nose away from being undefeated and won the Holy Bull in stylish form back in January.  He’s been training well for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin who will once again have jockey Luis Saez on board.  Spot is an interesting addition as he’ll be going around two turns on the main track for the first time in his career for trainer Nick Zito.  Nick took over the training before his win last time out in the Grade 2 Swale Stakes.

The undercard is a barrage of big fields and great graded stakes action.  The Grade 2 Gulfstream Oaks features eight three year old fillies and obviously the loss of Onlyforyou took away the star power in the field.  But In Tune could be the next up and comer as she’s a perfect two for two with two outstanding wins at Gulfstream Park this meet.  House Rules was second in the Davona Dale behind Onlyforyou and that was her first race against winners, so she still has right to improve.  The Grade 3 Rampart Stakes drew a solid cast of older fillies and mares including Sabin Stakes winner Devils Cave.  Many of the runners from the Sabin are returning as well as Unlimited Budget, who was a top three year old last year and will be making just her second start of 2014.

Ribo Bobo will look to make it four in a row in the Sir Shackleton Stakes where he’ll face nine rivals including the always tough Happy My Way.  Inimitable Romancee will look to make it three in a row in the Orchid Stakes.  She’s won the Grade 3 Long Island Handicap and the Grade 3 Very One in her last two starts and will have to hold off Anjaz who looks like she could be sitting on her first US win.  Salto and Mr. Online will square off once again in the Appleton while turf specialists Admiral Kitten and Amira’s Prince look like the headliners in the Pan American Stakes.  The 14 race mega-card gets underway at 12:00pm EST. Selections for the Florida Derby

  1. Cairo Prince
  2. Wildcat Red
  3. Constitution

Longshot: Matador Selections for the Pan American

  1. Admiral Kitten
  2. Vertiformer
  3. Amira’s Prince

Longshot: Slumber Selections for the Skip Away

  1. War Dancer
  2. Nikki’s Sandcastle
  3. Grand Tito

Longshot: Nevada Kid Selections for the Appleton

  1. Tetradrachm
  2. Salto
  3. Mr. Online

Longshot: Catron Selections for the Orchid

  1. Anjaz
  2. Inimitable Romancee
  3. Antonia Autumn

Longshot: Clearbrook Selections for the Gulfstream Oaks

  1. In Tune
  2. Penwith
  3. House Rules

Longshot: Whomping Willow Selections for the Rampart

  1. Devil’s Care
  2. Unlimited Budget
  3. Triple Arch

Longshot: Molly Morgan

Dubai World Cup is Saturday morning

One of the best days and cards of racing in the world will get underway at 9:10am EST Saturday morning as the Dubai World Cup will be contested.  Sixteen horses will go in the $10,000,000 Dubai World Cup, the richest race in the world.  Ruler of the World is the 9/2 morning line favorite and has been a big player in Europe including winning the Epsom Derby.  Ron the Greek will be the name most familiar to American racing fans as he was last seen stateside winning the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup.  He was sent to Saudi Arabia last time out and won an allowance in preparation for this race.  He did however draw the 16 post position which is not a good sign as the 13 through 16 post positions are 0 for 74 the last two years  in two turn races on all weather surface. Prince Bishop looks like the local hope as he drew the rail and won the last two Maktoum Challenges at Meydan in preparation for the Dubai World Cup.

Japan Cup winner Gentildonna and Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Magician are the two headliners in the $5,000,000 Sheema Classic that will be run over the turf at a mile and one half.  Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Dank comes into this race with two straight Grade 1 wins in the States and will have to take on The Fugue who she beat in the Breeders’ Cup.  The Fugue was second last time out in the Group One Hong Kong Vase Stakes.  Rich Tapestry and Reynaldothewizard were 1-2 in the Mahab Al Shimaal last time out at Meydan and they could vie for favoritism in the 6 furlong Golden Shaheen.

Shea Shea is even money on the morning line to repeat in the Al Quoz Sprint on the grass.  She’s 11 for 23  in her career and looks like she’ll be double tough for trainer Mike DeKock.  If there is a cause for concern it’s that she’s drawn the far outside 13 post position so she’ll have to get close to the rail.  The UAE Derby is a Kentucky Derby points race and features Giovanni Boldini who was second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last year here in the States.  He’ll have to take on the much more seasoned Long John who won the UAE Guinneas last time out at Meydan.  Cavalryman will be looking to repeat in the Dubai Gold Cup but will have to contend with tough runners like Songcraft, Joshua Tree and Star Empire.  Shuruq took home the Burj Nahaar and will look to hold off Soft Falling Rain and fourteen other rivals in the Godolphin Mile. Selections for the Dubai World Cup

  1. Prince Bishop
  2. Ruler of The World
  3. Red Cadeaux

Longshot: African Story Selections for the Dubai Sheema Classic

  1. Gentildonna
  2. Festive Cheer
  3. Magician

Longshot: Denim N Ruby Selections for the Dubai Duty Free

  1. Tasaday
  2. The Fugue
  3. Dank

Longshot: Hunter’s Light Selections for the Golden Shaheen

  1. Reynaldothewizard
  2. Balmont Mast
  3. Krypton Factor

Longshot: Jamesie Selections for the Al Quoz Sprint

  1. Shea Shea
  2. Sole Power
  3. Hamza

Longshot: Catcall Selections for the UAE Derby

  1. Long John
  2. Paximadia
  3. Asmar

Longshot: Sir John Hawkins Selections for the Dubai Gold Cup

  1. Star Empire
  2. Songcraft
  3. Joshua Tree

Longshot: Ernest Hemingway Selections for the Godolphin Mile

  1. Soft Falling Rain
  2. Capital Attraction
  3. Variety Club

Longshot: Flotilla

Louisiana Derby is Fair Grounds showcase event 

The Louisiana Derby drew 10 three year olds all looking to cement their spot in the Kentucky Derby as well as pick up their share of the $1,000,000 purse.  In Trouble is a New York invader who is coming off a good third place finish behind Samraat last time out in the Grade 3 Gotham.  Prior to that In Trouble had won the Grade 2 Futurity at Belmont last fall and will be making his first start outside of New York for trainer Anthony Dutrow.  Right to his outside in the far outside draw is Albano who was the pacesetter in the Risen Star last time out.  He led every jump except for the last one when Intense Holiday caught him on the wire.  It was just the second win for Intense Holiday who had been running against monsters like Cairo Prince and Honor Code.  Vicars in Trouble had to overcome a 13 post in the Risen Star and still closed in for a decent third place finish.  He draws more comfortably in the six spot for the Louisiana Derby.

The New Orleans Handicap looks like a huge match up between Palace Malice and Normandy Invasion.  Palace Malice scored a beautiful win in the Gulfstream Park Handicap where he had to battle back to catch Golden Ticket late.  Normandy Invasion won an optional claiming event in his first start of 2014, but did so in incredibly fast fashion, completing a mile in 1:33.  Amira’s Prince and Real Solution look like a pair of standouts in the Mervin Muniz Handicap.  Both are coming out of Grade 1 races and Amira’s Prince won this race last year.  Real Solution won the Arlington Million last season and was ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf last time out.  So he should appreciate the drop in class.  The Fair Grounds Oaks only drew five horses, but drew some red-hot runners as all five horses are coming off a win.  Untapable drew off last time at Fair Grounds in the Rachel Alexandra last time out and will get a lot of attention because of that huge score.  Unbridled Forever has won two straight including the Silverbulletday Stakes at Fair Grounds in her last start, but she’ll be getting her first try against graded stakes runners. Selections for the Louisiana Derby

  1. Vicar’s In Trouble
  2. In Trouble
  3. Albano

Longshot: Gold Hawk Selections for the New Orleans H.

  1. Palace Malice
  2. Normandy Invasion
  3. Bradester

Longshot: Prayer For Relief Selections for the Mervin Muniz H.

  1. Amira’s Prince
  2. Real Solution
  3. Burn the Mortgage

Longshot: Potomac River Selections for the Fair Grounds Oaks

  1. Untapable
  2. Unbridled Forever
  3. Fiftyshadesofgold

Saturday Stakes Action at

Charles Town

Race 8                  Violet Handicap                        10:11pm EST

Fair Grounds

Race 3                  Dixie Poker Ace Stakes              2:31pm EST

Race 4                  Crescent City Oaks                    3:00pm EST

Race 7                  Fair Ground Oaks                      4:39pm EST

Race 8                  Mervin Muniz Handicap            5:14pm EST

Race 9                 Crescent City Derby                   5:50pm EST

Race 10               New Orleans Handicap             6:25pm EST

Race 11              Louisiana Derby                        7:10pm EST

Gulfstream Park

Race 4                  Rampart Stakes                        1:22pm EST

Race 6                  Gulfstream Oaks                       2:20pm EST

Race 8                   Sir Shackleton Stakes                3:21pm EST

Race 10                 Orchid Stakes                          4:26pm EST

Race 11                 Appleton Stakes                       5:00pm EST

Race 12                  Skip Away Stakes                     5:35pm EST

Race 13                Pan American Stakes                 6:11pm EST

Race 14                Florida Derby                            6:48pm EST

Meydan (Dubai)

Race 2                  Godolphin Mile                          9:10am EST

Race 3                  Dubai Gold Cup                        9:45am EST

Race 4                  UAE Derby                              10:25am EST

Race 5                  Al Quoz Sprint                          11:03am EST

Race 6                  Golden Shaheen                       11:41am EST

Race 7                  Dubai Duty Free                       12:39pm EST

Race 8                  Dubai Sheema Classic                1:17pm EST

Race 9                  Dubai World Cup                      2:04pm EST


Race 9                  Rainbow Miss Stakes                 6:09pm EST

Remington Park

Race 10                Decketta Stakes                       10:54pm EST

Race 11                 Leo Stakes                              11:20pm EST

Santa Anita

Race 7                  American Beauty Stakes            6:30pm EST

Race 8                  Tokyo City Cup Stakes              7:00pm EST

Turf Paradise

Race 4                  Coyote Handicap                      5:55pm EST


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