Weekend Stakes Preview 3/6

 Santa Anita Handicap headlines huge Saturday at Santa Anita 

The $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap has assembled one of the best fields in recent years for the Grade 1 event, with three of the biggest names in racing competing over the mile and one quarter.  Mucho Macho Man, the defending Breeders’ Cup Classic champ over this same track and distance, has drawn the number 2 post position and is coming into this race off a massive score in his seasonal debut, a win in the Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park where he won by fourteen lengths.  He’s 2 for 3 at Santa Anita, with his one defeat being a half length loss in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic to Fort Larned.

Breaking right to Mucho Macho Man’s inside is Will Take Charge, who was only a nose away from catching Mucho Macho Man in the Classic last year.  He came back to win the Clark Handicap and ran a very solid second in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream last time.  Will Take Charge is a confirmed closer but he seems to fire his best shot pretty consistently nowadays.  He’ll likely be chasing Game on Dude who is the third big name in the race.  Game on Dude dominated this race last year, but he was a big favorite that day.  He’ll likely be the third choice in this race but he very well could be the lone speed in the race.  If he is able to get up front and relax a little bit, he’s very dangerous.  But the concern may be that he’s lost a step as his comeback effort in the San Antonio was very lackluster.  Blingo beat Game on Dude in the San Antonio Stakes but that race seemed to be the exception rather than the rule with him.  Hear the Ghost hasn’t won in four starts since coming back from injury, but he has been pretty consistent and could be a contender for an underneath spot.

Citation Stakes winner Silentio headlines the $350,000 Kilroe Mile that drew a big field of ten.  Silentio hasn’t been off the board in nine straight starts and is as consistent as they come.  He’ll have to best Za Approval who is coming off a career best effort in the Breeders’ Cup Mile when he was beaten by just three quarters of a length by the mighty Wise Dan.  The San Carlos Stakes features Grade 1 winner Sahara Sky, who is coming off a fifth place finish in the Palos Verdes Stakes at Santa Anita, a race that saw him defeated by Wild Dude.

The San Felipe Stakes features the highly touted Bayern is undefeated in two starts, which includes a massive fifteen length score last time out.  The Bob Baffert trainee will have to beat another Baffert trainee in Midnight Hawk who was third last time out in the Robert Lewis Stakes behind Candy Boy.  Schoolofhardrocks was an impressive winner and could be one to keep an eye out on in the San Felipe. Selections for the Santa Anita Handicap

  1. Mucho Macho Man
  2. Will Take Charge
  3. Hear the Ghost

Longshot: Blingo Selections for the Kilroe Mile

  1. Winning Prize
  2. Silentio
  3. Za Approval

Longshot: Suggestive Boy Selections for the San Carlos

  1. Shakin It Up
  2. Sahara Sky
  3. Clubhouse Ride

Longshot: Wild Dude Selections for the San Felipe

  1. California Chrome
  2. Bayern
  3. Schoolofhardrocks

Longshot: Kristo

Tampa Bay Derby tops big stakes card at Tampa Bay Downs

The $350,000 Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby is part of a big stakes filled card on Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs.  The signature event on the calendar in Tampa Bay, the Tampa Bay Derby drew ten runners including Sam F. Davis Stakes winner Vinceremos who held on by a nose in the biggest local prep for the Tampa Bay Derby.  Vinceremos has won his last two and seems to be improving for trainer Todd Pletcher.  He beat Cousin Stephen that day by just three quarters of a length and Cousin Stephen will be back to contend and he figures to be one of the pace setters.  Conquest Titan will be making his Tampa Bay Downs debut and is coming off a second place finish behind Cairo Prince who was a dominant winner of the Holy Bull last time out.  Conquest Titan was eleventh early on and put in a big rally to get up for second.  Surfing USA looks like he could be an up and comer as he has just three career starts and all have been good efforts.  He was second last time out beaten by Top Billing who came back to run a good race in the Fountain of Youth last time out.

The Grade 3 Hillsborough and the Grade 3 Florida Oaks are the leading undercard races on the program.  Testa Rossi has been magnificent since coming to the United States and she could be the favorite in the Florida Oaks.  After a Grade 3 win at Belmont Park she ran a fast closing second in the Breeders’ Cup Filly Juvenile Turf.  She has a huge closing kick and should be winding up late.  She’ll have to catch Miss Besilu who looks like she’ll get first run on the early leaders in the Florida Oaks.  The Hillsborough Stakes features Riposte who made his North American debut last time out with a good second place finish in the Suwannee River Stakes at Gulfstream Park.  The Juddmonte runner is beautifully bred and figures to take a lot of money at the windows.  Cloud Scapes won the Grade 3 Endeavor last time out which is the key local prep for the Hillsborough and it was his second straight victory.  Gulsary ships east from Santa Anita to run in this spot for Tom Proctor and gets the services of Javier Castellano. Selections for the Tampa Bay Derby

  1. Surfing USA
  2. Conquest Titan
  3. Vinceremos

Longshot: Matador Selections for the Florida Oaks

  1. Testa Rossi
  2. Miss Besilu
  3. Kitten Kaboodle

Longshot: Resistivity Selections for the Hillsborough Stakes

  1. Gulsary
  2. Riposte
  3. Cloud Scapes

Longshot: EB Ryder 

Palace Malice and Itsmyluckyday return in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Handicap 

Two of last year’s big name three year olds, Palace Malice and Itsmyluckyday, will make their seasonal debuts against one another in the $250,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap.  Palace Malice won last year’s Belmont Stakes as well as the Jim Dandy.  He was second in the Jockey Club Gold Cup before running sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.  John Velazquez will get on board of Palace Malice for trainer Todd Pletcher who is always dangerous is stakes at Gulfstream Park.  Itsmyluckyday was pulled up out of Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes last year in his big match up with Verrazano.  Before that he was a big closing second in the Preakness Stakes.  He’s been working forwardly and Paco Lopez will have the mount on Saturday.  Golden Ticket looks like he could be a contender in this race if he runs one of his better races and he’s 2 for 3 at Gulfstream so clearly it’s a circuit he likes. Selections for the Gulfstream Park Handicap

  1. Palace Malice
  2. Golden Ticket
  3. Brujo de Oileros

Longshot: Falling Sky

Remington Park Quarter Horses get underway Friday Night

Remington Park kicks off Quarter Horse meet on Friday night and it’s one of the premier Quarter Horse meets of the season.  Live racing will be conducted on a Thursday through Sunday schedule with regular post times at 7:00pm EST on Thursdays through Saturdays and an afternoon post on Sundays at 2:30pm EST.  Saturday May 31st is the biggest day of the season and will feature the annual Grade 1 Heritage Place Futurity. will be offering 10% cash back on all exotic wagers at Remington Park throughout the month of March!

Saturday Stakes Action at

Delta Downs

Race 9                  B Connected Stakes                            10:28pm EST

Fair Grounds

Race 7                  Duncan Kenner Stakes                       5:25pm EST

Gulfstream Park

Race 9                  Gulfstream Park Handicap                    5:10pm EST


Race 8                  Private Terms Stakes                         3:55pm EST

Meydan (Dubai)

Race 2                  Al Bastakiya                                      8:10am EST

Race 3                  Meydan Sprint                                   8:45am EST

Race 4                  Muhab Al Shimaal                               9:25am EST

Race 5                  Burj Nahaar                                       10:00am EST

Race 6                  Dubai City of Gold                              10:35am EST

Race 7                  Al Maktoum Challenge                        11:10am EST

Race 8                  Jebel Hatta                                       11:45am EST


Race 6                  Honeybee Stakes                              4:39pm EST

Race 8                  Hot Springs Stakes                            5:39pm EST

Sam Houston

Race 8                  HH Sheika Ladies Cup                         11:20pm EST

Race 9                  HH Sheika Zayad Nahyan Cup              11:48pm EST

Santa Anita

Race 5                  San Felipe Stakes                              5:00pm EST

Race 6                  China Doll Stakes                               5:30pm EST

Race 7                  San Carlos Stakes                              6:00pm EST

Race 8                  Kilroe Mile                                         6:30pm EST

Race 9                  Santa Anita Handicap                         7:00pm EST

Sunland Park

Race 10             Mt. Cristo Ray Handicap                      6:40pm EST

Tampa Bay

Race 9                Hillsborough Stakes                            4:25pm EST

Race 10                Florida Oaks                                      4:55pm EST

Race 11                Tampa Bay Derby                              5:25pm EST



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