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.
BetPTC.com Selections for the Santa Anita Handicap
- Mucho Macho Man
- Will Take Charge
- Hear the Ghost
BetPTC.com Selections for the Kilroe Mile
- Winning Prize
- Za Approval
Longshot: Suggestive Boy
BetPTC.com Selections for the San Carlos
- Shakin It Up
- Sahara Sky
- Clubhouse Ride
Longshot: Wild Dude
BetPTC.com Selections for the San Felipe
- California Chrome
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.
BetPTC.com Selections for the Tampa Bay Derby
- Surfing USA
- Conquest Titan
BetPTC.com Selections for the Florida Oaks
- Testa Rossi
- Miss Besilu
- Kitten Kaboodle
BetPTC.com Selections for the Hillsborough Stakes
- 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.
BetPTC.com Selections for the Gulfstream Park Handicap
- Palace Malice
- Golden Ticket
- 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.
BetPTC.com will be offering 10% cash back on all exotic wagers at Remington Park throughout the month of March!
Saturday Stakes Action at BetPTC.com
Race 9 B Connected Stakes 10:28pm EST
Race 7 Duncan Kenner Stakes 5:25pm EST
Race 9 Gulfstream Park Handicap 5:10pm EST
Race 8 Private Terms Stakes 3:55pm EST
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
Race 8 HH Sheika Ladies Cup 11:20pm EST
Race 9 HH Sheika Zayad Nahyan Cup 11:48pm EST
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
Race 10 Mt. Cristo Ray Handicap 6:40pm EST
Race 9 Hillsborough Stakes 4:25pm EST
Race 10 Florida Oaks 4:55pm EST
Race 11 Tampa Bay Derby 5:25pm EST