Weekend Stakes Preview 4/2

Keeneland opens Friday; Bluegrass Stakes Saturday

Racing at Keeneland gets underway on Friday and Saturday is the biggest day of the spring meet, with the $750,000 Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes topping a huge day of racing. Racing at Keeneland will run Wednesdays through Sundays with the exception of Easter Sunday when the track doesn’t offer live racing. First post each day will be 1:05pm EST except the first two Saturdays of the meet which will get underway at 12:35pm EST.

The Bluegrass Stakes is led by Carpe Diem who is coming off a huge win in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby. Carpe Diem is already a Grade 1 winner and also finished second in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. John Velasquez will be on board for trainer Todd Pletcher. Ocho Ocho Ocho was undefeated before his disastrous eighth place finish last time out in the San Felipe at Santa Anita. A repeat of his Delta Jackpot win puts him right in the mix in this spot, but he’ll have to really turn it around from last time. Santiago Gonzalez will get the mount on Ocho Ocho Ocho for the first time in the Bluegrass. Classy Class ships over from New York and was most recently third in the Gotham behind El Kabeir.

The undercard feature on Bluegrass day is the Grade 1 Ashland as Grade 1 winner Angela Renee will look to get back to her winning ways. After winning the Grade 1 Chandelier at Santa Anita last season she’s finished 10th, 3rd and 4th in her last three starts. Peace and War will make her second career start at Keeneland, and she’ll have to live up to her first effort, a Grade 1 win in the Alcibiades Stakes. The Grade 1 Madison Stakes came up very tough with horses like Stopchargingmaria, Lady Sabelia, and Sam’s Sister. Stopchargingmaria was one of the top three year old fillies last year in the country and will make her seasonal debut in this sprint event. Lady Sabelia has been red hot and took the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie last time out, beating Grade 1 winner Sam’s Sister. Sam’s Sister drew the rail and will be ridden for the first time by Gary Stevens in the Madison.

The Grade 3 Commonwealth and the Grade 3 Shakertown are also on the big Saturday card. C. Zee is coming off a win in the Grade 3 Gulfstream Park Sprint and will look to make it two in a row in the Commonwealth. He’ll have to best the old veteran Bourbon Courage who is 1 for 1 at Keeneland. Undrafted will make his 2015 debut in the Shakertown and drew way on the outside in post 13. He was last seen finishing up third in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, missing by just a half a length. Power Alert could be who Undrafted has to catch as he’s a perfect 2 for 2 sprinting on the grass here in the States since coming from Australia. Selections for the Blue Grass Stakes

  1. Carpe Diem
  2. Classy Class
  3. Pepper Roani

Longshot: Danzig Moon Selections for the Ashland

  1. Peace and War
  2. Angela Renee
  3. West Coast Belle

Longshot: Temper Mint Patty Selections for the Shakertown

  1. Power Alert
  2. Undrafted
  3. Mosier

Longshot: Tightend Touchdown Selections for the Commonwealth

  1. Bourbon Courage
  2. Zee
  3. Rocket Time

Longshot: Hip Four Sixtynine Selections for the Madison

  1. Lady Sabelia
  2. Sam’s Sister
  3. Stopchargingmaria

Longshot: Princess Violet

The Wood Memorial is on Saturday

Aqueduct will showcase the biggest card of it’s season on Saturday headed up by the Grade 1 $1,000,000 Wood Memorial. Daredevil and El Kabeir are the two big names going into the race, both coming off solid performances. Daredevil made his seasonal debut sprinting at Gulfstream and ran a good second getting a big speed figure. He’s a Grade 1 winner for trainer Todd Pletcher and if he can stretch out well he could be tough. El Kabeir won the Grade 3 Gotham last time out and has been running at Aqueduct all winter long. CC Lopez will once again be on board of El Kabeir in the Wood. Frosted could be the wild card in the race as he does own a very good performance, a 2nd in the Remsen, over this Aqueduct main track. He also broke his maiden at the Big A and he’ll look to rebound after a sub-par effort in the Fountain of Youth.

The undercard features three big stakes including the Grade 1 Carter. The Big Beast won the Grade 1 Kings Bishop last year at Saratoga and returns to New York off a big win at Oaklawn in his seasonal debut. He’ll have to tussle with some talented sprinters including Palace, who was one of the top sprinters in New York last season. Palace will be making his 2015 debut and long layoffs aren’t trainer Linda Rice’s specialty, so this may be a good time to look to alternatives. Dads Caps has been running good seconds behind Salutos Amigos who won’t be in the Carter. He’s got lots of early speed and should be a force up front early on if anything.

Ready For Rye, who beat Daredevil in his last start in the Grade 2 Swale at Gulfstream will look to add the Grade 3 Bayshore to his ledger. That race was his first try at seven furlongs and if he can take to the Aqueduct surface he’ll be very tough. Michael Hushion trained Final Chapter is an intriguing up and comer as he smashed rivals in an allowance event last time out and makes his stakes debut in the Bayshore. The speedy Condo Commando looks like the one to beat in the Gazelle Stakes. She’s coming off two big front running victories to kick off her campaign this year. There is some other speed signed on though so if she gets pressured, it could be Wonder Gal who picks up the pieces. Selections for the Wood Memorial

  1. Daredevil
  2. Frosted
  3. El Kabeir

Longshot: Tencendur Selections for the Carter

  1. The Big Beast
  2. Dads Caps
  3. Clearly Now

Longshot: Wild Dude Selectons for the Bayshore

  1. Ready For Rye
  2. Final Chapter
  3. Majestic Affair

Longshot: Lord Nelson Selections for the Gazelle

  1. Wonder Gal
  2. Condo Commando
  3. Puca

Longshot: Noble and a Beauty

Dortmund looks to keep rolling in Santa Anita Derby

Dortmund will look to keep his perfect record in tact on Saturday as he leads a field of six to post in the Grade 1 $1,000,000 Santa Anita Derby. The three year old is 5 for 5 in his career and most recently took home the Grade 2 San Felipe. Dortmund drew the rail so expect him to be right up on the pace once again with possible pressure from Bad Read Sanchez who is stretching out on the outside. Prospect Park was second to Dortmund in the San Felipe and figures to be the main challenger. That was his first graded stakes try and he loomed up nicely to Dortmund and the son of Tapit should appreciate more ground. Bolo, who was third in the San Felipe will also try the Santa Anita Derby and it will be his second try on dirt.

The Santa Anita Oaks is a Grade 1 event and features Stellar Wind who won the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel last time out against many of the rivals she’ll see on Saturday. Bob Baffert will send out Luminance who is two for two in her young career thus far and still has room to improve. The Grade 3 Providencia might be the most intriguing betting race on the card, with 13 runners set to go on the grass. The Jim Cassidy trained Prize Exhibit comes off a nice win and steps up into stakes company for the first time since finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf last fall. Selections for the Santa Anita Derby

  1. Dortmund
  2. Prospect Park
  3. One Lucky Dane

Longshot: Cross The Line Selections for the Santa Anita Oaks

  1. Luminance
  2. Stellar Wind
  3. Light The City

Longshot: Wild at Heart Selections for the Providencia

  1. Prize Exhibit
  2. Spirit of Xian
  3. Miss Boom Boom

Longshot: Lutine Belle

Saturday Stakes Action at


Race 8                  Gazelle Stakes                          4:20pm EST

Race 9                  Bay Shore Stakes                     4:52pm EST

Race 10             Wood Memorial Stakes              5:30pm EST

Race 11               Carter Handicap                        6:04pm EST

Gulfstream Park

Race 7                  Orange Blossom Handicap          4:00pm EST


Race 6                  Madison Stakes                        3:28pm EST

Race 7                  Commonwealth Stakes              4:05pm EST

Race 8                  Shakertown Stakes                   4:42pm EST

Race 9                  Ashland Stakes                         5:20pm EST

Race 10              Toyota Bluegrass Stakes          6:00pm EST


Race 9                  Fantasy Stakes                         6:09pm EST

Santa Anita

Race 3                  Echo Eddie Stakes                    4:00pm EST

Race 7                  Santa Anita Oaks                      6:00pm EST

Race 8                  Santa Anita Derby                    6:30pm EST

Race 9                  Providencia Stakes                    7:00pm EST

Race 10                Evening Jewel Stakes                7:30pm EST

Race 11               Thunder Road Stakes                8:00pm EST


Race 4                  New Mexico Spring Fling Stakes  4:13pm EST

Tampa Bay

Race 2                  Hilton Garden Inn Stakes           12:55pm EST

Race 5                  Sophomore Turf Stakes             2:23pm EST

Race 6                  Ocala Breeders’ Sophomore S.    2:51pm EST

Race 7                  Tampa Turf Classic Stakes          3:21pm EST

Race 8                  Sophomore Fillies Stakes            3:52pm EST

Race 10                Distaff Turf Stakes                    4:55pm EST

Turf Paradise

Race 2                  Arizona Stallion Stakes               4:56pm EST

Race 7                  Wildcat Handicap                      7:30pm EST








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