Weekend Stakes Preview 5/15

California Chrome looks for Leg 2 of the Triple Crown in the Preakness Stakes

California Chrome was dominant in the Kentucky Derby and he’ll look to take Leg 2 of the Triple Crown on Saturday when he faces nine rivals in the $1,500,000 Preakness Stakes.  He’s been installed as the 3/5 favorite and will be facing many new faces in the mile and three-sixteenth Preakness including Social Inclusion who is the 5/1 second choice on the morning line.  Social Inclusion has good early speed and rose to prominence when he beat Honor Code at Gulfstream in an allowance.  He was highly regarded as the favorite in the Wood Memorial and finished a solid third.  Look for him to be up on the engine early, however there is quite a bit of speed in the race including California Chrome, Bayern and Illinois Derby winner Dynamic Impact.  California Chrome will likely sit just off the pace and Bayern and Social Inclusion could be going at each other early.  Since the horses run in front of the big crowd the first quarter mile, expect them to be keyed up and going fast.  Ride on Curlin drew the far outside ten post and had a troubled trip in the Derby and will get lots of respect on Saturday.  He picks up the services of Joel Rosario and should be closing late, but whether or not he can get to California Chrome could be a different story.  If California Chrome can sit another comfortable trip just off the lead and have that same burst of speed at the top of the stretch he’s had in his last four starts, then they all could be running for second money.

The undercard on Saturday at Pimlico is loaded with stakes action both on the turf and the main track.  The $400,000 Dixie Stakes on the grass precedes the Preakness and drew a nice field including Grade 1 winner Up With the Birds.  Up With the Birds won the Grade 1 Jamaica at Belmont two starts back and finished a disappointing sixth in his first start of 2014 at Keeneland.  Up With the Birds will be making his first start at Pimlico and will have to tackle a tough Florida shipper in Hey Leroy.  Eleven three year olds will go in the Sir Barton Stakes in what looks like an extraordinarily wide open race, as all these horses are looking to cement their statuses as stakes winners, as none of them have broken through at that level yet.  Watsdachances looks to have a bit of a class advantage in the Grade 3 Gallorette Handicap as she spent most of last year competing very well in Grade 2 competitions.

The James Murphy Stakes could be the coming out party for Ground Control who has been absolutely brilliant in two wins to kick off his career for trainer Tony Dutrow.  It will be his stakes debut and first try on the grass.  The speedy Brewing will look to make it four wins in a row for trainer D. Wayne Lukas in the Chick Lang Stakes.  Fourteen turf sprinters will go in the Very One Stakes and the Maryland Sprint Handicap will kick off the stakes action in race 5.

First post at Pimlico for the Preakness Stakes is 10:45am EST. Selections for the Preakness

  1. California Chrome
  2. Bayern
  3. Ride on Curlin

Longshot: General A Rod Selections for the Dixie

  1. Charming Kitten
  2. Hey Leroy
  3. Up With the Birds

Longshot: Roadhog Selections for the Sir Barton

  1. Ground Control
  2. Class Leader
  3. Starry Moon

Longshot: Charge Now Selections for the Gallorette

  1. Watsdachances
  2. Strathnaver
  3. Somali Lemonade

Longshot: Embarr Selections James W. Murphy Stakes

  1. Ground Control
  2. Joint Custody
  3. Sonny Inspired

Longshot: Wallyanna Selections for the Chick Lang Stakes

  1. Extrasexyhippzster
  2. Brewing
  3. Prudhoe Bay

Longshot: Germaniac Selections for the Very One Stakes

  1. Ageless
  2. Sensible Lady
  3. Perfect Measure

Longshot: Jewel of the Cat Selections for the Maryland Sprint

  1. Happy My Way
  2. Lemon Drop Dream
  3. Action Andy

Longshot: Service For Ten

Black-Eyed Susan is Friday headliner at Pimlico 

Friday is the kickoff to the Preakness weekend and the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes and Pimlico Special are the two headlining events.  Eleven three year old fillies will go the nine furlongs for $500,000 and it looks to be a wide open field.  Stopchargingmaria is the 7/2 morning line favorite and she’s already a Grade 2 winner.  She’s struggled in her first two starts as a three year old though, with a 5th and 4th place finish respectively.  Sloane Square could be the up and comer as she won her first two races impressively and then finished a good third in the Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway.  Euphrosyne was a neck away from the winning the Grade 3 Honeybee Stakes and should be one of the pacesetters in the race.

The Grade 3 Pimlico Special came up as a very interesting race with a lot of talented older runners.  Revolutionary is the 5/2 morning line favorite and was a good second last time out behind Will Take Charge in the Oaklawn Handicap.  Golden Lad won the Grade 3 Razorback Handicap, but was fifth in the Oaklawn Handicap in his last start.  Moreno could be out on the lead early on as he loves to play catch me if you can early on.

Ben’s Cat is an added attraction on Friday as the Maryland legend will compete in the Jim McKay Turf Sprint, a race he won last year impressively.  He’s 5 for 8 at Pimlico and his career record is 25 for 38. Selections for the Black-Eyed Susan

  1. Shanon Nicole
  2. Euphrosyne
  3. Sloane Square

Longshot: Arethusa Selections for the Pimlico Special

  1. Golden Lad
  2. Moreno
  3. Revolutionary

Longshot: Bourbon Courage Selections for the Hilltop Stakes

  1. Daring Dancer
  2. Courtesan
  3. Lucky For You

Longshot: Buttercup Bay Selections for the Miss Preakness

  1. Tepin
  2. Tea Time
  3. Sweetmarys Success

Longshot: Our Lesmis Selections for the Jim McKay Turf Sprint

  1. Ben’s Cat
  2. Great Attack
  3. Wicked Tune

Longshot: Spring To the Sky

Canterbury Park and Delaware Park open up this week

Racing kicks off of at Canterbury Park on Friday night and at Delaware Park on Saturday.  Canterbury Park will race on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday schedule for the rest of May with Thursday night’s being added to the mix in June.  Racing on Thursday and Friday nights kicks off at 7:30pm EST and on weekends at 1:45pm EST.  New this year is racing on Saturdays in August will be evening cards as well, with racing at 7:30pm EST.

Delaware Park will open up on Saturday and will start the season out slowly with racing on Saturdays and Wednesdays the first couple of weeks with first post at 1:15pm EST.  Mondays and Thursdays will be added into the mix later in the month.  The headlining event as always will be the Delaware Handicap, a Grade 1 event that will be run on Saturday July 12th.

Saturday Stakes Action at

Canterbury Park

Race 8                  Lady Slipper Stakes                            4:41pm EST

Churchill Downs

Race 10                Keertana Stakes                                5:54pm EST


Race 8                  Delta 550 Championship                     10:10pm EST

Race 9                  Old South Futurity                             10:35pm EST

Finger Lakes

Race 6                  Susan B. Anthony Stakes                    3:25pm EST

Gulfstream Park

Race 9                  Flying Pidgeon Stakes                         5:33pm EST

Monmouth Park

Race 11                Red Bank Stakes                               6:00pm EST

Northlands Park

Race 8                  Wild Rose Handicap                            4:48pm EST


Race 5                  Maryland Sprint Handicap                    1:11pm EST

Race 6                  The Very One Stakes                         1:53pm EST

Race 7                  Chick Lang Stakes                              2:35pm EST

Race 8                  James Murphy Stakes                         3:19pm EST

Race 9                  Gallorette Handicap                            4:04pm EST

Race 10                Sir Barton Stakes                               4:45pm EST

Race 11               Longines Dixie Stakes                         5:27pm EST

Race 12               Preakness Stakes                               6:18pm EST

Prairie Meadows

Race 8                  Gray’s Lake Stakes                             9:32pm EST

Santa Anita

Race 4                  American Stakes                                4:00pm EST

Race 9                  Angel’s Flight Stakes                          6:30pm EST


Race 8                  Queenston Stakes                             4:45pm EST


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