Weekend Stakes Preview 5/21

Saturday is California Gold Rush Day at Santa Anita 

Saturday is for the Cal-Breds at Santa Anita as California Gold Rush Day Stakes action tops a big card at Santa Anita. The $200,000 Melair Stakes and the $200,000 Snow Chief Stakes top the bill and both are solid races. The Snow Chief Stakes is for the three year old boys on the grass and drew a field of eleven runners including recent stakes winner Richard’s Boy. Richard’s Boy won the Desert Code Stakes coming down the hill in his last start and he has 4 wins from just 5 career starts. The big question for him today will be the stretching out as this will be his first trip beyond six and a half furlongs, and the Snow Chief is carded at a mile and one eighth. The John Sadler trainee Zinvor is coming off a very nice win against state-bred runners going a mile on the grass. He’s run well both starts since moving to the Sadler barn and having dominated that mile event last time out, the additional furlong might prove just fine for him.

The Melair Stakes drew seven runners including Sheer Pleasure who won the Evening Jewel Stakes in her last start. She rallied from eleventh in that race and will make her first try at two turns on the main track in the Melair. La Fiera leads a number of runners shipping down from Golden Gate coming out of the Campanille Stakes. La Fiera won going away that day and will face rivals Ashley’s Sassy and Niassa who ran second and third. Niassa figures to be one of the pace setters in here so if she can relax and slow them down up front, she could be able to turn the tables on the Jerry Hollendorfer trained La Fiera.

The older boys will contest the $150,000 Tiznow Stakes at a mile on the main track. Motown Men was just third in the Grade 3 Precisionist Stakes and seems to be at his best on or just off the lead. From the nine post position he’ll possibly gun for the lead as the horse in the ten post is Joy Boy who also has very good speed.

The $150,000 Spring Fever Stakes for filly and mare sprinters drew just six runners and the undefeated Sunday Rules figures to be a huge favorite in the wagering. She’s 4 for 4 and has really never been tested as she’s crushed her rivals in each start. In the $125,000 Fran’s Valentine Stakes it’s Go West Marie who figures the one to beat. She’s been very tough in state-bred stakes and was most recently 2nd in the Grade 3 Las Cienegas Stakes. Selections for the Snow Chief

  1. Zinvor
  2. Grazen Sky
  3. Rocko’s Wheel

Longshot: Neveradoubt Selections for the Melair

  1. Sheer Pleasure
  2. La Fiera
  3. Niassa

Longshot: Thermodynamics Selections for the Tiznow

  1. Poshky
  2. Magic Mark
  3. Motown Men

Longshot: Spirit Rules Selections for the Fran’s Valentine

  1. Go West Marie
  2. Mangita
  3. Chati’s On Top

Longshot: Qiaona Selections for the Spring Fever

  1. Sunday Rules
  2. Tribal Gal
  3. Harlington’s Rose

Longshot: Sidepocket Run

Louisville Handicap tops Churchill Saturday

Turf Marathoners will have to navigate a mile and a half on Saturday to win the $100,000 Grade 3 Louisville Handicap at Churchill Downs. Nine runners will go to post including Grade 1 winner Majestic Harbor who is the co-highweight at 116 pounds. Majestic Harbor’s connections have been trying to get him on the grass and he’s won two straight races that were moved to the main track. The 7 year old has won those two straight while getting the riding services of Corey Lanerie who will once again be on board. Cozy Kitten was just second in an allowance at Gulfstream Park and has some good back class. The seven year old will still have to step his game up though if he wants to contend in this spot.

Xtra Luck is just 2 for 19 career but his top speed figures put him right in the mix for the win. He’s been closer to the pace in his last pair of starts and doing so yielded two of his better performances, so look for jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. to put him right into the race. Golden Soul, most famous for running second in the Kentucky Derby two years ago returns to the Churchill grass, a surface he’s a perfect 2 for 2 at. The distance is a question but he loves CD so he could definitely be in the mix. Selections for the Louisville Handicap

  1. Majestic Harbor
  2. Xtra Luck
  3. Golden Soul

Longshot: Calvados

Arapahoe Park opens up on Friday

Arapahoe Park in Denver will open up for the Spring/Summer meet on Friday and the opening day feature is the $40,000 Inaugural Stakes. Racing will be run Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays with first post each day at 3pm EST through August 16th. The opening day feature Inaugural Stakes drew a field of ten three year olds including Prospector’s Blues who is coming off a win in a $50,000 stake at Turf Paradise. Most of the shippers are coming from the Southwest including Passed Due who comes up from Albuquerque and was just third in a stakes event there. Selections for the Inaugural Stakes

  1. Prospector’s Blues
  2. Passed Due
  3. Z Smoking Gun

Longshot: Tribal Echo

$200,000 Nassau Stakes is Woodbine weekend feature

Twelve fillies and mares will go on the grass in the Grade 2 $200,000 Nassau Stakes at Woodbine. Deceptive Vision was third in this race last year and is a Grade 2 winner at Woodbine. She took home the Grade 3 Doubledogdare at Keeneland last time out and figures to be very tough if she’s on her game once again on Saturday. Overheard makes her second start of the season after an even fourth place finish in her 2015 bow. She is a Grade 2 winner at Woodbine though and is 2 for 3 over the turf course. Stellar Path will make just her second start in North America in the Nassau and her first one was a beauty as she scored in a $100,000 event at Aqueduct last time out. Luis Saez will ride for trainer Christophe Clement in the Nassau and Stellar Path figures to have a big shot. Silent Star could be a price horse with some intrigue as that last race was too short for her. She’s had good success at the mile distance and on grass and should be fitter after that tune up to start her season last time out. Selections for the Nassau

  1. Deceptive Vision
  2. Stellar Path
  3. Silent Star

Longshot: Sky Treasure

Saturday Stakes Action at

Arapahoe Park

Race 8                  Inaugural Stakes                       5:55pm EST

Belmont Park

Race 8                  Paradise Creek Stakes               4:57pm EST

Charles Town

Race 7                  Fancy Buckles Stakes                9:55pm EST

Churchill Downs

Race 8                  Louisville Handicap                    4:18pm EST

Gulfstream Park

Race 8                  Alachua Handicap                     4:30pm EST

Monmouth Park

Race 11               Majestic Light Stakes                 5:43pm EST

Northlands Park

Race 5                  Western Canada Handicap        5:00pm EST


Race 8                  My Juliet Stakes                       4:04pm EST

Santa Anita

Race 3                  Spring Fever Stakes                    4:30pm EST

Race 6                  Fran’s Valentine Stakes              6:00pm EST

Race 7                  Melair Stakes                            6:30pm EST

Race 8                  Snow Chief Stakes                    7:00pm EST

Race 9                  Tiznow Stakes                         7:30pm EST


Race 8                  Nassau Stakes                          4:45pm EST

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