Weekend Stakes Preview 6/17

Summertime Oaks tops Santa Anita Stakes Double

The Grade 2 $200,000 Summertime Oaks tops a nice Saturday card at the Great Race Place. Stellar Wind leads a cast of ten runners in the Oaks and is coming off a solid fourth place effort in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks. She had a bad trip that day and was nine wide into the lane and still finished a good closing fourth about five lengths behind the winner. Red-hot Victor Espinoza is on board and she returns to Santa Anita where she’s 2 for 2 including a score in the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel. Stellar Wind is drawn out in post 9 and right to her outside is the speedy Fantastic Style. She’ll certainly have to go quickly to get to the lead and clear the inside runners but she’s never been behind in any of her five career races at the first call. She’s coming off a win in the Angel Flight Stakes and she’s 3 for 4 locally. She also runs for the Bob Baffert barn which is never a bad thing. Sheer Pleasure is coming off a smashing win against Cal-Breds in the Melair Stakes last month. It was her first try around two turns and if that was any indication, she loved the added ground. She should be somewhat close up early and if she can reproduce that effort she’ll have a big say in the outcome of the Summertime Oaks.

The $75,000 Singletary Stakes drew a full field to go a mile on the grass. The race is mostly made up of up and coming horses coming off maiden or first level allowance wins and appears on paper to be wide open. Zinvor was leading the Snow Chief Stakes last time out in mid-stretch before finishing fifth in that event. He’ll cut back to a mile in this spot, a distance that he’s a perfect 2 for 2 at in his career. Anytime Anyplace has been behind the very tough Papacoolpapacool in his last two starts and figures to be right on the early pace. If he’s able to get a breather he could have a big say at the finish, but it depends how much horses like All Indians push him early. Selections for the Summertime Oaks

  1. Stellar Wind
  2. Sheer Pleasure
  3. Danette

Longshot: Tara’s Tango Selections for the Singletary Stakes

  1. Anytime Anyplace
  2. Zinvor
  3. Soul Driver

Longshot: Royal Albert Hall

$500,000 up for grabs in the Ohio Derby at Thistledown

The biggest race in the state of Ohio is on Saturday as nine three year olds will line up at Thistledown in the $500,000 Ohio Derby. A number of Kentucky Derby also-rans are in the field as well as an up and comer named Whiskey Ticket. Whiskey Ticket won the Illinois Derby and is 2 for 2 for trainer Bob Baffert. He should be forwardly placed and Martin Pedroza ships over to take the mount. He is giving away experience to a number of runners like Far Right, Tencendur and Mr. Z. Far Right was second behind American Pharoah in the Arkansas Derby but didn’t show up in the Kentucky Derby, finishing 15th. He’s back where he belongs though and if they go quickly up front he should be closing stoutly in the late stages. Tencendur was 17th in the Derby and will look to get back to the form that saw him run second in the Wood Memorial behind the talented Frosted. Mr. Z. still just has the one career win but he’s hit the board in a slew of stakes events. He will likely take some money at the windows though and once again should be a toss on the win end.

War Story was 16th in the Kentucky Derby after a very solid campaign in New Orleans this past winter and spring. The Tom Amoss trainee should be running from off the pace and gets the riding services of Kent Desormeaux for the Ohio Derby. Selections for the Ohio Derby

  1. Far Right
  2. Divining Rod
  3. War Story

Longshot: Thirtypiecesofsilver

Bed O’Roses Handicap is Belmont Saturday Feature

The $150,000 Bed O’Roses tops another fine Saturday card in New York at Belmont Park. The seven furlong sprint drew some top names for being a Grade 3 including recent Grade 1 winner Dame Dorothy. Dame Dorothy beat the ultra-talented Judy the Beauty to win the Humana Distaff on Kentucky Derby Day this year. She’s run at Belmont one time before and it was a win in the Grade 3 Turn Back The Alarm Stakes. She’s 6 for 8 in her career but she’ll have to catch a very tough front runner in the form of La Verdad. La Verdad on paper looks like lone speed and she’s capable of putting up brilliantly fast first quarter miles. However the question mark for her will be the seven furlongs. She’s 0 for 2 at the distance and her better efforts lately have been at six or six and one half furlongs. However if she’s able to relax a bit early she’ll be tough to catch. Room For Me offers a good alternative to the top two as she was just second behind La Verdad two starts back in the Grade 3 Vagrancy. She was only beaten a half a length that day and was closing. She followed that up with an optional claiming/allowance win and she should be just behind La Verdad early, so she might get first run on Dame Dorothy. Selections for the Bed O’Roses

  1. Room For Me
  2. Dame Dorothy
  3. La Verdad

Longshot: Street Story

It’s opening weekend at the California Fairs

The California Fair racing season kicks off this week as Oak Tree at Pleasanton opens up on Thursday June 18th. The races at Pleasanton will run Thursdays through Sundays through July 5th. First post time will be at 4:15pm EST. After that the fairs will move on to Sacramento for three weeks of racing action from the California State Fair. The Humboldt County Fair in Ferndale will go from August 21st to August 30th and the Stockton Fair runs from September 11th through September 20th. Wrapping up the fair season will be The Big Fresno Fair which goes from October 8th to October 18th.

The Opening weekend feature at Pleasanton is the $50,000 Oak Tree Handicap for older runners. G.G. Ryder comes into this race with two straight Grade 3 wins at Golden Gate Fields and figures to be a solid favorite in here. The question mark for him will be the surface as he’s never run over a dirt track before. Zeewat who is drawn to his inside has raced and won on dirt, with 3 wins from 10 starts on the surface. He ran third in a stakes event here at Pleasanton last year, but that was a sprint race. Outside Nashville was just behind G.G. Ryder in the Grade 3 All American last time out the Hollendorfer trainee could make some noise if the early pace boils over a bit. Selections for the Oak Tree Handicap

  1. Zeewat
  2. G. Ryder
  3. Outside Nashville

Longshot: Pepper Crown

Saturday Stakes Action at

Belmont Park

Race 8                  Bed O’ Roses Handicap              4:57pm EST

Churchill Downs

Race 10               Roxelana Stakes                       5:20pm EST

Delaware Park

Race 6                  Stanton Stakes                        3:45pm EST

Race 8                  Obeah Stakes                          4:45pm EST

Gulfstream Park

Race 3                  Barely Even Stakes                   2:00pm EST

Race 9                  King Cugat Stakes                    5:00pm EST

Indiana Grand

Race 9                  Harley Green Derby                   9:49pm EST

Lone Star

Race 8                  Lanes End Scholarship Stakes     10:51pm EST

Monmouth Park

Race 11             Red Cross Stakes                      5:43pm EST

Northlands Park

Race 7                  Ky Alta Stakes                          6:00pm EST

Oak Tree at Pleasanton

Race 8                  Oak Tree Handicap                   7:52pm EST


Race 8                  Donald LeVine Handicap            4:04pm EST

Santa Anita

Race 7                  Singletary Stakes                      6:30pm EST

Race 8                  Summertime Oaks                    7:00pm EST


Race 8                  Ohio Derby                              5:15pm EST


Race 6                  Victoria Stakes                         3:38pm EST






Leave a Reply