Affirmed stakes headlines Santa Anita Saturday
Eight three year olds will try and get their first graded win on Saturday at Santa Anita as they compete in the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap. Can The Man is the only stakes winner in the field by virtue of his score last time out in the Speakeasy Stakes back in October. He’s been off all of 2014 and will use this as his seasonal bow for trainer Bob Baffert who is always dangerous off the layoff. Can The Man was third in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity and then followed that up with a really solid fourth in the Grade 1 Frontrunner at Santa Anita. If he’s moved forward as a three year old then he’s a big contender. But if Can The Man doesn’t fire first off the layoff then there’s plenty of challengers lying in the weeds.
Big Tire was a maiden winner in his sixth career start and followed that up with a fifth place finish in the Santa Anita Derby behind the mighty California Chrome. He should be running from just off the pace and could be a possible upsetter. Friendswith K Mill is coming off a very solid win last time out when he returned to Santa Anita. Friendswith K Mill has a very good off the pace running style and could have found a good spot to get that precious graded stakes win. Forever Juanito and Agapito Delgadillo took home the Desert Code Stakes last time on the grass and will be making his first appearance on the main track.
BetPTC.com Selections for the Affirmed Stakes
- Friendswith K Mill
- Can The Man
- Big Tire
Mint Julep Stakes is Saturday Churchill feature
The Churchill Downs weekend will be headlined by the $100,000 Grade 3 Mint Julep Stakes on the grass. Eight older fillies and mares have entered led by co-highweights Miz Ida and I’m Already Sexy. Miz Ida won this race last year and is back to defend her title. She hasn’t won since that effort but has been taking on tougher company including a pair of Grade 2 tries as well as the Grade 1 First Lady Stakes at Keeneland where she finished fourth. Corey Lanerie will be climbing on board Miz Ida for the first time for trainer Steve Margolis and they should be rolling from off the pace. I’m Already Sexy is also getting some class relief as she comes off a sixth place finish in the Grade 2 Distaff Turf Mile on Kentucky Derby Day. She’s at her best when she’s on the lead and does have a wire to wire Grade 3 win by virtue of her score in the Pucker Up Stakes last year at Arlington Park. Miguel Mena will get back on board of I’m Already Sexy and the last time he rode her they scored a win at Churchill Downs together in 2012.
The Mint Julep Stakes features quite a fair amount of early speed including the pair drawn to the inside in Honey Hues and Tapit’s World. Honey Hues likes to open up early on but could have trouble with that if Tapit’s World or either of the outside two runners, Enchanting Lisa or Maid on a Mission, show their normal early foot. The race could end up setting up perfectly for the two favorites Miz Ida and I’m Already Sexy as a strong pace and the long Churchill stretch could play a big role.
BetPTC.com Selections for the Mint Julep Stakes
- Miz Ida
- I’m Already Sexy
- Enchanting Lisa
Longshot: Hot Tempo
Ten three year old fillies contest the Lady Angela Stakes at Woodbine
The $125,000 Lady Angela Stakes drew a big and competitive field as the seven furlong event at Woodbine Race Course drew ten runners. The race is for Ontario breds and features a number of runners with impressive allowance wins against state breds. The horse with the most glaring resume is three time stakes winner On Rainbow Bridge. On Rainbow Bridge won a pair of state-bred stakes events last season before taking the $200,000 Muskoka Stakes against open two year old fillies. She hasn’t run yet as a three year old and her trainer David Coley is only hitting at 5% this season at Woodbine and is just 10% off a long layoff. She might need the race, especially against a fresh and hot horse like She Ain’t Bad who just crushed open allowance/optional claiming runners going six furlongs. She Ain’t Bad has won three of her four career starts with her lone loss being a neck defeat in her first try against winners. She was beaten that day by Splashy Gizmo who seems to have regressed a little bit since starting her three year old campaign. But this will be her third start off the layoff and she’s cutting back in distance so she could pop at a price.
The Lady Angela Stakes is the 8th race at Woodbine on Saturday and post time for the race is at 4:54pm EST.
BetPTC.com Selections for the Lady Angela
- She Ain’t Bad
- Splashy Gizmo
- Sweater Weather
Saturday is Hoosier Champions night at Hoosier Park
Hoosier Park will be showcasing the Indiana-bred Standardbred on Saturday night as the track presents the annual Hoosier Champions Night. Eight stakes events featuring over $400,000 in purses will be run, including $75,000 features for the three year old pacing and trotting boys, and for the three year old pacing and trotting gals. The action gets underway at 5:15pm EST.
Saturday Stakes Action at BetPTC.com
Race 9 Purple Violet Stakes 6:00pm EST
Race 8 Minnesota HBPA Stakes 5:36pm EST
Race 9 Brooks Fields Stakes 6:10pm EST
Race 8 Mint Julep Handicap 5:04pm EST
Race 9 Valsfortune Stakes 10:35pm EST
Race 3 River Rock Casino Handicap 5:50pm EST
Race 4 Emerald Downs Handicap 6:20pm EST
Race 12 Crank It Up Stakes 6:26pm EST
Race 8 Spangled Jimmy Handicap 6:22pm EST
Race 10 Jostle Stakes 5:20pm EST
Race 8 Cyclones Handicap 9:57pm EST
Race 9 Affirmed Handicap 7:00pm EST
Race 8 Lady Angela Stakes 4:53pm EST