Weekend Stakes Preview 7/16

Del Mar launches 2015 summer season

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club will open up its annual summer season on Thursday July 16th and race all through the Summer months. Del Mar will run Wednesdays through Sundays all the way through closing day Monday September 7th. Del Mar is back to a dirt surface for the first time since 2006 when the track installed a synthetic surface. First post will be 5pm EST with the exception of Fridays when the races will get underway at 7pm EST. The opening Saturday feature is the Grade 1 $400,000 Eddie Read Stakes on the grass. Finnegans Wake will return to the lawn after a fourth place finish on the main track in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita. A Grade 1 winner on turf, Finnegans Wake also owns a Grade 2 win at Del Mar by virtue of his score in last fall’s Hollywood Gold Cup. He likes to come from way off the pace and with the smaller field of seven in the Eddie Read, he won’t have to worry about traffic problems. Midnight Storm has been amazing since transferring to the Phillip D’Amato barn and finished a very strong second in the Shoemaker Mile last time out. He’s also 2 for 2 at Del Mar including a win in the Del Mar Derby last year.

Big Casanova doesn’t own a win on grass but if anything will add some speed to the early mix as this race features some serious front runner types. Twentytwentyvision is an intriguing player as he is coming into this race off of three very strong grass efforts. This will be his first stakes try for the Richard Mandella trainee who has a very good foundation and should be a player in here.

The $80,000 Osunitas Stakes drew a full cast of twelve fillies and mares to go on the grass. Elektrum was just fourth in the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes, beaten only a length and a quarter and gets the services of jockey Victor Espinoza. Istanford is 2 for 2 at Del Mar in her career including a win in the Grade 2 San Clemente Stakes last season. Gas Total for the Mandella barn will also get a look in here as she’s been second in her last two starts, one of which was the Grade 1 Vanity. Selections for the Eddie Read

  1. Finnegans Wake
  2. Midnight Storm
  3. Twentytwentyvision

Longshot: Power Ped Selections for the Osunitas

  1. Gas Total
  2. Istanford
  3. Famous Alice

Longshot: One More

Delaware Handicap tops huge Saturday at Delaware Park

The $750,000 Delaware Handicap tops a big Saturday of racing at Delaware Park this weekend. The Delaware Handicap drew a field of seven runners, some of the top east coast fillies and mares. Frivolous and Sheer Drama top the list as they are coming off a 1-2 finish in the Grade 2 Fleur De Lis. The race was a wake up call for Frivolous who was 32/1 and had been crushed in her previous two starts. So whether she can put forth another effort like that is the question. Sheer Drama has had a very solid 2015 with one win and four seconds from five starts. She’ll have to turn the tables on Frivolous and her lone start at Delaware was a good second place finish early in her career. With 8 seconds versus 4 wins there is some concern that she has some second-itis, but she’s certainly a player in here.

Joint Return is a deep closer and figures to be running late if they go quick early. She likes to come from way out of it and was closing well last time out when finishing second in the Grade 3 Obeah Stakes here at Delaware Park last month.

The Grade 3 Kent Stakes is one of three undercard stakes events and features eight three year old turf runners. Chad Brown will send out Chief Kitten who last time out finished third in a $100,000 stake at Aqueduct. Brown will also send out recent maiden breaker Money Multiplier. Graham Motion and Edgar Prado will team up in the Kent with All I Karabout who was second in an allowance event last time out. Motion will add blinkers here, a move he hits at 19% with. Selections for the Delaware Handicap

  1. Rosalind
  2. Sheer Drama
  3. America

Longshot: Fortune Pearl Selections for the Kent Stakes

  1. Chief Kitten
  2. All I Karabout
  3. Syntax

Longshot: Money Multiplier

Saturday night is the Indiana Derby at Indiana Grand

Saturday night is the biggest night of the racing calendar in the state of Indiana as the $500,000 Indiana Derby and the $200,000 Indiana Oaks top a huge card at Indiana Grand race course. The Grade 2 Indiana Derby drew a field of eight runners including recent Ohio Derby winner Mr. Z. Mr. Z scored a nose victory over Tencendur and Divining Rod in the Ohio Derby and will once again have to contend with Divining Rod who drew just outside of him in post 2. Divining Rod and Mr. Z both have just two wins each in their careers, but both are coming off career best speed figures and will both be contenders in here. Island Town is coming off a very nice win in the Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs, a race that was his first try against stakes company. He is very versatile and jockey Julien Leparoux should have him just in behind the early leaders. Far Right didn’t close in at all in the Ohio Derby but the way the race shaped up it could have been a bad track to close on. If he gets the right setup in here he could pick them all up down the lane.

The $200,000 Grade 2 Indiana Oaks drew a big field of eleven and looks to be pretty wide open on paper. Oceanwave drew the rail and is getting some class relief after finishing mid-pack in her last pair of starts, both Grade 1 races. She’s a deep closer so the rail draw shouldn’t hurt her as she’ll drop back. Pangburn and Sweetgrass finished 2-3 in the Iowa Oaks a few weeks back at Prairie Meadows and both appear to be logical contenders in this race. Ahh Chocolate could be the x-factor in the race as she makes just her fourth career start. In start number three she ran a big third in the Grade 2 Black Eyed Susan. Another move forward and she could be real dangerous. Selections for the Indiana Derby

  1. Far Right
  2. Divining Rod
  3. Tiz Shea D

Longshot: Island Town Selections for the Indiana Oaks

  1. Ahh Chocolate
  2. Sweetgrass
  3. Oceanwave

Longshot: Zeven

Saturday Stakes Action at

Arlington Park

Race 7                  Hanshin Cup                            5:21pm EST

Belmont Park

Race 3                  Saginaw Stakes                        2:22pm EST

Race 6                  Rockville Centre Stakes              3:55pm EST

Del Mar

Race 4                  Eddie Read Stakes                    6:42pm EST

Race 8                  Osunitas Stakes                        8:40pm EST

Delaware Park

Race 7                  Kent Stakes                             4:15pm EST

Race 8                  Hockessin Stakes                      4:45pm EST

Race 10               Delaware Handicap                   5:45pm EST

Race 11               Carl Hanford Memorial                6:15pm EST

Ellis Park

Race 8                  Don Bernhardt Stakes               5:25pm EST

Emerald Downs

Race 9                  Kent Handicap                         9:09pm EST


Race 9                  Bougainvillea Handicap               5:00pm EST

Indiana Grand

Race 3                  Indiana General Assembly Distaff 6:57pm EST

Race 5                  Boys and Girls Stakes                 7:49pm EST

Race 6                  Mari George Stakes                   8:15pm EST

Race 7                  Michael Schaefer Memorial          8:41pm EST

Race 8                  Indiana Oaks                            9:11pm EST

Race 9                  Indiana Derby                          9:41pm EST

Monmouth Park

Race 11       Lamplighter Stakes                   5:43pm EST


Race 6                  Count Lathum Stakes                5:30pm EST

Race 8                  Fred Jones Handicap                 6:30pm EST

Prairie Meadows

Race 7                  Prairie Gold Juvenile                 10:11pm EST

Race 8                  Prairie Gold Lassie                     10:37pm EST


Race 8                  Golden Bear Stakes                   7:45pm EST


Race 7                  George Lewis Memorial              3:55pm EST


Race 8                  Ontario Damsel Stakes               4:36pm EST

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