Weekend Stakes Preview 7/24

Untapable takes on the boys in the Haskell 

Untapable will look to keep her magical season going as she takes on eight male rivals in the $1,000,000 Grade 1 Haskell Invitational.  Haskell Day is the biggest day of the year in New Jersey racing and the 14 race card will feature six huge stakes events.  The Haskell is the headliner and Untapable is the big name as she’s been on a terror as of late, including her huge win in the Kentucky Oaks and the Mother Goose in her last pair.  Rosie Napravnik is reunited with Untapable in the Haskell and she’ll be taking on male rivals for the first time.  She’s going to be facing a tough task including Bayern and Wildcat Red.  Bayern is coming off of a mammoth win in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens at Belmont and when he shows up and runs his race, he’s very tough.  He also likes to be on or near the lead which at Monmouth is always a good thing.  Wildcat Red is another who likes to be on the lead and is a Grade 2 winner already. He was also only beaten a neck in the Florida Derby and rebounded from his Kentucky Derby debacle with a nice stakes win at Gulfstream.  Just Call Kenny and Irish You Well both have home court advantage as both are coming off good performances in the Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth.  Irish You Well won that day but Just Call Kenny was closing and both could be good price options in the Haskell.

A series of Grade 2 and Grade 3 events lead the undercard.  The Oceanport Stakes on the grass drew ten runners including Mshawish who ships in from Hong Kong after an eighth place finish in the Group 1 Champions Mile.  He was fourth in the $5,000,000 Dubai Duty Free so his first start in the states has him with a big class advantage.  Pants on Fire will look to defend his title in the Grade 2 Monmouth Cup.  He’s 3 for 5 at the Jersey Shore, but is coming back from a tough trip to Japan where he was 16th in the Japan Cup Dirt.  Watsadachances might get a slight nod in the Matchmaker as she has been in very sharp form as of late against tough competition.  Ribo Bobo will look to keep his streak going as he headlines the Teddy Drone Stakes.  He hasn’t been off the board since 2012 and is 2 for 3 at Monmouth in his career.  Natalie Victoria will look to take the Molly Pitcher and make it three wins in a row for her.  She’s a speed demon and the one they’ll have to catch in that Grade 2 event. Selections for the Haskell

  1. Bayern
  2. Untapable
  3. Wildcat Red

Longshot: Just Call Kenny Selections for the Oceanport

  1. Mshwash
  2. Under Control
  3. Guys Reward

Longshot: Joe Tess Selections for the Monmouth Cup

  1. Bradester
  2. Micromanage
  3. Valid

Longshot: Easter Gift Selections for the Matchmaker

  1. Watsadachances
  2. Emotional Kitten
  3. Nashly’s Vow

Longshot: Starstruck Selections for the Teddy Drone Stakes

  1. Ribo Bobo
  2. Rainbow Heir
  3. Candyman E

Longshot: Black Hornet Selections for the Molly Pitcher

  1. Montana Native
  2. Natalie Victoria
  3. Majestic River

Longshot: Swinger’s Party 

Jim Dandy at Saratoga on Saturday draws Belmont winner 

The $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes will feature seven runners prepping for the Travers Stakes later this meet, including Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist.  Tonalist spoiled California Chrome’s Triple Crown hopes in the mile and one half Belmont Stakes and will now shorten up to nine furlongs for the Jim Dandy. He’s going to have to face some tough company as Wicked Strong and Commanding Curve lead the challengers.  Wicked Strong finished fourth in both the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes and was a scintillating winner of the Grade 1 Wood Memorial.  Wicked Strong is a off the pace type so horses like Tonalist will have a big tactical advantage on him going a mile and one eighth.  Other than Cousin Stephen on the inside, most of the horses in this race are stone cold closers, so Tonalist, who likes to be on or just off the lead, could get a very favorable trip.  Commanding Curve is another who likes to rally from far off the pace and he’s coming off a disastrous effort in the Belmont Stakes where he finished ninth.  He was a late rolling long shot in the Kentucky Derby and will probably be overplayed just because of his name recognition and that one big effort.  He’s still a non-winner of two in his career.

The $200,000 Amsterdam is the big prep for the King’s Bishop on Travers Day and drew a field of nine.  Captain Serious was just second in the Dwyer behind Kid Cruz and will cut back to a sprint distance for the Amsterdam.  He’s 3 for 3 at 7 furlongs or less so clearly it’s a trip he loves and he should be prominent throughout.  Todd Pletcher will send out Rock Fall who has turned in two humongous wins in a row at six furlongs.  This will be the acid test for him as he’s jumping into stakes company, but he’s been fast and been pulling away late in his last two.  Noble Moon is a Grade 2 winner as he won the Jerome back in January and he was sixth in the Wood Memorial.  He’ll cut back to a sprint for the first time since his career debut, a race he won at six furlongs. Selections for the Jim Dandy

  1. Tonalist
  2. Wicked Strong
  3. Kid Cruz

Longshot: Cousin Stephen Selections for the Amsterdam

  1. Rock Fall
  2. Captain Serious
  3. Noble Moon

Longshot: C. Zee

San Diego Handicap is Del Mar’s big prep for the Pacific Classic

Saturday afternoon, eleven older runners will turn in their final prep for the $1,000,000 Pacific Classic as they tangle in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap.  Grade 2 winner Frac Daddy has been assigned the high weight of 121 pounds and two starts back he was a five length winner in the Eclipse Stakes at Woodbine.  He followed that up with a second place finish in a Grade 3 at Woodbine and now makes his Del Mar debut in the San Diego Handicap.  He’s 3 for 4 over the all-weather surface so that stat alone will get him lots of support at the windows.  Soi Phet swept through three straight starts at Del Mar last year so it’s clear he loves the surface.  Whether or not he can keep up with the class will be the question, but he comes in off two straight wins and he could be a good price play.  Dance With Fate won the Grade 1 Bluegrass at Keeneland over a synthetic and he’s run well at Del Mar before which adds to his appeal.  He’s been off since the Kentucky Derby, but Peter Eurton can hit with a layoff horse.  Imperative is coming out of the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita and prior to that he beat Game on Dude in the Charles Town Classic.  He’s had good success over synthetic with two wins from four starts.

The $200,000 Fleet Treat Stakes will go seven furlongs for state-bred three year old fillies.  The undefeated and massively impressive Sunday Rules will look to run her record to four for four in the Fleet Treat as she figures to be a big favorite.  She’s won three straight to start her career, the last two being eight length scores.  Jeff Mullins will send out Bonus Spin who was a big maiden winner last out in her second start and got a big speed figure. Selections for the San Diego Handicap

  1. Soi Phet
  2. Dance With Fate
  3. Imperative

Longshot: Summer Hit Selections for the Fleet Treat

  1. Sunday Rules
  2. Bonus Spin
  3. Shakeitupbetty

Longshot: Grazenette

Saturday Stakes Action at


Race 8                  CTBA Breeders’ Oaks                         5:55pm EST


Race 7                  Addison Cammack Handicap             5:00pm EST

Del Mar

Race 4                  Fleet Treat Stakes                             6:30pm EST

Race 8                  San Diego Handicap                          8:30pm EST


Race 9                  Eight Miles East Stakes                       5:30pm EST


Race 5                  Gordon Mobley Futurity Final               6:45pm EST

Race 6                  Blue River Derby                                7:10pm EST

Race 7                  Jaguar Rocket Stakes                         7:35pm EST

Race 8                  Heartland Futurity Final                       8:00pm EST

Race 9                  Indiana Grand QHRAI Derby                8:25pm EST

Monmouth (Saturday)

Race 10                 Regret Stakes                                   5:29pm EST

Monmouth (Sunday)

Race 7                  Molly Pitcher Stakes                           2:53pm EST

Race 8                  Teddy Drone Stakes                           3:26pm EST

Race 9                  MatchMaker Stakes                            3:59pm EST

Race 10               Monmouth Cup                                 4:32pm EST

Race 11               Oceanport Stakes                              5:05pm EST

Race 12               Haskell Invitational                             5:44pm EST

Northlands Park

Race 7                  Edmonton Juvenile                            5:48pm EST


Race 7                  Crowd Pleaser Handicap                      3:07pm EST

Race 8                  Power By Far Handicap                       3:34pm EST

Prairie Meadows

Race 8                  Prairie Meadows Handicap               10:37pm EST

Santa Rosa

Race 9                  Wine Country Stakes                         8:15pm EST


Race 8                  Amsterdam Stakes                             4:57pm EST

Race 10                 Jim Dandy Stakes                              6:01pm EST


Race 6                  Colin Stakes                                      3:30pmEST

Race 8                  Ontario Matron Stakes                     4:36pm EST




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