Weekend Stakes Preview 7/3

$1,000,000 Belmont Oaks headlines five stakes card at Belmont on Saturday 

Belmont Park will be having another huge Saturday in New York, with five stakes events including the Grade 1 $1,000,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational, the $500,000 Suburban Handicap, and the $1,250,000 Belmont Derby Invitational.  The Belmont Oaks Invitational drew a huge field of eleven runners including Group 1 winner from France Xcellence.  Xcellence has been competing against top level competition in France for trainer Francois Doumen.  Room Service is the top hope for the Stateside runners as she’s coming off three straight wins, including a pair of Grade 1’s in her last two races.  She dominated the American Oaks at Santa Anita last time out and should be flying late in this spot.  My Conquestadory is an interesting runner as she was considered one of the top two year old fillies last year.  Her seasonal debut saw her finish a good second in the Grade 3 Selene, however she’s definitely going to get the acid test in this spot.

Eleven runners will be competing in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap and the race drew a tough cast of characters.  Romansh is coming out of a good third place effort in the Grade 1 Met Mile so he should appreciate the modest class drop.  Last Gunfighter comes into the Suburban with two straight wins and is super consistent.  He always comes from off the pace and should be doing so again on Saturday.  Nerumbega and Micromanage are coming off big efforts in the Brooklyn Handicap at Belmont where they ran 1-2 with just a neck separating them.  UAE Derby winner Toast of New York will make his US debut, and he’ll be doing it fittingly in New York in the $1,250,000 Belmont Derby Invitational.  He’s won three races in a row by huge open lengths, but they’ve all been over synthetic surfaces.  He’ll have to switch back to the grass and will have to hold off Bobby’s Kitten who has been a beast over the grass in his career thus far, including a big win in the Penn Mile last time out.

Palace heads up the $400,000 Belmont Sprint as he’s coming off a win in the Grade 2 True North Stakes.  But he’ll have to overcome a wide post position with not that far of a run into the big Belmont turn.  Central Banker drew down in post two and is coming off a nice win in the Churchill Downs Handicap.  He’s been well travelled this year but has been consistently closing well.  He’ll be trying Belmont Park for the first time on Saturday.  The Grade 3 Dwyer Stakes for three year olds features a small group of six runners going a mile and one eighth.  Captain Serious is undefeated in three career starts including a big effort last time out in his Belmont debut in the Mike Lee Stakes.  Tiz Dark is the 8/5 favorite coming off a massive score in a maiden race but this will be his first venture against winners. Selections for the Belmont Oaks Invitational

  1. Room Service
  2. My Conquistadory
  3. Xcellence

Longshot: Rosalind Selections for the Suburban

  1. Last Gunfighter
  2. Micromanage
  3. Mylute

Longshot: Norumbega Selections for the Belmont Derby Invite

  1. Dance With Fate
  2. Bobby’s Kitten
  3. Toast of New York

Longshot: Global View Selections for the Belmont Sprint Championship

  1. Palace
  2. Central Banker
  3. Moonlight Song

Longshot: Mezzano Selections for the Dwyer Stakes

  1. Captain Serious
  2. Tiz Dark
  3. Kid Cruz

Longshot: Ulanbator

Los Alamitos opens up for Thoroughbred meet on Thursday July 3rd

Los Alamitos is best known for Quarter Horse Racing, but for the next couple of weeks the track will be hosting great thoroughbred racing action as it becomes the center of Southern California racing.  The $500,000 Los Alamitos Derby will be the headliner and will be run this Saturday.  Thoroughbred racing at Los Alamitos will be run on a Thursday through Sunday schedule with first post at 5pm EST each racing day through July 13th.

The $500,000 Los Alamitos Derby drew seven runners and is a Grade 2 race as it takes over for the former Hollywood Derby at Hollywood Park.  Undefeated Shared Belief will be the headliner as he’s a perfect four for four in his young career.  He was sidelined with an injury after his huge win in the CashCall Futurity last December.  He came back in good form dominating an allowance race at Golden Gate Fields against older runners.  He’ll not only be making his first start at Los Alamitos but his first start over a dirt surface.  Mike Smith will take over the mount on Shared Belief who will likely be odds on.  Candy Boy will be making his first start since the Kentucky Derby.  He was third in the Santa Anita Derby and prior to that had won the Grade 2 Bob Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita. Selections for the Los Alamitos Derby

  1. Shared Belief
  2. Top Fortitude
  3. Candy Boy

Longshot: Friendswith K Mill

United Nations Stakes is Monmouth’s Sunday feature

The Grade 1 $500,000 United Nations Stakes drew ten runners and will go eleven furlongs on Sunday at Monmouth Park.  A couple of European shippers will tackle eight American runners including the late charging Charming Kitten.  Charming Kitten just took home the Belmont Gold Cup last time out.  He’s been very strong on the turf and will be making his first try at Monmouth Park.  The Belmont Gold Cup was a two mile event so he shouldn’t be hindered by the mile and three eighths distance.  Kaigun just missed in the Grade 1 Manhattan, finishing second.  He led the race deep in the homestretch, but was caught by multiple Grade 1 winner Real Solution in the final jumps.  Group 1 winner Side Glance ships in from Ascot where he was ninth in the Queen Anne Stakes.  Jamie Spencer will make the flight over the Atlantic to take the mount in the United Nations.

The United Nations is the 12th and final race of a 12 race card at Monmouth on Sunday that gets underway at 12:50pm EST. Selections for the United Nations

  1. Charming Kitten
  2. Side Glance
  3. Kaigun

Longshot: Twilight Eclipse Selections for the Salvator Mile

  1. Bradester
  2. Stormin Monarcho
  3. Valid

Longshot: Dawly

Ellis Park opens on Thursday July 3rd

Racing in Kentucky will shift to Ellis Park for the summer months, as racing at the pea patch gets underway this week.  Ellis Park will race for 29 days with a racing schedule of predominantly Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays with first post at 1:50pm EST.  Once again headlining the season is the Grade 3 Gardenia Stakes on August 9th.

$1,000,000 Queens Plate heads Sunday at Woodbine

The $1,000,000 Queens Plate is on Sunday at Woodbine and starts the Canadian Triple Crown.  Fifteen horses have entered into the mile and one quarter event that will be run over the synthetic surface at Woodbine Race Course.  We Miss Artie is the morning line favorite and is coming off a very facile win in the Queens Plate Trial last time out where he won geared down at the wire.  We Miss Artie is a perfect 3 for 3 over synthetic surfaces and was closing late in the Kentucky Derby so the distance might be right up his alley.  Lexie Lou will look to add her name to the history books as she’s the lone filly in the race.  She’s coming off a smashing win in the Woodbine Oaks and is a multiple stakes winner.  She’s sent out by trainer Mark Casse who will also be sending out Matador and Majestic Sunset.  Asserting Bear is coming off a win in the Marine Stakes, which was his first start back at Woobine since being on the triple crown trail.  Chantal Sutherland was on board that day and will have the mount once again in the Queen’s Plate.

The Queens Plate is race 11 at Woodbine on Sunday and is part of a great day of racing in Toronto. Selections for the Queens Plate

  1. We Miss Artie
  2. Lexie Lou
  3. Matador

Longshot: Tower of Texas

Saturday Stakes Action at

Arlington Park

Race 8                  Arlington Sprint                        5:30pm EST

Belmont Park

Race 4                  Dwyer Stakes                                2:56pm EST

Race 6                  Belmont Sprint Championship     4:01pm EST

Race 7                  Belmont Derby Invitational          4:35pm EST

Race 8                  Suburban Handicap                   5:08pm EST

Race 9                  Belmont Oaks                          5:45pm EST


Race 6                  Robert Dick Memorial              3:30pm EST

Race 7                  Carl Hanford Memorial            3:57pm EST

Race 8                  Oh Say Stakes                         4:25pm EST

Race 9                  Delaware Oaks                         4:51pm EST

Delta Downs

Race 9                  Firecracker Derby                      10:35pm EST

Ellis Park

Race 8                  Ellis Park Turf Stakes                 5:10pm EST

Evangeline Downs

Race 8                  DS Shine Young Futurity           9:49pm EST

Race 9                  Overnight Stakes                      10:16pm EST

Race 10               DS Shine Young Futurity           10:43pm EST

Finger Lakes

Race 4                  Jack Betta Be Right Stakes           2:32pm EST


Race 5                  Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint           3:29pm EST

Race 6                  Paseana Stakes                        4:00pm EST

Race 8                  Cash Run Stakes                       5:02pm EST

Race 9                  Cherokee Run Stakes                5:33pm EST

Race 10               Housebuster Stakes                   6:03pm EST

Los Alamitos T-Bred

Race 8                  Los Alamitos Derby                   8:30pm EST


Race 11                 Long Branch Stakes                      5:43pm EST

Oak Tree at Pleasanton

Race 8                  Juan Gonzalez Memorial             4:52pm EST

Prairie Meadows

Race 5                  Iowa Stallion Futurity                  9:17pm EST


Race 4                  Achievement Stakes                    2:33pm EST

Race 8                  Charley Barley Stakes                4:40pm EST

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