Weekend Stakes Preview 7/30

Jim Dandy Stakes tops another huge Saturday at Saratoga

Three year olds will top the menu at Saratoga on Saturday as they compete in the $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes. The Jim Dandy is a prep for next month’s Travers Stakes and drew a field of seven including Frosted. Frosted is coming off a second place finish in the Belmont Stakes behind American Pharoah and has become a very solid closer. He’s drawn the outside so jockey Joel Rosario can decide what he wants to do early on in the race and put him in good striking position. Upstart will make his first start since the Kentucky Derby in the Jim Dandy. He was crushed that day and will look to get back to the form that saw him finish first twice at the Grade 2 level earlier this season. The speed of the race could come from Competitive Edge who was undefeated in his first four starts before tasting defeat last time out in the Woody Stephens. He didn’t get the best break that day so if he can get loose early and last the distance, he’ll be a major player for trainer Todd Pletcher. Texas Red also looms a contender in here as he is still looking for his first win as a sophomore runner. A Grade 1 winner at two, he’s finished second in both starts in 2015.

The undercard features a slew of stakes including the Vanderbilt, Bowling Green, and Amsterdam. Grade 1 winner Imagining tops the Bowling Green which is a route for turf runners. Imagining was fifth last out in the Grade 1 United Nations but owns a good record at Saratoga with a win and two seconds from three starts.

The Grade 1 Vanderbilt sees the return to New York of Salutos Amigos who with the exception of his trip to Dubai, has been crushing his opponents. He’ll have to face Rock Fall though who is the new kid in town after crushing his rivals in the Grade 2 True North last time out. Departing shows up here and will shorten up from a Grade 2 win on the grass last time out to run in this sprint, which is peculiar to say the least. Barbados ships up for the Amsterdam Stakes which drew an intriguing field of seven. Barbados ran huge in his second place finish in the Grade 2 Carry Back last time out. He’ll have to beat March who is coming off a win in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens for trainer Chad Brown. Selections for the Jim Dandy

  1. Frosted
  2. Competitive Edge
  3. Texas Red

Longshot: Tekton Selections for the Bowling Green

  1. Red Rifle
  2. Imagining
  3. Iron Power

Longshot: Morning Calm Selections for the Vanderbilt

  1. Rock Fall
  2. Salutos Amigos
  3. The Big Beast

Longshot: Clearly Now Selections for the Amsterdam

  1. Barbados
  2. The Great War
  3. March

Longshot: Requite

American Pharoah returns Sunday in the Haskell at Monmouth Park

Monmouth Park will offer up the showcase of it’s season on Sunday with the $1,750,000 Haskell Invitational. American Pharoah is the big headliner as the Triple Crown winner will make his first start since winning his historic Belmont Stakes last month. He’ll be a huge favorite no matter who he faces but expected to join the field are Competitive Edge, War Story, and Keen Ice among others. Competetive Edge is also entered in the Jim Dandy but should he go in the Haskell he could present some early trouble for American Pharoah as he has good speed. Both War Story and Keen Ice will be rallying from off the pace but no matter who runs in the race, it certainly goes through American Pharoah who will be an overwhelming favorite.

The Haskell card gets underway at 12pm EST on Sunday and features five stakes in addition to the Haskell including the Grade 2 Monmouth Cup for older turf runners. The Haskell is slated as the 12th race on the card and post time for the race is set for 5:52pm EST.

Saturday is the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar

Beholder will look to continue her dominance in Southern California on Saturday as she tops the list of runners in the Grade 1 $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar. Beholder comes in on a three race winning streak and already owns multiple Grade 1 wins on her resume. Last time out in the Grade 3 Adoration Stakes she easily beat several of the rivals she’ll face on Saturday including Warren’s Veneda. Warren’s Veneda was on a hot streak this winter but has failed to hit the winner’s circle in her last three starts, including a fourth place finish in a sprint at Los Alamitos last time out. My Sweet Addiction shows up in here and she’s a Grade 1 winner as well. She took home top honors in the Grade 1 Vanity Stakes two starts back but was absolutely crushed last time out in the Fleur De Lis at Churchill Downs. Selections for the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes

  1. Beholder
  2. Warren’s Veneda
  3. Yahilwa

Longshot: Thegirlinthatsong

Saturday is West Virginia Derby Day at Mountaineer

Mountaineer will have a special afternoon card of racing on Saturday as the all stakes card is topped by the Grade 2 $750,000 West Virginia Derby. Racing gets underway at 2pm EST and the West Virginia Derby is the feature going off as race 8 at 5:10pm EST. Eleven three year olds have entered in what looks like a wide open edition of this race. Grade 2 winner Madefromlucky is the 3/1 morning line favorite and was last seen running sixth in the Belmont Stakes behind American Pharoah. Prior to that he won the Peter Pan Stakes though and he should be rating from just off the pace in the West Virginia Derby. Stanford, who was second in the Louisiana Derby earlier this year, is drawn on the rail and should be prominent early. He’s coming off a nice win in the $100,000 Long Branch Stakes and even though this is a bit of a class test, he’s proven he can compete against graded stakes company before.

Recent Iowa Derby winner Bent On Bourbon shows up in the West Virginia Derby and is riding a three race winning streak. He won a pair of nice races at Churchill Downs before his Iowa Derby score and a repeat of that effort puts him right in the mix in this spot. Tommy Macho is another lightly raced runner with upside. He won two of his first three races before finishing third in the Dwyer Stakes last time out. Edgar Prado will ride for trainer Todd Pletcher in the West Virginia Derby. Selections for the West Virginia Derby

  1. Stanford
  2. Tommy Macho
  3. Bent On Bourbon

Longshot: Iron Fist

Saturday Stakes Action at

Arapahoe Park

Race 7                  Silver Cup Futurity           5:30pm EST

Race 8                  Silver Cup Futurity Fillies    5:55pm EST

Arlington Park

Race 5                  Isaac Murphy Handicap     4:19pm EST

Race 7                  Addison Cammack H.        5:21pm EST

Del Mar

Race 8                  Clement L. Hirsch Stakes  8:40pm EST

Gulfstream Park

Race 8                  Trinniberg Stakes            8:07pm EST

Indiana Grand

Race 6                  Indiana Grand Derby        8:25pm EST

Race 8                  Blue River Derby Final       9:21pm EST

Monmouth Park

Race 10                Regret Stakes                 5:16pm EST


Race 1                  Mountaineer Juvenile       2:00pm EST

Race 2                  WV Chairman’s Cup          2:25pm EST

Race 3                  WV Secretary of State     2:50pm EST

Race 4                  Mountaineer Juv. Fillies     3:15pm EST

Race 5                  WV Senate Presidents Cup  3:40pm EST

Race 6                  Robert Byrd Memorial       4:05pm EST

Race 7                  WV Governor’s Stakes      4:30pm EST

Race 8                  West Virginia Derby          5:10pm EST

Race 9                  WV Speakers Cup            5:35pm EST

Santa Rosa

Race 9                  Wine Country Stakes       8:15pm EST


Race 5                  Amsterdam Stakes           3:13pm EST

Race 8                  Vanderbilt Handicap          5:03pm EST

Race 9                  Bowling Green Handicap   5:38pm EST

Race 10               Jim Dandy Stakes            6:13pm EST


Race 8                  Victoriana Stakes             4:41pm EST




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