Weekend Stakes Preview 8/13

Big field to contest the Grade 1 Arlington Million

Saturday is the biggest day of the year in Illinois racing as the Grade 1 Arlington Million tops a stakes loaded card at Arlington Park. Thirteen runners have entered the mile and one quarter Million including Big Blue Kitten who is the 3/1 morning line favorite. Big Blue Kitten is coming off a very strong win in the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park last time out where he beat Slumber who also shows up here. Big Blue Kitten has never ran at Arlington Park but he’s had a strong 2015 so far and you have to think his connections have had this race in mind for a while now. Slumber was second to Big Blue Kitten in the United Nations but beat him two starts back in the Grade 1 Manhattan at Belmont. Like Big Blue Kitten, Slumber likes to use his big turn of foot and come from the back of the pack. The Million did come up light on European talent as the John Gosden trained Maverick Wave appears to be the best of the shippers. He won a Group 3 in Great Britain last time out and the distance seems to be perfect for him. Maverick Wave also gets the riding services of Arlington Million winning jockey William Buick who won the race in 2010 with Debussy. Triple Threat is also an intriguing runner in the Million as his lone Stateside effort was a narrow win in the Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes. Trained by Bill Mott he’s worked steadily towards this race and has two wins at the 10 furlong distance.

The Grade 1 Beverly D. and the Grade 1 Secretariat top the undercard on Million Day. Euro Charlene is back to defend her title in this race as she outkicked Stephanie’s Kitten, who she’ll have to face again this year. Euro Charlene was just beaten in a Group 1 last time out that should serve as a good tune up for this event. Wedding Vow should also be a tough Euro shipper for the always solid Aiden O’Brien. Stephanie’s Kitten hasn’t been able to get up in her last two but she has been moving well late. Chad Brown will likely have her ready for her top effort in here. Force the Pass has been given the morning line favorite role in the Grade 1 Secretariat. He crushed his rivals in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby last time out and he’ll have to face some tough runners from over seas. Aiden O’Brien sends out Highland Reel who is a multiple Group Stakes winner and last out took a Group 3 at Goodwood at a mile and a half.

The Pizza Man is entered in the Million but also in the Grade 3 American St. Leger Stakes. He took the American St. Leger last year and the added distance could be in his best interests as he seems to relish it. Selections for the Arlington Million

  1. Big Blue Kitten
  2. Triple Threat
  3. Maverick Wave

Longshot: Up With the Birds Selections for the Beverly D.

  1. Secret Gesture
  2. Euro Charlene
  3. Watsadachances

Longshot: Mango Diva Selections for the Secretariat Stakes

  1. Force the Pass
  2. Highland Reel
  3. Goldstream

Longshot: War Dispatch Selections for the American St. Leger Stakes

  1. Hyper
  2. The Pizza Man
  3. Az Ridge

Longshot: Crucero 

Fourstardave Handicap is Saratoga Saturday feature

The Fourstardave Handicap tops a stakes double on another great Saturday of racing at Saratoga. Turf milers will go in the Fourstardave including Seek Again who will look to repeat his 2014 win in this race. He hasn’t seen the winners circle since then but ran a solid third last time out in the Shoemaker Mile. Mshawish could be the X factor as he’s coming back from Dubai after a third place finish in the $6,000,000 Dubai Turf. Prior to that trip he won the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap and the Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale Stakes. John Velazquez will get the mount on Mshawish in the Fourstardave. Jack Milton will look to rebound off of one of his worst career efforts last time out. He was ninth in the Manhattan Stakes at Belmont Park and returns to Saratoga where he was third beaten a length in this same race last season. Look for King Kreesa to set the early pace and as we’ve seen before. When he shakes loose and gets brave, he’s very tough to catch.

The Grade 2 Adirondack for two year old fillies drew a field of seven maiden breakers to go six and a half furlongs. Decked Out has the experience edge with three starts and is stakes placed. Both Kandoo and Delicate Lady will get play based off big maiden wins and solid connections. Selections for the Fourstardave

  1. Mshawish
  2. Seek Again
  3. Jack Milton

Longshot: King Kreesa Selections for the Adirondack

  1. Delicate Lady
  2. Decked Out
  3. Tonasah

Longshot: Just Wicked

Prize Exhibit looks to make it three in a row in the Del Mar Oaks

Three year old turf fillies will be on display at Del Mar on Saturday as the Grade 1 $300,000 Del Mar Oaks tops the card. Prize Exhibit has rattled off a pair of graded stakes wins and will look to add to her ledger in the Oaks. Two starts back she won the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes and followed that up with a win in the San Clemente at Del Mar, a Grade 2 race. She’s in career form coming into this race and liked the surface here in her debut at Del Mar. She beat Sunset Glow in the San Clemente and will have to beat her again here. Sunset Glow has never been off the board in her 9 race career and owns a Grade 1 win at Del Mar, albeit as a two year old. An intriguing runner could be Zipessa who is a perfect two for two in her young career and will be making the jump up into stakes company for the first two. The Michael Stidham trainee crushed maidens at Arlington Park in her debut in May and then came to Del Mar and won easily at a mile on the grass against allowance/optional claimer types. Selections for the Del Mar Oaks

  1. Sunset Glow
  2. Prize Exhibit
  3. Her Emmynency

Longshot: Majestic Heat

Sunday is the Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs

The biggest event in Northwest racing, the $200,000 Longacres Mile will go to post on Sunday with a full field of twelve. Defending champ Stryker Phd will look to repeat as he’s been installed as the 9/5 morning line favorite. Stryker Phd is coming off a huge win in the Mt. Rainier Handicap last time out which is the top local prep. Stryker PhD will have to beat a couple of solid California shippers in Alert Bay and Sammy Mandeville. Alert Bay will get the services of jockey Rico Walcott and while he had a banner year last season, he’s struggled a bit in 2015 and hasn’t got a win yet this season. Sammy Mandeville has been knocking heads with some of Southern California’s best like Catch a Flight and Bayern amongst others. His last win was at the allowance level but he figures to be a contender in the Longacres Mile. The question is how the surface plays as often Emerald Downs is a very fast surface that is kind to frontrunners. Selections for the Longacres Mile

  1. Stryker PhD
  2. Taylors Deal
  3. Noosito

Longshot: Absolutely Cool

Saturday Stakes Action at

Arapahoe Park

Race 7                  Spicy Stakes                            5:30pm EST

Race 8                  Mile High Derby                        5:55pm EST

Arlington Park

Race 4                  Bruce D. Memorial                     3:03pm EST

Race 6                  Pucker Up Stakes                     4:07pm EST

Race 7                  American St. Leger Stakes         4:42pm EST

Race 8                  Secretariat Stakes                    5:17pm EST

Race 9                  Beverly D. Stakes                     6:04pm EST

Race 10               Arlington Million                        6:48pm EST

Del Mar

Race 8                  Del Mar Oaks                            8:40pm EST

Emerald Downs

Race 8                  WTOBA Lads                                    8:39pm EST

Race 9                  Barbara Shinpoch Stakes            9:09pm EST

Gulfstream Park

Race 5                  Bonita Stakes                                    3:27pm EST

Monmouth Park

Race 11       Blue Sparkler Stakes                           5:45pm EST

Northlands Park

Race 4                  Sonoma Handicap                     3:25pm EST

Race 8                  Westerner Handicap                  5:24pm EST

Race 10               Sun Sprint Championship           6:25pm EST

Race 12               Canadian Derby                        7:40pm EST

Remington Park

Race 6                  David Vance Sprint                   10:20pm EST

Race 8                  Governor’s Cup Stakes              11:16pm EST



Race 4                  Adirondack Stakes                    2:46pm EST

Race 10              Fourstardave Handicap              6:26pm EST


Race 3                  Vandal Stakes                          1:57pm EST

Race 8                  Flaming Page Stakes                 4:40pm EST






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