Weekend Stakes Preview 8/14

Saturday is Arlington Million Day!

The Grade 1 Arlington Million leads one of the best days of turf racing of the year on Saturday at Arlington Park. The prestigious race only drew 7 horses, but always features a cast of Americans and European shippers. Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Magician is the 7/5 favorite and will be making his first start back in the states since that win. He has one Group 3 win this season but is coming off a dull sixth place finish in the King George at Ascot, a race he was beaten thirteen lengths. His main domestically based competition will come from the horse who was placed first in the Arlington Million last year, Real Solution. Real Solution put it all together again last time to win the Manhattan at Belmont Park. He could be peaking at the right time and clearly he’s a fan of Arlington Park as well as the 10 furlong distance. Up With The Birds will ship in from Woodbine after a huge score in the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes. He’ll need to get a good pace set up but if he makes his patented late move, he will definitely be in the mix. Smoking Sun ships in from Singapore and comes into the Million off a huge second place run in the Singapore International. He raced primarily in france and will be ridden by Arc winning jockey Stephane Pasquier. Jamie Spencer, who has experienced the highs and lows of horse racing on Arlington Million Day, will have the mount on Side Glance. Side Glance drew the outside and ran third in the United Nations Stakes last time out. While he has been primarily based overseas, he comes was third in this race last year.

The Beverly D is the top undercard event, but it’s hardly an undercard race. The Grade 1 $750,000 event drew eleven fillies and mares including recent Grade 1 winner Somali Lemonade. Somali Lemonade got home on top in the Grade 1 Diana and has been very sharp in 2014 and will be making her Arlington Park debut. She’s drawn out wide but should have plenty of time to get over near the rail. Alterite was actually favored in the Diana last out but faded bad to finish eighth. She’ll look to get back to the form that made her a Grade 1 winner last season for trainer Chad Brown. Stephanie’s Kitten finally put in a good closing rally last time out after struggling in her first two starts of 2014. She returns to Arlington where she’s 1 for 1 and gets the services of Frankie Dettori, who was on board for her second place effort in the Diana.

The Grade 1 Secretariat is for three year olds on the grass and features Adelaide who ran a very strong second in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby, leading until the final jumps of the race. It was the first Stateside trip for Adelaide and he’s so lightly raced he could still be improving with each race. Divine Oath took home the American Derby which is the primary local prep for this race. He’s lightly raced and improving and could be a major player at a bit of a price.

Racing from Arlington gets underway Saturday at 1:30pm EST. Selections for the Arlington Million

  1. Smoking Gun
  2. Magician
  3. Real Solution

Longshot: Finnegan’s Wake Selections for the Beverly D.

  1. La Tia
  2. Somali Lemonade
  3. Just The Judge

Longshot: Tannery Selections for the Secretariat

  1. Adelaide
  2. Divine Oath
  3. Global View

Longshot: General Jack Selections for the American St. Leger Stakes

  1. Dandino
  2. Admiral Kitten
  3. The Pizza Man

Longshot: Eye of The Storm

Grade 1 Alabama Stakes tops Saratoga Saturday Stakes Double

The Spa is in full swing and the $600,000 Grade 1 Alabama and the Grade 2 Lake Placid top this Saturday’s action. Stopchargingmaria took home the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks and will be a tough customer in the Alabama if she can repeat that last performance. John Velazquez will be back on board of Stopchargingmaria for the Alabama Stakes. Size drew right to the outside of Stopchargingmaria and is shipping in from Prairie Meadows after winning big in the Iowa Oaks. Dallas Stewart will send out Unbridled Forever in the Alabama and while she’s not a graded stakes winner, she had been putting up very strong efforts in Grade 1 company, including a second place finish last time out in the Alabama. Got Lucky was a player on the Kentucky Oaks trail earlier this season and finished a dull seventh after a terrible start in the Oaks. She followed that up with a good allowance win over the Saratoga course as a prep for this race.

Minorette won the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks last time out and will be a big contender in the Grade 2 Lake Placid on Saturday. Minorette usually is placed mid-pack, but there isn’t much speed in this race so she could be on or near the lead, which could give her a tactical advantage over horses like Xcellence. Xcellence was highly regarded in the Belmont Oaks but just didn’t have a big late kick. The switch to Saratoga and her second start domestically could be enough to wake her up. Selections for the Alabama Stakes

  1. Size
  2. Stopchargingmaria
  3. Got Lucky

Longshot: Miss Besilu Selections for the Lake Placid

  1. Minorette
  2. Xcellence
  3. Crown Queen

Del Mar Oaks is Saturday So. Cal Feature

The Grade 1 $300,000 Del Mar Oaks drew a competitive field of ten and there is plenty of early gas in the field. Sea Queen set the pace in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks before getting caught late by Minorette. She’s not a graded stakes winner yet and she’ll have to overcome a tough post but she’ll likely yield early on to Istanford. Istanford won the Grade 2 San Clemente in a race that saw her open up early and open up late, scoring a huge win. She’s going to have to beat several of the same rivals she bested that day, as Tepin, My Conquestadory and Diversy Harbor are all back to contest this race. Stellaris could be an interesting shipper as she comes in from the Midwest, most recently having finished second in the Arlington Oaks. Selections for the Del Mar Oaks

  1. Stellaris
  2. My Conquestadory
  3. Istanford

Longshot: Famous Alice

Canadian Derby is Northlands top race

The Grade 3 $200,000 Canadian Derby is the headlining event for Northlands Park in Edmonton Alberta and a field of eleven was drawn to go the eleven furlongs. The Spinmeister won the local prep, the Count Lathum Handicap, a race he won by over six lengths. He seems to be an all or nothing kind of horse who either wins big, or loses big. An interesting addition to the race is the Northlands Park Oaks winner Consecrate who will take on the boys. She’s a $250,000 daughter of Pulpit and might finally be living up to her breeding in her recent starts. Speaking of big sales purchases, Robertino Diodoro will send out Edison, who was a $950,000 sales purchase. She was a maiden winner for Todd Pletcher before going to the Diodoro barn. Since the barn transfer he’s two for two including a win in a small stakes at Assiniboia Downs. Selections for the Canadian Derby

  1. Edison
  2. The Spinmeister
  3. Go Max

Longshot: Private Money Game

Saturday Stakes Action at


Race 9                  Mile High Derby                                 6:39pm EST

Race 10                Arapahoe Classic                                7:12pm EST

Arlington Park

Race 5                  Hatoof Stakes                                   3:39pm EST

Race 6                  Straight Line Stakes                            4:12pm EST

Race 7                  American St. Leger Stakes                  4:45pm EST

Race 8                  Secretariat Stakes                               5:15pm EST

Race 9                  Beverly D. Stakes                                5:54pm EST

Race 10                Arlington Million                                 6:36pm EST

Race 11                  Hatoof Stakes                                   7:18pm EST

Charles Town

Race 8                  Sadie Hawkins Stakes                      10:11pm EST

Del Mar

Race 8                  Del Mar Oaks                                   8:30pm EST

Emerald Downs

Race 8                  WTBOA Lads                                    8:39pm EST

Finger Lakes

Race 8                  Ontario County Stakes                       4:52pm EST

Monmouth Park

Race 11                Jersey Shore Stakes                           6:10pm EST

Northlands Park

Race 8                  Sonoma Stakes                                 5:24pm EST

Race 10               Westerner Stakes                              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 3                  Lake Placid Stakes                             2:04pm EST

Race 10                Alabama Stakes                                 5:55pm EST


Race 3                  Vandal Stakes                                   1:56pm EST

Race 8                  Sky Classic Stakes                              4:27pm EST



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