Weekend Stakes Preview 8/28

Woodward Stakes tops huge Saratoga Saturday 

The $600,000 Woodward Stakes tops a four bagger of stakes on Saturday at the Spa as the New York track races it’s final weekend of the season. Ten horses will line up in the Grade 1 event, including Whitney Handicap winner Moreno. Moreno had been knocking at the door in recent starts and finally put it all together to go wire to wire to take the Whitney. He held off Itsmyluckyday that day who is back in the Woodward. Itsmyluckyday drew the rail and will likely be just in behind Moreno, tracking from just a few lengths off the pace. The problem for Itsmyluckyday and the rest of the field in the Woodward is that there is no other pace types outside of Moreno. The X-Factor could be Zivo, who comes into this race on a six race win streak and will be making his Grade 1 debut. He was running in state bred races earlier this season and peaked last time out when he rallied from last two win the Grade 2 Suburban at Belmont. Zivo has a win at Saratoga and if someone does push Moreno, he could be the one that comes flying late to pick up all the pieces.

The Grade 1 Forego tops the undercard and drew a field of ten older sprinters to go seven furlongs. The $500,000 event features Palace who was a sharp winner of the Grade 1 Vanderbilt last time out. Palace got a perfect set up that day and should be rallying from just off the pace. The seven furlong distance could be the question mark for Palace, who is 0 for 2 at that distance. Confrontation drew the outside and is a perfect 3 for 3 at Saratoga. He should be right up on the pace, likely stalking Zee Bros and Falling Sky early on and if he gets first run, could be an upset threat. Clearly Now broke through in a huge way last time out when he ran off in the Belmont Sprint Stakes. He’ll be making his Saratoga debut, but if he can work out a trip he could be extremely dangerous.

The Grade 2 Prioress features numerous horses who haven’t broken through at the Grade 1 level and seem poised for a win at this level. Princess Violet is very lightly raced and was second to the mighty Untapable last time out. Miss Behaviour ran a huge second in the Grade 1 Test Stakes last time at seven furlongs. Now she cuts back to six furlongs, a distance she’s a perfect three for three at. Larry Jones is bringing up Thirteen Arrows from the Mid-Atlantic and she’s going to be making her first try against stakes runners. She’s been ultra impressive in her last two and her speed figures put her in the mix. The Grade 2 Bernard Baruch features the return of Wise Dan, making his first start since a narrow win in the Grade 1 Turf Classic at Churchill Downs. He’s had surgery in the interim, but he’s 2 for 2 at Saratoga and is an insane 13 for 14 on the grass. The decision is whether you go with Wise Dan or hope he’s not the same off the layoff. Boisterous regressed last time out but if he runs back to his previous races he could figure in the mix. The speedy Five Iron is likely the one they’ll have to catch, but he’s packed it in late in the lane in his last couple, and if Wise Dan is coming at him, he’ll really have to dig down. Selections for the Woodward

  1. Moreno
  2. Zivo
  3. Itsmyluckyday

Longshot: Micromanage Selections for the Forego

  1. Confrontation
  2. Zee Bros
  3. Palace

Longshot: Falling Sky Selections for the Prioress Stakes

  1. Miss Behaviour
  2. Princess Violet
  3. Thirteen Arrows

Longshot: Southern Honey Selections for the Bernard Baruch

  1. Wise Dan
  2. Boisterous
  3. Sayaad

Longshot: Sky Blazer

 Del Mar Debutante draws nine two year-old fillies

The $300,000 Del Mar Debutante features the top two year old fillies on the west coast competing at seven furlongs. Sunset Glow was a dominant winner of the Grade 2 Sorrento Stakes last time out and will be a likely favorite as she has an experience edge over many of her rivals. Jerry Hollendorfer will send out a pair of runners and they drew the inside two gates. Seduire is a stakes winner by virtue of taking home the Wine Country Debutante last time out up at Santa Rosa. She was a winner at Santa Anita in her career debut and then ran second in the Landaluce Stakes before winning the Wine Country. Right to her outside in gate 2 is her stablemate Manahatta who won one of the more impressive maiden special weight events of the season so far. Windy Forecast was second that day and Dad’s Princess was third and both of them show up here in the Debutante. So if that race is as live as it looked in person, all three could have a say.

The $90,000 Harry Brubaker Stakes features six older runners going a mile and looks to be wide open. Drill has been a player on the graded stakes scene in Southern California for a long time and now takes a drop to listed stakes level, possibly trying to find his winning ways again. Big Bane Theory was fourth in a very tough edition of the Citation Handicap last time out. He’ll be making his synthetic debut in the Brubaker. Selections for the Del Mar Debutante

  1. Sunset Glow
  2. Her Emmynency
  3. Windy Forecast

Longshot: Starlet O’Hara Selections for the Brubaker

  1. Big Bane Theory
  2. Safety Belt
  3. Drill

Longshot: Calm Pacific

Grade 3 Washington Park Handicap is Arlington feature

The Grade 3 $150,000 Washington Park Handicap drew a competitive field of six runners, many of whom love the running at Arlington Park. Fordubai is a stakes winner at Arlington Park and is shipping back to Chicago after finishing third in the Prairie Meadows Handicap last time out. Gimmeadrink came to Arlington in May and has rattled off three straight huge performances over the synthetic surface. Last time out was a powerful performance in an optional claiming $40,000 claimer, getting a big speed figure in the process. Mister Mardi Gras will be rolling home late if the pace gets out of hand up front and the seven year-old is a millionaire who more often than not runs into the top three spots. Avanzare is 4 for 8 in his career, but all those efforts have been on the grass. Last time he led the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap deep into the stretch before fading to fourth, but only beaten by three quarters of a length. Selections for the Washington Park Handicap

  1. Avanzare
  2. Fordubai
  3. Mister Marti Gras

Longshot: Gimmeadrink

Labor Day holiday racing on Monday

Labor Day is annually one of the best racing days of the year. It will be closing day at Saratoga with the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes and the Grade 3 Saranac Stakes. Del Mar will be offering up a trio of stakes events topped by the Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon Stakes on the grass for the older fillies and mares. Parx Racing has one of the bigger cards of the season on Labor Day, featuring three Grade 3 events; The Turf Monster, the Smarty Jones and the Greenwood Cup. It’s also closing day at Ellis Park, as well as great holiday racing from Monmouth Park, Belterra Park, Emerald Downs, Northlands Park, Golden Gate Fields and many more. will have all the action on the Labor Day Holiday.

Saturday Stakes Action at


Race 8                  Washington Park Handicap                   5:26pm EST

Charles Town

Race 8                  Sylvia Bishop Memorial                        10:11pm EST

Del Mar

Race 3                  Harry Brubaker Stakes                        6:00pm EST

Race 9                  Del Mar Debutante                              9:00pm EST

Evangeline Downs

Race 8                  Evangeline Starlet                              9:54pm EST

Race 10                Evangeline Star                                 10:48pm EST


Race 9                  Monarchos Handicap                          5:30pm EST


Race 5                  Bernard Baruch Handicap                 3:15pm EST

Race 8                  Prioress Stakes                                  5:00pm EST

Race 9                  Forego Stakes                                   6:12pm EST

Race 10                Woodward Stakes                             6:46pm EST


Race 7                  Vice Regent Stakes                                    3:57pm EST



Leave a Reply