Weekend Stakes Preview 8/29

Closing Weekend at Del Mar features the Debutante and Derby

The two year old fillies will be on display on Saturday as the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante will headline the card.  Eight juvenile fillies will line up to go the challenging seven furlong distance, and when there’s two year olds in California, there’s Baffert.  Bob Baffert will send out three of the eight runners, including Awesome Baby, who was brilliant in her career debut at Del Mar earlier this season.  Undefeated Concave will certainly get a lot of attention at the windows as she’s a perfect two for two for trainer Doug O’Neill.  Interestingly Mario Gutierrez who was aboard for both of Concave’s wins, including the Grade 2 Sorrento, has jumped ship to ride Sprouts, so Concave will pick up the services of Patrick Valenzuela.  Gutierrez is sticking with Sprouts as they’ve teamed up to win three straight races, including a pair of $100,000 stakes events.  She’s a Tiger will also get some attention as she finished a strong second behind Concave in the Sorrento, as well winning the Landaluce at Hollywood Park.

The Harry Brubaker is the fifth race on the card and Clubhouse Ride shows up in this spot.  He was running well against the mighty Game on Dude earlier this year, but after two lackluster performances, his connections are looking to get his confidence back.  Sky Kingdom also deserves a look in here, as this race could easily be a Grade 3 in terms of quality of the field.  Even Grade 1 winner Liaison, who scratched out of the Pacific Classic has landed here in the Brubaker. The Del Mar Debutante is the 9th race on the Saturday card and post time is 9:10pm EST.

Sunday will feature the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby, the final leg of the three leg turf series for the boys that started back on opening day.  Labor Day will feature a trio of stakes at Del Mar including the Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon.  Then a day off Tuesday, followed by the traditional Wednesday closing day, which is headlined by the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity. Selections for the Del Mar Debutante

  1. She’s a Tiger
  2. Concave
  3. Sprout

Longshot: Secret Compass Selections for the Harry Brubaker Stakes

  1. Clubhouse Ride
  2. Sky Kingdom
  3. Liaison

Longshot: Summer Hit

Grade 3 Seaway Stakes headlines Woodbind Saturday

Six runners will go seven furlongs on Saturday in the featured Seaway Stakes at Woodbine in Toronto.  Roxy Gap will be one of the likely favorites and was second in the race just a year ago.  Roxy Gap hit the sidelines after a 2012 campaign that saw her rack up over $500,000 in earnings.  She came back in the Grade 3 Royal North and finished fourth, beaten by Nikkis Smartypants that day, who she’ll have to face again in the Seaway.  Nikkis Smartypants is really a horse on the improve and could be very dangerous as she continues to get better.  She’s coming off a career best effort in the Royal North and runs for the red hot Robert Tiller barn.  Youcan’tcatchme might be the speed of the race and she’s proven she’s very tough to reel in when she’s loose on the lead.  She’s only tried seven furlongs once and it wasn’t her best effort, so she’ll have to get some relaxing in during the first half mile to have some left for the drive.  Strike the Moon has been such an honest runner in her career, and even with just four wins, she’s banked over $600,000 for her connections.  The Seaway Stakes is the 8th race at Woodbine on Saturday and post time is 4:17pm EST. Selections for the Seaway

  1. Youcan’tcatchme
  2. Nikki’s Smartypants
  3. Roxy Gap

Longshot: Acting Naughty

Washington Park Handicap is Arlington feature

Willcox Inn has been competing against some of the toughest turf horses in the land, and on Saturday he’s going to finally get a bit of a class drop when he looks like one of the top contenders in the Grade 3 Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park.  Willcox Inn hasn’t won since July of 2012, but he’s been second in a Grade 1 and a pair of Grade 2’s since then.  Because he’s a closer for the most part, he is always left with lots to do in the final yards, which is sometimes his undoing.  One problem for him is that there is literally zero speed in this race, so it might not be all that surprising to see Willcox Inn get sent after the lead.  Mister Marti Gras is another closer type, and he’s been in pretty sharp form as of late, as he hasn’t been out of the exacta in his last five starts.  Agent Di Nozzo will be making his first recent leap up into graded stakes company in the Washington Park Handicap.  He’s won four of five starts including the Golden Bear at Indiana Downs last time out and gets the services of Shaun Bridgmohan, who’s ridden him numerous times before.  The Washington Park Handicap is the 9th race at Arlington Park on Saturday and post time is 6:04pm EST. Selections for the Washington Park Handicap

  1. Agent Di Nozzo
  2. Mister Marti Gras
  3. Willcox Inn

Longshot: Hattaash

Huge Holiday of Racing on Monday for Labor Day

Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, but what a way to go out as there will be amazing racing all over North American and we’ll have all the action!  From the richest Quarter Horse race in the world, the All-American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs, to closing weekend at Del Mar and everything in between.  Ruidoso Downs will feature the All-American Derby on Sunday, which as $2.8 million is the biggest Quarter Horse purse ever.  The $2.6 million All-American Futurity is on Monday and is the richest race for any two year of any breed.

Parx Racing will be featuring one of the biggest days of the season, as the Grade 3 Smarty Jones, Turf Monster Handicap and Greenwood Cup all should draw competitive fields for great betting.  Portland Meadows will feature seven stakes races on the Labor Day card including the 49th running of the Portland Mile.

Del Mar will feature three great stakes races on Labor Day, with the Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon as the headliner.  The $150,000 I’m Smokin Stakes is for Cal-bred two year olds and the $100,000 Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf will be run as part of the undercard.

Saturday Stakes Action at

Arlington Park

Race 9                  Washington Park Handicap                6:04pm EST

Del Mar

Race 9                  Del Mar Debutante                            9:10pm EST

Gulfstream Park

Race 7                  Wasted Tears Stakes                         4:15pm EST

Monmouth Park

Race 3                  Miss Woodford Stakes                        1:50pm EST

Race 10                Twin Lights Stakes                               5:27pm EST

Prairie Meadows

Race 8                  Iowa Gold Futurity                           10:32pm EST


Race 8                  Seaway Stakes                                  4:17pm EST


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