Weekend Stakes Preview 8/6

Whitney Stakes is the headliner on another huge Saturday at the Spa

Saratoga’s summer season marches on and Saturday the $1,250,000 Grade 1 Whitney Stakes tops another big card of racing. Most of the top handicap horses on the east coast are lined up including Tonalist, Lea and Honor Code amongst others. Tonalist is looking for his first win since May as he’s had a couple of second place finishes but he’s been racking up solid speed figures so far in 2015. Lea is coming off a narrow loss to Noble Bird in the Stephen Foster and will have to turn the tables on that rival on Saturday as he’s also entered. Lea’s one start at Saratoga was a fourth place finish in a sprint event. He certainly has the class to be a contender in this spot though. Honor Code comes into this race off a huge win in the Met Mile however for him the question will be the distance. His last two starts over a mile have not been his best so he will have to prove his stamina doubters wrong on Saturday.

Noble Bird comes into this race off a win in the Stephen Foster and he should be prominent early on. He’ll have to deal with Moreno and Liam’s Map early on as both of them are likely to go very quick early on. The pace could very well boil over in this race and set up for a deep closer.

The Grade 1 Test Stakes tops the undercard and sees the return of Take Charge Brandi. She comes into the race on a four race win streak and is shortening up to seven furlongs. With the shortening up, she’ll likely not be on the lead which could effect her running style as she likes to be on the engine. She’ll have to best By The Moon who just missed by a neck last time out in the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes. Wonder Gal has just a maiden win however she’s often a contender in these Grade 1 races and figures to take some action at the windows.

The Grade 3 Waya Stakes as well as a pair of $100,000 stakes are also on the card that gets underway at 1:00pm EST. Selections for the Whitney Stakes

  1. Lea
  2. Tonalist
  3. Noble Bird

Longshot: Liam’s Map Selections for the Test

  1. Irish Jasper
  2. Cavorting
  3. By The Moon

Longshot: Bar of Gold Selections for the Waya

  1. Kitten’s Point
  2. Danza Cavallo
  3. White Rose

Longshot: Chat Selections for the Lure Stakes

  1. Charming Kitten
  2. Vyjack
  3. Reload

Longshot: Under Control Selections for the De La Rose Stakes

  1. Daring Kathy
  2. Token of Love
  3. Recepta

Longshot: Stellar Path

John C. Mabee Stakes is part of a Stakes Daily Double at Del Mar

Ten fillies and mares will go on the grass in the $250,000 John C. Mabee Stakes at Del Mar on Saturday. Fanticola comes into the race off a win in the Grade 2 Royal Heroine Stakes against several of the rivals she’ll see again on Saturday. She won that day by a neck over Queen of the Sand who was flying from the back of the pack and came up just short. That was at Santa Anita though and Queen of the Sand now comes to Del Mar where she’s 2 for 3 lifetime and that one defeat was a second place finish in the Grade 1 Matriarch. Personal Diary returns to Del Mar for the Mabee Stakes after running in Kentucky for most of the past year. The last time she was at Del Mar though she took home the top honors in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks. So a return to the Golden State might be just what the doctor ordered.

The Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes for two year olds drew just six runners and features a pair of runners from the Doug O’Neill barn. Found Money drew the rail for the Best Pal and is the lone runner with two wins thus far on his ledger. Last time out he won the $125,000 Santa Anita Juvenile in impressive fashion pulling away at the end to win by almost two lengths. Nyquist appears to be an intriguing runner as he earned a big speed figure in his debut win where he narrowly beat Annie’s Candy, who is also in this race. Annie’s Candy came back from that loss to score a nice win at Los Alamitos last time out to break his maiden. Selections for the John C. Mabee Stakes

  1. Queen of the Sand
  2. Elektrum
  3. Fanticola

Longshot: Stormy Lucy Selections for the Best Pal Stakes

  1. Annie’s Candy
  2. Found Money
  3. Nyquist

Longshot: Swipe

Saturday is Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands

Harness racing’s signature event, the $1,200,000 Hambletonian will be run this Saturday at the Meadowlands. Racing begins at noon and the card is loaded with big events, but it’s the Hambletonian and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks that everyone is looking forward to. The Hambletonian features same day eliminations with the eliminations slated as races 8 and 9. The Hambletonian itself will be carded as race 13. The $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks is carded as race 12.

The Florida Sire Stakes Series starts Saturday at Gulfstream Park

Gulfstream Park will be showcasing runners from the top sires in Florida as the Florida Sire Stakes Series gets underway Saturday with seven stakes events on the card. The two year old stakes are the features with the $200,000 Dr. Fager Stakes for the boys and the $200,000 Desert Vixen Stakes for the two year old fillies. The Dr. Fager Stakes drew nine runners and most are maiden breakers without stakes experience. Bucking that trend is Fellowship who ran a very strong second in the Birdonawire Stakes in his second career start after a very good maiden breaking score. Li’l Meatball was also a very impressive maiden winner as he drew off to win his debut by nine lengths.

The Desert Vixen Stakes drew eight runners and Ballet Diva figures to be a big favorite coming off two huge wins. She won her maiden debut by twelve lengths and last time out won the Cassidy Stakes by four and a half easy lengths. Silent Prayer has good early speed and was third against the boys in the Birdonthewire Stakes last time out. If she’s able to put pressure on Ballet Diva maybe it could set it up for someone else.

Five other stakes are on the card at Gulfstream Park and racing gets underway Saturday at 12:45pm EST. Selections for the Dr. Fager Stakes

  1. Li’l Meatball
  2. Fellowship
  3. Danbury

Longshot: Brighton Lane Selections for the Desert Vixen Stakes

  1. Ballet Diva
  2. Silent Prayer
  3. It’s High Time

Longshot: High End Queen

Saturday is Super Derby Prelude Day at Louisiana Downs

The final local prep for the $400,000 Super Derby will be run this Saturday as the $100,000 Super Derby Prelude Stakes will top a big stakes card that includes six Louisiana Cup Stakes events as well. The Super Derby Prelude drew a field of eight including Allied Air Raid who is coming off a second place finish in the Grade 3 Iowa Derby. He’s lightly raced and is improving and draws the services of the very talented Richard Eramia for the mount. The Pickett Factor is the intriguing local horse as he’s crushed his rivals in his last two starts at Louisiana Downs and recorded solid speed figures while doing it. Last time was his first try around two turns and he seemed to relish the ground and figures a big shot in this spot.

The rest of the Louisiana Downs card on Saturday makes up Louisiana Cup Day. The Louisiana Cup Turf Classic is the finale on the card and features String King who is getting closer to millionaire status. He’s won 16 of 36 in his career and is 5 for 13 at Louisiana Downs. His grass record is also superb as he shows 12 wins from 25 starts on the lawn. Selections for the Super Derby Prelude

  1. The Pickett Factor
  2. Allied Air Raid
  3. Mobile Bay

Longshot: Lucky Stranger

Saturday Stakes Action at


Race 6                  Mike Spellmen Memorial Handicap         4:50pm EST

Race 7                  Black Tie Affair Stakes                               5:21pm EST

Canterbury Park

Race 5                  Careless Navigator Stakes                    9:29pm EST

Race 6                  John Bullit Stakes                              9:57pm EST

Race 7                  Minnesota Oaks                                 10:25pm EST

Race 8                  Minnesota Derby                               10:53pm EST

Charles Town

Race 7                  Sadie Hawkins Stakes                         9:55pm EST

Del Mar

Race 5                  Best Pal Stakes                                 7:10pm EST

Race 8                  John C. Mabee Stakes                        8:40pm EST

Ellis Park

Race 9                  Groupie Doll Stakes                            5:40pm EST

Emerald Downs

Race 9                  Washington Oaks                              9:09pm EST

Gulfstream Park

Race 3                  Jackson Bend Stakes                          1:44pm EST

Race 4                  Eight Miles East Stakes                       2:14pm EST

Race 5                  Desert Vixen Stakes                            2:46pm EST

Race 8                  Three Ring Stakes                             4:19pm EST

Race 9                  Unbridled Stakes                               4:51pm EST

Race 10              Soaring Softly Stakes                         5:26pm EST

Race 11              Dr. Fager Stakes                                6:04pm EST

Louisiana Downs

Race 1                  La. Cup F&M Sprint                            3:15pm EST

Race 3                  La. Cup Juvenile Fillies                         4:09pm EST

Race 4                  La. Cup Sprint Stakes                         4:35pm EST

Race 5                  La. Cup Distaff                                  5:03pm EST

Race 6                  La. Cup Juvenile                                5:30pm EST

Race 7                  Super Derby Prelude                          5:57pm EST

Race 8                  La. Cup Turf Classic                            6:24pm EST

Monmouth Park

Race 10               My Frenchman Stakes                        5:24pm EST


Race 4                  Two Year Old Filly Stakes                    4:25pm EST

Race 7                  Two Year Old Sales Stakes                          5:56pm EST

Prairie Meadows

Race 3                  Dan Johnson Memorial                        8:24pm EST

Race 4                  Iowa Sorority Stakes                          8:54pm EST

Race 5                  Iowa Breeders’ Oaks                          9:23pm EST

Race 6                  Iowa Cradle Stakes                            9:52pm EST

Race 7                  Iowa Breeders’ Derby                         10:21pm EST

Race 8                  Ralph Hayes Stakes                            10:50pm EST

Race 9                  Donna Reed Stakes                                    11:18pm EST

Santa Rosa

Race 9                  Robert Dupret Derby                         8:15pm EST


Race 4                  Lure Stakes                                      2:44pm EST

Race 7                  De La Rose Stakes                             4:33pm EST

Race 8                  Test Stakes                                      5:11pm EST

Race 9                  Whitney Stakes                                 5:46pm EST

Race 10               Waya Stakes                                     6:23pm EST


Race 8                  Seaway Stakes                                  4:47pm EST




Leave a Reply