Weekend Stakes Preview 9/11

Kentucky Turf Cup headlines huge Kentucky Downs Saturday

The $600,000 Kentucky Turf Cup headlines a foursome of stakes events at Kentucky Downs this Saturday. Eleven runners will contest the mile and one half distance including War Dancer. A Grade 2 winner, War Dancer will be making his Kentucky Downs debut in the Kentucky Turf Cup. He does have a win at the 12 furlong distance and was fourth last time out in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer last time out at Saratoga. O’Prado Ole was sixth in the Sword Dancer and prior to that ran a good second in the Stars N Stripes at Arlington Park behind the very tough The Pizza Man. O’Prado Ole tends to stay up close to the pace and will be getting a first run once they start the long run in up the hill over the European style turf course at Kentucky Downs. A price play that could be intriguing in the Kentucky Turf Cup is Olympic Thunder. Olympic Thunder was second in this race last year and just missed winning it, falling only a neck short. While he hasn’t run a winning race since then, the fact that he likes the Kentucky Downs surface and is one of a few who has experience there could make him a decent value play. Cozy Kitten is 20/1 on the morning line and is going to be running first off the claim for trainer Mike Maker for the Ramsey’s. The horse is coming off a win at $35,000 level, but Maker is deadly off the claim and if he can get the horse to improve then he could be a player. Plus Cozy Kitten is 1 for 1 at Kentucky Downs.

In the $200,000 More Than Ready Stakes it will be Guys Reward and Regally Ready who look like the solid choices. Both have had great success at the mile distance and both have been very competitive in graded events so they should appreciate the class drop. Indiana Downs shipper Saturday Launch is coming off a couple big wins at smaller tracks and could be an upset player at 20/1 morning line odds.

The $200,000 Ladies Turf Sprint drew a huge overflow field to compete at six and a half furlongs. Sky Treasure got the slight nod as the morning line favorite and ships in from Woodbine for trainer Mark Casse. There’s a ton of speed signed in this race and if the speedsters tire themselves out before getting to the hill, they will all be toast. The $200,000 Ladies Turf Stakes drew a full field including I’m Already Sexy who was sixth last time out in the Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park, a Grade 1 event. She was only beaten two and a half lengths that day. Kiss Moon won the Hatoof Stakes on Arlington Million day and while she’s only run on the turf twice, both have been solid efforts. Selections for the Kentucky Turf Cup

  1. Tricky Cat
  2. Cozy Kitten
  3. Olympic Thunder

Longshot: Holiday Star Selections for the More than Ready

  1. Regally Ready
  2. Guys Reward
  3. Saturday Launch

Longshot: Tattenham Selections for the KY Ladies Sprint

  1. Sky Treasure
  2. Eden Prairie
  3. Quay

Longshot: Mizzen Miss Selections for the KY Ladies Turf

  1. Kiss Moon
  2. I’m Already Sexy
  3. Sister Ginger

Longshot: Allanah

Woodbine Mile tops big Sunday in Toronto

Woodbine Race Course will serve up two Grade 1 races on Sunday including the prestigious $1,000,000 Woodbine Mile. Eleven runners will contest the Woodbine Mile including a tough pair from trainer Mark Casse. Kaigun has been knocking on the door at the Grade 1 level, as he’s finished second at racing’s top level on a couple different occasions. He won the Grade 2 Play King last time out at Woodbine and is a perfect 2 for 2 at Woodbine. Casse will also send out Lockout who was second in the Play King behind his stablemate last time out. Grand Arch drew on the far outside, but he’s run super at Woodbine with 3 wins from seven starts. Bobby’s Kitten will try older runners for the first time in his career as he ships up. He’s at his best when on the lead so look for him to send right from the start.

The Grade 1 Northern Dancer will feature Forte Dei Marmi who won the race last year. He hasn’t been the same since that win though as he’s been off the board in his last six starts. The Pizza Man comes into this race with five straight wins including a win in the American St. Leger Stakes last time out. He’ll be trying out Woodbine for the first time, but he’s hotter than any horse in the field. Sheikhzayedroad ships in from Britain off a Group 2 win for trainer David Simcock who has the horse in career form. The Grade 2 Canadian Stakes features ten fillies and mares including the incomparable Lexie Lou. Lexie Lou has dominated three straight stakes races including the Queens Plate against the boys. Solid Appeal took home the Grade 2 Nassau Stakes two starts back and last time was fifth in the Grade 1 Diana. She’s 5 for 8 at Woodbine, so she clearly loves the running there. Selections for the Woodbine Mile

  1. Trade Storm
  2. Grand Arch
  3. Kaigun

Longshot: Jack Milton Selections for the Northern Dancer

  1. Aldous Snow
  2. The Pizza Man
  3. Sheikhzayedroad

Longshot: Villandry Selections for the Canadian

  1. Solid Appeal
  2. Lexie Lou
  3. Dance Again

Longshot: Meri Shika

Sands Point tops Belmont Saturday Stakes Double

The $500,000 Sands Point Stakes headlines a stakes Daily Double at Belmont Park on Saturday afternoon. The Grade 2 event drew a field of ten runners to go nine furlongs on the turf. Both Duff One and Xcellence are coming out of the Lake Placid Stakes where they ran 2nd and 3rd respectively. Duff One carved out the fractions in the Lake Placid and was caught in the final yards, losing by just half a length. Xcellence was rallying late in that race and was just a head behind Duff One. Trainer Graham Motion brings Daring Dancer into this race sporting a 4 for 5 career record. She’s been ultra impressive, including a score in the Grade 2 Lake George last time out over several of the rivals she’ll face Saturday. One pause for concern is that her only career defeat came here at Belmont Park when she was a distant fifth beaten nine lengths. Sea Queen won that stakes event that Daring Dancer finished fifth in and she most recently was fourth in the Del Mar Oaks. She was part of a ridiculously fast pace that day and still fought hard to finish only three lengths back at the wire.

The $200,000 Grade 3 Noble Damsel Stakes features nine filly and mare milers. It’s a mixed bag of horses jumping up into the stakes levels and some former classy runners looking to find their proper spots. Byrama is a past Grade 1 winner but hasn’t seen the winner’s circle since that Vanity Handicap score in mid 2013. She’s trained by Bill Mott and her best race makes her a player. One horse stepping up to graded competition is Devilish Love for trainer Tony Dutrow. She’s rattled off three straight wins against salty company and now jumps up into the stakes ranks to try these runners. Christophe Clement will send out British shipper Annecdote. Annecdote is a Group 3 winner overseas and Clement hits at almost 30% when bringing horses to North America. Selections for the Sands Point

  1. Sea Queen
  2. Xcellence
  3. Daring Dancer

Longshot: Ball Dancing Selections for the Noble Damsel

  1. Tokyo Time
  2. Devilish Love
  3. Baffle Me

Longshot: Alaura Michelle

Grade 3 Pucker Up Stakes tops Arlington Saturday bill 

Arlington Park in Chicago is winding down it’s season and the Grade 3 Pucker Up Stakes is the Saturday showcase. The $150,000 event drew nine runners including Arlington Oaks winner Aurelia’s Belle who drew the far outside gate. Aurelia’s Belle is 1 for 1 over the grass by virtue of being put up into first in the Grade 3 Regret at Churchill Downs, and she’s clearly favored synthetic tracks to dirt, which should lend to her performing well on the grass again. She beat Stellaris by just three quarters of a length in the Arlington Oaks and she’s back once again to test Aurelia’s Belle. Stellaris shipped west to Del Mar and ran a very good second in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks over the grass in San Diego. It was her turf debut, however her connections have been trying to get her on the grass, as three of her six career starts were washed off the grass. Tom Proctor ships over Sistas Stroll who is perfect in two starts on the lawn including a big win last time out in Del Mar. Selections for the Pucker Up

  1. Sistas Stroll
  2. Aurelia’s Belle
  3. Maria Maria

Longshot: VV Goodnight

Saturday Stakes Action at


Race 8                  Pucker Up Stakes                     5:45pm EST


Race 7                  Noble Damsel Stakes                 4:13pm EST

Race 8                  Sands Point Stakes                   4:45pm EST

Belterra Park

Race 7                  Loyalty Stakes                          4:25pm EST


Race 9                  Shakopee Juvenile                    5:42pm EST

Race 10               Mystic Lake Derby                     6:14m EST

Churchill Downs

Race 9                  Open Mind Stakes                    4:55pm EST

Delaware Park

Race 5                  DTHA Governor’s Day Stakes      3:06pm EST

Race 6                  Small Wonder Stakes                3:34pm EST

Race 7                  Tax Free Shopping Distaff          4:02pm EST

Race 8                  First State Dash                        4:30pm EST

Race 9                  George Rosenberger Memorial    4:59pm EST

Race 11                New Castle Stakes                    5:53pm EST


Race 9                  QHRAI Stallion Futurity              8:49pm EST

Race 10                QHRAI Stallion Derby                 9:17pm EST


Race 9                  Vid Stakes                               5:30pm EST

Kentucky Downs

Race 7                  More Than Ready Mile               5:35pm EST

Race 8                  KY Downs Ladies Sprint             6:04pm EST

Race 9                  KY Turf Cup                                 6:35pm EST

Race 10                KY Downs Ladies Turf               7:04pm EST

Laurel Park

Race 3                  Brookmeade Stakes                 2:10pm EST

Race 5                  Jamestown Stakes                    3:10pm EST

Race 7                  Oakley Stakes                          4:10pm EST

Race 9                  Punch Line Stakes                    5:10pm EST

Race 10               Jamestown Stakes                    5:40pm EST

Race 11               Bert Allen Stakes                      6:10pm EST

Los Alamitos T-Bred

Race 8                  Barrett’s Debutante                    8:30pm EST


Race 9                  PTHA Presidents Cup                4:01pm EST


Race 4                  Bold Venture Stakes                 2:27pm EST

Race 6                  Natalma Stakes                        3:31pm EST

Race 9                  Summer Stakes                        5:07pm EST

Zia Park

Race 11             James Hobbs Sr. Stakes             6:55pm EST




Leave a Reply