Weekend Stakes Preview 9/17

Pennsylvania Derby is feature on a huge Saturday at Parx

Parx in Philadelphia will take center stage on Saturday in the racing universe as the $1,000,000 Pennsylvania Derby and $1,000,000 Cotillion Stakes top the biggest card of the year at the track. Frosted has been made the 5/2 morning line favorite in the Pennsylvania Derby even though he is looking for his first win since April. He’s kept good company though and hit the board in the Belmont, Jim Dandy and Travers Stakes in his last three efforts. He’ll be trying Parx for the first time and also gets back Joel Rosario on board for the Wood Memorial win. Upstart was fourth in the Travers, a race Frosted was third in and also makes his Parx debut. He does his best work when he’s close to the pace and in recent starts he’s been coming from a bit off the pace, so don’t be surprised if they try and position him closer in this race early. West coaster Gimme Da Lute comes into this race riding a four race win streak including a score 3 back in the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Derby. However his two races that he shipped east for, both led to third place finishes, his two worst finishes in 9 career starts.

The $1,000,000 Cotillion Stakes is a Grade 1 and it drew a big field of eleven. Embellish the Lace and I’m a Chatterbox are coming out of the Grade 1 Alabama where they finished 1-2 respectively. I’m a Chatterbox was very wide that day but couldn’t get to Embellish the Lace who went wire to wire. Mix in Take Charge Brandi who is stretching back out after a disastrous sprint try and the race has some big contenders. Price players might look towards Pangburn who likes to come from off the pace and should have plenty of pace to run at.

The Gallant Bob Stakes features sprinters going six furlongs including Limousine Liberal who was just second in the Grade 1 Kings Bishop. The $150,000 Bayern Stakes is for three year olds and up and features a number of horses who have been very successful against allowance level foes now taking a step up. The stakes action kicks off Saturday with the Alphabet Soup for Pennsylvania breds. Selections for the Pennsylvania Derby

  1. Gimme Da Lute
  2. Frosted
  3. Upstart

Longshot: War Story Selections for the Cotillion Stakes

  1. Pangburn
  2. I’m a Chatterbox
  3. Embellish the Lace

Longshot: Calamity Kate Selections for the Gallant Bob

  1. Limousine Liberal
  2. Grand Bili
  3. Recount

Longshot: Bayerd Selections for the Bayern

  1. Classic Giacnroll
  2. Street Babe
  3. Market Blaster

Longshot: Bowman’s Beast Selections for the Alphabet Soup

  1. Uncle Dave
  2. Forward Thinker
  3. Roadhog

Longshot: Not Today

Another big Saturday at Kentucky Downs

More big fields, big purses, and big wagering pools are expected as the final Saturday of the Kentucky Downs meet is upon us. Four stakes events on the card including the $300,000 Ladies Marathon at a mile and five sixteenths. Dido is the 5/2 morning line favorite in that race and is looking to finally break into the winner’s circle after four straight second place runs. Graham Motion is bringing Dido in from Del Mar where she just missed in a stakes behind Honey Lake, who also shows up in this race. Honey Lake is a bit of an all or nothing horse as lately she either wins or runs way up the track. She does own a win at Kentucky Downs though and with the unique course that’s always a bonus.

The $200,000 Dueling Grounds Oaks drew a full field and Return to Grace might be the one to beat coming off a narrow defeat in the Grade 3 Pucker Up at Arlington. She’s been ultra consistent in her young career and keeps improving each race. Grade 1 winner Sunset Glow drew the rail in the $300,000 Ladies Turf Stakes. She’s coming off a fourth place finish in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks and was further off the pace that day than she normally is. Look for her to be more forwardly placed this time and she should show a better effort. Her main competition could be I’m Already Sexy who is consistently in the mix in Grade 2 and Grade 3 races.

The $150,000 One Dreamer Stakes is for horses who haven’t won a stakes in 2015. Kitten’s Dumplings is the 3/1 favorite and is a Grade 1 winner. However she was on the shelf for over a year and came back with a sixth place finish followed up by a second place run last out. A Little Bit Sassy has some serious back class and could be set for a big start coming off that third at Saratoga. At 12/1 she’s worth a look. Selections for the Dueling Grounds Oaks

  1. Return to Grace
  2. Heath
  3. Dating Lady Luck

Longshot: My Blue Sky Selections for the Ladies Marathon

  1. Courtesan
  2. Maria Maria
  3. Dido

Longshot: One More Strike Selections for the Ladies Turf Stakes

  1. I’m Already Sexy
  2. Sunset Glow
  3. Lori’s Store

Longshot: Sugar Shock Selections for the One Dreamer

  1. A Little Bit Sassy
  2. Industrial Policy
  3. Kitten’s Dumplings

Longshot: VV Goodnight 

Charles Town Oaks is feature on big card

While most of the Saturday night card at Charles Town is dedicated to the West Virginia bred, the $350,000 Charles Town Oaks is a Grade 2 event for fillies and drew a cast of six runners. Sarah Sis drew the rail in the Oaks and brings one of the more impressive resumes to the party. She’s a multiple Grade 3 winner and was just fourth in the Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga. She has speed and is drawn inside but with the tight turns at Charles Town and lots of other early foot in this race, she’ll really have to utilize that speed to gain an advantage early. Temper Mint Patty drew the outside and takes the blinkers off for this race. She should sit just off the pace and if they go crazy up front she could be the one to pick up the pieces. None of these horses have ever run at Charles Town so the tight turns will be a new experience for them. Fusaichi Red by no means discredited herself last time out when she finished third in the Prioress, her first try against graded stakes runners. Joe Bravo is back in the saddle on Fusaichi Red who can’t be overlooked. Selections for the Charles Town Oaks

  1. Temper Mint Patty
  2. Fusaichi Red
  3. Sarah Sis

Longshot: White Clover

Two Grade 2 Stakes at Laurel Park on Saturday

Laurel Park has a pair of grass features on Saturday and both are Grade 2 races. The $400,000 Commonwealth Derby drew a field of eight including Grade 1 winner Force the Pass. Force the Pass has never been out of the trifecta in seven career starts and won a pair of graded races earlier this summer, including the Grade 1 Belmont Derby. Last time out he broke in the air and had a wide trip and still ran a good third in the Grade 1 Secretariat. He figures to be a strong favorite in this race but is by no means a guarantee. Go Around drew on the rail and ran a very good third in the Grade 3 Saranac and had to do so from further off the pace than might normally be his preference.

The Commonwealth Cup features seven older runners including Grade 1 winners Up With the Birds and Mr. Speaker. Up With the Birds hasn’t won in over a year but he’s been keeping some pretty solid company. Trevor McCarthy gets the mount and the long stretch at Laurel should help his late kick. Mr Speaker was second in the Grade 2 Sky Classic at Woodbine last time out and should be a bit tighter in his third start off the layoff. Selections for the Commonwealth Derby

  1. Force The Pass
  2. Go Around
  3. Gallery

Longshot: Great Dancer Selections for the Commonwealth Cup

  1. Speaker
  2. Talk Show Man
  3. Up With the Birds

Longshot: Cut To Order

Saturday Stakes Action at


Race 8                  Noble Damsel Stakes                          4:46pm EST

Charles Town

Race 2                  Roger Ramey Handicap                       5:36pm EST

Race 3                  Henry Mercer Memorial                       6:10pm EST

Race 4                  Harry Buch Stakes                             6:40pm EST

Race 5                  Ann Hilton Stakes                              7:10pm EST

Race 6                  Rachel’s Turn Stakes                          7:39pm EST

Race 7                  It’s Only Money Stakes                       8:21pm EST

Race 8                  Dr. Ernest Benner Handicap                8:49pm EST

Race 9                  Pink Ribbon Stakes                            9:20pm EST

Race 10              Wild and Wonderful Stakes                          9:51pm EST

Race 11              Charles Town Oaks                            10:25pm EST

Churchill Downs

Race 9                  Dogwood Stakes                               10:11pm EST

Gulfstream Park

Race 9                  Treasure Coast Stakes                        5:41pm EST

Kentucky Downs

Race 6                  One Dreamer Stakes                          3:35pm EST

Race 7                  Ladies Turf Stakes                             4:05pm EST

Race 10       Ladies Marathon Stakes                      5:35pm EST

Race 11       Dueling Grounds Oaks                        6:05pm EST

Laurel Park

Race 4                  Commonwealth Cup                           2:42pm EST

Race 9                  Commonwealth Derby                        5:11pm EST

Los Alamitos TB

Race 8                  Barrett’s Debutante                                    8:28pm EST

Louisiana Downs

Race 5                  Elge Raspberry Stakes                        6:02pm EST

Race 7                  Red Erwin Stakes                              6:57pm EST

Northlands Park

Race 2                  Red Diamond Express Handicap            3:30pm EST

Race 4                  Fall Classic Distaff Handicap                  4:30pm EST

Race 6                  Alberta Oaks                                     5:30pm EST

Race 7                  Sturgeon River Stakes                        6:00pm EST

Race 8                  Alberta Breeders’ Handicap                          6:30pm EST

Race 10                Beaufort Stakes                                7:30pm EST

Race 11               Alberta Premier’s Futurity                    8:00pm EST


Race 6                  Alphabet Soup Handicap                     3:00pm EST

Race 7                  Bayern Stakes                                   3:32pm EST

Race 8                  Gallant Bob Stakes                             4:05pm EST

Race 9                  Cotillion Stakes                                  4:50pm EST

Race 10       Pennsylvania Derby                            5:45pm EST


Race 9                  Asparagus Stakes                              8:15pm EST


Race 8                  Overskate Stakes                              4:35pm EST


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