Weekend Stakes Recap 12/14

Take Charge Brandi does it again, wins the Starlet

Take Charge Brandi went right to the front and never looked back as she added to her growing resume of big wins by taking the Grade 1 Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos on Saturday. Sent off as the 6/5 favorite, Victor Espinoza and Take Charge Brandi ( 2nd Selection) went right to the lead and were able to set a moderate pace, getting through a half mile in 47.68 seconds. Take Charge Brandi got a challenge from Maybellene and Majestic Princess turning for home and only led by a half length. Meanwhile Feathered ( Top Selection) started to rally up the inside and tried to make it close at the end. But Take Charge Brandi just had too much determination and she was able to hold off Feathered to win by half a length. It was just another neck back to Maybellene who finished in third.

Merry Meadow wins the Sugar Swirl at Gulfstream

Merry Meadow picked up a valuable Grade 3 win on Saturday when she drew away late to win the $100,000 Sugar Swirl Stakes, one of four stakes at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. Sent off as the 5/2 second choice, Merry Meadow sat fourth early on as heavy favorite R Free Roll ( 3rd Selection) went and set the pace. Wildcat Lily came up and grabbed the lead turning for home but Javier Castellano and Merry Meadow were right behind them and took over inside the eighth pole and kicked clear to win with ease by a length and a quarter. Wildcat Lily finished second with Ol Donyo ( Top Selection) rounding out the trifecta. In the $100,000 El Prado Stakes it was Mshawish who scored his first stakes win stateside. As the 3/2 favorite, Mshawish stayed in mid-pack early on as Excaper ( Top Selection) went out to set the early pace. Excaper brought the lead to mid-stretch but Mshawish was angled out and had tons of run late to kick away and win by two lengths.

Liam’s Map showed his heart as he dug in after a long battle to win the Harlan’s Holiday Stakes. Bet down to even money, Liam’s Map ( 3rd Selection) stalked Csaba early on and took over as they went to the far turn. But he was immediately tackled by Valid and those two battled for the final three eighths of a mile, with Liam’s Map prevailing by a half length over Valid. Marbre Rose ( 2nd Selection) rallied from just off the pace to win the South Beach Stakes as the second choice in the wagering. She was able to hold off a late charge from both Baffle Me and Kitty Wine ( Longshot) who rallied for 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Sunbean does it again at the Fair Grounds

Sunbean just continues to dominate Louisiana state-bred racing and he once again proved his superiority winning the Louisiana Champions Day Classic. Sent off as the 1/5 favorite, Sunbean ( Top Selection) broke awkwardly and was last throughout the first half of the race. Sunbean started his rally on the turn and eventually got to the lead, having to hold off big runs from both Watch My Smoke and One Man’s King ( 2nd Selection). Watch My Smoke finished second but was disqualified for interference with One Man’s King and was placed in third behind that runner. Too Dim ( Top Selection) rallied from off the pace to catch a loose on the lead Heitai ( 2nd Selection) to win the Champions Day Sprint. Heitai did what Heitai does, opening up a big seven length lead at the top of the stretch. But he got leg wary in the final yards and Too Dim got up in the final jump to win by a neck.

Wind Chill Factor ( 2nd Selection) was able to pull away late to win the Champions Day Lassie with ease. The 3/1 second choice in the race, Wind Chill Factor swept to the lead with a three wide bid and pulled away to win by almost five lengths. One hundred and twenty five to one shot Lady Emily Sage finished in second completing a $430 exacta. String King ( Top Selection) proved he’s still one of the top Louisiana breds in training as he convincingly won the Champions Day Turf. Sent off as the 3/5 favorite, String King rallied to catch early pacesetter and 35/1 long shot Tiger Run to get the win.

Our Quista ( Top Selection) went gate to wire with ease to win the Champions Day Ladies Stakes. She was never pressured at any point and was two and a half lengths clear at the wire ahead of I Dazzle ( 3rd Selection) who finished up in second, just ahead of Blading Wild Cat ( 2nd Selection) who was third and completed a trifecta that paid $237.20. Mr. L.S. Shoe ( Top Selection) rewarded his many backers as the favorite as he won the Champions Day Juvenile. The win was his second straight stakes victory and he did it by crushing a full field by three lengths.

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