Weekend Stakes Preview 5/11

Monmouth Park opens up on Saturday

 Monmouth Park in New Jersey will open up for the annual Spring/Summer meet on Saturday afternoon.  Post time each day will be at 12:50pm EST and racing will be run on a Saturday/Sunday schedule for the first few weeks, with Friday’s coming into the fold on May 31st.   As usual, the $1,000,000 Haskell Invitational will headline the long season, and it will be run on Sunday July 28th.  Haskell Day will feature a special first post of 12pm EST.

The opening day card drew 117 runners for the 12 race card, including a field of eight runners to compete in the six furlong Decathlon Stakes.  Multiple New York stakes winning runner Saginaw will make his first trip across the river to New Jersey to compete in the Decathlon.  He won a pair of state bred stakes in his last two starts at Aqueduct and tends to do his best work on the lead or just off of it.  His main speed competitor could be Luckysdream, who was claimed for just $16,000 back in December, and will be ridden by John Bisono, who is hitting at 23% this year.  Soaring Stocks for Todd Pletcher was third in this race last year and could be a possible price play if they really go fast up front early on.  Pletcher will also ship up Travelin Man who just missed by a nose in a stake at Monmouth last year.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Decathlon Stakes

  1. Travelin Man
  2. Broad Rule
  3. Saginaw

Longshot: Luckysdream

Stakes Double on Saturday at Befair Hollywood Park

Hollywood Park is getting into the swing of the season and Saturday will offer up a stakes double, including the Grade 3 $100,000 Senorita Stakes.  Eight three year old fillies will compete at the one mile distance on the grass course.  Scarlet Strike and Rafael Bejarano took the Grade 3 Providencia Stakes last time out, besting a few of the rivals that she’ll face on Saturday.  Scarlet Strike is a multiple Grade 1 placed runner and has run two of her best races over the grass.  Trainer James Cassidy has a pair of interesting runners entered in this race, both European transplants.  Lilbourne Eliza has drawn the rail and will be ridden by David Flores and will be making her second start in the States.  She was second just beaten a nose last time out at a mile distance against $80,000 Allowance/Optional Claimers.  Cassidy will also send out Disko Dasko who has primarily been a turf sprinter thus far, and will be stretching out in the Senorita.  She was fourth last time out in the Runway Stakes at Santa Anita down the hill.

The Laz Barerra Memorial drew just five runners, but it’s a talented field of young horses all looking to cement their status as contenders going forward.  Scherer Magic is the high weight and is a Grade 3 winner at Hollywood Park by virtue of his score in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship.  He has however been cold in recent starts, including a 9th place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Preview.  Treasury Bill was highly regarded coming out of his second place in the San Vicente.  But he threw a clunker in the Rebel Stakes though and has been given some time to recover and now is back to sprinting.  Broadway Empire is an interesting entry in here as he comes off just a single maiden win at Turf Paradise.  It was a $30,000 Optional Claimer but he drew off to win by over sixteen lengths.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Senorita Stakes

  1. Scarlet Strike
  2. Sweet Red Cat
  3. Kyriaki

Longshot: Lilbourne Eliza

BetPTC.com Selections for the Laz Barrera

  1. Let Em Shine
  2. Treasury Bill
  3. Scherer Magic

Unbridled Sidney Stakes highlights Churchill Saturday

Eleven fillies will compete in the five furlong Unbridled’s Sidney Stakes on Saturday as the feature event of an eleven race card.  Sweet Cassiopeia comes into this race on a five race winning streak, including a win in the Giants Causeway Stakes last month at Keeneland.  She is a perfect one for one at Churchill Downs and seems to have one of the most potent kicks of any of the fillies and mares in the race.  Holiday For Kitten is a graded stakes winner, but drew poorly down on the rail and with a quick run to the turn, it might be tough for her to get a good position.  An interesting long shot could be Formal Plan who is two for three at Churchill Downs including a second place finish behind Sweet Cassiopeia.  Palazzo Babe has been competing very well against top level allowance and high claiming runners, and will be making her first try against stakes runners in quite sometime.  The Unbridled Sidney Stakes will be race 10 on the Saturday Churchill card and post time is 5:30pm EST.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Unbridled Sidney Stakes

  1. Sweet Cassiopeia
  2. Palazzo Babe
  3. Bounding Bi

Longshot: Formal Plan

Presque Isle Downs gets underway on Sunday

 Presque Isle Downs will kick off the Spring/Summer meet on Sunday at 5:25pm EST.  Racing will be run five days a week on a Sunday through Thursday schedule.  Eight races will be run each night and the opening night features is the $100,000 Inaugural Stakes.  The biggest stakes of the season is the $400,000 Presque Isle Masters Stakes which is a Grade 2 event and has always put up big contenders for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.  The opening day feature drew eleven runners to compete at the six-furlong distance.  Cor Cor and Gold Edge both figure to take some action in this spot as both have had great stakes success already.  Cor Cor has won three stakes in her young career and was second behind sprinting specialist Kauai Katie.  Scott Spieth will be back on board and he’s perennially a rider to watch at Presque Isle Downs.  Gold Edge will be making her three year old debut after going to the sidelines after a seventh place finish in the Alicibiades at Keeneland, a Grade 1 race.  Rodney Soodeen will be riding for trainer Wayne Catalano.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Inaugural

  1. Cor Cor
  2. Jewel of a Cat
  3. Some Temper

Longshot: Boss Barney’s Babe


Saturday Stakes Action at BetPTC.com


Betfair Hollywood Park

Race 3         Laz Barrera Memorial                       5:01pm EST

Race 6         Senorita Stakes                                 6:35pm EST

Churchill Downs

Race 10       Unbridled Sidney Stakes                     5:30pm EST


Race 6          Ross McLeod Stakes                 7:17pm EST

Lone Star Park

Race 3                  Texas Stallion Stakes                 3:31pm EST

Race 6                  Texas Stallion Stakes                 4:55pm EST

Race 8                  Lanes End Scholarship Stakes  5:51pm EST

Monmouth Park

Race 11                 Decathlon Stakes                    6:00pm EST

Prairie Meadows

Race 8                  John Wayne Stakes                 10:37pm EST

SunRay Park

Race 4                  La Plata Stakes                          4:07pm EST

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