Weekend Stakes Preview

Dubai World Cup Saturday morning

The richest race in the world on the richest card of the world, Dubai World Cup day will be run on Saturday morning. The racing kicks off at 9:10am EST all leading up to the $10,000,000 Dubai World Cup which goes as race 9. Fourteen runners will go the about mile and a quarter distance. American fans will know Animal Kingdom, Dullahan and Royal Delta. Animal Kingdom has just the one prep this season, a second place finish in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap. Dullahan threw a dud in his first start in Dubai last month, but should improve after a bit of an awkward trip. Royal Delta has reportedly been training amazingly for the big night and Mike Smith will be on board. Some foreign runners in the big races to watch out for are Hunters Light and Kassiano who ran 1-2 in the top local prep last month. Monterosso won the race last year but has been in sour form so far in 2013.

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Dubai World Cup contender Dullahan

Little Mike is one of the headliners in the $5,000,000 Dubai Duty Free going about a mile and an eighth on the grass. He’ll have to take on Sajjhaa who won a local prep last month on the grass as well as Wigmore Hall who is a multiple Group 1 winner. Trinniberg won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint last year and will make his 2013 debut in the Golden Shaheen, a race American’s have fared well in. El Camino Real Derby winner Dice Flavor might get some attention in the UAE Derby, which is a 100 point race for the Kentucky Derby trail. He’s Had Enough is 8/1 on the line and was an early Derby contender, but his lackluster races in 2013 don’t make him much of a contender.

The wagering card kicks off at 9:10am EST and the World Cup itself is at 2:05pm EST.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Dubai World Cup
1. Hunter’s Light
2. Kassiano
3. Treasure Beach
Longshot: Dullahan

BetPTC.com Selections for the Dubai Sheema Classic
1. St. Nicholas Abbey
2. Shareta
3. Gentildonna
Longshot: Sharasten

BetPTC.com Selections for the Dubai Duty Free
1. Igugu
2. Wigmore Hall
3. The Apache
Longshot: Trade Storm

BetPTC.com Selections for the Golden Shaheen
1. Private Zone
2. Trinniberg
3. Krypton Factor
Longshot: Kavanaugh

BetPTC.com Selections for the Al Quoz Sprint
1. Sole Power
2. Mr. Big
3. Shea Shea
Longshot: Varsity

BetPTC.com Selections for the UAE Derby
1. Secret Number
2. Law Enforcement
3. Shuruq
Longshot: Now Spun

BetPTC.com Selections for the Dubai Gold Cup
1. Cavalryman
2. Imperial Monarch
3. Star Empire
Longshot: Saddler’s Rock

BetPTC.com Selections for the Godolphin Mile
1. Surfer
2. Zazou
3. Soft Falling Rain
Longshot: Master of Hounds

Florida Derby draws three big names

The Florida Derby has drawn ten runners, but it will be three of them getting the most attention as they have been the top three runners in Southern Florida. Fountain of Youth winner Orb along with the one two finishers in the Holy Bull, Itsmyluckyday and Shanghai Bobby all figure to get serious support at the windows in the mile and one eighth event. Orb was able to real in Violence in the Fountain of Youth and stamped himself as an up and comer for trainer Shug McGaughey and jockey John Velazquez. Orb has twice now been able to close on a track that’s notoriously not friendly to off the pace types. It will be prudent for players to watch how the track plays throughout the card. Itsmyluckyday was able to steamroll past two year old champ Shanghai Bobby in the Holy Bull going a mile and a sixteenth. Both will be asked to go a mile and an eighth in here. Shanghai Bobby drew the rail and that post position hasn’t seen a winner in the Florida Derby since Eastern Fleet in 1971. Outside of the top three, the competition gets a little thinner, however look for Indy’s Illusion to be one who enjoys the distance, having already run 9 furlongs in three straight starts.

Dreaming of Julia and Live Lively will renew their rivalry after Live Lively went all the way to win the Davona Dale last month. Live Lively comes into this race riding a three race winning streak and appears to just be getting better with more distance. Joel Rosario is going to go to Dubai so Rajiv Maragh will take over the mount on Live Lively. Star Former headlines a group of ten in the Orchid Stakes for fillies and mares going a mile and a half over the grass course. Take Charge Indy and Pants on Fire both loom large in the Skip Away Stakes, as does Grade 1 winner Golden Ticket. Gulfstream Park’s big day gets underway at 12:30pm EST.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Florida Derby
1. Itsmyluckyday
2. Orb
3. Shanghai Bobby
Longshot: Indys Illusion

BetPTC.com Selections for the Appleton Stakes
1. Omayad
2. Za Approval
3. Silver Max
Longshot: Beau Choix

BetPTC.com Selections for the Skip Away Stakes
1. Pants on Fire
2. Cigar Street
3. Take Charge Indy
Longshot: Where’s The Baby

BetPTC.com Selections for the Orchid Stakes
1. Aigue Marine
2. Starformer
3. Irish Mission
Longshot: Seanchai

BetPTC.com Selections for the Gulfstream Park Oaks
1. Live Lively
2. Dreaming of Julia
3. Emollient
Longshot: Original Script

BetPTC.com Selections for the Rampart Stakes
1. Authenticity
2. Successful Song
3. Ciao Bella
Longshot: Go Unbridled

Fourteen line up for the $1,000,000 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds

With I’ve Struck a Nerve off the Derby trail, it leaves fourteen runners all looking to stake their claim as a top Louisiana based contender in the $1,000,000 Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds. Revolutionary ships in after a big win in the Withers for Todd Pletcher and Javier Castellano. He was last turning for home in that event, but blew past all his rivals to win by a neck. Since none of his other rivals have put together any huge races, he probably figures to be the favorite. Code West is likely to garner attention coming off his game second place finish in the Risen Star. He was second behind the highly regarded Super Ninety Nine back in January. Sunbean was very impressive winning the Gentilly Stakes on the Risen Star undercard and looked very sharp. He’s stepping up, but he’s 3 for 4 at Fair Grounds for trainer Al Stall. Pletcher will also send out Palace Malice, who was third in the Risen Star and has never really run a bad race in his career.

Optimizer comes into the Mervin Muniz race off two straight Grade 3’s at Fair Grounds over the grass. Jon Court and D. Wayne Lukas have this horse in good form and he’s 5 for 10 career on the grass and two for two at Fair Grounds. Amira’s Prince though looks like a serious candidate though, as he’s 3 for 3 since coming to America, all big wins at Gulfstream Park. The New Orleans Handicap looks like it might just be a great race. Graydar comes off a monster win in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap and was very impressive that day. Mark Valeski will be in there as well to contest and he’s a tried and true Fair Grounds runner. Flat Out is two for two on this track and Bourbon Courage was flying at Graydar last time and he is also a perfect two for two in New Orleans. Unlimited Budget will be looking to run her career record to 4 for 4 in the Fair Grounds Oaks. She’ll have to tackle Flashy Gray who ran a solid second in the Honeybee at Oaklawn last time out. Seaneen Girl will come back off a layoff after her win in the Golden Rod at Churchill.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Louisiana Derby
1. Sunbean
2. Revolutionary
3. Palace Malice
Longshot: Departing

BetPTC.com Selections for the Mervin Muniz
1. Amira’s Prince
2. Optimizer
3. Doubles Partner
Longshot: String King

BetPTC.com Selections for the New Orleans Handicap
1. Bourbon Courage
2. Mark Valeski
3. Graydar
Longshot: Macho Macho

BetPTC.com Selections for the Fair Grounds Oaks
1. Flashy Gray
2. Unlimited Budget
3. Seaneen Girl
Longshot: Blue Violet

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