Weekend Stakes Preview

Queens Plate heads Woodbine Sunday

The $1,000,000 Queens Plate will be held on Sunday at Woodbine Race Course, and is Canada’s most prestigious race for Canadian born runners.  Twelve three year olds will line up to go the mile and a quarter in the first leg of Canada’s triple crown.  Dynamic Sky won the Plate Trial and is certainly one of the main contenders, however he’ll have to best a couple of three year old fillies who just ran 1-2 in the Woodbine Oaks, Nippissing and Spring in the Air.  Nippissing is five for six at Woodbine and has won three stakes at the Toronto area track.  Spring in the Air is a Grade 1 winner over synthetic and has been in the exacta in six of seven career starts over the all weather courses.  Joel Rosario, one of the hottest riders on the planet will fly in to ride Spring in the Air on Sunday afternoon.  Up With the Birds just won the Marine Stakes at Woodbine last time out and could be very dangerous in this spot with jockey Eurico Da Silva.  The Queens Plate will be the 10th race on Sunday at Woodbine.

The undercard has three big stakes races as well, including the $200,000 Highlander for sprinters and features Something Extra, who has been double tough over the years at Woodbine.  Something Extra comes off a win in the Connaught Cup last time out, and even though that was over the turf, he’s won five times over the all-weather surface.  The Singspiel is at a mile and a half and features some good turf routers, and even Pool Play, who’s a Grade 2 winner on dirt in the States shows up in this spot.  Julie’s Love drew the rail in the Dance Smartly, but will get lots of attention at the windows as she is a multiple stakes winner.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Queens Plate

  1. Up With the Birds
  2. Nippissing
  3. Dynamic Sky

Longshot: Midnight Aria

BetPTC.com Selections for the Highlander

  1. Something Extra
  2. Rothko
  3. Paso Doble

Longshot; Bear No Joke

BetPTC.com Selections for the Singspiel

  1. Aldous Snow
  2. Heathcote
  3. Patrioticandproud

Longshot: Perfect Timber

BetPTC.com Selections for the Dance Smartly

  1. Julie’s Love
  2. Irish Mission
  3. No Explaining

Longshot: Solid Appeal 

Summit of Speed at Calder on Saturday

Saturday will be one of the fastest days of the year in Florida as Calder Race Course will present the annual Summit of Speed Day.  One thing the day certainly won’t lack is big field sizes.  Both the Grade 1 Princess Rooney and the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap both drew overflow fields loaded with talented runners.  The Princess Rooney has become one of the top female sprint events in the country and this year features a wide open group.  Reneesgotzip and Judy The Beauty are the co-highweights in the field of twelve that will go six furlongs.  Reneesgotzip will be making her first start in 2013 after she finished second in the 2012 Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita in December.  She’s never run at Calder and it’s always been a track that seems to favor horses who have had experience over it, as it can be deep and tiring.  Garrett Gomez has been listed to ride for trainer Peter Miller, and even Gomez is coming off a little time off the past couple of weeks.  Judy The Beauty has never been out of the exacta in her nine race career, but she’s finished second in both her Grade 1 attempts previously.  She is the rare Wesley Ward four year old success story, but she shows up every time. Holiday Soiree and Sweet Cassiopeia could both be live price horses to hit the exacta..

The Smile Sprint is a Grade 2, but sure turned up like a Grade 1 with horses like Trinniberg, Fort Loudon, Swagger Jack, and Justin Phillip.  All are Grade 1 winners or Grade 1 placed and a ton of horses have stalking speed, so going into the turn, positioning could be a very key factor.  Swagger Jack might be the trip horses in the race, as he had a brutal trip in the Met Mile and got checked hard at the quarter pole and could be a good playback.  Jose Lezcano will now climb into the irons for trainer Marty Wolfson, who could be a huge player on Summit of Speed Day as he has 11 horses entered, including five in the Princess Rooney alone.

Wildcat Lilly could be the one to catch in the Azalea Stakes as she took home the prep for this race, the Leave Me Alone Stakes.  There are a couple interesting horses in this race who are making their stakes debuts, but have shown ability in allowance races like Dreaming of Susie and By Golly Molly.  Sr. Quisqueyano has been a Calder mainstay, but he seems to fire a big shot, or not show up at all.  He was beaten by R Free Roll and a couple others last time in the Unbridled Stakes, but when he fires his best shot, he could be very dangerous.  Calder’s Summit of Speed card gets underway on Saturday at 12:50pm EST.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Princess Rooney

  1. Judy The Beauty
  2. Spectacular Sky
  3. Reneesgotzip

Longshot: Sweet Cassipeia

BetPTC.com Selections for the Smile Sprint

  1. Swagger Jack
  2. Justin Phillip
  3. Fort Loudon

Longshot: Trickmeister

BetPTC.com Selections for the Azalea

  1. Wildcat Lilly
  2. Guadalupe High
  3. Dreaming of Susie

Longshot: By Golly Molly

BetPTC.com Selections for the Carry Back

  1. Sr. Quisqueyano
  2. R Free Roll
  3. City of Weston

Longshot: Mico Margarita

BetPTC.com Selections for the Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint

  1. Determinato
  2. Madame Giry
  3. Uno Caliente

Longshot: Artefacto

Ellis Park racing gets underway on July 4th

Racing in the Bluegrass State will ship west to Henderson, Kentucky, as Ellis Park kicks off its 29 day meet on Thursday July 4th.  Racing at the “Pea Patch” will be run on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday schedule along with holiday cards on July 4th and Labor Day September 2nd.  Post time each day will be at 1:50pm EST each day.  The headlining stakes event will be the annual Grade 3 Gardenia Stakes, which will be run on Saturday August 10th.

Game on Dude looks formidable in the Hollywood Gold Cup

Game on Dude has been the top handicap horse on the West Coast for a couple years now, and is maybe the top horse in the country on his best day, and he’ll look to win his second consecutive Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup on Saturday at Hollywood Park.  Game on Dude has won four straight and has been working fantastically for trainer Bob Baffert.  Game on Dude is a perfect four for four since being paired up with jockey Mike Smith.  To add to Game on Dude’s favor in this spot, he appears to be absolutely the only speed horse.  The only other horse with speed might be Sky Kingdom, who is trained by Bob Baffert, and one must imagine that Baffert isn’t going to send against his barn star.  Clubhouse Ride has certainly turned into a runner, and his career peaked last time out when he won the Grade 2 Californian.  He had finished second to Game on Dude in his previous three starts and will have to turn the tables on that rival.  Joe Talamo will be riding Clubhouse Ride in the Gold Cup.

The Royal Heroine Mile is a small field of six but seems a little bit more wide open than the Gold Cup.  My Gi Gi is dropping in class out of a series of Grade 1 races.  She had been off since last September when she ran fifth in the Gamely Stakes last time out at Hollywood Park. She should appreciate the class relief and it being her second start off the layoff.  Stormy Lucy is Grade 1 placed and likes to come from far off the pace, which could be tough in here as there isn’t a ton of early speed.  The speed should come from Schiaparelli who won a listed overnight stakes last time.  Schiaparelli will be ridden by Joe Talamo who is at his best on the early engine.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Gold Cup

  1. Game on Dude
  2. Clubhouse Ride
  3. Kettle Corn

BetPTC.com Selections for the Royal Heroine Mile

  1. Schiaparelli
  2. My Gi Gi
  3. Storming Lucy

Longshot:  I Dazzle 

Grade 1 United Nations part of a big Saturday at Monmouth Park

Little Mike will make his return to the United States in the $500,000 Grade 1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park.  Little Mike won the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf, Woodford Reserve Turf, and Arlington Million last season, but struggled in his two starts this spring over in Dubai.  He’s returned for trainer Dale Romans and he’ll go 11 furlongs in the United Nations, and might have some early pressure from Teaks North and Skyring.  Teaks North is a multiple Grade 1 winner, and won this race back in 2011.  He won last time out and seems to have improved in recent starts when he’s on or close to the lead.  Skyring pulled off an upset in the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes last time out and jockey Gary Stevens will be on board once again.  Willcox Inn is Grade 1 placed, but is looking to break through at racing’s toughest level.  He always seems to run a big race and should be closing in late, but he’ll have to step it up to get the win.

The Salvatore Mile is a super interesting race.  Discreet Dancer might be the big name on paper, and when he shakes loose and runs his best race, he can be super tough.  He was crushed last time in the Met Mile so it will be interesting to see if he can rebound from that poor effort.  Csaba will ship up from Florida and he’s been a win machine in his career, with 9 wins in 19 races.  Bowman’s Beast and Lucy’s Bob Boy are in fantastic form, but both are stepping up in class significantly.  Bowman’s Beast has been dominant in four straight wins at Parx and will make his first start out of Pennsylvania.  Lucy’s Bob Boy has won 13 of 16 races as he’s been based at Charles Town.  He’ll also be making his first start at Monmouth Park and jockey Gustavo Larrosa will be joining him.

BetPTC.com Selections for the United Nations

  1. Willcox Inn
  2. Teaks North
  3. Harrod’s Creek

Longshot: Hangover Kid

BetPTC.com Selections for the Salvator Mile

  1. Csaba
  2. Private Tale
  3. Discreet Dancer

Longshot: Lucy’s Bob Boy

Saturday Stakes Action at BetPTC.com

Arlington Park

Race 8                  Arlington Sprint Stakes              4:40pm EST

Betfair Hollywood

Race 5                  Royal Heroine Stakes                 6:04pm EST

Race 9                  Hollywood Gold Cup                           8:00pm EST


Race 6                  Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint           3:05pm EST

Race 7                  Carry Back Stakes                     3:32pm EST

Race 8                  Azalea Stakes                           3:59pm EST

Race 9                  Smile Sprint Stakes                   4:25pm EST

Race 10       Princess Rooney Stakes             4:53pm EST

Race 11       Hollywood Wildcat Stakes          5:20pm EST

Colonial Downs

Race 6                  Jamestown Stakes                    8:20pm EST

Race 7                  Oakley Stakes                          8:48pm EST

Race 8                  Brookemeade Stakes                9:16pm EST

Race 9                  Bert Allen Stakes                      9:44pm EST

Race 10       Punch Line Stakes                    10:12pm EST

Delta Downs

Race 9                  Firecracker Derby                      11:05pm EST

Ellis Park

Race 8                  Ellis Turf Stakes                        5;10pm EST

Evangeline Downs

Race 5                  La. Legends Mile                       8:20pm EST

Race 6                  La. Legends Filly Mile                 8:45pm EST

Race 7                  La. Legends Sprint Filly              9:10pm EST

Race 8                  La. Legends Sprint                    9:35pm EST

Race 9                  La. Legends Turf                      10:00pm EST

Race 10       La. Legends Distaff                   10:25pm EST

Race 11       La. Legends Classic                   10:50pm EST

Indiana Downs

Race 5                  Heartland Futurity                     7:40pm EST

Race 6                  Indiana Grand Derby                 8:05pm EST

Race 7                  Blue River Derby                       8:30pm EST

Race 8                  Bob Woodward Memorial           8:55pm EST

Lone Star Park

Race 3                  TTA Sales Futurity                    3:31pm EST

Race 6                  Assault Stakes                          4:55pm EST

Race 9                  TTA Sales Futurity                    6:19pm EST

Race 10       Valor Farm Stakes                     6:47pm EST

Monmouth Park

Race 10       Salvator Mile Stakes                           5:29pm EST

Race 11       United Nations Stakes               6:00pm EST

Northlands Park

Race 7                  Ky Alta Handicap                      5:50pm ES


Race 9                  Juan Gonzalez Memorial             8:20pm EST

Prairie Meadows

Race 8                  Iowa Stallion Stakes                           10:37pm EST


Race 4                  Sweet Briar Stakes                   2:17pm EST

Race 7                  Charlie Barley Stakes                 3:50pm EST

Race 8                  My Dear Stakes                        4:22pm EST

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