Weekend Stakes Preview 6/27

Prairie Meadows celebrates the Iowa Festival of Racing on Friday and Saturday night

All eyes will be on Iowa on Friday and Saturday night as the annual Iowa Festival of Racing will be run at Prairie Meadows.  Six great stakes events spread out over two days will feature top runners competing for big purses.  Saturday night is the big showcase event, with the Grade 3 $300,000 Cornhusker Handicap the main event.  The Cornhusker drew six runners including Prayer For Relief who won the Iowa Derby back in his three year old season.  Prayer for Relief comes into this race off a couple of second place finishes, both in Grade 3’s at Lone Star Park in Texas.  He’s one for one at Prairie Meadows and will get the services of Ricardo Santana on Saturday.  Silver Max is the second choice on the morning line and has primarily been a turf runner.  However his huge nine length score in the Opening Verse at Churchill Downs that was rained off the turf and onto the main track might have forced his connections hands on trying him again on the dirt.  The multiple Grade 2 winner will be ridden by his regular rider Robby Albarado for Eclipse award winning trainer Dale Romans.

The Iowa Derby will feature Grade 3 placed Manando who looks like he could be the speed of the speed in a race that isn’t necessarily loaded with speedsters. Certainly Our Double Play down on the rail has some good early foot, and he showed it last time in winning the Prairie Mile last time out, which is a significant prep for this race.  Bashaar might be an interesting contender in here as he was second in the Prairie Mile, but made a huge early move and flattened out a bit late.  The Iowa Oaks drew ten runners including recent Black-Eyed Susan Stakes winner Fiftyshadesofhay.  Martin Garcia will take over the mount and it will be his first time on board of Fiftyshadesofhay.  She drew terribly out in the ten hole.  So Many Ways goes for owner Maggi Moss who is always pointing for wins at Prairie Meadows as she’s a local owner.  Keep an eye on her runners this weekend.

Friday night features Maggi Moss’ top runner right now, the speedy Delauney who will headline the Iowa Sprint Handicap and will spotting at least five pounds to all of his rivals.  Flashy American for Kenny McPeek looks like the one to beat in the Iowa Distaff while the Saylorville came up wide open with just a field of six set to go.  Post time both nights is at 7:30pm EST.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Cornhusker Handicap

  1. Prayer For Relief
  2. Taptowne
  3. Nicklaus Way

Longshot: Red Lead

BetPTC.com Selections for the Iowa Derby

  1. Bashaar
  2. Our Double Play
  3. Manando

Longshot: Looking Cool

BetPTC.com Selections for the Iowa Oaks

  1. Seaneen Girl
  2. Fiftyshadesofhay
  3. Plenty O’Toole

Longshot: Canticle

BetPTC.com Selections for the Iowa Sprint Handicap (Friday)

  1. Delauney
  2. Gentleman’s Bet
  3. Credit Report

BetPTC.com Selections for the Iowa Distaff

  1. Flashy American
  2. Magic Hour
  3. Cruzette

Longshot: Queen Lilly Kay

BetPTC.com Selections for the Saylorville

  1. Lulu Wong
  2. Livi Makenzie
  3. Beat the Blues

Longshot: Second Street City

Grade 1 Daily Double at Hollywood Park on Saturday

The next couple of weeks will be historic and entertaining as some of the top races of the meet will be run, unfortunately for the final time ever at the historic Inglewood oval.  Saturday it’s the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile on the grass and the Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap for the sprinters that headline a good Saturday of racing in the Golden State.  The Triple Bend is certainly the more interesting of the two races with nine runners signed up to go the seven furlong distance.  Jimmy Creed was given the high weight by virtue of his two straight wins, one of which was the Grade 1 Malibu at Santa Anita.  Gary Stevens will take over the mount and Jimmy Creed will be returning to Hollywood Park for the first time since breaking his maiden over the track last summer.  Morning Line drew the rail and is a Grade 1 winner as well.  He’s coming off over a year layoff though, so certainly that could be tricky for trainer John Shirreffs who conditions the horse.  Comma To the Top has won five of nine at Hollywood Park and has really proven to be a gutsy runner in his 2013 campaign.

Obviously will be the one to catch in the Shoemaker Mile and looks like he could be tough to catch on the lead, as the small field of five really doesn’t feature any closers.  And jockey Joe Talamo has been red-hot this season at Hollywood Park.  Za Approval is shipping out west and has put together a very nice resume, including two graded stakes wins in a row, the most recent being the Red Bank at Monmouth Park.  Za Approval will be ridden by Victor Espinoza for the first time for jockey Christophe Clement.  Lucayan was second behind Obviously last time out in the American Handicap and was gaining ground on him, but still had a long way to come.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Triple Bend Handicap

  1. Jimmy Creed
  2. Camp Victory
  3. Comma To The Top

Longshot: Centralintelligence

BetPTC.com Selections for the Shoemaker Mile

  1. Obviously
  2. Lucayan
  3. Za Approval

Wise Dan is back at Churchill Downs in the Firecracker

Wise Dan, last year’s Horse of the Year, will make his next start Saturday night under the lights at Churchill Downs in the $150,000 Firecracker Handicap.  He’ll be spotting the field at least 11 pounds and comes into this race in amazing form, having not lost since last year’s Stephen Foster.  He’s won six straight on the grass and it will certainly be the weight that will have to bring him back to the rest of the field.  Corporate Jungle is a graded stakes winner as is Lea, but both of them are no where near the ability of Wise Dan.

The Bashford Manor Stakes for two year olds might offer bettors a little more value.  The race is loaded with good maiden breakers, including Hollywood Talent who had a big win at Keeneland for trainer Wesley Ward, who we know can get a two year old ready.  D’cajun Cat is a good maiden winner from Churchill Downs and was able to show the ability to rate and close in from third, which could help him as many of the others in here have lots of speed.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Firecracker

  1. Wise Dan
  2. Lea
  3. Corporate Jungle

Longshot: Finnegan’s Wake

BetPTC.com Selections for the Bashford Manor

  1. D’cajun Cat
  2. Hollywood Talent
  3. Gun Roar

Longshot: Debt Ceiling

BetPTC.com Selections for the Kelly’s Landing

  1. Laurie’s Rocket
  2. He’s So Proud
  3. Flashpoint

Longshot: Right To Vote


Saturday Stakes Action at BetPTC.com

Arapahoe Park

Race 6                  CTBA Derby                         5:05pm EST

Arlington Park

Race 7                  Chicago Handicap                5:08pm EST

Betfair Hollywood Park

Race 3                  Shoemaker Mile                   5:01pm EST

Race 9                  Triple Bend Handicap           8:00pm EST

Charles Town

Race 4                  Coin Collector Handicap      8:37pm EST

Churchill Downs

Race 3                  Kelly’s Landing Stakes          6:56pm EST

Race 7                  Bashford Manor Stakes        9:05pm EST

Race 9                  Firecracker Handicap          10:11pm EST

Colonial Downs

Race 8                  Buckland Stakes                  9:16pm EST

Delta Downs

Race 9                  Miss Polly Stakes                 11:05pm EST

Finger Lakes

Race 7                  Ontario County Stakes          3:53pm EST

Monmouth Park

Race 11                Eatontown Handicap              6:00pm EST

Northlands Park

Race 7                  Spangled Jimmy Handicap    6:00pm EST


Race 9                  County of Alameda Handicap 8:20pm EST

Prairie Meadows

Race 6                  Iowa Oaks                              8:46pm EST

Race 7                  Iowa Derby                             9:18pm EST

Race 8                  Cornhusker Handicap             9:50pm EST


Race 8                  Achievement Stakes                4:22pm EST

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