Weekend Stakes Preview 9/13

Huge Woodbine Mile Day card at Woodbine on Sunday

Wise Dan will look to defend his title as he faces five rivals in the $1,000,000 Woodbine Mile.  Wise Dan has been beyond impressive as he’s won eight straight races, all Grade 1 or Grade 2 levels, and the amount of superlatives towards him are endless.  He won this race last year and once again looks to be a complete stand out on paper.  Za Approval is the second choice and will be making his Woodbine debut.  He’s a Grade 3 winner and was most recently second behind Obviously in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile.  Trade Storm looks like an interesting shipper from Goodwood and might attract some attention based on his solid form in Dubai from earlier this year.  Gary Stevens flies in to ride him.

The mile and one half Northern Dancer, also a Grade 1 came up kind of light this year and Forte Dei Marmi is the 4/5 morning line favorite off a pair of graded stakes wins at Woodbine.  He is 3 for 6 career in Toronto and was third in this race last year behind a very tough customer in Wigmore Hall.  Stormy Len just missed in the Grade 1 Secretariat and makes his first trip to Woodbine and could be a decent play underneath.  Six runners will go in the Grade 3 Ontario Derby with Winning Cause getting the favorites nod, as he’s a graded stakes winner.  Running for the always potent John Velazquez/Todd Pletcher duo, Winning Cause will need some pace to run at, but he has a strong kick and he loves all weather surfaces, as he’s won three and finished second twice in his five attempts on the all weather.  Players looking for a price in this race might want to try Coastal Breeze who ships up for Wayne Catalano and also takes a liking to the synthetic.

Saturday’s Woodbine card features a pair of $200,000 stakes events for two year olds.  The Natalma Stakes features multiple stakes winner Skylander Girl taking on some talented runners who just broke their maidens, like Unspurned.  The Summer Stakes looks even more wide open, with ten runners competing.  Spanish Flower was second to Unspurned last time out, but she’s trying the boys this time out. Grom won in his second start and ran a decent fourth last time out in the Clarendon.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Woodbine Mile

  1. Wise Dan
  2. Trade Storm
  3. Za Approval

Longshot: Dimension

BetPTC.com Selections for the Northern Dancer

  1. Stormy Len
  2. Forte Dei Marmi
  3. Hampstead Heath

Longshot: Irish Mission

BetPTC.com Selections for the Ontario Derby

  1. Coastal Breeze
  2. Sky Commander
  3. Winning Cause

Longshot: BE Boston Strong

Kentucky Turf Cup headlines another big Saturday at Kentucky Downs 

The $400,000 Kentucky Turf Cup will be the headliner on a big Saturday card at Kentucky Downs on Saturday afternoon.  The card will feature five stakes events, with the field of nine in the Kentucky Turf Cup the showcase.  Temeraine has the role of morning line favorite and deservedly so as he’s been competing against some very tough company, including a fifth place finish last time out in the Grade 1 Arlington Million, a race he was only beaten three and three quarter lengths.  He has tried Kentucky Downs before and it was a fourth place finish in an allowance event, but he’s a much better horse than he was for that race.  Suntracer drew right to Temeraine’s outside and has a pair of second place finishes in a row.  He was second in the Grade 3 Stars n Stripes at Arlington and followed that up with a good second in the $400,000 American St. Leger Stakes.  Najjaar was third in the American St. Leger that day and made a huge middle move that might have cost him in the later stages.  James Graham is back on board and he could be dangerous in this spot.

The undercard is loaded with great racing including a pair of juvenile stakes as well as the Turf Dash and the Franklin Simpson Mile.  The Juvenile Fillies drew nine runners including Lien on Kitten who is the morning line favorite off a good maiden debut win.  JJ Julep could be the play though at 4/1 on the morning line and is coming off a big maiden win on the grass at Ellis Park for Kellyn Gorder.  Boji Moon will be making his first try outside of Iowa in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile and he has won both his first two starts by double digit lengths.  Here’s Johnny is just to his inside and was a maiden breaker at Churchill before trying a stakes event in France.  Saint Leon got a slight nod on the morning line in a fantastic edition of the Turf Dash.  Good Lord won this race last year and is 12/1 on the line and although he’s stayed mostly on dirt, that win on the grass last year was his best career effort.  The red hot Utley gets the nod in the Franklin Simpson Mile, as he’s won two in a row for trainer Jonathan Sheppard and this seems the right next step, even though the layoff is a bit of a concern.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Kentucky Turf Cup

  1. Najjaar
  2. Suntracer
  3. Olympic Thunder

Longshot: Royal Bench

BetPTC.com Selections for the KD Juvenile Fillies

  1. JJ Julep
  2. Pocket Gift
  3. Lien on Kitten

Longshot: Saturday Storms

BetPTC.com Selections for the KD Juvenile

  1. Here’s Johnny
  2. School On a Hill
  3. Pure Luxury

Longshot: Mister Special

BetPTC.com Selections for the KD Turf Dash

  1. Good Lord
  2. Ancil
  3. Longhunter

Longshot: Havelock

BetPTC.com Selections for Franklin Simpson Mile

  1. Utley
  2. OL Army
  3. A Diehl

Longshot: Lonesome Street

Grade 3 Pucker Up is Arlington’s Saturday Showcase

The Pucker Up Stakes offers up a $175,000 purse and Grade 3 status and a field of eight will contest it at Arlington on Saturday.  My Option, Frivolous, and IO Ireland have been trading off beating one another in recent starts.  IO Ireland scored a big win in one of the divisions of the Hatoof Stakes at Arlington Park last time out.  I’m Already Sexy won the other division of the Hatoof and did it in nearly a second faster time.  However she got a very clean trip that day up close to the lead and took advantage and drew off late.  I’m Already Sexy is now two for two at Arlington Park and goes for Chicago kingpin Wayne Catalano, who trains at a 29% rate at the meeting.  Remember Then will put her undefeated record on the line in the Pucker Up.  She’s three for three so far and has worked her way steadily up the class ladder for trainer Jonathan Sheppard.  Her allowance win last time out at Delaware was the best effort of her career and if she improves once again she could be tough.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Pucker Up

  1. Remember Then
  2. Frivolous
  3. My Option

Longshot: Miss Scout

Saturday Stakes Action at BetPTC.com


Race 10                Pucker Up Stakes                     6:30pm EST

Barretts at Fairplex

Race 10              Barretts Debutante                   7:45pm EST


Race 5                  Needles Stakes                        2:30pm EST

Race 6                  Foolish Pleasure Stakes              3:00pm EST

Race 7                  Brave Raj Stakes                       3:30pm EST

Race 8                  Judy’s Red Shoes Stakes           4:00pm EST


Race 7                  HBPA Sprint Handicap               5:56pm EST


Race 9                  Open Mind Stakes                    4:59pm EST

Delaware Park

Race 2                  Small Wonder Stakes                1:45pm EST

Race 4                  First State Dash Stakes              2:45pm EST

Race 7                  Tax Free Shopping Distaff          4:15pm EST

Race 9                  DTHA Governor’s Day Stakes      5:15pm EST

Race 10             George Rosenberger Memorial    5:45pm EST

Race 11               New Castle Stakes                    6:15pm EST

Finger Lakes

Race 6                  Jack Betta Be Rite Handicap       3:25pm EST

Gulfstream Park

Race 7                  Montbrook Stakes                    4:15pm EST

Kentucky Downs

Race 5                  Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies 4:35pm EST

Race 6                  Kentucky Downs Juvenile          5:05pm EST

Race 7                  Kentucky Downs Turf Dash       5:34pm EST

Race 8                  Franklin-Simpson Mile               6:05pm EST

Race 9                  Kentucky Turf Cup                      6:35pm EST


Race 11               PHTA Presidents Cup                4:54pm EST


Race 7                  Natalma Stakes                        3:49pm EST

Race 9                  Summer Stakes                        4:52pm EST

Zia Park

Race 11                James Hobbs Stakes                 6:34pm EST


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