Weekend Stakes Preview

All Eyes on Churchill for Kentucky Derby weekend

 After months of preps and hype, 20 of the top three year olds in the country will vie to cement their name in history as the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby will be run on Saturday.  After a week of amazing works in the morning, Orb has taken the role of slight morning line favorite at 7/2.  Undefeated Verrazano had been the logical favorite in most people’s eyes, but Orb has continued to garner up steam all week long.  They both drew close to one another, with Verrazano in post 14 and Orb in position 16.  John Velazquez was the regular rider on both horses and chose Verrazano, however he is coming off an injury and is just coming back to riding this week.  Verrazano was chased home last time by both Normandy Invasion as well as Vyjack, and both should be running late in this spot.  Vyjack got cursed with the tough outside post position in slot 20.  Goldencents is coming off one of the more impressive prep wins when he dominated the Santa Anita Derby.  He’s shown a penchant for running off though, and with a good solid pace in store for him as well as 150,000 screaming fans, he could get a little wound up and not make the distance.

Value is something that is never in short supply in the Kentucky Derby and there are a few players that will be offering up odds of 20/1 or more.  Java’s War has put in a couple of determined closing efforts in his last pair, including a win in the Toyota Blue Grass.  He was only three lengths behind Verrazano in the Tampa Bay Derby and should be closing from behind in the Kentucky Derby.  Will take Charge looked good in winning the Rebel and has trained up to this race well.  Revolutionary is another who will get some respect off of his win in the Louisiana Derby, although that hasn’t proven a useful prep in a number of years when it came to Kentucky Derby contenders.   All in all, it will be a wonderful race as always and best of luck to BetPTC.com players as they try to score big in the biggest race of the year!

The undercard is wonderful as always with Wise Dan and Point of Entry both signed on for the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic.  Both horses come into this race off good seasonal debut wins and look for them to take all the action on Saturday in this event.  Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Trinniberg will take on the red hot Delauney in the Churchill Downs Stakes at seven furlongs.  Trinniberg is making his first start back since running a dull eleventh place at Meydan on Dubai World Cup Night.  Byrama and Jamaican Smoke who squared off in the Grade 1 Madison at Keeneland will meet up with seven other rivals in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff.  First Post at Churchill Downs on Saturday is 10:30am EST.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Kentucky Derby

1.  Verrazano

2.  Will Take Charge

3.  Orb

Longshot:  Vyjack

BetPTC.com Selections for the Woodford Reserve Turf

  1. Point of Entry
  2. Wise Dan
  3. Slim Shadey

Longshot: Jeranimo

BetPTC.com Selections for the Churchill Downs

  1. Unbridled’s Note
  2. Delauney
  3. Trinniberg

Longshot: Pass the Dice

BetPTC.com Selections for the CD Distaff Turf Mile

  1. Daisy Devine
  2. Stephanie’s Kitten
  3. Marketing Mix

Longshot: Stopshoppingmaria

BetPTC.com Selections for the Humana Distaff

  1. Jamaican Smoke
  2. Emma’s Encore
  3. Same Cross

Longshot: Burban

BetPTC.com Selections for the Twin Spires Turf Sprint

  1. Havelock
  2. Southern Dude
  3. Icon Ike

Longshot: Ghost is Clear

 Kentucky Oaks leads huge Friday card at Churchill Downs

The ladies get their attention on Friday as the $1,000,000 Kentucky Oaks will be run as part of a big Friday card at Churchill Downs.  One of the toughest Oaks fields in recent memory will gather to go a mile and one eighth, with Dreaming of Julia assigned the role of favorite.  She is coming off one of the most impressive prep wins in recent memory as she strolled to a twenty one length win in the Gulfstream Park Oaks.  John Velazquez will be back on board for trainer Todd Pletcher and Dreaming of Julia drew comfortably in post eight.  She’ll have plenty of competition from horses like Midnight Lucky, Beholder and Unlimited Budget.  Midnight Lucky is two for two and scored a flashy victory last time out in the Sunland Oaks.  This is a race that her trainer Bob Baffert has used to propel himself to Oaks success when he scored with Plum Pretty a few years ago.  Beholder is a proven speed horse, however with runners like Rose To Gold in this field, as well as many others with good early stalking speed, she’s sure not to get the same easy trip as she’s gotten in her last pair.  Unlimited Budget has been perfect in four starts thus far in her career.  She dominated again last time out taking the Fair Grounds Oaks, another race that has been a good Oaks producer in recent years.

Thirteen horses will contest a wide-open edition of the American Turf with Noble Tune a tepid 3/1 favorite.  The Grade 2 Alysheba will once again be one of the main attractions of the day, with many top level horses signed up.  The race is loaded with Grade 1 winners and there are six horses between 3/1 and 5/1 on the morning line.  Cyber Secret has won his last four including a pair of graded stakes events at Oaklawn Park.  A couple of the runners, Macho Macho and Bourbon Courage are both coming out of the tough New Orleans Handicap which was won by the red hot Graydar.   Last year’s Kentucky Oaks day winner Believe You Can is back in the La Troienne Stakes.  She’ll have to take on On Fire Baby who won the Grade 1 Apple Blossom stakes last time out.

First post on Friday for the Kentucky Oaks day card is 10:30am EST.

BetPTC.com Selections for the Kentucky Oaks

  1. Unlimited Budget
  2. Midnight Lucky
  3. Dreaming of Julia

Longshot: Close Hatches

BetPTC.com Selections for the American Turf

  1. Joelito
  2. Noble Tune
  3. War Dancer

Longshot: Positively

BetPTC.com Selections for the Alysheba

  1. Cyber Secret
  2. Macho Macho
  3. Bourbon Courage

Longshot: Right To Vote

BetPTC.com Selections for the Eight Belles

  1. Fusiachiswonderful
  2. So Many Ways
  3. Renee’s Titan

Longshot: Blueeyesintherain

BetPTC.com Selections for the Edgewood Stakes

  1. Tokyo Time
  2. Wave Theory
  3. Kitten’s Dumplings

Longshot: Praia

BetPTC.com Selections for the La Troienne

  1. Believe You Can
  2. On Fire Baby
  3. Authenticity

Longshot: Imposing Grace

 

Opening weekend at Arlington, Louisiana Downs, Northlands Park

 Three spectacular Thoroughbred tracks will be opening up this week as Arlington Park, Louisiana Downs and Northlands Park all kick off their Spring/Summer meetings on Friday.  Arlington Park is the renowned home of the Arlington Turf Festival and the Arlington Million which will be run this year on August 17th.  Arlington will race on a Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday schedule, with post time at 2pm EST, except on Friday’s when first post will be at 4pm EST.

Louisiana Downs will go to post at 2:25pm EST with a racing schedule consisting primarily of Thursday through Sunday racing.  The highlight of the meet of course will be the Grade 2 Super Derby card on September 7th.

Northlands Park in Edmonton will get underway Friday night at 8pm EST and racing will be primarily contested on a Wednesday and Friday night schedule, with a Saturday matinee card at 3pm EST.

 Saturday Stakes Action at BetPTC.com

 Betfair Hollywood Park

Race 5                  Cool Frenchy Stakes                                    6:04pm EST

Race 10       Mervyn LeRoy Handicap                                       8:30pm EST

Beulah Park

Race 7                  Babst/Palacios Handicap                      4:35pm EST

Calder

Race 9                  Mairzy Doates Stakes                          4:40pm EST

Churchill Downs Friday

Race 6                  La Troienne Stakes                                1:26pm EST

Race 7                  Edgewood Stakes                                   2:08pm EST

Race 8                  Eight Belles Stakes                                 3:02pm EST

Race 9                  Alysheba Stakes                                     3:52pm EST

Race 10       American Turf                                                  4:44pm EST

Race 11       Kentucky Oaks                                                 5:45pm EST

Churchill Downs Saturday

Race 6                  Twin Spires Turf Sprint                          1:19pm EST

Race 7                  Humana Distaff                                       2:08pm EST

Race 8                  Churchill Distaff Turf                               2:59pm EST

Race 9                  Churchill Downs Stakes                          3:49pm EST

Race 10       Woodford Reserve Turf Classic                       4:44pm EST

Race 11       Kentucky Derby                                                6:24pm EST

Remington Park

Race 11       Sooner State Handicap                                   10:58pm EST

Sunray Park

Race 8                  Sunray Park and Casino Handicap         6:01pm EST

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