05/23/2009 1:32PM

Holiday Weekend Begins


There are 16 graded stakes this holiday weekend, including two Grade 1's on Monday, the Met Mile at Belmont and the Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood. Here's the three-day lineup, including three other ungraded stakes worth $150k or more:

 I'll update this chart with results as the weekend wears on.

Zenyatta's return in today's G2 Milady at Hollywood is obviously the biggest racing news of the day. Last year's champion older filly, and runner-up in the Horse of the Year balloting, puts her 9-for-9 record on the line against fellow John Shirreffs trainee Life Is Sweet after scratching out of the Louisville Distaff on Oaks Day. (Considering what's happened with Rachel Alexandra, it would have been fascinating to see how the two would have stacked up against the clock running on the same card, though Zenyatta's race earlier on the card was run on a wet track labelled "good" and the track had dried out and was "fast" by Oaks time.)

Today's G2 Sheepshead Bay at Belmont is DRF's "Race of the Day," which means that you can get free access to the Formulator pp's and other goodies by following the link on the homepage or by clicking here. The Sheepshead Bay is the most manageable leg of an otherwise chaotic guaranteed $350k late pick-4 at Belmont, preceded by a firster-laden maiden race and a turf sprint and followed by another turf sprint. By manageable, I mean that Criticism appears to be a rock-solid favorite with only Backseat Rhythm and Mushka looking like plausible upsetters. I was interested in the Clement longshot Shadiyna, but she was an early scratch along with Russian Rosie.

There's an all-stakes pick-4 at Arlington that's worth a look: the ungraded American 1000 Guineas, the G3 Hanshin, the G3 Arlington Matron and ungraded Arlington Classic.

--Strangest Racing Book Title of the Year: "You Bet," about to be published in England and subtitled "The Betfair Story: How Two Men Changed the World of Gambling." Presumably, the book was titled before Betfair bought TVG, which competes in the American account-wagering market with a company called...YouBet.

It's as if the late Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald's, had titled his memoir "Burger King."

Sml_cover--Strangest Google Search Result of the Day: A query for some background on the Milady Handicap yielded the following, from the April, 1933 edition of Modern Mechanix magazine: