06/18/2010 8:52PM

Saturday Stakes Opinions

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Let's take a look at some of Saturday's stakes races:

All Along - Colonial Downs - Race 9:
The usual nice grouping at Colonial Downs.  TIZAQUEENA has won three of her last four and is a stakes-winner on synthetic, turf, and dirt.  SHARED ACCOUNT goes second off the layoff and showed a fondness for this surface when headed by BLIND DATE in last year's Virginia Oaks.  CASABLANCA SMILE makes her first start in North America after competing in two-thirds of the Chilean Triple Crown.  Second in the Clasico El Ensayo Cristal (first leg), she skipped the St. Leger Cristal (second leg) to narrowly win the Chilean Oaks before taking El Derby by six lengths.  Away since late January, she is now in the Shug McGaughey barn and the workout on May 30 matches up with McGaughey's filly Consequence (2009 American 1000 Guineas winner finished third with an 88 Beyer in a 'n2x' optional claimer at Belmont on June 11). 
I'll go with New York invader Dynaslew, a filly that is a perfect 2-2 since joining Seth Benzel's barn earlier this year.  Dynaslew put them to sleep on the front end last time out in the Grade 3 Beaugay at Belmont, defeating a pair of next-out winners (Chestoria, 91 Beyer in Mt. Vernon Stakes and Strike the Bell, 93 Beyer in 'n2x' allowance at Monmouth).  She seems equally effective from just off the pace and may work out a nice ground-saving, pace-tracking trip under Alan Garcia.
Selections:  Dynaslew, Shared Account, Omega Cat

Colonial Turf Cup - Colonial Downs - Race 10:
This marks the return of PADDY O'PRADO, third in the Kentucky Derby and a Grade 3 winner on grass.  He figures to take a good deal of money along with my top selection, DOUBLES PARTNER.  The impeccably-bred Doubles Partner (by Rock Hard Ten out of a full sister to Serena's Song) is 3-3 on grass for trainer Todd Pletcher.  He received an excellent setup last time out in the Grade 2 American Turf on Kentucky Oaks afternoon at Churchill Downs as he rallied into a hot pace to win well over Asphalt.  There should be enough pace to aid him once again at Colonial with TWO NOTCH ROAD and WORKIN FOR HOPS in the lineup.  Doubles Partner has had plenty of time to recover from that Beyer top earned on April 30, shows three consecutive five-furlong breezes for Todd Pletcher, and should be charging hard in the stretch. 
Selections:  Doubles Partner, Paddy O'Prado, Workin for Hops

Affirmed Handicap - Hollywood Park - Race 8:
GOLDEN ITIZ figures to be warm on the toteboard following a pair of nice victories and one could argue that the Tiznow colt has the most promise of any three-year-old in the field.  I'll give SKIPSHOT one more chance after the ridgeling finished an even fifth in the Grade 3 Lazaro Barrera Memorial going seven furlongs on May 22.  He'll go second off the bench for Jerry Hollendorfer and figures to be close up to the projected moderate pace in this two-turn test.  Skipshot has done his best running over the Tapeta surface in Northern California and still must prove he can hang on this circuit.  This may be his last chance to prove that he can be a reliable second- or third-tier option in the division.
Selections:  Skipshot, Golden Itiz, Distorted Dave

New York - Belmont - Race 9:
I'll try to beat GOZZIP GIRL, last year's American Oaks winner that went off form from a speed figure perspective (albeit on soft turf courses) in her last two races of 2009.  She'll have to successfully navigate a demanding 10 furlongs in her first start since October and she won't be facing any pushovers. 
AVE looked good in her North American debut for Roger Attfield and will get my money on Saturday.  In the Grade 3 Gallorette on Preakness afternoon, Ave broke slowly, and trailed the field while saving ground.  She was last on the rail turning for home, but put in a good late run to finish third, beaten only a half-length by Rainbow View.  Ave is a Group 3 winner at 9 1/2 furlongs and should appreciate today's added distance for her second start of the campaign.  The major concern is pace as there doesn't appear to be much speed in the lineup. 
Selections:  Ave, Daveron, Lady Shakespeare

More importantly, who do you like this weekend?  I want to know.

Best of luck to all.

Dan

Robert Slifer More than 1 year ago
Had the pleasure of seeing the best 3 year old sprinter in the country run at Charlestown Saturday night Comadero. He was 1-5 and was a cinche on paper and won for fun shut down. I stepped away from watching all the races to stand by the finish line just to watch because its not offen you get to see the best of the best run at Charlestown! The 180 mile drive was worth it from Pittsburgh Pa. Hats off again to Charlestown a racino that gets it a horse track first and a very fan frinedly facility first class operation period. Bob
alanh More than 1 year ago
Laura: Thanks for the write-up on Serena's Song -- I was hoping you'd chime in but got a lot more than I expected! Interesting reading, as we've come to expect from you. I always gave SS extra points for surviving the schedule D. Wayne put her through. I still can't believe he tried to win the Big Cap with her. Looks like she at least passed some of those iron bones on down, if not the brilliance. We'll see how she does with her last few foals (I'm also assuming she'll be pensioned soon). Thanks again.
Keith L. More than 1 year ago
Annie: Saw this one last week, and thought I'd share it with you. 2 yo for your Watch List; colt out of WILDCAT ANNIE, by Afleet Alex trained by Tim Ice won 5 furlong sprint at first asking Friday at Belmont (2nd race MSW). Colt's name is Commonwealth Rush. (Wildcat Annie is by Forest Wildcaat, and the mare brought her speed genes to this one, for sure). Enjoy!
Keith L. More than 1 year ago
What's up with DRF? Two days running the front page doesn't download for me; have to go searching for the Site Map in order to access stuff. I'm suspecing I'm not the only one having trouble, as there are only 83 postings since Friday evenings on this thread. My suspicion, the excessive flash advertising is screwing up those of us like me with dial up connections.
chicago gerry More than 1 year ago
Dan, There were 52 people shot in Chicago over the Fathers Day weekend. At least 10 people killed. Not to worry when you come out though, the pilots perform what is referred to as the 'corkscrew maneuver' when landing at O Hare. Please know in Chicago, passengers go though a metal detector both before and just after you they off the plane. The only time you will have to crawl is, from luggage pick up to your car. After that you should be OK. Thanks,
Blue Horseshoe More than 1 year ago
Annie, I'm still around but haven't had as much time lately to post and haven't had as much to say... Blue Horseshoe, the horse, is not my horse. Although, interestingly, I have a horse that has competed against him... knm, You had requested my visual take on the training of the Belmont contenders and I'm sorry that I never responded. Unfortunately, business and travels did not allow me to make it out to Belmont Park to watch any of the contenders train this year... Interestingly, I made First Dude my pick to win but I was told (after the race) that if I had watched him train, I never would have picked him... By the way, is Tinky still around??
robertSD More than 1 year ago
Bogie is a monster in the lane. Don't screw it up Alex. Posted by: Mathieu on June 20, 2010 at 01:25 PM ______________________________________________________ As you so eloquently noted after the above referenced post he (Alex Solis) screwed it up -- losing by a fastly diminishing neck -- all thanks to lengths worth of trouble. And in the process cost me a pretty penny as well as a winning day at the races. - robertSD
yogi More than 1 year ago
Another 3YO retires to stud before summer. B W Hughes buys and retires Line of David. One Grade I is all a colt needs to go to Happyville. What a life. Why don't we just have a big drawing and assign Graded Stakes at the beginning of their 3YO year, and then they won't have to be run at all.
Annie More than 1 year ago
Katieattherail, LOL! Annie
Annie More than 1 year ago
Blue Horseshoe, Hopefully you still read the blog now and then, even though you don't post much. I see the horse, BLUE HORSESHOE, is running in the 9th at BP on Wed. Is he yours? If not, you should probably bet him anyway. :) Annie