07/08/2011 2:53PM

Hollywood Gold Cup, Man o' War highlight Saturday stakes races


The nationally televised Hollywood Gold Cup highlights a huge Saturday of stakes races. Twirling Candy, having won three stakes already this year, is the main attraction. His competition includes Santa Anita Handicap winner Game On Dude, Setsuko, and defending champ Awesome Gem. The winner gets a spot in the Breeders' Cup as part of the Challenge series' "Win and You're In" setup. STEVE ANDERSEN: Plenty at stake for Twirling Candy | Hollywood Gold Cup (Live Video)

Also on the card is the Grade 2, $150,000 Swaps Stakes featuring Coil, a rising star in the California 3-year-old division. STEVE ANDERSEN: Coil hopes to use Swaps as springboard towards starring role

Summit of Speed at Calder

The other Breeders' Cup Challenge race of the weekend, the Smile Sprint Handicap, will take place at Calder in Miami. "Apriority may start as a slight favorite in the Smile against the likes of 120-pound highweight Noble’s Promise, Giant Ryan (119), This Ones for Phil (116), and Irrefutable (115). How’s Your Halo (115), runner-up to Benny the Bull in the 2008 Smile, and Royal Tricon (113) complete the lineup." MIKE WELSCH: Smile Sprint brings together Cup contenders | Calder Summit of Speed

Other big stakes races at Calder Saturday include the Grade 1, $350,000 Princess Rooney, the $200,000 Carry Back Stakes, and the Azalea. Mike Welsh has the whole race card preview:

Man o' War

The Man o' War could lose a major contender if Mother Nature doesn't cooperate. As DRF's David Grening reports, trainer Christophe Clement will scratch Gio Ponti if overnight rain makes for soft or yielding turf on Saturday. "Clement and Gio Ponti's owner, Shane Ryan of Castleton Lyons, believe Gio Ponti was compromised by yielding turf when he was third in the Manhattan last month at Belmont Park." DAVID GRENING: Gio Ponti a scratch if going is off | Man o'War Stakes


Delaware Oaks

The Grade 2, $300,000 Delaware Oaks caps a stakes tripleheader at Delaware Park that also includes the Grade 3, $200,000 Robert Dick Memorial and the $100,000 Barbaro Stakes. "St. John’s River has been made the 7-5 favorite in the seven-horse field for the Oaks, based on runner-up finishes in the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks and in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, in which she was beaten a neck. Two of the fillies who finished behind her, Zazu (third) and Summer Soiree (10th), came back to win their next starts, in the Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks and Grade 3 Boiling Springs at Monmouth Park." JOE DEVIVO: Surface a key factor in Oaks

JOE DEVIVO: Motion takes a shot with pair in Robert Dick Memorial