07/19/2011 12:00PM

The Week Ahead: Saratoga, Del Mar 2011 debuts


The Saratoga and Del Mar meets begin this week just as the summer heat waves are starting to hit in earnest around the country. For a taste of what we have to look forward to, here are DRF's Mike Watchmaker and David Grening to preview the Saratoga 2011 meet:

DRF BETS: Sign up now and you'll get 40 race cards -- enough to play the entire Saratoga or Del Mar season. 

Wednesday, July 20: Oceanside Stakes (Del Mar)

Mr. Commons, third in the Santa Anita Derby and eighth in the Preakness Stakes on May 21, will be favored. The one-mile turf race drew 14 but will be limited to 10 starters. Possible starter Dr. Green may be a little more focused since his disappointing Hollywood meet ended -- his trainer, Jim Cassidy, had him gelded since his last race, reports DRF's Steve Andersen. Oceanside Stakes Live Video, Get PPs

Oceanside Stakes Entries -- Race card, PPs
1 Mile | Restricted | Open | 3 Year Olds | STAKES | Purse: $100,000
1. Akkadian
2. Burns
3. Mr. Commons
4. Fort Hastings (IRE)
5. Moment of Weakness (IRE)
6. Temple's Door
7. Robbie's War
8. Extensive
9. Macho Dorado
10. Chosen Miracle
Also eligibles: Saddleranch, Anakin, Every Ego, Dr. Green (IRE)

DRF.com's Brad Free says one betting angle for the Del Mar season has already made itself clear: Look for shippers trying to take advantage of the 20 percent bonus on non-stakes races. Here are his "shipper" plays for Opening Day:
Race 1: Kettle Corn (5-1)
Race 2: Grooms Bellboy (30-1)
Race 3: Giuseppe G (8-1)
Race 9: Whirling Thunder (3-1) and Deputiformer (12-1)

Also Wednesday: Bold Venture Stakes at Woodbine ($150,000) for 3-year-olds and up, 6 1/2 furlongs. 

Friday, July 22: James Marvin Stakes (Saratoga)

The eighth race at the Spa on opening day is a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up is loaded with graded stakes winners such as Here Comes Ben, Jersey Town and Gayego. This has become the prep race of choice for the Grade 1 Forego run on Sept. 3, reports DRF's David Grening.

James Marvin Stakes -- Race card, PPs
7 Furlongs | Open | 3 Year Olds And Up | STAKES | Purse: $75,000
1. Escrow Kid
2. Jackson Bend
3. Aikenite
4. Ravalo
5. Gayego
6. Here Comes Ben
7. D' Funnybone
8. Hamazing Destiny
9. Caixa Eletronica
10. Congressional Page
11. Jersey Town

Friday, July 22: Schuylerville Stakes (Saratoga)

The Grade 3, $100,000 Schuylerville will be run Friday, opening day. Trainer Todd Pletcher seeks a fourth victory in this race with Georgie’s Angel, a daughter of Bellamy Road who won a 4 1/2-furlong maiden race at Churchill Downs by 6 1/4 lengths on July 4 and earning an 83 Beyer. Schuylerville Stakes

Schuylerville Stakes -- Race card, PPs
6 Furlongs | Fillies | 2 Year Olds | G3 STAKES | Purse: $100,000
1. Force de La Nature
2. Five Star Momma
3. Dorothy's Aurora
4. True Feelings
5. Alydarla
6. Gypsy Robin
7. Vukovar
8. Flashy Lassie (scratched)
9. Georgie's Angel

Friday, July 22: California Thoroughbred Breeders' Association Stakes (Del Mar)

California Thoroughbred Breeders' Association S. -- Race card, PPs
5 1/2 Furlongs | State Bred | Fillies | 2 Year Olds | STAKES | Purse: $100,000
1. Gogi
2. Willa B Awesome
3. Heleonor Rugby
4. Roar Baby Roar
5. Evelyn Trouble

Saturday, July 23: TVG Coaching Club American Oaks (Saratoga)

This race has been run since 1917 at various lengths. This year it will be at nine furlongs; it was 10 furlongs from 2003-09.

Nominees (Trainers):
BELLAMY STAR (Todd A. Pletcher)
BUSTER'S READY (Todd A. Pletcher)
DANCE QUIETLY (Todd A. Pletcher)
HEARTS ON FIRE (Donnie K. Von Hemel)
HER SMILE (Todd A. Pletcher)
IT'S TRICKY (Kiaran P. McLaughlin)
JAPANESE GARDEN (George R. Arnold, II)
KINDA SPICY (Thomas Albertrani)
LITTLE MISS HOLLY (Steve Margolis)
LOVE AND PRIDE (Todd A. Pletcher)
MARVEL GAYE (Dallas Stewart)
MY ASSETS (Thomas Albertrani)
PLUM PRETTY (Bob Baffert)
R GYPSY GOLD (Todd A. Pletcher)
ROYAL DELTA (William I. Mott)
SAVVY SUPREME (Todd A. Pletcher)
SO MUCH LOVE (Todd A. Pletcher)
STREET STORM (Steve Margolis)
SUMMER SOIREE H. (Graham Motion)
ZAZU (John W. Sadler)

Year Winner Jockey Trainer Owner Time
2010  Devil May Care  John Velazquez  Todd Pletcher  Glencrest Farm 1:49.42
2009  Funny Moon  Alan Garcia  Christophe Clement  Mrs. McNeely III 2:02.44
2008  Music Note  Javier Castellano  Saeed bin Suroor  Godolphin Racing 2:01.66
2007  Octave  John R. Velazquez  Todd Pletcher  Starlight Stables/Lucarell 2:02.17
2006  Wonder Lady Anne  Edgar Prado  Richard Dutrow Jr.  IEAH Stables 2:04.63
 Record: 2:27.40 -- Ruffian (1975)

Also Saturday: Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes ($300,000) for 3-year-olds and up,  1 1/8 miles  on turf at Del Mar. Trainer Graham Motion will be making a rare trip out West with Smart Bid for this race, reports DRF's Jay Privman. At Monmouth, the highlight of the day is the Desert Vixen Stakes ($70,000) for 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Sunday: Sanford Stakes (Saratoga)

The Grade 2, $150,000 Sanford Stakes for 2-year-olds highlights the July 24 card and is likely to include the impressive maiden winner Overdriven as well as Big Blue Nation, Maan, Power World, Pryce’s Posse, Scallion, and possibly Futurity winner Jack’s In the Deck and beaten Futurity favorite Tarpy’s Goal.

Nominees (Trainers)
BEHEMOTH (Todd A. Pletcher)
BIG BLUE NATION (George R. Arnold, II)
BONAPARTE (Bernard S. Flint)
BRIGAND (Bob Baffert)
CANIGOTOO (W. Bret Calhoun)
DOCTORIOUS (D. Wayne Lukas)
EXFACTOR (Bernard S. Flint)
HARRY CONSOLIDATOR (Doodnauth Shivmangal)
J C'S PRIDE (Robert Barbara)
JACK'S IN THE DECK (Robin L. Graham)
LORD CHELSIE (Wesley A. Ward)
MAAN (Eddie Kenneally)
MOONRUSH (D. Wayne Lukas)
NIGHT TIDE (Bob Baffert)
OVERDRIVEN (Todd A. Pletcher)
PATRIOTIC LION (Patrick L. Biancone)
POWER WORLD (Neil J. Howard)
SARK (D. Wayne Lukas)
SCALLION (Patrick L. Biancone)
STAT (Todd A. Pletcher)
SUM OF THE PARTS (Thomas M. Amoss)
TARPY'S GOAL (Dale L. Romans)
TEAM SIX (Mark Shuman)
THREEANDDONEDAN (John E. Salzman, Jr.)
UNCLE TODD (Phil Schoenthal)
ZOW (Todd A. Pletcher)

Former winners include Afleet Alex, Affirmed, and Secretariat. The 1919 running of the Sanford Stakes was won by Upset, who handed Man o' War the only loss of his career that day -- and started the use of the word "upset" to mean a surprising victory in sports. Here are the more recent winners:

Year Winner Jockey Trainer Owner Time
2010  Maybesomaybenot  Elvis Trujillo  Michael Maker  Scisney 1:10.97
2009  Backtalk  Miguel Mena  Thomas Amoss  GoldMark Farm 1:10.07
2008  Desert Party  Edgar Prado  Eoin Harty  Darley Stable 1:12.23
2007  Ready's Image  John Velazquez  Todd Pletcher  James T. Scatuorchio 1:09.90
2006  Scat Daddy  John Velazquez  Todd Pletcher  James T. Scatuorchio 1:11.18
 Record: 1:09.32 -- Afleet Alex (2004)

Also Sunday: Live streaming on DRF.com from Del Mar, featuring the San Clemente Handicap ($150,000) at one mile on turf, and the California Dreamin' Handicap ($100,000) at 1 1/16 miles on turf. The Tyro Stakes ($70,000) sprint for 2-year-olds will take place at Monmouth.

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