The highlight of this weekend’s racing action is arguably the Maryland Million group of stakes being held at Laurel Park.
On Friday, Keeneland kicks off the weekend with the G3 Valley View Stakes for sophomore fillies over 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Leading the field is the French-based Azaelia, placed in a Group 3 at Chantilly two starts back. My Impression and Quidura both hold a valid shot in the 12-horse field.
Friday evening, Remington Park hosts the Oklahoma Classics series, for accredited Oklahoma-breds. The $ 175,000 Oklahoma Classics Cup is led by 7-year-old gelding Imahit, aiming for his third victory in the race.
On Saturday, Belmont Park hosts Empire showcase day, a collection of eight New York-bred stakes races. The $ 300,000 Empire Classics Handicap features a tough match-up between Belmont Stakes 4th-place finisher Governor Malibu, multiple stakes-winner Royal Posse, Wake Up In Malibu and Hit It Once More.
Saturday at Keeneland features the G2 Raven Run Stakes, a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies. The Brian Lynch-trained Lightstream leads the field, but it should be a good betting event with contenders Sophia’s Song, Bellamentary and Lucy N Ethel also in the field.
The Maryland Million series is Saturday at Laurel Park, a group of nine stakes races which include four defending champions and six other previous Maryland Million winners. The $ 150,000 Maryland Million Classic features a solid match-up between Just Jack and Flash McCaul.
Sunday at Belmont Park features the G3 Athenia Stakes, for fillies and mares over 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Leading the group is Strike Charmer, but trainer Chad Brown has the duo of Mexican Gold and Roca Rojo as top contenders as well.
Keeneland’s Sunday card has the G3 Dowager Stakes for fillies and mares over 1 1/2 miles on the turf. Elektrum ships in from California to be the top contender, taking on a field of 13.
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