Another fantastic weekend of racing is upon us this weekend, with the appearance of Songbird on the entry sheets at Saratoga as well as a Pacific Classic showdown for the ages at Del Mar.
Kicking things off on Friday is the re-drawn G2 Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga, for juvenile fillies going 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track. The seven-horse field is led by Rudy Rodriguez trainee Libby’s Tail, though Wesley Ward’s Silvertoni should prove tough to beat as well.
On Saturday, Woodbine’s G2 Play The King Stakes leads the action over seven furlongs on the turf. Ami’s Flatter is the field favorite, followed by Conquest Enforcer and Passion For Action. However, the most intriguing entry is Conor Murphy’s Dimension. The 8-year-old has won a pair of graded stakes over Woodbine’s turf this year, and nothing in his workout pattern suggests that that form has tailed off. The Play the King is a bit shorter than the mile distance over which Dimension won his last start.
Over in New Jersey, The G3 Monmouth Oaks features sophomore fillies over 1 1/16 miles. Leading the field is Todd Pletcher’s Mo d’Amour, a graded stakes-placed daughter of Uncle Mo who was most recently fourth behind Songbird in the CCA Oaks.
At Saratoga the re-drawn G1 Fourstardave is let by Bill Mott’s trainee Tourist as he lines up against nine others to contest a mile over the turf course. Graham Motion’s Ring Weekend should prove tough, and it’s tough to leave out a Chad Brown trainee at the Spa as Takeover Target enters the gates for him.
Only six other sophomore fillies will face down the undefeated Songbird in Saratoga’s G1 Alabama Stakes. Songbird will be going for her 10th consecutive victory in the race, and the filly with the best chance to beat her over the 1 1/4 mile distance is, per the morning-line odds, Dale Romans trainee Go Maggie Go.
Over at Del Mar, the G1 Del Mar Oaks features sophomore fillies over 1 1/8 miles on the turf. Headlining the field is Mokat, who earned her first graded stakes victory last out for trainer Richard Baltas when switched to the turf. She faces a field of 10, including a tough Bill Mott shipper named Harmonize.
The G2 Del Mar Handicap features older horses over 1 3/8 miles on the turf, with the Peter Eurton-trained dual graded stakes winner Ashleyluvssugar leading the field. Flamboyant and Metaboss’ presences in the 12-horse field should make for an interesting contest.
Finally, the G1 TVG Pacific Classic features the matchup we’ve all been hoping for over 1 1/4 miles at Del Mar. California Chrome will face off against Beholder, with horses like Dortmund and Hoppertunity thrown in the mix to prevent it from becoming a two-horse match race. A total of nine are entered to challenge the two Eclipse Award winners, and California Chrome will have to overcome the tough inside post position.
Up at Northlands Park Saturday evening, the G3 Canadian Derby features 3-year-olds over 1 3/8 miles on the main track. Ready Intaglio leads that 12-horse field as a multiple listed stakes winner searching for his first graded victory.
On Sunday, Woodbine kicks off the action with the G2 Sky Classic Stakes. Up With The Birds leads the charge over 1 1/4 miles on the turf, with Button Down and Are You Kidding Me the challengers.
At Monmouth, the G3 Cliff Hanger Stakes features Can’thelpbelieving in a field of eight over nine furlongs on the turf. The Graham Motion trainee will have to overcome tough Clement, Servis and Ness entries to win.
The G2 Lake Placid Stakes at the Spa features Catch A Glimpse over 1 1/8 miles on the turf. Though she is favored at 8-5 on the morning line against a field of six other sophomore fillies, Time and Motion may prove very tough after her last out, a fast-closing second against Catch A Glimpse in the Belmont Oaks.
Finally, the G2 Del Mar Mile features G1 winner Midnight Storm in a one-mile turf contest. He lines up against a field of just four others, with Om the main competition in his first start since March.
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