Weekend Lineup Presented By NYRA Bets: Femme Fatale? Tough Trio Takes On Males In Fourstardave

The Grade 1 Fourstardave highlights this weekend’s racing action at Saratoga, with a trio of mares scheduled to line up against five male rivals in the one-mile turf contest. The heavy favorite is Chad Brown trainee Raging Bull, but he faces no easy task in Saturday’s feature race. To the winner goes the spoils: an expenses-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Mile in November at Del Mar.

Also at Saratoga, the G2 Saratoga Special has drawn a full field of 12 juveniles in what shapes up as an intriguing contest over 6 1/2 furlongs. Doctor Jeff is the morning-line choice at 2-1, but both Hall of Famers Steve Asmussen and Todd Pletcher have entered a pair of rapidly-improving colts that ought to have a say in the outcome. In addition, top 2-year-old trainer Wesley Ward enters a first-out winner off a tough trip at Royal Ascot, who has been training well for his return.

In the Midwest, Arlington Park will play host to a trio of Grade 1 turf stakes topped by the Mr. D., formerly the Arlington Million. Trainer Chad Brown will be seeking his fourth straight win (excluding 2020, when it was cancelled) in the race with divisional leader Domestic Spending.

The New York Racing Association has planned an all graded stakes cross country pick 5 for Saturday, encompassing four Grade 1 contests and a Grade 2 event from Saratoga and Arlington Park. Past performances are free here for this 50-cent base wager.

Here’s a quick snapshot of this weekend’s graded stakes schedule, starting with Saratoga’s big races (all times Eastern):


5:39 p.m. – $200,000 Grade 2 Saratoga Special Stakes at Saratoga

Morning line favorite Doctor Jeff won first out in an off-the-turf sprint at Belmont Park on July 10, recording a field-high 78 Beyer for the effort, and has been working well at Saratoga since then. However, others in the full 12-horse field have more race experience, including the Steve Asmussen-trained Gunite, a son of Gun Runner who has three starts under his belt and seems to be putting all the pieces together at the right time.

Another potential upsetter is the Todd Pletcher-trained Double Thunder, already a winner of the G3 Bashford Manor. He may not have earned a particularly high speed figure for that effort, but he didn’t need to; the son of Super Savor won by 4 3/4 lengths.

A pair of longshots are especially intriguing in the wide-open juvenile field. First, Nakatomi, the Wesley Ward-trained first-out winner who had a tough trip in his second outing at Royal Ascot. The colt has been working well since his stateside return, and it’s hard to count out Ward with 2-year-olds. Secondly, Dance Code, the last-out third-place finisher behind the highly-talented Wit in the G3 Sanford. The colt stumbled badly at the start and was as far back as ninth early on, but was still able to rally for third.

Saratoga Special Entries

6:13 p.m. – $500,000 Grade 1 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga

Already a Grade 1 winner over the mile trip in 2021, Raging Bull is a deserving favorite for trainer Chad Brown in the Fourstardave. His two starts this year have both seen him record triple-digit Beyers, and it’s hard to knock his current form.

Bill Mott trainee Casa Creed will stretch back out to the mile after a big performance last out over six furlongs to win the G1 Jaipur, and the Brad Cox-trained Set Piece should be feeling confident as he enters this race off three back-to-back victories on the turf.

Of course, Got Stormy made headlines when she won this race in 2019 and subsequently went on to finish a close second in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile on the West Coast and to win the G1 Matriarch. She didn’t have quite as spectacular a season in 2020, though she did finish second in this contest and recorded a pair of G3 wins when backed up to sprint distances. If the turf is firm on Saturday, Got Stormy’s fondness for this course at this distance can’t be denied.

The other two mares taking on the boys are: Blowout, trained by Chad Brown and never worse than third in her 12-race career, and Daddy Is A Legend, the best of the U.S. contingent when third last out behind Althiqa and Summer Romance in the G1 Just A Game.

Fourstardave Entries

5:49 p.m. – $400,000 Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park

A field of seven fillies and mares has been entered for this 1 3/16-mile contest, headed by Graham Motion trainee Mean Mary, who is two-for-two this season and 7 for 11 overall. The biggest challenge comes from the yard of Aidan O’Brien in Santa Barbara, last-out winner of the G1 Belmont Oaks and the half-sister to Breeders’ Cup winners Iridessa and Order of Australia.

The top local challenger is Naval Laughter, trained by Chris Davis, a lightly-raced 4-year-old making just her fifth career start. Since Davis has overseen her training, the filly is two-for-three this year and won her first graded stakes race in her most recent outing over the Arlington lawn.

Chad Brown has sent out the winner of the Beverly D. each of the past five times it has been run, and six times overall. He’ll saddle Lemista for this edition, a filly who finished second behind Harvey’s Lil Goil in the G3 Beaugay in her stateside debut, but faded to eighth last out in the G1 Diana.

Beverly D. Entries

6:28 p.m. – $300,000 Grade 1 Bruce D. Stakes at Arlington Park

Formerly run as the Secretariat Stakes, this one-mile contest for 3-year-olds features nine entrants for the 2021 edition. Leading the charge is Jack Sisterson trainee Tango Tango Tango, who owns a win over the Arlington turf in his most recent outing. The lightly-raced Point Me By appears to have some talent for trainer Eddie Kenneally, though a firm turf would suit him best.

Ginsburned is also lightly raced, though definitely moving in the right director for veteran Rusty Arnold. Therideofalifetime will be making his first start on the turf for trainer Ignacio Correas, but if the son of Candy Ride takes to the surface, his numbers definitely put him in the mix.

Bruce D. Entries

7:13 p.m. – $600,000 Grade 1 Mr. D. Stakes at Arlington Park

Divisional leader Domestic Spending will try to give Chad Brown his fourth straight in the race formerly known as the Arlington Million, in what may be the last edition ever held at the Chicagoland racetrack. With a dead-heat win in the G1 Turf Classic and a splashier win last out in the G1 Manhattan, the 4-year-old Kingman gelding is a deserving favorite in this 1 1/4-mile contest.

Aidan O’Brien sends over Armory, a multiple Group 1-placed son of Galileo, to form the international challenge. The 4-year-old has proven his ability to travel well with a second-place finish in Australia’s Group 1 Cox Plate, and has improved his numbers this season, finishing a good third behind Love and Audarya in the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Bizzee Channel has won two in a row over the Arlington lawn for trainer Larry Rivelli, but will have to step up here. The 8-year-old Zulu Alpha ran an even fifth in his first start off a 10-month layoff, but trainer Mike Maker’s ability with older horses over turf routes can’t be ignored.

Mr. D. Entries

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Here’s a look at the remainder of the weekend’s graded stakes, courtesy of NTRA:


4.44 p.m. ―$175,000 King Edward Stakes at Woodbine

The 5-year-old mare Jolie Olympica (BRZ) takes on seven male rivals in Sunday’s Grade 2 King Edward Stakes at a mile on turf at Woodbine. Trained by Josie Carroll, Jolie Olympica has won three graded stakes in the U.S. since arriving from Brazil, where she won the Group 1 Gran Premio Jockey Club in 2019. Jolie Olympica has won three graded stakes in North America, including a last-out score in the Grade 2 Nassau at Woodbine on July 24. Kazushi Kimura will ride Jolie Olympica from post 7. Carroll also has entered the 5-year-old Canadian-bred Avie’s Flatter, who won the July 18 Grade 2 Connaught Cup over the course by a neck. Luis Contreras has the mount from post 7. Live Oak Plantation’s March to the Arch, trained by Mark Casse and ridden by Patrick Husbands from post 3, is the defending champion. The 6-year-old has won eight races, including the black type Niagara Stakes at Woodbine on July 25. Casse is also starting Gary Barber’s 5-year-old gelding Olympic Runner, who was second in the Connaught Cup. Rafael Hernandez has the mount from post 2.

King Edward Entries

8.51 p.m. ―$250,000 Grade 3 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs

Eleven horses have been entered in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs near Seattle, and the second-place finishers from the last two editions ― Five Star General and Anyportinastorm ― should vie for favoritism. North American Thoroughbred Racing Company’s 5-year-old Five Star General, trained by Sandi Gann, a seven time winner, won a 1 1/16-mile allowance prep at Hastings Park in Vancouver, B.C. in his previous start. Mario Gutierrez has the mount from post 8. The 7-year-old Anyportinastorm, trained by Peter Miller, in April won the black type Lost in the Fog Stakes at Golden Gate Fields and was recently fourth in the Oak Tree Sprint Stakes at Pleasanton. Juan Gutierrez has the mount from post 5. The Lusk Family’s 5-year-old Washington-bred gelding Papa’s Golden Boy has won his last three races at Emerald Downs, including the black type Governor’s Stakes on July 11. Trained by Vince Gibson, Papa’s Golden Boy will be ridden byJulien Couton from post. 1.

Longacres Mile Entries

The post Weekend Lineup Presented By NYRA Bets: Femme Fatale? Tough Trio Takes On Males In Fourstardave appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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