In the calm sooner than the storm that is the Kentucky Derby, the attention of the racing world this weekend shifts briefly to West Virginia and the $1 million Charles Town Classic.
Laurel Park offers seven stakes, worth a combined $750,000, on Saturday. Prominent there often is the Federico Tessio, on a regular basis a doable springboard to the Preakness.
Keeneland, Santa Anita and Aqueduct chip in important stakes. And Woodbine swings once more into movement north of the border — on a regular basis a sign spring might lastly arrive!
The All-Weather Championships finals are Friday in England, the place preparations for the Guineas races are coming fast and furious.
This arrives first:
The Charles Town Classic
Saturday’s $1 million Grade II Charles Town Classic drew a well-balanced topic of 10 with an also-eligible. The race is so even that half the horses are listed at single-digit odds on the morning line.
Discreet Lover was remaining seen ending eighth inside the Breeders’ Cup Classic nonetheless one race sooner than that, the 6-year-old son of Repent upset the Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup for coach Uriah St. Lewis.
Mongolian Groom, a 4-year-old Hightail gelding out the Dynaformer mare Bourbonesque, jumped out of the allowance ranks to finish third inside the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap in his remaining start at odds of 53-1. Rally Cry, a 6-year-old son of Uncle Mo, makes his first start since ending fourth inside the Grade I Woodward remaining summer time season at Saratoga.
Something Awesome gained remaining 12 months’s Charles Town Classic nonetheless hasn’t been very superior since. The 8-year-old Awesome Again gelding has not been shut in 4 intervening races, ending 10th in his remaining two, the Grade I Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park and the Grade III General George at Laurel Park. Last 12 months’s runner-up, War Story, can be once more for an extra chunk. Also winless inside the intervening 12 months, the 7-year-old nonetheless is the lukewarm 7-2 favorite on the morning line.
Nanoosh, winner of ultimate fall’s Zia Park Derby, may have run into type in Arkansas, ending an in depth fourth inside the Essex Handicap in his latest start.
Those looking out for the “horse for the course” need look no farther than Runnin’toluvya. The 5-year-old Fiber Sonde gelding has gained eight straight races, 9 of his remaining 10 and 11 of 15 for his career — all at Charles Town. He does step up in school proper right here.
There’s a aggressive and tough undercard, too. If you presumably cannot be there in particular person, attempt the keep safety on Horse Racing Radio Network (www.horseracingradio.internet) and expert concepts on the races will be discovered from HRRN’s ace analyst, Jude Feld, at www.popejude.com.
Triple Crown movement
Saturday’s $125,000 Federico Tessio Stakes at Laurel Park is an efficient place to establish candidates bypassing the Kentucky Derby nonetheless keep for the Preakness Stakes two weeks later. There are six inside the topic but it surely certainly’s exhausting to look earlier Alwaysmining, a Stay Thirsty colt who has gained 5 straight races, all at Laurel. The remaining 4 had been stakes. He’s the 1-5 favorite on the morning line so the oddsmaker couldn’t look earlier him, each. Tybalt, a Kitten’s Joy gelding, has been the only pursuer in Alwaysmining’s newest efforts and is probably once more for additional. He’s cross-entered at Aqueduct, nonetheless.
There are heaps additional stakes on this tough card, too.
Blue Prize, winner of ultimate fall’s Grade I Juddmonte Spinster, returns for Friday’s $100,000 Grade III Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare Stakes at Keeneland hoping it’s a springboard once more to the Breeders’ Cup. The 6-year-old mare accomplished fourth behind Monomoy Girl in remaining 12 months’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff. “We start Friday to see if we can get back,” acknowledged coach Ignacio Correas IV. “That’s the goal.”
The opposition inside the Doubledogdare comprises former Mexican star Jala Jala and the second and third finishers from the Grade III Bayakoa Stakes at Oaklawn, Promise of Spring and Moonlit Garden.
Ten are on faucet for Saturday’s $250,000 Grade II Dixiana Elkhorn at Keeneland with Zulu Alpha the 8-5 morning-line favorite. The 6-year-old Street Cry gelding comes north after a pair of graded stakes wins in Florida. He moreover gained the Grade III Sycamore at Keenland all through the autumn meeting. Mike Maker trains and Jose Ortiz rides.
Should Zulu Alpha regress, Soglio, Canessar, Bigger Picture and Red Night are all in with a chance.
Saturday’s $100,000 Woodhaven Stakes for 3-year-olds at Aqueduct has a topic of six should Tybalt go for the sod fairly than the Federico Tessio. The morning-line favorite proper right here is Forty Under, an Uncle Mo colt who gained the Grade III Pilgrim at Belmont Park sooner than ending sixth inside the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and hasn’t raced since.
Filly & Mare Turf
Eight are entered for Friday’s $100,000 Memories of Silver for 3-year-old fillies at Aqueduct. Three are “main track only” and the local weather guessers are calling for 1/2 inch of rain in Friday night thunderstorms.
Among the turfers, Blowout accomplished second inside the Grade III Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs, La Feve was fourth in that race and Her Royal Highness was seventh. Feel Glorious, who earlier raced in England and Germany, appears succesful inside the equally succesful fingers of Christophe Clement. We can’t resist noting that certainly one of many MTO entries, It Justhitthe Wire, accomplished fourth inside the Beyond The Wire Stakes at Laurel Park in her remaining outing.
Saturday’s $200,000 Grade II Kona Gold at Santa Anita solely obtained 5 takers nonetheless a reasonable case may be made for 4 of them. Kanthaka has two straight on-the-board finishes in graded stakes over the monitor. Dr. Dorr was second inside the Grade II San Carlos March 30 after an prolonged layoff. Sistron exits a second inside the Grade III San Simeon. And All Out Blitz was a stakes winnerat Sunland Park in his remaining outing. All of which means the fifth starter, Zatter, possibly will soar as a lot as win.
Filly & Mare Sprint
Woodbine returns to movement Sunday’s with the $100,000 Star Shoot Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on all-weather monitor. A topic of 10 is eager to get going.
Good Friday, in British racing circles, has come to suggest the All-Weather Championships Finals Day — seven races on the Lingfield Park Polytrack that conclude the prolonged winter’s advertising marketing campaign courting once more to Oct. 23.
Wissahickon, expert by John Gosden and ridden by Frankie Dettori, dominates the Middle Distance catgegory and heads a topic of eight for the 200,000-pounds Betway Easter Classic at 1 1/4 miles. Last 12 months’s Cambridgshire Handicap winner is undefeated in three all-weather races this season nonetheless faces the first two finishers from remaining 12 months, Victory Bond and Master The World.
Kachy has 4 wins and one second on all-weather tracks, the one loss to subsequent Group 1 runner-up City Light in remaining 12 months’s Betway All-Weather Sprint Championship. He entails the race in efficient fettle, having broken course info in every his outings all through the winter.
The program moreover comprises finals inside the Mile, Middle Distance, 3-year-old, Fillies & Mares and Marathon divisions. The event has attracted such excessive jockeys as Dettori, Ryan Moore, Christophe Soumillon, and James Doyle and plenty of the excessive trainers from the UK and France.
Meanwhile, the preparations for the British Classics had been under strategy this week at Newmarket. Here’s a peek into the still-cloudy crystal ball:
Too Darn Hot, the latest favorite for the 2,000 Guineas, has cooled a bit with the bookmakers as coach John Gosden is taking a wait-and-see perspective after what seems a minor teaching setback. Questions regarding the Dubawi colt, owned by Lord Andrew Lloyd Weber, put a brighter mild on some others.
In Wednesday’s Group 3 guess365 Craven Stakes at Newmarket, Skardu waited behind the sector, wished room 3 furlongs out after which battled to the top sooner than besting prolonged shot Momkin by neck. Set Piece and the favorite, Royal Marine, accomplished third and fourth. Skardu, a Shamardal colt expert by William Haggas, ran his file to 2-for-2.
“Skardu surprised me when winning his maiden here last September,” Haggas knowledgeable Racing Post. “But he regarded correctly beforehand and did correctly inside the race. He doesn’t do fairly a bit at home nonetheless we are going to allow ourselves to get excited regarding the 2,000 Guineas, which, all being correctly, he’ll go for.
Royal Marine’s coach, Saeed bin Suroor, acknowledged the Godolphin runner was anxious inside the gate and unlucky inside the working. He predicted the Raven’s Pass colt will be “a greater horse within the Guineas.”
And in Tuesday’s Group 3 Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Newmarket, Qabala overcame a gradual start to win by 1 3/4 lengths from Mot Juste with Angel’s Hideaway third. Qabala, a Scat Daddy filly expert by Roger Varian for Qatar’s Sheik Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani, gained her solely start remaining 12 months and was making her 3-year-old debut. Stay tuned for additional from this one.