A happy Memorial Day Weekend to everyone. I hope you are able to enjoy good weather and good racing wherever you are the country. And a special remembrance this weekend to the men and women in uniform that lost their lives in service of our country.
I'll be on and off-line a bunch over the next two days but will be doing a full simulcast on Monday for all of the Grade 1 action.
We are fast and firm at Belmont today with the rail at 18 feet on the Inner Turf.
The program changes for tracks running graded stakes races this weekend can be found at the links below (via Equibase).
Scratches and Program Changes
-The turf is listed as "GOOD" at Belmont and race five has been moved from the inner turf to the dirt.
Below are the scheduled stakes races, along with the results (when available). You can click on the winning horse's name for the full result chart (via DRF.com; also when available).
|26-May||G3-Eclipse Stakes||WO||Hunters Bay||$4.90|
|26-May||Arlington Classic||AP||Silver Max||$3.20|
|27-May||G2-Connaught Cup||WO||Something Extra||$29.90|
|28-May||G1-Gamely||BHP||Belle Royale (IRE)||$6.60|
|28-May||G1-Ogden Phipps||BEL||It's Tricky||$6.20|
|28-May||G2-Sands Point||BEL||Better Lucky||$18.20|
|28-May||G3-Lone Star Park Hcp.||LS||Nates Mineshaft||$5.40|
|28-May||G3-Los Angeles Hcp.||BHP||Roman Threat||$3.80|
Thoughts on the stakes results below the jump:
- A crazy start to the Sheepshead Bay when the 1-Mystical Star, rears up as the gate opens and breaks dead least (well, almost dead last). Then, she makes a huge run to finish third at the wire. The inquiry sign went up to determine whether or not she was a starter and after a lengthy review, she was disqualified and placed last because she broke through the gate before the start. Based on the replays, this was the correct call by the stewards but a tough break to whomever had her in the 3rd spot in the trifecta.
Speaking of "starters" in the Sheepshead, 2-Magical Cat didn't even get out of the gate and was quickly declared a non-starter following the race.
So, to recap: 1-Mystical Star breaks through and is DQ'd. 2-Magical Cat is a non-starter.
- The field walked through the first mile of the Louisville Handicap at Churchill - a mile in 1:38.91 - Simmard sprinted home at the top of the lane and held off Calvin Borel and Joinem by a length at the wire.
This wasn't the greatest renewal of the Louisville as the field was filled with so-so Grade 2/Grade 3 horses. Not sure what to expect from this group going forward.
- Out at Arlington Park, Hooh Why looked like she might take the field gate-to-wire but Upperline runs her down in the stretch to win the G3-Arlington Matron, her second consecutive Grade 3 win.
Kathmanblu, a nice looking filly as a juvenile, didn't put up much of a fight in the stretch and is now winless since February 19th, 2011.
- Silver Max and Shaun Bridgmohan, sent off at odds of 3/5, raced to an early lead, clicked off quick splits (22.97 and 46.74) and then put away the field at the top of the stretch to win the Arlington Classic by a couple of lengths at the wire.
- Mr. Commons went to the gate of the American Handicap as the 1/2 odds-on favorite but he couldn't get it done as Wilkinson springs a huge upset at 44/1 on the tote board. The pace was solid across from the start, with Liberian Freighter and Compari carving out splits of :23.56, :46.72 and 1:09.63 through the first three quaters of the race. Mr. Commons began to make up ground on the far turn but had too much work to do to catch the winner at the wire. A disappointing effort from Mr. Commons as, on paper, this is a field he should have handled.
Wilkinson paid $90.60 for a $2 win bet.
- Better Lucky holds off Regalo Mia in the G2-Sands Point to win at odds of 8/1. Somali Lemonade, sent off as the odds-on favorite at 4/5, finished out of the top 4. No excuses for the favorite; Somali Lemonade just didn't have it today.
- An upset in the G1-Phipps as It's Tricky overtakes Cash For Clunkers inside the final furlongs and ends Awesome Maria's six race win streak.
- Speed continues to hold at Belmont as Contested rolls to victory in the G1-Acorn. The Baffert trainee went the half in 45 flat and cruised home.
- Taking advantage of a track playing kindly to speed, Shackleford grabs the lead straight from the gate and holds off Caleb's Posse at the wire to win the G1-Met Mile by a long nose.
- Nates Mineshaft set soft fractions of 25.11 and 49.20 in the first half mile and walks home to win the Lone Star Park Handicap at odds of 8/5.
- A bit of an ugly finish in the Berkeley as a ton of horses were bunched together inside the final furlongs with Positive Response crossing the finish line ahead of Awesome Gem. However, Positive Response was DQ'd following an inquiry and Awesome Gem was moved up and declared the winner.
- Roman Threat controlled the pace from the outset to win the G3-Los Angeles Hcp. at odds of 4/5.
- Belle Royale (IRE) charges down the lane in the final furlong to pass Quiet Oasis (IRE) and win the G1-Gamely.