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Weekend Stakes Action


There appears to be this World Cup things going on in South Africa....I was under the impression that the World Cup already took place in Dubai. 

Due to some quirky scheduling by Churchill Downs, Delaware Park, Hollywood, and Belmont, we've got four races in the Ladies' Classic division being run within two days.  Some day, tracks will get on the same page and not dilute each others cards by running similar races right on top of one another, but until then we'll get five and six horse fields in graded races.

-Unrivaled Belle will take on four fillies and mares in the Ogden Phipps at Belmont.  This will be her first start since beating Rachel Alexandra in the LaTroienne and she'll have to be at the top of her game today, even though she's drawn against a small field.  The Todd Pletcher trained Life At Ten is on top form and has the tactical speed to keep up with Unrivaled Belle in the early stages.  Funny Moon has plenty of back class to suggest that she belongs and she absolutely loves running at Belmont (5-4-0-0).

-Lost Aptitude might be the morning line in the Jefferson Cup at Churchill, but I wouldn't blame anybody that wants to run far, far away from this colt today.  I can forgive the disaster in the Fountain of Youth, as he clearly didn't want anything to do with running on dirt.  But his flop in the American Turf a month and a half ago was as ugly as it gets.  This colt flat out quit that day after setting sensible but quick early fractions.  You have to wonder, did the Fountain of Youth flop destroy this colt's confidence?

Dont Tell Kitten has really turned his game around once the connections were able to get him back on the turf two races back.  And, really, a colt by Kitten's Joy out of a Dynaformer mare belongs on the lawn, not the dirt.  Dont Tell Kitten is a little bit below this group in terms of current class, but he's been improving in his recent efforts and if he can take another step forward today he could challenge this group.  It won't be easy, but at 15/1, he might make a good long shot play.

-On paper, the Regret looks to be a tremendous betting race with several fillies seemingly having a legitimate shot at top honors. 

Joharmony has been on a roll in 2010, winning all four races in which she's been entered.  This will be her first try against graded stakes company, but if she's able to take another step forward she could fit in with this group.

Queen of the Creek couldn't get it done as the favorite in the American 1000 Guineas at Arlington Park on May 22nd, but she'll get a second try on the same turf course in which she broke her maiden last fall.

Jody Slew has suffered a couple of brutal defeats in her last two, but both of those races were on dirt.  Her one turf try was in a listed stake at Churchill last fall where she finished a respectable 3rd.

It's Tea Time faded badly in the stretch of the Kentucky Oaks after running a strong second to Evening Jewel in the Ashland.  If she's able to transfer that synthetic form back to the turf she could be very, very dangerous.

Beautician is a big question mark on the grass after a so-so career on dirt and synthetics.  She's run a bunch of good races (2nd G3 Honeybee, 2nd BC Juvenile Fillies, 2nd G1 Spinaway), but she hasn't won a race since breaking her maiden on Churchill's main track in June of 2009.