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Weekend Stakes Action

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Date

Track

Race

Condition

Dist

19-Jun

CNL

G2-Colonial Turf Cup

3yo

9.5 (T)

19-Jun

MON

G3-Pegasus Stakes

3yo

8.5

19-Jun

BEL

G2-New York Stakes

3up, F&M

10.0 (T)

19-Jun

CNL

G3-All Along Stakes

3up, F&M

9.0 (T)

19-Jun

HOL

G3-Affirmed Handicap

3yo

8.5

20-Jun

HOL

G3-Will Rogers

3yo

8.5 (T)

As you may or may not have noticed, there are has been a bunch of site issues here at SB Nation all morning, so I wasn't able to get my Royal Ascot preview up last night or this morning.  Hopefully things are s moothed out going forward.

A fairly light stakes calendar this weekend with not a single Grade 1 race taking place anywhere in North America.

-Tizaqueena is the 2/1 morning line favorite in the All Along Stakes at Colonia where she will try to build off her last out win in the G3-Arlington Matron Handicap on May 29th.  There's a decent amount of speed in this race so I'm not sure how much I'd want 2/1 odds on a horse that will be involved early. 

3-Shared Account (3/1) offers a bit more value, in my mind, given his ability to sit of the pace early on.

8-Casablanca Smile (CHI) is the mystery filly in this field, as she will be making her first start in North America after running twelve times in her native Chile.  Just looking at the form we don't have a clue as to how this filly likes to run but a little internet research reveals a race replay on YouTube from her last race, the G1-El Derby at Valparaiso in Chile, which I assume was a race against males.  (The internet: where you can find video replays of stakes races from Chile.  Simply wonderful.)

You can view the race below the jump...


It's not an easy video to follow Casablanca Smile because we don't have a clue which horse she is until she pulls away from the field in the stretch.  Once I figured out which horse she was I went back and watched the last half of the race again and it appears that Casablanca Smile makes her move from the middle of the pack when coming off the final turn.  At a minimum, I think it's safe to say that this filly is not going to show a lot of early pace.

Casablanca Smile could be an intriguing play in this race if her odds were to remain in that "mid-shot" range of 6/1 to 8/1.  I'm a little concerned that this race is a little shorter than she what she wants, but I do believe that she's going to get a good amount of pace to run at.  She's my value play in this spot (unless the mob pounds her down under 4/1).

-A lot of good colts to choose from in the Colonial Turf Cup, specifically 1-Paddy O'Prado (9/5), 2-Workin for Hops (9/2), and 5-Doubles Partner (5/2).  I mentioned the other day that I thought that 6-Dean's Kitten (8/1) could be the value play in this spot with a return to the lawn and an additional stretch of ground to cover.  I'm going to stick with that play going forward, unless Paddy were to drift up to a 5/2 or 3/1 ranges but I don't think that's going to happen.

-I'm a little bit surprised at the 3/1 morning line odds of 3/1 on 1-Ave (GB), as I think this filly could be the standout in a decent, but not tremendous New York Stakes field.  Ave ran a very solid race in her first try in North America, finishing 3rd by a ½ length in the Grade 3 Gallorette Handicap.  The route of ground should be right up her alley, although I wouldn't argue with anyone that thinks she might not get enough pace to run at. 

-2-Golden Itiz (5/2) will try graded company for the first time in the Affirmed at Hollywood Park but he's drawn into a field that he could beat if he can take another step forward in his development.  He went wire-to-wire in his last race but I think he could be content to sit back off the early pace in this spot given the way he closed to break his maiden two races back.