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Weekend Stakes Review (1/8 - 1/9)

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Date

Race

Grade

Track

Winner

 $2 Win

Sat

San Pasqual

2

SA

Aggie Engineer

 $    5.40

Sat

Hal's Hope

3

GP

Soaring Empire

 $    6.00

Sat

Spectacular Bid

Listed

GP

Determinato

 $   30.60

Sun

Santa Ysabel

3

GP

May Day Rose

 $    2.10

Sun

Fort Lauderdale

3

GP

Little Mike

 $   27.80

Sun

Marshua's River

3

GP

Jstrndmdnght (IRE)

 $   54.00

-Things went fairly to form in the San Pasqual where Aggie Engineer was miles the best in a field of six.  Joe Talamo got the winner to sit just off the dueling leaders and made a powerful move coming off the turn to put away the field in several strides.  An easy win for this six-year-old son of E. Dubai.

-The other Santa Anita "stakes" race, the Santa Ysabel, saw scratches leave the field a decimated three-horse-affair.  If you even bothered to watch at that point you saw May Day Rose, at odds of 1/20, wire the field.  The "exacta" paid an astronomical $1.50.  Don't spend that all in one place.

-While the Santa Anita stakes race stayed mainly to form, the action out at Gulfstream was a price-lovers delight beginning with the listed Spectacular Bid on Saturday.  Determinato, at robust odds of 14/1, survived a pretty wicked pace duel with Gangsterontherun that saw the opening quarter zip by in 21.75 and held off all comers in the final furlongs to score a big upset.  Leave of Absence and Cane Garden Bay were able to close into the place and show spots but ran out of time to move past the winner.

Determinato is a three-year-old son of 2005 Kentucky Derby runner-up Closing Argument .

-Things managed some sense of stability in the Hal's Hope where 2/1 second choice Soaring Empire stalked moderate fractions and then easily moved by the big names on his way to a 1 1/2 length win.  Soaring Empire's performance in this race adds a lot of validation to Jersey Town's victory in the Cigar Mile; Soaring Empire finished 6th that day, 3 1/4 lengths behind the winner. 

Even money favorite Morning Line had everything his way in the early stages but it was clear he was going to be no match for the winner about mid-way on the far turn.  With Soaring Empire right at his neck, Morning Line had to be asked repeatedly by John Velazquez to pick it up.  He finished fairly well but couldn't hold off Rule for the place spot.

Rule broke slowly and found himself fifth early on, a stark change from his normal running style.  He was able to put in a good effort to grab 2nd honors in the final strides but he was no match for the winner.

-Sunday's Gulfstream action continued the onslaught of boxcar prices in stakes race in both the Fort Lauderdale and Marshua's River.  

In the Fort Lauderdale, Little Mike grabbed an early lead, clicked off half mile and 3/4 mile fractions of 46.79 and 1:10.35, and held off the late charge of Blues Street to score by a nose at odds of 13/1.  

Little Mike is a four-year-old gelding by Spanish Steps.

-The final graded stakes race of the weekend saw 26/1 shot Jstrondmdnnght (IRE) unleash a furious rally to pass the pacesetter, Persuading, in the shadow of the wire.  The winner ran the final 3 furlong in 28.61 seconds.

Favorite C.S. Silk stalked the pace early on and then spit the bit when it was time to get down to business.

If you were able to pick out the 26/1 winner and the 36/1 runner-up (Persuading) you were rewarded with a $1,071.60 exacta for $2.  That's a bit better than $1.50.