While the Wood Memorial and the Santa Anita Derby will grab the biggest headlines this weekend, top stakes action is taking place all across the country this afternoon with four Grade 1 races, four Grade 2s and four Grade 3s. Below is a summary of this weekend's graded stakes action, post times, conditions, and running results.
|Day||Post time||Race||Track||Age/Sex||Dist.||Surf.||Winner||$2 Win|
|Sat||4:03 / 1:03||G3-Las Cienegas Hcp.||SA||4up, f&m||6.5||Turf||8-Separate Forest||$13.80|
|Sat||4:08 / 1:08||G3-Comely||AQU||3yo, f||8.0||Dirt||1-Hot Summer||$14.00|
|Sat||4:42 / 1:42||G3-Bay Shore||AQU||3yo||7.0||Dirt||3-J J's Lucky Train||$6.00|
|Sat||5:15 / 2:15||G1-Carter||AQU||3up||7.0||Dirt||10-Morning Line||$6.20|
|Sat||5:23 / 2:23||G1-Ashland||KEE||3yo, f||8.5||Poly||2-Lilacs and Lace||$99.40|
|Sat||5:37 / 2:37||G3-Illinois Derby||HAW||3yo||9.0||Dirt||3-Joe Vann||$12.60|
|Sat||5:48 / 2:48||G1-Wood Memorial||AQU||3yo||9.0||Dirt||2-Toby's Corner||$19.40|
|Sat||6:20 / 3:20||G2-Arcadia||SA||4up||8.0||Turf||5-Liberian Freighter||$20.40|
|Sat||6:52 / 3:52||G2-Oaklawn Hcp.||OP||4up||9.0||Dirt||1-Win Willy||$12.00|
|Sat||7:36 / 4:36||G2-Providencia||SA||3yo, f||9.0||Turf||7-Cambina (IRE)||$4.20|
|Sat||8:12 / 5:12||G1-Santa Anita Derby||SA||3yo||9.0||Dirt||6-Midnight Interlude||$29.80|
|Sun||6:47 / 3:47||G2-Fantasy||OP||3yo, f||8.5||Dirt||2-Joyful Victory||$3.20|
Click on the winner's name to go to the full result chart (via DRF.com when available).
UPDATE #4: Uncle Mo comes up with a huge zero at Aqueduct, finishing 3rd behind 2-Toby's Corner and 3-Arthur's Tale.
At Hawthorne, 3-Joe Vann won the Grade 3 Illinois Derby.
UPDATE #3: Two Grade 1 races go off almost back-to-back in New York and Kentucky. At Aqueduct, 1-Morning Line (2/1) stalked longshot pacesetter Sunrise Smarty and wore down Apriority in the final furlong to take the Grade 1 Carter Handicap.
Over at Keeneland, 2-Lilacs and Lace shocked the field of the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes winning in wire-to-wire fashion at odds of 48/1. Co-favorites Kathmanblu and Dancinginherdreams never seriously threatened Lilacs and Lace at any stage.
The exata of Lilacs and Lace with Wyomia pays $622 for $2.
UPDATE #2: Favored 3-J J's Lucky Train (9/5) wore down Vengeful Wildcat in the final furlong to take the Grade 2 Bay Shore at Aqueduct.
UPDATE #1: 8-Separate Forest (5/1) takes the first graded stakes of the day with a gutsy wire-to-wire performance in the Grade 3 Las Cienegas Handicap on the downhill turf course at Santa Anita.
Over at the Big A, 1-Hot Summer (6/1) upset Ava K. to win the Comely Stakes by two lengths.
-As noted yesterday, Premier Pegasus and Jaycito are out of the Santa Anita Derby. Full of Scoundrels has scratched out of the Wood.
Aqueduct is FAST and GOOD
Santa Anita is FAST and FIRM with the turf rail at 0 feet.
Keeneland is FAST (POLY) and YIELDING
Hawthorne is FAST
Oaklawn is FAST
-HRTV will have coverage of the races from Aqueduct, Santa Anita, and Oaklawn. TVG will also show Aqueduct, along with Keeneland and Hawthorne. NTRA.com will also stream
both races the Wood Memorial on NTRA Live. (Not sure why NTRA is only streaming the Wood, but that's the info on their site. Unbelievably, the Santa Anita Derby can only be viewed on HRTV, DRF.com, your ADW, or at your local track and/or OTB. Poor move on Santa Anita's part but somewhat "par for the course" at this point.)
You can also find live streaming of the Wood and SA Derby on TVG.com, TwinSpires.com, ExpressBet, and DRF Bets.
-Below is the revised morning line for today's Santa Anita Derby after the scratches of Premier Pegasus and Jaycito:
#1 Offlee Wild Boys (30-1)
#2 Indian Winter (8-1)
#3 Mr. Commons (4-1)
#4 Silver Medallion (5-2)
#5 Comma to the Top (7-2)
#6 Midnight Interlude (20-1)
#7 Quail Hill (30-1)
#8 Premier Pegasus (Scratched)
#9 Anthony's Cross (3-1)
#10 Bench Points (8-1)
#11 Jaycito (Scratched)
-The best betting race of the day could be in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct (Race 9, 5:15 ET post), where a field of 11 colts will line-up to contest the seven furlongs on the main track. 10-Morning Line (5/2) is your morning line favorite off of a 2nd place finish in the G1-Donn and a 3rd in the G3-Hal's Hope at Gulfstream, and will take a slight cut in distance to seven furlogns.
The scratch of the Pletcher entry (Calbrichoa / Have You Ever) eliminates one of the key contenders to Morning Line.
-The Ashland Stakes at Keeneland features one of the prime contenders for this year's Kentucky Oaks, 6-Kathmanblu (9/5). Her last race (G3-Rachel Alexandra) was a professional win but not nearly as impressive as one would have hoped given the field she was facing. The Ashland will be her first try on Polytrack but if her previous turf performances give us any clues she should be fine with the surface switch today. Still, I get the feeling that this filly isn't cranked up for her top performance in this spot with the Oaks just a few weeks away. Perhaps jockey Julien Leparoux feels the same way since he's decided to ride the filly to Kathmanblu's inside today, 5-Dancinginherdreams (2/1).
Dancinginherdreams has run against some very talented fillies over her last few starts, including R Heat Lighting in the Davona Dale (where she finished 2nd by 7 1/4 lengths). All R Heat Lightning has done is run two of the most impressive races by a three-year-old filly this spring on back-to-back occasions. Kathmanblu is a good filly in her own right, but Dancinginherdreams is probably happy to get away from R Heat Lightning and this might be a perfect spot to get back to her winning way.
-In the 5th race at Keeneland the morning line favorite, 8-Red Maserati, is making his thrid lifetime start and first try on Poly after two tries at the Fair Grounds on the main track. Pedigree-wise, it's a question mark as to whether he's going to take to the Poly; might be a horse to stand against.
Pedigree plays in the 5th revolve around the 1-Duke of Del Rey (20/1) and 2-Tennis Racket (12/1), both colts are by decent win-early sires (Rockport Harbor and Wimbledon). Additionally, both 5-Bob Can't Jump (5/1) and 7-In My Rear View (12/1) might take to the Poly first time out of the gate.
-The turf course is yielding today at Keeneland, a situation that seems to fit 1-Grassy (3/1) to a "T" in the 3rd race.
-Maximus Ruler will make his debut on grass in the 6th race at Keeneland. His sire, Roman Ruler, doesn't produce a lot of winners on turf but his offspring has had some success on turf courses rated good, yielding, or soft; could be a decent value play at 10/1 on the morning line.