The”San Felipe” and “Santa Margarita” Stakes are both on tap at Santa Anita Saturday!

"And they are off" at Santa Anita!

Don’t want to spend your whole day in Florida horse racing heaven on Saturday then check out these two big Graded Stakes contests at Santa Anita Park.

Santa Anita Park is hosting two important Graded Stakes contests in the GII San Felipe Stakes for 3yo derby hopefuls and the GI Santa Margarita Invitational Stakes for 4yo and up fillies & Mares.

The San Felipe is an interesting 3yo test, going 1 1/16 mile, for $250k, with some top 3yo names running like Jaycito in his first run of the year, Comma on the Top, trying to make amends for that awful El Camino Derby start, up at Golden Gate Park last month. Some new names likes Albergatti and RunFlatOut will try their luck at the Graded Stakes level. Other favorites are, Awesome Patriot and Premier Pegasus in a field of 10!

Look for 1 of these 6 to take the win and we’d super these 6 in multiple trys as it might payoff handsomely in this big field!

The GI Santa Margarita Invitational Stakes is a big West Coast test for the older gals here on Saturday, going 1 1/8 mile, for a pot of $300k.

The favorite in this field of 7 is Switch at 1/1 is the heir-apparent to the Big Z, now with foal, in the Female Handicap Division out here. She can run all day and on just about any surface too and did give the Big Z a hard time down the stretch in the GI Ladys Secret last Oct. here at Santa Anita.

St Trinians at 3/1 also gave the Big Z a hard run in their only meet up last year that put St Trinians sidelines for the rest of 2010. She was a close 3rd last month in the 7f GII Santa Monica Stakes here as a first trip out for the year and look good in doing it, She’s going to factor in the decision here too.

Always a Princess at 3/1 ran the lights out here at Santa Anita last month in the GII La Canada Stakes. She was on the lead all the way that day, in sprint-like factions and still got the win. She’ll be there once again!

So these 3 in your exactas and trifectas then super up (if available) the final 4 runners here as one of them will finish 4th!

So there’s a big race day at Santa Anita Park as well this Saturday on a very busy race day country-wide!

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The Tampa Bay Derby is next on the “Derby Trail”

Tampa Bay Downs ready for its premier race day of this year's meet!

 Tampa Bay Downs is the site of this weekend’s lone”Derby Trail” test with their final leg of a set of 3 races being run in the Tampa Bay Derby. It’s a GII clash for a purse of $350,000, going 1 1/8 mile, for 3yo hopefuls

The original morning line shows “Uncle Mo” as the 3/5 favorite but if you’ve been following his progress you know he’ll be running at Gulf Stream this Saturday.

So that leaves a field of 9, 3yo derby hopefuls for this important “Derby Trail” clash!

The top four finishers in last month’s GIII Sam F. Davis Stakes here at Tampa Bay Downs have all returned for another crack at a Kentucky Derby gate in Brethren, Too Experience, Watch Me Go and Beamer.

Brethren who won that prep race by 4 lengths will be the one to beat here Saturday. This 3yo is another in a series of hot Todd Pletcher trainee’s this season as it appears he has another real derby contender on his hands here. The rich get richer it seems folks. The 1/1 on the morning line is going to quickly dissolve here Saturday as 2/5 seems more likely by post time.

Too Experience at 8/1, Watch me Go at 12/1 and Beamer at 10/1 all ran well enough in the Sam F. Davis tilt to come out here Saturday for another bit at Brethren but they  are all really going to have to step it up here, especially at 1 1/8 mile. We think these odds will shrink here by post time as everyone will be using them in their exotic’s plays.

Free Entry at 7/2 seems the only real challenger of the remaining 5 new comers to the graded stakes ranks here on Saturday. This 3yo is a son of Tale of Cat and a Pulpit mare is 2 for 2 at Gulf Stream this year, winning a mile allowance dust up in his last outing in 1:37.50. But a mile race at Gulf Stream is still a 1-turn affair and this contest is 2-turns and 1 1/8 mile distance. So is he ready for big time racing, he’s got a shot, if he can pick up his game!

Moonhanger at 20/1, Crimson Knight at 30/1 and Strides Ahead at 10/1 are all coming off good showings here at Tamp Bay Downs in Msw’s or Alw’s over a mile their last time’s out. They’re all out of good pedigrees, well trained but short on big time 3yo racing experience.

Economic Summit at 8/1 has a 5th in the GII Nashua Stakes his last trip out but that was last Nov. and “winter rust” and the 1 1/8 mile distance here is formidable task for a first trip out for the year!

So this blog likes Brethren here with his Sam F. Davis running mates and Free Entry all super-sized to get any value here at all!

So this Saturday is Tampa Bay Down’s premier race day of the meet with many stakes and graded stakes contests for us to muse over. Should be a good day of racing there as the Tampa Bay Derby will offer up one of these nine runners a Kentucky Derby gate on May 7th!

“Uncle Mo” makes his 2011 Debut in “Timely Writer” Stakes!

“Uncle Mo” winning the B/C Juvy race last Nov.

Saturday at Gulf Stream Park, Uncle Mo will makes his much anticipated 3yo debut in a stakes race made with just him in mind. His 5 competitors, listed below, should be no match for this 2yo Eclipse Award winner of 2010 and tops on everyone’s early Kentucky Derby favorites lists. So if you’re thinking of wagering a few bob on this race’s outcome just remember this, you probably only get 1/2 odds or less. So a trifecta box might be the smarter play here with Uncle on top and everyone else for 2nd and 3rd because the real handicapping fun will be for 2nd and 3rd here. So Uncle Mo is coming out to run here Saturday so if you’ve no skin in the game, sit back and watch what might be the best 3yo in training this year! Time will tell!

 

$100,000 Timely Writer Stakes (Race 8, 4:25 p.m.), 3YO, 1 Mile (Dirt)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Uncle Mo (KY), J R Velazquez, 123, T A Pletcher
2. Gallant Dreams (KY), J Castellano, 117, T Albertrani
3. Madman Diaries (FL),  J Sanchez, 121, W A Ward
4. Rocking Out (KY), J R Leparoux, 117, R E Dutrow Jr.
5. Schoolyard Cat (NY), R Curatolo, 117, C F Martin
6. Rattlesnake Bridge (KY), J Lezcano, 117, K P McLaughlin

Weekend Review

“We bring you home”!

 We welcome you to our inaugural posting of “Down the Stretchs” with a quick recap of last weekend’s hottest “thoroughbred action”! 

The “Big Cap” at Santa Anita Park this past Saturday went to, wait for it, Game On Dude! We thought this group of mostly Cal/runners was a bit short on this 1 1/4 distance experience and that thought was confirmed after a 12 minute inquiry by the stewards that was brought on by a ton of bumping in the stretch between Twirling Candy, Setsuko and Game On Dude but they let the results stand after a “cogent” delay. A good thing too, as it appears to us on replay that all 3 should be taken down as “pin-balling” like that is a sure sign of tired horses folks!

Dialed In lose his Florida Derby warm up allowance tilt at Gulf Stream Park to stablemate Equestrio this past Sunday but he did come running for a close 2nd! 

Misremembered returned to racing for 2011 with a good win in the Santana Mile Stakes at Santa Anita Park also on Sunday doing the mile in 1:33.50, just a blink off the track record! Perhaps he ran a day late and $450,000 short! What do we know, we’re just “spit-balling” here! 

Stay Thirsty opened up his 3yo campaign with a win in the GIII Gotham Stakes on Saturday at Aqueduct. But before we crown him anything like a “Wood Memorial” favorite understand this race was not very well paced, the main competition never really fired in Toby’s Corner and he beat a 47/1 shot after cutting him off in the stretch by just 3 1/4 lengths in a less than spectacular time of 1:44.78 for 1 1/16 mile run. 

Fluke took the Frank E. Kilroe Turf Mile while Zazu and Turbulent Descent fired away at each other again in the Santa Anita Oaks tilt at Santa Anita with both races also on Saturday. Those two appear to be on the road to Louisville this May the 6th and a Kentucky Oaks date. 

This upcoming weekend should fun with the return of 2yo Eclipse award winner of last season in “Uncle Mo” and his much anticipated start to his 3yo campaign. As of now, he’ll either run in the Tampa Bay Derby or at Gulf Stream in that special stakes race they dreamed up just for him. So that’s something to look forward too.

So remember, we are always talking thoroughbred horse racing action here at Down The Stretchs!