North American Racing News
Historic final meet gets underway at Betfair Hollywood Park
Betfair Hollywood Park will commence its final meet ever on Thursday November 7th and the track will certainly go out in style. Four Grade 1 races will be contested during the course of the 7 week meet that goes until December 22nd. The annual Autumn Turf Festival will be run on Thanksgiving weekend and will feature a pair of Grade 1’s, the Matriarch and Hollywood Derby, both of which will be run on Sunday December 1st. The two Saturday’s after that will both feature Grade 1 action as well, with the $500,000 Starlet on December 7th and the $750,000 CashCall Futurity on December 14th.
Opening weekend is headlined on Saturday by the $100,000 Moccasin for two year old fillies at seven furlongs. Bajan is the only one of the six entrants with more than a maiden win, as she took home the $70,000 Anoakia Stakes at Santa Anita last month. She beat E Equalsmcsquared that day who was second and will be back to take her on once again. E Equalsmcsquared broke her maiden for just a $25,000 level at Lone Star this past spring, but if you look back to her next start after that, she almost upset She’s a Tiger in the Landaluce, only being beaten by that rival by half a length. She’s A Tiger of course went on to finish first in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies before being disqualified. Doug O’Neill claimed For Emma out of her first career start for $50,000, a race she won by ten lengths. O’Neill will jump her into this spot, but with some improvement second out, she could be a big contender.
Betfair Hollywood Park will run on a Thursday through Sunday schedule with first post at 1:30pm, with the exception of the special American Thanksgiving Day card on November 28th that starts at noon.
Northlands Selections for the Moccasin
- For Emma
- E Equalsmcsquared
Longshot: Lemon De Oro
Sunshine Millions Preview Day at Gulfstream on Saturday
Sunshine Millions Day isn’t until January 18th at Gulfstream Park, but this Saturday will feature eight stakes events worth over a million dollars in purses to get the Florida breds tuned up. The $150,000 Millions Classic Preview is the co-headliner along with the Distaff Preview. The Classic Preview features some talented runners including Grade 1 Jackson Bend. Jackson Bend was second in the Grade 1 Forego two starts back and will look to get back on track as he tries his first two turn race in well over a year. Sr. Quisqueyano seems to either win or run up the track, but when he’s on his game he’s very tough. He’s 2 for 5 at the mile and one sixteenth distance and 2 for 6 at Gulfstream, so if the good Sr. Quisqueyano shows up, then he is certainly a contender. Souper Speedy seems to be at his best on or near the lead and he seems to have found a race without much early pace. He was put up in the Jaiper Stakes after a disqualification and two starts back he won at Saratoga. He found the company in the Grade 2 Kelso a bit too tough, but this spot could be just right for him.
The $150,000 Distaff Preview drew a small field of five, but it’s a strong group. My Pal Chrissy is a multiple stakes winner and took the Paseana Stakes at Gulfstream earlier this summer. She’ll have to best Awesome Belle who is also a multiple stakes winner. Awesome Belle hasn’t hit the winner’s circle in her last four starts, but she was turfing for most of those tries and gets back back to the main track in here.
Northlands Selections for the Millions Classic Preview
- Souper Speedy
- Sr. Quisqueyano
- Jackson Bend
Longshot: Cash Rules
Northlands Selections for the Millions Distaff Preview
- My Pal Chrissy
- Awesome Belle
Challenge Championship Night at Los Alamitos one of Quarter Horse Racing’s biggest nights
The Bank of America Challenge Championship night on Saturday is one of Quarter Horse Racing’s biggest nights, as horses from all over the country will gather to compete for huge money. The $350,000 Bank of American Challenge Championship is the headlining event and multiple Grade 1 winner Cold Cash 123 could be the one to beat. He’s drawn the far outside post position and qualified by winning his Challenge race at Remington Park. Cold Cash 123 came back to Los Alamitos last time out and ran eighth in the Grade 1 Go Man Go Handicap. One of his biggest competitors could be from the Northwest as Emerald Downs Challenge winner Vodka with Ice is capable of putting up some fast times. He had rattled off three straight wins before finishing third in his first try at Los Alamitos this season.
The Adequan Derby Challenge features recent Grade 3 winner IV Gone who is coming over from Will Rogers Downs. IV Gone was a cheap claimer but has made his way up the ladder, peaking in his last race with that Grade 3 win. Sfr Stuck On You is a Los Al based runner and home track advantage is always important. He picks up Eduardo Nicasio and they are coming off a stakes win at Los Al.
Bank of America Challenge Championship Night gets underway at 7pm.
Northlands Selections for the B of A Challenge Championship
- Cold Cash 123
- Vodka With Ice
- Sparky E Boy
Longshot: Specials Gold
Northlands Selections for the Adequan Derby
- Sfr Stuck On You
- Royal Regard
- IV Gone
Longshot: If I Were Famous
Cardinal Handicap headlines Churchill Saturday
Churchill Downs’ feature event on Saturday is the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap over the grass for the distaff division. Solid Appeal and Somali Lemonade were both given the nod of high-weight in the field ten who will go a mile and one eighth. Solid Appeal won a couple of Grade 2 events earlier in the summer at Woodbine before finishing sixth behind Dank in the Beverly D. Solid Appeal has only run at Churchill Downs one other time and that was in the Mrs. Revere Stakes in 2012, when she ran fourth behind Centre Court, who’s a very tough runner. Somali Lemonade was only a head away from being a Grade 1 winner in last year’s Flower Bowl at Belmont, but she doesn’t find the winner’s circle all that often. She was running behind the toughest grass fillies on the East Coast in her last two starts, so she should appreciate a little class relief.
Starstruckcouldn’t quite keep up with Grade 1 runners in the Rodeo Drive last time out, so she’ll ship back to Churchill Downs which has been her home base since coming to the States. Abaco was just second in the Athenia Stakes at Belmont, a Grade 3 event. She’ll be making her first start at Churchill Downs, but if they go fast up front early on, she could be dangerous late.
Northlands Selections for the Cardinal Handicap
- Solid Appeal
Longshot: Miz Ida