Thursday, 14 November 2013 09:23

The Weekend Ahead by Jason Beem

Written by Jason Beem
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Live Racing returns at Northlands on Friday and Saturday

After a week break, live racing returns to Northlands Park on Friday and Saturday night, first post at 6pm both evenings.


Friday Night’s feature is the Fillies and Mares Open Pace and is carded as race 9.  Keep the Dream will look to keep her winning streak going as she’s a perfect four for four since coming to Alberta from Mohawk.  The three year old filly will be driven by Keith Clark and in her two starts at Northlands Park she’s gone wire to wire by huge margins.  She’s stepping up a touch in class but she’s red hot!  Gts Jerilyn drew right to Keep The Dream’s outside in post two and she also usually is pretty close to the lead early on, so don’t be surprised if she gets a good pocket trip in second, because other than Credit Card Junkie on the outside, there isn’t a ton of early pace in this race.  Credit Card Junkie has been very consistant, as other than a sixth place finish on October 5th at Alberta Downs, she almost always hits the board.   Doober Hoozzitz hasn’t hit the board in a long time and figures to be a long shot again.  But she’s an old veteran and if she can find some of her old form, she can always jump up and throw in a big effort.

Open Boys headline Saturday Night card

The top class males will go to post in race 10 at Northlands on Saturday Night all competing for their share of a $9,000 purse.  Flak Jacket is coming off a win against many of these same rivals just two weeks ago, but he had a nice pocket trip that day, and with a full field in this race, he’s going to have to once again work out a nice trip to get the win.  The 2/1 morning line favorite role has been assigned to Cowboy Caper, who was eighth early on in the Flak Jacket race before flying late and making up five lengths in the stretch to finish third, beaten only three quarters of a length.  Blue Star Admiral is coming out of the Alberta Sires Stakes series races.  He was second in the $53,600 Maverick Stakes and fourth in the Super Final, both times behind the very tough Play Me Right.  Big N Bad drew the rail spot and ships in from Fraser Downs where he was a winner two starts back.  Ryan Campbell will take over the driving assignment on him. 

North American Racing News

Mrs. Revere Stakes headlines Churchill Saturday night Stakes Double

Churchill Downs will have a Saturday evening program that gets underway at 2:30pm and the $175,000 Grade 2 Mrs. Revere Stakes drew a full field of fourteen.  As with any turf stakes these days, there are a few Kitten’s in the field, with Emotional Kitten and Quality Kitten both drawn to the two inside posts.  Emotional Kitten is multiple Grade 1 placed and was closing last time in the Queen Elizabeth II at Keeneland, finishing seventh, but beaten only three lengths.  Quality Kitten on the other hand will be making her stakes debut after a pair of impressive wins to start her career.

Tapicatdrew out in the thirteen hole and she should be part of the early speed, so the post position won’t matter as she’ll have the entire length of the stretch to clear over towards the hedge.  Tapicat won the Florida Oaks at Gulfstream this spring and was close in a couple of Grade 2 events this summer at Saratoga.  Most recently she was second in the Pebbles Stakes at Belmont and her regular rider Mike Smith will make the trip to Churchill to ride.  Effie Trinket will also take some money at the windows as she’s proven to be a win machine on the grass in New York, winning 6 of 10 lifetime.  But she’s been doing that against state-bred competition, so this will only be her second try against graded runners, her first being a 9th place finish in a Grade 3. 

Thirteen horses will go in the $100,000 Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf Stakes at a mile and one sixteenth for three year olds.  Central Banker returns to the grass where he’s already a stakes winner.  He tried the synthetic last time and while he finished fourth last time out at Keeneland, he racked up a career top speed figure.  River Seven just dominated the $100,000 Labeeb Stakes at Woodbine last time and he was a big presence all throughout the Canadian Triple Crown, finishing second in both the Prince of Wales and the Breeders’ Stakes.

Northlands Selections for the Mrs. Revere

  1. Tapicat
  2. Effie Trinket
  3. Emotional Kitten

                Longshot: I’m Already Sexy

Northlands Selections for the Commonwealth

  1. Ruler of Love
  2. Winning Cause
  3. River Seven

                Longshot: Dorsett


Four-pack of stakes at Laurel on Saturday

Laurel Park will showcase four $100,000 Stakes events on their big Saturday card that gets underway at 10:35am.  The first is the Jennings Handicap could be another exhibition for Eighttofasttocatch who dominated the Maryland Millions Classic last time out.  Bellefire ships up from Florida off a win and his one start at Laurel was a good second place finish in a $100,000 event.  Who’s In Town has a big class edge in the $100,000 Smart Halo Stakes.  Who’s In Town finished first in the Grade 2 Adirondack at Saratoga before being disqualified.  She was just fourth in the Grade 1 Alcibiades and will likely be a big favorite in this spot.  Her main competition will come from Hug a Tree and Co Cola, both of whom are undefeated in their short careers and are making the jump to stakes competition. 

The $100,000 Dave’s Friend Stakes features Maryland legend Ben’s Cat who is a win machine on any surface.  He’ll get tested on Saturday though as Guam Typhoon came to Laurel for his last start and dominated by five lengths and picked up a big figure in doing so.  Just like Ben’s Cat, he’s over a 50% winner in his career, so something will have to give when these two titans hook up.  It’s a Bang will look to run his career record to 3 for 3 as he drew the inside post in the James Lewis Stakes.  He scored impressively in the Maryland Millions Nursery Stakes last time out, but that was only facing five rivals.  He’ll have to compete with a full field of twelve in this spot. Pure Sensation could be the one to watch out for as he showed marked improvement breaking his maiden last time out.

Northlands Selections for the Jennings H.

  1. Eighttofasttocatch
  2. Bellefire
  3. Wild Louis

                Longshot: Concealed Identity

Northlands Selections for the Smart Halo

  1. Hug a Tree
  2. Who’s In Town
  3. Co Cola

                Longshot: Henny’s Princess

Northlands Selections for the Dave’s Friend Stakes

  1. Guam Typhoon
  2. Ben’s Cat
  3. Rainbow Heir

                Longshot: Service For Ten

Northlands Selections for the James Lewis

  1. Pure Sensation
  2. It’s a Bang
  3. Joint Custody

                Longshot: Aaron’s Orient


Sharp Cat Stakes is the Hollywood Park prep for the Starlet

Six two year-old fillies will be prepping for the Grade 1 Starlet on Saturday in the Grade 3 Sharp Cat Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park.  With all the top stakes runners competing in the recent Breeders’ Cup, the young up and comers will take their shot at at $100,000 pot on Saturday.  Bob Baffert will send out Georgia who was a big maiden breaking winner in her second start.  Rafael Bejarano will ride Georgia who drew post two, just outside of the rail runner Be Proud.  Be Proud was second to Georgia in her maiden breaking score and came right back to break her own maiden next time out by five and a quarter lengths.  Pleasant Miss might be the horse who most enjoys the synthetic, as her entire career so far has been all on either synthetic or turf.  She was third in the Landaluce Stakes, only a length and a half behind She’s a Tiger who finished first before disqualification in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. 

Northlands Selections for the Sharp Cat

  1. Georgia
  2. Pleasant Miss
  3. Be Proud

                Longshot: Saintly Joan












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