It may be tough for this weekend to give us the build up and excitement that Super Saturday presented us with, but make no mistake this weekend we are faced with a plethora of intriguing and exciting grade one stakes, headed by none other than this years talent juvenile crop.
The Darley Alcibiades Stake will kick of the parade of juvenile races, and is headed by the wickedly fast Wickedly Perfect and unbeaten Wonderlandbynight. The former is seeking to rebound off a 4 1/2 length thrashing she received at the hooves of Tell A Kelly. The dashing grey has speed to burn and while her go go running style may raise questions about her ability to get the distance, the top half of her pedigree lists Belmont winner AP Indy as her grandsire. That could lend her plenty of stamina for this 8.5 furlong event.
Wonderlandbynight stormed down the stretch to take the Arlington Washington Lassie by 2 1/2, and looked good doing it. This dazzling chestnut seems just as effective at shorter distances as she does at longer. She crossed the line first in a five furlong event before coming back two races later to win at a flat mile. The extra furlong will most likely only be more of an advantage.
Friday, as exciting as it sounds, is just an opener for Saturday where the Frizette and Champagne Stakes take place at Belmont, while Keeneland gives us Breeders Futurity. In the Frizette, trainer Todd Pletcher takes aim with four talented fillies, topped by R Heat Lightning. The bay lass started off her career with a dazzling five length romp at Delaware Park, completing five furlongs in 58.78 seconds. After a small hiccup in her second start, where she was beaten one length, she went back to her winning ways, capturing the Spinaway Stakes by four lengths.
There are quite a few promising maiden winners that could jump up in this spot, but the one I like the best would be Joyful Victory. The classically bred filly broke her maiden over Delaware Park's main strip by a neck, going 8.5 furlongs. The final time 1.42.9 is solid to say the least. Her sire is Wood Memorial hero Tapit, who is on fire as a sire, while Breeders Cup Classic winner, Wild Again pops up as her broodmare sire. With breeding like this she should only get better with age and distance.
The Champagne Stakes is headlined by maiden winner Uncle Mo. To say this colt was impressive in his debut would be an understatement. He obliterated the field by 14 1/2 lengths, running 11 second furlongs like they were nothing. He made older sprinter stakes sprinters, who ran later on the card look like they ordinary. After running blistering opening splits they all faltered, running 13, even 14 second final furlongs. Uncle Mo ran the same speedway splits then clocked his last furlong in 11.76 seconds. If stablemate, Stay Thirsty, is scratched -as he is expected too- an upset by any others, would come as a complete shock.
Last but not least, the day unwinds with the Breeders Futurity. Unlike the last three races there is no immediate stand out. The favorite a maiden winner over turf is 4-1, with several horse sharing co-favoritism as the second choice. Out of all the horses I'm liking Major Gain. He was beaten by nearly three to Caleb's Posse, but turned the tables on that rival, winning the mile long Arlington Washington Futurity. Trying to pick the rest is like throwing darts blindfolded, so my hat is off to you if you can pick the top three.
Tomorrow will be Miler Madness here as I will take you through Oak Tree and Shadwell Turf Mile, while throwing in the 6 furlong Ancient Title just for fun.