Consider this your weekly guide to the best stakes in North America. This week we have massive stakes cards at Aqueduct Racetrack, Keeneland, and Santa Anita Park built around three top Triple Crown preps.
Favored at odds of 3-2 in a five-horse field, the 5-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid wore down 9-5 second choice Madefromlucky to take the 1 1/4-mile test in 2:04.52.
Kid Cruz will look to add more black type to his resume when he faces four competitors in the $200,000 Excelsior Stakes (gr. III) April 9 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Instead of 3-5 favorite Wicked Strong winning in his second start of the season, it was the 6-1 Effinex who made a sweeping move on the final turn and put away pacesetter Red Rifle to win the 1 1/4-mile test.
Wicked Strong, winner of last year's TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial (gr. I) and Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II), tries to get back on a winning track April 25 as he takes on seven opponents in the $200,000 Excelsior Stakes (gr. III).
Godolphin entrymates Romansh and Long River ran one-two, respectivley, in the $150,000 Excelsior Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct Racetrack March 22.
TimeformUS Weekend Plays from Turfway, Aqueduct, Santa Anita and Sunland read blog
Long River and Romansh face five opponents in the 1 1/8-mile test for older horses at Aqueduct March 22.
Won the Excelsior Stakes on March 23 for his 5th straight win. More
Last Gunfighter overcame a troubled start and came through on the rail to win the $150,000 Excelsior Stakes (gr. III) March 23 at Aqueduct, while 2011 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Ruler On Ice finished fifth.
The 3-1 second choice on the morning line for the $150,000 Excelsior Stakes (gr. III) March 23 at Aqueduct Racetrack is 2011 Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice, who won an Aqueduct optional claimer Jan. 30.
A sharp claim a year ago, Marilyn's Guy notched his first graded stakes victory March 17 at Aqueduct when he held off a game effort by San Pablo to win by a neck in the $150,000 Excelsior (gr. III).
Burning Sands Stable's San Pablo has been nearly flawless for more than a year, and now he will try to take his game to the next level in the $150,000 Excelsior Stakes (gr. III) March 17 at Aqueduct.
New York-bred Inherit the Gold bagged his fifth consecutive win and scored in his graded-stakes debut when he powered home to a 6 1/4-length victory in the $100,000 Excelsior Stakes (gr. III) April 2 at Aqueduct.
New York-bred Inherit the Gold was pegged as the 9-5 morning line favorite for the $100,000 Excelsior (gr. III) April 2 at Aqueduct.
Sent off at 19-1 in a six-horse field, More Than a Reason came from off the pace and ran down Stormy's Majesty in the final strides to win the $100,000 Queens County (gr. III) Dec. 11 and notch his first stakes victory.
Eightyfiveinafifty will return against six rivals in the $200,000 Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III) April 3 at Aqueduct.
Surprise winner of the $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) two months ago, former claimer Furthest Land returns to Santa Anita Jan. 9 for the $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II).
Barry Schwartz's Rodman took advantage of an unexpectedly easy lead and was never seriously challenged while romping to a 5 3/4-length score in the $107,500 Queens County Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct Dec. 12.
Parading returns to the scene of his most lopsided stakes victory earlier this year when he takes on nine rivals in Keeneland's $150,000 Fayette Stakes on Oct. 31, closing day for the Lexington track's short fall meet.
Whatever name you want to give them, Todd's Tots, Pletcher's Pups, you can be sure you'll be hearing from Todd Pletcher's 2-year-olds in the Breeders' Cup juvenile races, and more importantly on next year's Triple Crown trail. That's when they really will shine.
Southern California shipper Awesome Gem came from off the pace to run down Nite Light in deep stretch for a 1 1/4-length win in the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (gr. II) at muddy Hawthorne Park Oct. 3.
Edward Evans' Nite Light took advantage of pedestrian fractions and went gate-to-wire in the $100,000 Turfway Park Fall Championship Stakes (gr. III) Sept. 12 in Florence, Ky.
Alcomo, a multiple stakes winner in his native Brazil, finally showed his winning U.S. form when he took over off the final turn and drew away for a 1 3/4-length score in the $200,000 Greenwood Cup July 18 at Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack.
Eldaafer and Nite Light, separated by only a nose in last month's Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II), will meet again July 18, this time with a Breeders' Cup berth on the line. The older horses will square off in the $250,000 Greenwood Cup at Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack.
|Horse||Trainer||Breeder / Owner|
|Goldsville||Michael E. Hushion||
|More Than a Reason||Randi Persaud||
|National Pride||Kiaran P. McLaughlin||
|Nite Light||Todd A. Pletcher||
|Seniors Pride||Todd A. Pletcher||
|Stargleam||William Badgett, Jr.||
Upcoming Stakes Entries
|New York Stallion S.||BEL|
|New York Stallion S.||BEL|
|Irish Day S.||EMD|
|Emerald Downs H.||HST|
|Southern Truce S.||SA|