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.
Washington-based freshman sire Understatement saw his first winner Oct. 1 when filly Classic Statement drew off to a five-length score in the fourth race at Hastings Racecourse.
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.
Dual stakes winner Understatement was represented by his first foal when a colt was born in Oregon Feb. 9.
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.
Understatement, a dual stakes-winning son of Distorted Humor and $1,050,000 Keeneland September yearling, has been retired to stallion duty at Oakhurst Thoroughbreds in Newburg, Oregon.
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.
A field of 12, including six horses that have won over the Keeneland main track, line up for an interesting edition of the $150,000 Fayette Stakes (gr. II) Oct. 29 on closing day of the fall meet.
Led by grade I winner Haynesfield, eight New York-breds will go to post Oct. 22 for the 36th running of the $200,000 McMahon Adena Empire Classic, the centerpiece of New York Showcase Day at Belmont Park.
Drosselmeyer, out of the money in two starts since he won last June's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), got back to the winner's circle in his May 15 return to the Elmont, N.Y., track.
The rematch between the one-two finishers in this year's Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) in the April 16 Charles Town Classic (gr. III) appeared doubtful the evening of April 11.
The 2011 Florida Derby, Swale, Skip Away, and more! View Slideshow
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.
Veteran millionaire Arson Squad, a two-time grade III winner this season, and 3-year-old Stormy's Majesty, who scored the Discovery Handicap last out, are the standouts among a field of six in the Queens County H.
|Horse||Trainer||Breeder / Owner|
|Goombada Guska||Patricia Farro||
|Inherit the Gold||James Hooper||
|Modern Cowboy||Kieron Magee||
|More Than a Reason||Randi Persaud||
|Understatement||Todd A. Pletcher||
Upcoming Stakes Entries
|Clasico Constitucion S. (G1)||CMR|
|Prince of Wales S.||FE|
|Cougar II H. (G3)||DMR|
|Jonathan Kiser Novice S.||SAR|