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Thursday, June 30, 2005

Saturday Stakes Preview

- Big racing weekend coming up, here's a quick look at the graded stakes on Saturday. Perhpas I’ll return later and try to pick a couple of these.

- At Artlington, it’s the G3 Arlington Classic, a 3 yo turf race at a mile and a sixteenth. Southern Africa is the 5-2 second choice, coming off his unsuccessful attempt at a mile and a half in the Belmont, but Guillaume Tell has been installed as the 2-1 choice. The Team Valor/Todd Pletcher Chilean-bred French import actually remains winless since being imported, and is tabbed as favorite on the basis of his third to Rush Bay and Rey de Cafe in his last.

- Belmont has the G1 Suburban, and despite the absence of Limehouse and Eddington, it’s not a bad race, and it will one of four races to be televised live on ESPN, all right! I mean, it’s too bad that no one other than fans and bettors have any incentive to tune in, as the industry still hasn’t adopted my suggestions to get people to watch, but it’s cool anyway. I don’t believe there’s a national pick 4 though, is there? Offlee Wild looks to bounce back from his disasterous effort in the slop in the Pimlico Special, faces the tough Pollard’s Vision, the picky Funny Cide, and Record Buster, a scary one making just his 4th start for Frankel.

Also at Belmont and also on ESPN is the G2 New York Handicap. It’s a mile and a quarter on the turf for 3 and up fillies and mares.

- Churchill Downs has the Grade 3 Locust Grove Handicap; 9 furlongs on the turf for 3 and up fillies and mares, with Katdogawn and Delta Princess heading the field.

- The United Nations Handicap is a mile and three eights at Monmouth on the turf for 3 a nd up. Last year’s BC Turf winner Better Talk Now has had a mixed bag of a season thus far and has no excuse against this field, especially with the prospect of a soft turf course and stablemate Shake the Bank on hand to insure an honest pace. [Bloodhorse] Frankel’s pair License to Run and Exterior should be the main threats. This one is also on ESPN.

- Prairie Meadows has the G2 Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap for 3&up at 9f.

- The 3 yo second stringers go in the G2 Ohio Derby, the 11th race in a mammoth 15 race card! Magna Graduate is the 5-2 morning line favorite which I don’t think says that much about the rest of the field considering he’s coming off of two 4ths and a third against similar competition. Belmont last place finisher Pinpoint is second choice for Zito.