The Three Chimney’s Hopeful Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course and the Del Mar Futurity (G1) at the Del Mar Racetrack highlight a full day of Labor Day stakes racing action for 2-year-old juveniles.
Undefeated Prince Rooney heads a field of 13 horses as the 9-2 morning line favorite in the $300,000 Hopeful Stakes. Prince Rooney (Tale Of The Cat-Rooney’s Princess by Deputy Minister) is trained by Steve Asmussen. He comes into the seven furlong Hopeful off a 15-length romp in the $85,000 Mountaineer Juvenile Stakes at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort. Here’s a look at the Mountaineer Juvenile:
Asmussen also has entered Enumerate who finished second to Backtalk in the Sanford Stakes (G2) and Grand Slam Andre who finished third behind Backtalk in the Bashford Manor Stakes (G3). Grand Slam Andre comes into the Hopeful with a pair of wins in the $75,000 Middleground Stakes at Lone Star Park and the $50,000 Clever Trevor Stakes at Remington Park.
Undefeated in three starts, Backtalk drew the far outside post 13 but trainer Tom Amoss is looking to add the Grade One Hopeful to his list of graded stakes wins. Backtalk is the 5-1 second choice and he comes into the race with a win in the Sanford and Bashford Manor Stakes.
Todd Pletcher has One Note Samba (15-1) and Aikenite (20-1) entered in the Hopeful. Both are coming into the race off maiden wins. One Note Samba broke his maiden in a 1:09 4/5 six furlong sprint at Saratoga and his pedigee shows that seven furlongs should not be a problem. At 15-1 morning line, One Note Samba may warrant a small wager.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas has high hopes for Dublin (8-1) who finished fourth to Backtalk in is debut but came back 20 days later to break his maiden at Saratoga in a brisk 1:09 2/5 six furlong sprint. The stretch out to seven furlongs should not be a problem for Dublin and if he can repeat his maiden winning performance, he could be a factor in the Hopeful.
Backtalk’s final time in the six furlong Sanford was 1:10 but in all three of his previous races he has shown that he has the kick to get up in time for the win.
My selections: Backtalk, Prince Rooney, Dublin and One Note Samba.
Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert has won the Del Mar Futurity eight times in the past 13 years and he is looking grab another win today and extend undefeated Lookin At Lucky’s winning streak in the $300,000 Del Mar Futurity. Made the 9-5 morning line favorite, Lookin At Lucky drew post one and comes into the Futurity with a three-quarter length win in the Best Pal Stakes (G2) over Make Music For Me (8-1) who is also entered in the Futurity and will start from post five.
Sterling Outlook is the 4-1 second choice. Trained by Peter Miller, Sterling Outlook has yet to race in stakes competition but finished second to Lookin At Lucky – beaten by three-quarters of a length – in a maiden race July 11.
Patrick Biancone’s Zip Quik, the 9-2 third choice, drew post two and comes into the Futurity with a second-place finish to D’ Funnybone in the Saratoga Special (G2).
Smiling Tiger (6-1) drew post four and comes into the race with a third-place in the Best Pal – two lengths behind Lookin At Lucky. Trained by Jeff Bonde, Smiling Tiger posted a bullet work on August 29.
A long shot that I like in this race is 20-1 Who’s Up. Trained by Kathy Walsh, Who’s Up is still a maiden and it will be a big stretch to step up into stakes company. But his Brisnet speed rating is the highest of all the horses in the race and his pedigree shows that seven furlongs should not be a problem. His sire Graeme Hall won the 2000 Arkansas Derby and Jim Dandy Stakes. His damsire Is It True won the 1988 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
So, at 20-1, I’ll give him a shot.
My selections: Who’s Up, Lookin At Lucky, Make Music For Me and Sterling Outlook.
Also on the Del Mar card is the six furlong $100,000 I’m Smoking Stakes for 2-year-olds bred or sired in California.
Brewer Racing Stable’s Yogaroo is the 2-1 morning line favorite. Yogaroo is trained by Wesley Ward and his most recent outing was a ninth-place finish to Radiohead in a five furlong turf sprint at Royal Ascot Great Britain.
Trained by Carla Gaines, second choice John Scott (7-2) will start from post one and he comes into the race with a maiden win. His sire, Bertrando, sired the 1999 I’m Smokin Stakes winner Stormy Jack.
Grace Upon Grace (4-1) gets the services of Garrett Gomez and will start from post seven. He comes into the race with a second place finish in the Willard Proctor Memorial and Graduation Stakes but he was a disappointing fourth to Necessary Evil in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes.
Doug O’Neill’s Wolf Tail (9-2) comes into the race with a win in the $100,000 Graduation Stakes. Wolf Tail gets the services of Joel Rosario and will start from post five.
Daylight Storm (12-1) looks like an intriguing long shot. He’s been in the money five times in six starts with two wins, a second and two third-place finishes. He finished third to Wolf Tail after dueling for the lead in the Graduation Stakes. His sire, Stormy Jack, won the 1999 I’m Smokin Stakes.
My selections: Wolf Tail, Daylight Storm, John Scott, Grace Upon Grace.
At Woodbine Racetrack a field 14 horses are entered in the $125,000 Simcoe Stakes for 2-year-old colts and geldings foaled in Canada.
This could be the best handicapping race of the day as 11 of the 14 horses entered are double digit morning line odds.
Six of the horses entered in the race have stakes racing experience but only Doctor Jack and Mobthewarrior are stakes-placed.
Doctor Jack, the 3-1 morning line favorite, drew the 13 post and gets the services of Tyler Pizarro. Doctor Jack comes into the race with a third-place finish in the $150,000 Clarendon Stakes.
Mobthewarrior (10-1) drew post four and he comes into the race with a third in the Vandal Stakes.
D’s Wando in post 11 is the 4-1 second choice. In his last outing he broke his maiden in a seven furlong sprint at Woodbine. I like the way he has been progressing and he has a nice pedigree too. His sire, Wando, is the 2003 Canadian Triple Crown Classic Champion Thoroughbred. His damsire, Bold Ruckus, is a Canadian Hall Of Fame Thoroughbred who has produced several stakes winners.
Legal Review drew post five and he is the 6-1 morning line third choice. Legal Review is trained by Mark Casse and he comes into the race with a three-length maiden win in a 5 1/2 furlong spint. His sire, Bold Executive, sired Legal Move who won the 2006 Simcoe Stakes. His grandsire is Bold Ruckus.
At 15-1 morning line odds, Bold Canadian looks like intriguing long shot. Bold Canadian’s sire Bold N’ Flashy was a multiple stakes winning sprinter and as a sire, in 10 crops of runners, he averaged 11% two-year-old winners.
Bold Canadian’s grandsire is Bold Ruckus and his damsire is the versatile Conquistador Cielo – winner of the 6-furlong Saratoga Special (G2), 12-furlong Belmont Stakes (G1), 8-furlong Metropolitan Handicap (G1), 9-furlong Dwyer Stakes (G2) and Jim Dandy Stakes (G3); Horse of the Year and 1982 Champion 3-year-old colt.
The sire of Bold Canadian’s third dam Periphery is the Hall of Fame Thoroughbred and Canada’s all-time leading sire Vice Regent. So Bold Canadian has the breeding and if he can put it together, he could be a good long shot bet.
Overall, I believe that most of these horses are evenly matched and there are several who could step up and win the Simcoe.
My selections: Bold Canadian, D's Wando, Legal Review and Doctor Jack.