Weekend Watch: Saratoga, Del Mar stakes lead strong Sunday

Weekend Watch: Saratoga, Del Mar stakes lead strong Sunday
Photo: Benoit

Each weekend, Horse Racing Nation previews the top races to tune into coast to coast and runs down the main contenders. All times are Eastern for this glance at Sunday's stakes of note.

Saratoga, Race 4: 2:07 p.m.

Superstar in the making Guarana will try to go a perfect 3-for-3 to open career when she breaks from the rail in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks. Trained by Chad Brown, the Ghostzapper filly was a 14 ¾-length debut winner. As if that wasn’t enough, she trounced the Acorn (G1) field, which included Kentucky Oaks heroine Serengeti Empress. Tabbed as the heavy 2-5 favorite, Guarana will only face four others, including Black-Eyed Susan (G2) winner Point of Honor and Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) winner Champagne Anyone in this race postponed from Saturday's canceled Saratoga card.

Saratoga, Race 11: 6:16 p.m.

Chad Brown-trained Significant Form returned a winner just last month after receiving a rest following a disappointing 3-year old season. Some time away, along with a cutback in distance, proved key for the Creative Cause filly. She will continue to sprint as the favorite in the Caress Stakes, a 5 ½-furlong event for older fillies and mares. Veteran Morticia won’t make things easy for her, however, coming off a smart victory in allowance company. Mrs. Romana G. and Fire Key have shown recent good form and could fill out the exotics, if not spring a mild upset.

Del Mar, Race 4: 6:30 p.m.

will defend his title in the Grade 2 Eddie Read Stakes. The 6-year old son of Kitten’s Joy is perfect at Del Mar and at the nine-furlong distance. His last win was at last year’s Del Mar meet, but he’s been competitive in the interim. Second choice Sharp Samurai enters off a close third in the American (G3), while Marckie’s Water won a Grade 2 event in his last outing and Bowie’s Hero ran third in the Shoemaker (G1) last out. Two others complete the field.

Del Mar, Race 6: 7:38 p.m.

For trainer John Sadler and owner Hronis Racing -- always a potent combination -- Higher Power found some new life on turf last out in what was his second start for new connections. Also fifth in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1), the 4-year-old by Medaglia d'Oro beat winners on the grass and will stay there as the favorite for the Wickerr Stakes. Last year's Wickerr runner-up, Bombard, also goes for trainer Richard Mandella. He has only run once since then, however, with Mark Glatt-trained Souter next on the morning line.

Saratoga, Race 13: 7:20 p.m.

The Grade 3 Shuvee Stakes looks to be a match race between La Troienne (G1) winner She’s a Julie and Beldame Invitational (G1) winner Wow Cat, who will make her 2019 debut in this spot. The former already has three races in for the year, including victories in two graded stakes. Wow Cat, on the other hand, has not appeared since finishing a strong second to Monomoy Girl in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Wow Cat has also never been worse than third in her career, which has spanned two continents thus far. The Lookin At Lucky mare has been tabbed the 9-5 favorite in a field that will scratch from eight runners to six. 

Meet Ashley Tamulonis

Despite growing up in a non-horse racing state, Ashley has been a fan of the sport since a young age. Her love for horse racing was fostered through the kids book series Thoroughbred by Joanna Campbell, which led her to educate herself on the ins and outs of the sport. Since becoming actively involved in the industry just a few years ago, Ashley has had the opportunity to meet many important players in the industry, attend the Eclipse Awards, see personal favorite Mucho Macho Man race twice in person, and befriend many of the fantastic fans and horsemen involved in the sport.

Ashley began her time with Horse Racing Nation covering racing in South Florida but also blogged about nationwide racing, industry issues and, from time to time, offered her opinion on how various changes could be beneficial to the industry. A move North to New Hampshire began both a new chapter in both Ashley's personal life and professional life. She currently pens the From Coast to Coast blog for HRN. Ashley also participates as a voter in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Polls.

An alumni of Macon State College, Ashley is from Central Georgia but is currently living in New Hampshire with her husband, Chris, and their two sons Charlie and Michael. A stay-at-home mom, Ashley juggles parenting with blogging and her other passions. Aside from horse racing, Ashley is a fervent football fan, enjoys reading and studying history, and hopes to someday author a historical work covering the Tudor period as well as biographies of horse racing s stars, equine and human alike.

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