Weekend Watch: Turf stars in action at Arlington Park, Saratoga

Weekend Watch: Turf stars in action at Arlington Park, Saratoga
Photo: Coady Photography

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.


Saratoga, Race 8: 5:11 p.m.

Grade 2 Saratoga Special morning line favorite Green Light Go was a strong debut winner at Belmont on Independence Day. The Hard Spun colt was then flattered when Another Miracle, the runner-up that day, came back to win at second asking. Noose, the second choice, was a five length debut winner at Churchill Downs in June for trainer Eddie Kenneally and signaled his readiness for this spot with a bullet half-mile work on August 2. Long Weekend was certainly impressive in his debut, taking the field gate-to-wire while steadily increasing his advantage. He earned a 92 Equibase Speed Figure, the highest number in the field.

Arlington, Race 9: 5:53 p.m.

Turf champion Sistercharlie tops a weak renewal of the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes. Her biggest competition will come from the Aidan O’Brien duo of Fleeting (IRE) and Magic Wand, who is likely to run in the Grade 1 Arlington Million. American Oaks (G1) winner Competitionofideas has burned bettors for three straight races, running second in a trio of graded stakes this year. She would have to move early to beat Sistercharlie, but she certainly has the class to hit the board if nothing else. The winner will also receive a fees paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

Saratoga, Race 9: 5:46 p.m.

The Grade 1 Fourstardave Handicap field will be competing for a fees paid berth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile as well as the winner’s share of the $500,000 purse. Chad Brown will be saddling the morning line favorite, the mare Uni. The grade one winner just started her year in late June but returned as good as ever off the layoff. Stablemate Raging Bull will break just to her outside and was most recently third behind the two Arlington Million favorites in the Manhattan (G1). Hembree has had a string of bad luck, running second in his last three starts. This will be a step up in class for the son of Proud Citizen, but he certainly has a shot at hitting the board.

Arlington, Race 10: 6:28 p.m.

The Grade 1, one mile Secretariat Stakes attracted a field of nine 3-year olds topped by the Chad Brown trained grade one winner Fog of War. The War Front colt is a tepid 3-1 favorite, however, due to not having won a race yet this season. American Derby (G3) winner Faraway Kitten is the second choice and has won two straight, though this will be a definite step up in class for the Mike Maker trainee. American Derby runner-ups Crafty Daddy and The Last Zip are also back for more. Fog of War’s stablemate Valid Point is undefeated in two starts but is diving straight into the deep end here.

Arlington, Race 11: 7:12 p.m.

While the Grade 1 Beverly D. came up light, the Grade 1 Arlington Million drew a field of ten that ended up being top heavy. Bricks and Mortar, who has rattled off 5 straight victories since his return, three of them grade one events, is the heavy 8-5 favorite over defending Arlington Million champion and stablemate Robert Bruce. Those two will likely be joined by Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) runner-up Magic Wand, who is also cross-entered in the Beverly D. Arlington Handicap (G3) winner Bandua will try to build on that victory, but so far, the 4-year old colt has not faired well at the highest level.

Arlington, Race 12: 7:55 p.m.

It should be no surprise that Chad Brown also has the favorite, Café Americano, in the Grade 3 Pucker Up Stakes. The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro drops into this spot off a sixth place finish in the Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1). It will also be a cutback in distance for the filly. She will face stakes winner Winter Sunset, who has placed in three graded events since winning a minor stakes at Fair Grounds in February. Princesa Carolina and Indigo Gin, who both exit the Hatoof Stakes, could be dangerous here, but they will need to step it up to beat the favorites.

Del Mar, Race 8: 8:39 p.m.

There may not be any dogs involved, but the famed Austrian physicist will be well represented in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes by the Simon Callaghan trained Schrodinger. The Justin Phillip colt debuted a winner at Los Alamitos and has been looking sharp in his morning works. He will face the undefeated Fore Left, who won the Tremont Stakes at Belmont in his last outing. Wrecking Crew is looking promising for trainer Peter Miller and already has a win at the Best Pal distance of six furlongs. The winner here will likely be favored in next month’s Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity if they go in that spot.


Del Mar, Race 8: 8:00 p.m.

Graded stakes placed Anonymity will be looking to score her first graded win when she breaks from post five in the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Handicap. The 5-year old Tapit mare has faced some of the top distaff sprinters in her last three starts, so this is looking like a great spot for her to have her coming out party. Lady Ninja has won her last two starts and is looking to get some black type in this spot. Earlier this year, Danuska’s My Girl won two consecutive grade three events but could only manage fourth in her last outing.

Emerald Downs, Race 7: 8:30 p.m.

enters the Grade 3 Longacres Mile on a three race win streak, all in stakes company. The 5-year old is a perfect 2-for-2 at Emerald Downs but seems to be best sprinting. Aside from the fact that Anyportinastorm has not won going a mile, he does appear to be standing head and shoulders above the rest of his competition.

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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