First Look: Graded stakes this weekend + Derby, Oaks cards

First Look: Graded stakes this weekend + Derby, Oaks cards
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Win Big on the Kentucky Derby This Year!

This weekend seems like the intermission in a Broadway play. For the racing world, Act 1 was the prep season for the Kentucky Derby and Oaks. We can catch our breath with only two graded stakes on the calendar while we gear up for next weekend's big races.

[RELATED – Kentucky Derby 2021 odds: Early morning line]

Here is a look at the likely fields for those stakes plus a look ahead to next weekend's action at Churchill Downs.

Friday

Bewitch (G3), Keeneland, 1 1/2 miles (turf), fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up

War Like Goddess did not race until September, breaking her maiden on first try. She debuted this year with a fifth-place finish in The Very One (G3) before scoring in the Orchid (G3). Delta's Kingdom hit the board in her last six starts but hasn't had a win since September 2019. Dominga's second-place finish in the Tom Benson Memorial Stakes came after a seven-month layoff.

2021 Bewitch (G3)

Saturday

Santa Margarita (G2), Santa Anita, 1 1/8 miles, fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up

Harvest Moon finished fourth in her 2021 debut in the Beholder Mile (G1), won by Swiss Skydiver. She also was fourth in the Breeders' Cup Distaff but won four in a row before that. Finishing second in the Beholder Mile was As Time Goes By, a daughter of American Pharoah trained by Bob Baffert. He also expected to start Crystal Ball, who is looking to return to form after an allowance win on April 2. Warren's Showtime has hit the board in 15 consecutive starts but hasn't won since the Auburn Miss (G3) in October.

2021 Santa Margarita (G2)

Here are the possible fields for the April 30 Kentucky Oaks, the May 1 Kentucky Derby and the races on their undercards.

Kentucky Oaks

The rematch between Travel Column and Clairiere – who finished two-one, one-two and two-one in their last three races – is getting a lot of attention ahead of this race, but Todd Pletcher's Malathaat comes in undefeated in four starts. She scored in the Ashland (G1) and Demoiselle (G2) her last two starts. And Search Results is 3-for-3 for Chad Brown.

2021 Kentucky Oaks (G1)

*Rating is based on HRN fan votes, which rank the top active horses in training.
RankSilksHorse / SireRatingTrainer / JockeyLast StartStatus
 Malathaat
Curlin
7.24
T. Pletcher
1st, 2021 Ashland (G1) 
Probable
 Clairiere
Curlin
6.72
S. Asmussen
2nd, 2021 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2)
Probable
 Travel Column
Frosted
6.55
B. Cox
1st, 2021 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2)
Probable
 Souper Sensational
Curlin
6.52
M. Casse
3rd, 2021 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2)
Possible
 Search Results
Flatter
6.27
C. Brown
1st, 2021 Gazelle (G2) 
Probable
 Coach
Commissioner
6.20
B. Cox
3rd, 2021 Fantasy (G3) 
Possible
 Soothsay
Distorted Humor
6.17
R. Mandella
1st, 2021 Santa Anita Oaks (G2) 
Probable
 Crazy Beautiful
Liam's Map
5.73
K. McPeek
1st, 2021 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2)
Probable
 Moraz
Empire Maker
5.67
M. McCarthy
3rd, 2021 Santa Anita Oaks (G2) 
Probable
 Pass the Champagne
Flatter
5.67
G. Arnold II
2nd, 2021 Ashland (G1) 
Probable
 Millefeuille
Curlin
5.66
W. Mott
2nd, 2021 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2)
Probable
 Will's Secret
Will Take Charge
5.55
D. Stewart
3rd, 2021 Ashland (G1) 
Probable
 Army Wife
Declaration of War
5.34
M. Maker
3rd, 2021 Gazelle (G2) 
Possible
 Ava's Grace
Laoban
5.34
R. Diodoro
2nd, 2021 Fantasy (G3) 
Probable
 Pauline's Pearl
Tapit
5.34
S. Asmussen
1st, 2021 Fantasy (G3) 
Probable
 Maracuja
Honor Code
5.12
R. Atras
2nd, 2021 Gazelle (G2) 
Probable
 Competitive Speed
Competitive Edge
4.45
J. Gonzalez
3rd, 2021 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2)
Probable
 Moon Swag
Malibu Moon
4.12
B. Walsh
4th, 2021 Ashland (G1) 
Possible
 Spritz
Awesome Again
M. Stidham
2nd, 2021 Bourbonette Oaks (LS)
Possible

Here are probables for races on the Kentucky Oaks undercard. Click on the race names for more information.

$250,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G2)

American Butterfly (D. Wayne Lukas); Carotari (Brian Lynch); Classy John (Dallas Stewart): Diamond Oops (Patrick Biancone); Firecrow (Ron Moquett); Just Might (Michelle Lovell); and Sombeyay (Peter Miller).

$300,000 Edgewood (G2)

Aunt Pearl (Brad Cox); I Get It (Mark Casse); Oliviaofthedesert (Kenny McPeek); Postnup (Cherie Devaux); and Queen of the Green (Jason Barkley). Possible: Jouster (Todd Pletcher) and Zaajel (Pletcher).

$300,000 Eight Belles (G2)

Abrogate (Steve Asmussen); Dayoutoftheoffice (Tim Hamm); Euphoric (Bernie Flint); Slumber Party (Kelly Breen); Sun Path (Brad Cox); and Windmill (Larry Jones). Possible: Joyful Cadence (John Ortiz).

$400,000 Alysheba (G2)

Attachment Rate (Dale Romans); Chess Chief (Dallas Stewart); Maxfield (Brendan Walsh); Roadster (Bob Baffert); Sonneman (Steve Asmussen); and Visitant (Bill Morey).

$500,000 La Troienne (G1)

As Time Goes By (Bob Baffert); Dunbar Road (Chad Brown); Envoutante (Kenny McPeek); Paris Lights (Bill Mott); Sanenus (Michael McCarthy); and Shedaresthedevil (Brad Cox). Possible: Finite (Steve Asmussen).

Kentucky Derby

Three undefeated colts are expected in the gate – Essential Quality has five wins, and Rock Your World and Helium have three each. Other compelling contenders include Louisiana Derby (G1) winner Hot Rod Charlie, Florida Derby (G1) winner Known Agenda and Arkansas Derby (G2) winner Super Stock.

2021 Kentucky Derby (G1)

*Rating is based on HRN fan votes, which rank the top active horses in training.
RankSilksHorse / SireRatingTrainer / JockeyLast StartStatus
 Essential Quality
Tapit
8.56
B. Cox
1st, 2021 Blue Grass Stakes (G2) 
Probable
 Rock Your World
Candy Ride
8.33
J. Sadler
1st, 2021 Santa Anita Derby (G1) 
Probable
 Hot Rod Charlie
Oxbow
8.18
D. O'Neill
1st, 2021 Louisiana Derby (G2)
Probable
 Known Agenda
Curlin
8.09
T. Pletcher
1st, 2021 Florida Derby (G1) 
Probable
 Medina Spirit
Protonico
8.04
B. Baffert
2nd, 2021 Santa Anita Derby (G1) 
Probable
 Super Stock
Dialed In
7.74
S. Asmussen
1st, 2021 Arkansas Derby (G1) 
Probable
 Midnight Bourbon
Tiznow
7.51
S. Asmussen
2nd, 2021 Louisiana Derby (G2)
Probable
 Highly Motivated
Into Mischief
7.48
C. Brown
2nd, 2021 Blue Grass Stakes (G2) 
Probable
 Soup and Sandwich
Into Mischief
7.40
M. Casse
2nd, 2021 Florida Derby (G1) 
Probable
 Like the King
Palace Malice
7.35
W. Ward
1st, 2021 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) 
Probable
 Caddo River
Hard Spun
7.31
B. Cox
2nd, 2021 Arkansas Derby (G1) 
Possible
 Helium
Ironicus
7.27
M. Casse
1st, 2021 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) 
Probable
 Dream Shake
Twirling Candy
7.11
P. Eurton
3rd, 2021 Santa Anita Derby (G1) 
Possible
 Bourbonic
Bernardini
6.84
T. Pletcher
1st, 2021 Wood Memorial (G2) 
Probable
 Mandaloun
Into Mischief
6.81
B. Cox
6th, 2021 Louisiana Derby (G2)
Probable
 Sainthood
Mshawish
6.65
T. Pletcher
2nd, 2021 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) 
Probable
 O Besos
Orb
6.60
G. Foley
3rd, 2021 Louisiana Derby (G2)
Probable
 Hidden Stash
Constitution
6.49
V. Oliver
4th, 2021 Blue Grass Stakes (G2) 
Probable
 Dynamic One
Union Rags
6.46
T. Pletcher
2nd, 2021 Wood Memorial (G2) 
Probable
 Keepmeinmind
Laoban
6.19
R. Diodoro
5th, 2021 Blue Grass Stakes (G2) 
Possible
 Get Her Number
Dialed In
6.12
P. Miller
4th, 2021 Arkansas Derby (G1) 
Probable
 Starrininmydreams
Super Saver
5.94
D. Stewart
3rd, 2021 Lexington (G3) 
Possible
 King Fury
Curlin
5.86
K. McPeek
1st, 2021 Lexington (G3) 
Probable

Here are probables for races on the Kentucky Derby undercard. Click on the race names for more information.

$500,000 Pat Day Mile (G2)

Dream Shake (Peter Eurton); Excellent Timing (Chad Brown); Gretzky the Great (Mark Casse); Jackie’s Warrior (Steve Asmussen); Prevalence (Brendan Walsh); and Whiskey Double (Steve Asmussen).

$500,000 Distaff Turf Mile (G2)

Abscond (Eddie Kenneally); Blowout (Chad Brown); Got Stormy (Mark Casse); and Princess Grace (Mike Stidham).

$500,000 Derby City Distaff (G1)

Gamine (Bob Baffert) and Sconsin (Greg Foley). Possible: Bell’s the One (Neil Pessin); Finite (Steve Asmussen); Hibiscus Punch (Justin Nixon); and Unique Factor (Peter Miller).

$500,000 Churchill Downs Stakes (G1)

Charlatan (Bob Baffert); Hog Creek Hustle (Vickie Foley); Lexitonian (Jack Sisterson); and Tap It To Win (Mark Casse). Possible: Bango (Greg Foley); and Shashashakemeup (Peter Miller).

$1 million Turf Classic (G1)

Arklow (Brad Cox); Colonel Liam (Todd Pletcher); Digital Age (Chad Brown); Ivar (Paolo Lobo); Masteroffoxhounds (Richard Baltas); Ride a Comet (Mark Casse); and Smooth Like Strait (Michael McCarthy). Possible: Flavius (Chad Brown); and Spooky Channel (Brian Lynch).

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