First Look: Kentucky Derby, Oaks preps lead weekend stakes

First Look: Kentucky Derby, Oaks preps lead weekend stakes
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

The first points preps for the Kentucky Derby Oaks open Churchill Downs' September meet to lead this weekend's graded-stakes calendar.

Aqueduct also opens with three graded stakes, with others scheduled for Woodbine and Kentucky Downs.

Here's an early look at the likely fields, where available.

Saturday

Iroquois (G3), Churchill Downs, 1 1/16 miles, 2-year-olds

Damon’s Mound impressed with a 12 1/2-length win in his debut at Churchill Downs in July, followed by a win in the Saratoga Special (G2). Echo Again generated buzz of his own in winning his first start by 6 3/4 lengths. Jace’s Road also won his only start, winning at Ellis Park by 6 1/4 lengths. This race offers 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top four finishers.

2022 Iroquois (G3)

Pocahontas (G3), Churchill Downs, 1 1/16 miles, 2-year-old fillies

Devious Dame was 0-for-2 before being eased up in the Sorority Stakes last out at Monmouth Park. Naughty Gal has a graded-stakes win in the Adirondack (G3), but she finished ninth last out in the Spinaway (G1) at Saratoga. Looking for Hope won her debut by 7 3/4 lengths at Gulfstream. This race offers 10-4-2-1 qualifying points for the 2023 Kentucky Oaks.

2022 Pocahontas (G3)

Locust Grove (G3), Churchill Downs, 1 1/16 miles, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up

Crazy Beautiful has gone 0-for-4 since winning the black-type Latonia in April. Gold Spirit would make her first start of the year here. She was winless in three starts last year, all in New York, and started his racing career in Chile. Envoutante would have her second start since finishing third in the Summer Colony at Saratoga, which was her first start since March. Played Hard has a record of 3: 2-1-0 this year after winning a Saratoga allowance at the wire last out.

2022 Locust Grove (G3)

Jockey Club Derby (G3), Aqueduct, 1 1/2 miles (turf), 3-year-olds

This looks to be a rubber match between Classic Causeway and Nations Pride. Nations Pride won the Aug. 6 Saratoga Derby (G1), with Classic Causeway coming in third by a head. Classic Causeway won their previous meeting in the Belmont Derby (G1), finishing 3/4 of a length ahead of Nations Pride in second.

2022 Jockey Club Derby (G3)

Jockey Club Oaks (G3), Aqueduct, 1 3/8 miles (turf), 3-year-old fillies

McKulick won the Belmont Oaks (G1), 1 3/4 lengths ahead of With the Moonlight, but then she lost to that same foe last out in the Saratoga Oaks (G3). Miss Yearwood tried turf for the first time last month at Ellis Park and went from last to first to win by 1 1/4 lengths.

2022 Jockey Club Oaks (G3)

Woodbine Mile (G1), Woodbine, 1 mile (turf), 3-year-olds and up

Modern Games, last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner, has one win in four starts since. Ivar is expected to make his second start of the year here after winning the July 9 Jonathan B. Schuster Memorial at Horseshoe Indianapolis. Town Cruise has gone 0-for-3 since winning this race last year. Wakanaka’s win in the Dance Smartly (G2) here was his first victory of the year. Filo di Arianna has won three straight, including the King Edward (G2) and Connaught Cup (G2) in his last two starts.

2022 Woodbine Mile (G1)

Sunday

Pebbles (G3), Aqueduct, 1 mile (turf), 3-year-old fillies

A Mo Reay had her first turf start last out in the Riskaverse at Saratoga, finishing third. Howdyoumakeurmoney is 0-for-8 since last October. 

2022 Pebbles (G3)

Tuesday entries

Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon (G3), Kentucky Downs, 1 5/16 miles (turf), fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up

This race was moved here after a Sunday rainout. The morning-line favorite, at 3-2, is last year’s winner, Family Way, who has finished in the money in her last five starts. Adventuring (4-1) has raced only once this year, winning the West Virginia Senate President's Cup by 2 1/2 lengths.

2022 Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon (G3)

Prince of Wales (restricted), Fort Erie, 1 3/16 miles, 3-year-olds

A seven-horse field was entered for the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, and it doesn’t include Moira, the filly who won the Queen’s Plate. Sir for Sure, third in the Queen’s Plate, is the morning-line favorite at 7-5 with two wins in his four starts this year. Ironstone, the second choice at 8-5, was fourth in the Queen’s Plate and has lost six straight.

2022 Prince of Wales (RS)

Probables were not available for Woodbine’s other weekend graded stakes, the Summer (G1), Natalma (G1), Seaway (G3) and Singspiel (G3).

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