WEEKEND STAKES: WHERE TO WATCH brought to you by WEST POINT THOROUGHBREDS

by | 11.17.2010 | 12:48am

There are six horses with connections who hope that Friday the 13th brings some racing luck in the National Museum Racing Hall of Fame, a Grade 2 Saratoga contest for 3-year-olds. Interactif, from Todd Pletcher's barn, is the 8-5 favorite. He comes into this 1 1/8-mile turf race off a runner-up effort in the G2 Virginia Derby, where he finished 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Krypton, entered here at odds of 3-1. Another one to consider is the Christophe Clement trainee Nordic Truce, second choice by the line maker at 5-2. Should the race be taken off the turf due to weather conditions, Colizeo, an entry-mate of Interactif, will start.

Graded stakes will be held across the country on Saturday at Saratoga, Monmouth Park, Ellis Park, and Del Mar. Older grass runners take center stage at the Spa in the G1 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap, and though he won't be favored, the most familiar name in the 10-horse line-up is Grand Couturier. Earner of nearly $1.5 million, the venerable 7-year-old will make his fifth consecutive appearance in the Sword Dancer. He has won the 1 ½-mile turf race twice, in 2007 and 2008, and finished fifth in his attempt to three-peat in '09. Neil Drysdale has shipped a pair from his California base—Marsh Side and Marlang.

The G3 Monmouth Oaks features 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. A compact field of six go postward led by Seeking the Title and No Such Word. Charles Fipke bred and owns Iowa Oaks winner Seeking the Title, who most recently finished fifth in the CCA Oaks. Brereton Jones' homebred No Such Word, last raced in the G3 Delaware Oaks, finishing fourth to division leader Blind Luck. In March, she won the G3 Honeybee at Oaklawn Park in her stakes debut.

Sidney's Candy will try the turf for the first time in the G2 La Jolla Handicap at Del Mar.  The son of Candy Ride was busy in the first five months of the year prepping for and running in the Kentucky Derby where he ended up 17th in the 20-horse field. Hoping to rebound from that effort, he finished second in the Swaps after a layoff. He faces seven others including Golden Itiz, also making his turf debut. The G3 Affirmed winner brings a 3-race win streak to the 1 1/16-mile La Jolla.

Ellis Park, in Henderson, Ky., hosts the only graded stakes of the meet on Saturday, the G3 Gardenia, for fillies and mares going a mile on the dirt. Among those going postward in a contentious field of 10 are Midway Holiday, Tap Tap Tapping, West Hope, and Century Park.

On Sunday at Saratoga, juvenile fillies will be in the spotlight in the G2 Adirondack, run at 6 ½ furlongs.  Todd Pletcher trains Position Limit, the 5-2 morning line favorite, who comes off an impressive 6 ¾-length maiden win at Belmont. Bob Baffert has entered Alienation, a daughter of Rock Hard Ten, who broke her maiden on the turf at Hollywood Park. On Monday, the feature is the G2 Saratoga Special, 6 ½ furlongs for males.

At Del Mar, Sunday's race card is highlighted by the G2 John C. Mabee, for fillies and mares to be run at 1 1/8 miles over the turf course. Wasted Tears comes here hoping to extend her win streak to seven races. Her skein began with an allowance win at Lone Star Park in May of 2009, which she followed with a win in the Ouija Board (G3), also at Lone Star. The daughter of Najran has been a perfect 4-for-4 in 2010 after being on the sidelines for eight months recovering from a staph infection. Turning Top owns a four-race win streak of her own which includes the G3 Beverly Hills, and G1 winner Gozzip Girl ships in for new trainer, Marty Wolfson.

Twitter Twitter
Paulick Report on Instagram