UPI Horse Racing Weekend Preview

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 27 (UPI) — The last huge weekend of U.S. racing kicked off with a bang on Thanksgiving Day with tons more to come through the weekend, climaxing with the Japan Cup on Sunday in Tokyo.

It all matches with each other, like turkey and stuffing, as The Pizza Man, who missed the Japan Cup excursion soon after a slight malady, alternatively was a dramatic come-from-behind winner on Thursday at Del Mar.

The relaxation of the long weekend feast consists of a number of Breeders’ Cup competition searching for redemption, a whole lot of stylish two-12 months-olds searching to begin their climb towards Could in Louisville and some amazingly challenging fields in the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct, the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs and other prime-shelf, late-calendar year stakes, which includes the annual slide function at Hawthorne Race Program, the Hawthorne Gold Cup.

And, not to seem previous Japan, but the fields assembled for the Longines Hong Kong Worldwide Races in two weeks’ time read like a “Who’s Who” of international racing, including even far more Breeders’ Cup runners.

We’re grateful for all we’re given. And this weekend, that’s a lot. Gobble, gobble.

Del Mar

The Pizza Male bounced back from a fifth-area complete in the Breeders’ Cup to win Thursday’s $ 250,000, Grade II Hollywood Turf Cup with his standard, from-the-clouds extend rally. The Illinois-bred English Channel gelding with Mike Smith up, raced around the back of the 14-horse area until they strike the stretch change. Heading broad, he commenced his one particular, massive trademark rally, got by them all and received likely absent, by 2 lengths. Massive John B also rallied late but settled for 2nd, 1/two size in entrance of Power Foot and yet another neck better than Power Ped. The Pizza Guy ran 1 one/two miles on company turf in 2:31.75.

“He was truly supposed to go to Japan soon after the Breeders’ Cup but he got a minor lung infection,” mentioned operator Richard Papiese of Midwest Thoroughbreds. “We had been fired up to go and represent American racing and racing in general, but coming to Del Mar is fantastic … Mike let him operate his race and when he will get to run his race he’s challenging to conquer. I was definitely not worried about exactly where he was in the course of the race. Mike stated he was going to be eight to ten (lengths) off of it and I stated, ‘You’re going to love the afterburners when they kick in.'” Smith agreed. “That’s some stride on that horse, I will inform you,” Smith mentioned. “The Pizza Male for Thanksgiving. I like it.”

The Japan Cup

In spite of the absence of The Pizza Gentleman, the thirty fifth managing of the Japan Cup has a lot of prospective for this year’s website visitors. The two,400-meters event at Tokyo Racecourse has been the distinctive preserve of neighborhood runners for the previous 10 many years. But with a rash of retirements and accidents, this area seems a tad much less imposing. The principal contenders show up to be Gold Ship, an enigmatic 6-year-aged who is fantastic when he provides his greatest but is capable of undertaking a whole lot considerably less. In his final start off, for illustration, Gold Ship was fractious at the gate, skipped the start poorly and appeared disinterested in operating, finishing subsequent-final in the Team 1 Takarazuka Kinen in June. But he is a numerous Team one winner and are unable to be dismissed soon after encouraging modern workouts. By contrast, Lovely Day, a five-yr-aged, has been a product of regularity in a breakthrough yr, profitable his last 4 starts, two of them Group one functions and will be effectively backed locally.

The abroad contingent includes Journey to Paris, whose vacation from England to Japan took him through Australia, in which he completed a smashing 2nd in the Team 1 Caulfield Cup and fourth with a troubled vacation I the Team 1 Melbourne Cup. “We could not be happier with him,” assistant trainer Robin Trevor-Jones said of the 4-year-aged Champs Elysees gelding, who received the Gold Cup at Ascot previously in the 12 months. Erupt concluded fifth in this year’s Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe but has qualified the Japan Cup given that profitable the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris in July. “Erupt has been a horse that has matured during the racing year,” said Alan Cooper, racing supervisor for the homeowners, the Niarchos household. Erupt is a three-calendar year-outdated Dubawi colt. Ito and Nightflower depict Germany. Ito, a 4-yr-outdated colt by Adlerflug, received the Grosser Preis von Bayern at Munich in his previous begin, defeating Prince Gibraltar. Nightflower, a 3-yr-aged Dylan Thomas filly, received the Group one Preis von Europa at Cologne in her final outing.

Hong Kong

The 4 events comprising the Longines Hong Kong International Races on Dec. 13 have drawn 56 entries, such as 33 global Group one or Grade I winners — a lineup robust adequate to potentially challenge the stellar report local horses have posted in these functions. Between the contributors are Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe runner-up and defending Hong Kong Vase champ Flintshire, Breeders’ Cup Turf Dash winner Mongolian Saturday, Japan Mile Championship winner Maurice, French-based mostly star Esoterique, Australia’s Criterion and Ireland’s Cost-free Eagle. The home team is, as normal, effectively represented with Able Buddy and Styles On Rome at the best of the listing.

“Here in Hong Kong we have a sturdy contingent of proficient, intercontinental-caliber horses, notably the excellent Ready Pal,” stated William Nader, government director of racing for the Hong Kong Jockey Club. “But at this year’s HKIR, our home team will face perhaps its hardest check of modern times. Looking at the 33 talented overseas challengers – horses of the class of Flintshire, Maurice, Esoterique and Totally free Eagle, to name a few – we have some of the most fascinating horses in the world heading for Sha Tin on the 2nd Sunday in December. This is global racing at the greatest amount and absolutely everyone is in for a actual deal with.”

Again to Del Mar

Om seems to be a obvious option in Saturday’s $ 300,000, Quality I Hollywood Derby. The Munnings colt gained the Grade II Del Mar Derby and the Grade II Twilight Derby at Santa Anita more than the very same length in his final two starts and has never been worse than 2nd in four starts on the grass. The only horse who has beaten Om on the turf, Royal Albert Hall, also is in this subject. Mister Brightside finished second, in between these two, in the Twilight Derby right after shipping from England. Sharla Rae ran well sufficient against fillies earlier in California but was swamped in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. Closing Bell appears to be a stay extended shot following profitable the Dueling Grounds Derby at Kentucky Downs and ending 2nd in the Bryan Station at Keeneland. Offering Strategy enhanced to acquire the English Channel Stakes at Belmont in his previous race.

Dortmund heads the solid for the $ one hundred fifty,000, Grade III Native Diver Stakes at nine furlongs on the lawn. The Santa Anita Derby winner concluded 3rd in the Run for the Roses and fourth in the Preakness, then acquired some time off just before returning to win the Massive Bear Stakes at Santa Anita previous thirty day period and has been working like a champ for coach Bob Baffert. Iron Fist completed second powering Frosted in the Quality II Pennsylvania Derby, then won an optional claimer at Del Mar in preparation for this race. Others consist of Crucial, Big Cazanova and Yahila, all capable of massive efforts.

Thirteen 2-year-previous fillies are entered for Saturday’s $ one hundred,000, Grade III Jimmy Durante Stakes at 1 mile on the turf. Riri is undefeated in two begins on the Southern California turf. Jeremy’s Legacy won in her very first begin following shipping from Ireland. Optimism and Hope, an additional Irish-bred and raced filly, gives some hope for proprietor Michael House. The other individuals are a well-matched subject, probably to obstacle trifecta bettors.

Sunday’s functions are the $ three hundred,000, Grade I Matriarch for fillies and mares on the turf and the $ 100,000, Quality III Cecil B. DeMille for two-yr-olds, also on the green program.

Aqueduct

Eco-friendly Gratto took the guide in Thursday’s $ 250,000, Quality III Slide Highweight Handicap, raced unchallenged into the stretch and held on to publish a significant upset, beating Palace by a head with the favorites, Salutos Amigos and La Verdad, finishing fifth and sixth. With Kendrick Carmouche up, Environmentally friendly Gratto covered 6 furlongs on a quickly keep track of in 1:09. 95. I understood all together he was the kind of horse to win a graded stakes race simply because he often confirmed it in the mornings,” explained winning coach Gatson Grant. “It was just a subject of putting it together in the afternoon. He is just one difficult dude and there is certainly no quit in him.”

Constellation continued to shine with a dominating victory in Thursday’s $ a hundred and fifty,000 Furlough Stakes for two-12 months-previous fillies. The Bellamy Street overlook battled to the guide and drew off as much excellent to a trio of rivals, successful by eight one/four lengths and finishing six furlongs in one:ten.39 with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. not urgent for her greatest. Tonasah was second, adopted by Wave of Glory and Summer time Reading. “Drawing the outdoors submit helped us out a small little bit becoming capable to see how factors would enjoy out,” explained Toby Sheets, assistant to winning trainer Steve Asmussen. “But she’s a genuinely good filly. I don’t consider it would’ve mattered right now exactly where we drew.” She received at 1st asking at Saratoga, then completed third in the Quality I Spinaway and next in the Quality II Matron at Belmont Park.

Taris and The united states are the early morning-line picks among seven for Friday’s $ 300,000, Quality III Go For Wand Handicap for fillies and mares. Taris, a 4-yr-old Flatter filly, bounces back again from a third-location end in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Dash. The us stayed property in New York and won the Grade III Turnback the Alarm at Belmont on Breeders’ Cup weekend.

Private Zone experienced a 4-race successful streak snapped when Runhappy outfinished him in the Breeders’ Cup Dash. He gets one more chance in Saturday’s $ five hundred,000, Quality I Cigar Mile but it is no simple process. Amid the 6 rivals are Tonalist, fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Vintage but a confirmed performer at one mile English import Matrooh, who acquired a a hundred and five Beyer in successful the Quality III Daring Ruler in his earlier outing Purple Vine, 3rd in the Breeders’ Cup Dust Mile guiding Liam’s Map and Lea Mshawish, 3rd in the Team 1 Dubai Turf on World Cup evening and looking to re-set up himself in a rare dirt commence and Marking, a Godolphin Racing colt by Bernardini who has operate 2 times, received twice and will be a cost. You by no means know at the finish of the yr no matter whether the warriors have adequate remaining to cope with the newcomers. Hard race.

Saturday’s $ 300,000, Grade III Comely for 3-yr-old fillies has a mixed bag of ten successful and promising contenders. The morning-line preferred, Carrumba, has moved rapidly by way of her circumstances with 3 straight wins and tackles stakes organization for the 1st time. The Phipps Steady homebred by Bernardini could be a late-blooming monster. Without end Unbridled was off for 5 months after a inadequate exhibiting in the Kentucky Oaks and, with a nice hard work in the Grade II Raven Operate at Keeneland under her belt, could be a handful. Peace and War has been aggressive in most of her initiatives regardless of a flop in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Wonder Gal, Pangburn and Mood Mint Patty all ought to have a seem.

Saturday’s $ 200,000, Grade II Remsen for two-year-olds stretches the kids out to 9 furlongs. Amongst the nine contenders are the one-2-3 finishers from the Quality II Nashua eaerlier this month — Mohaymen, Adaptability and Sail Ahoy. There are a pair promising current maiden winners and Maryland shipper Marengo Street comes off an extraordinary off-the-turf acquire at Laurel Park.

Lewis Bay is the morning-line decide between seven established for Saturday’s $ 300,000, Grade II Demoiselle for 2-yr-outdated fillies in what seems like a vast-open race. The Bernardini filly won very last time out above the program. But Flora Dora seemed amazing running next in the Quality III Tempted just 3 months back. Thrilled pale terribly in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies following a undesirable start off but or else has been amazing. Misplaced Raven is undefeated in two starts, like the Intelligent Halo Stakes at Laurel.

Churchill Downs

Ahh Chocolate pressed the tempo in Thursday’s $ two hundred,000, Quality II Falls Metropolis Handicap for fillies and mares, moved to the direct in the stretch and received by 1 one/2 lengths in excess of Theogony. Phone Pat was 3rd and Birdathewire, the preferred, roosted fourth. Ahh Chocolate, a 3-calendar year-outdated daughter of Sweet Trip, ran nine furlongs on a quickly monitor in one:forty nine.sixty eight with Brian Hernandez Jr. up. “We have always believed highly of her and are pondering that she’s likely to be a good deal greater with age and as she will get older,” said profitable coach Neil Howard. “We will focus on the Fair Grounds races in the winter season, but we are heading to give her a tiny bit of a crack proper now.”

Heart to Heart was left by itself on an effortless guide in Thursday’s $ 100,000, Grade III River Metropolis Handicap and was not caught, successful by two lengths in excess of Thatcher Road. Perfect Title was third and the favourite, Messi, checked in fifth. Coronary heart to Coronary heart, a four-calendar year-old English Channel colt, ran nine furlongs on good turf in one:fifty two.16 with Julien Leparoux in the irons. “He’s a difficult small bugger when they go away him on your own on the lead,” stated wining trainer Brian Lynch. “This was a wonderful tiny win coming back again towards more mature horses this time.”

Saturday’s $ five hundred,000, Grade I Clark Handicap ought to pry your focus absent from the NFL and even the leftover turkey. Important three-12 months-previous player Eager Ice normally takes on the likes of Effinex, Race Day and Hoppertunity in the 9-furlongs check that has grow to be a major late-period end. Eager Ice, of training course, defeated American Pharoah in the Grade I Travers this summer season ahead of finishing fourth guiding that rival in the Breeders’ Cup Vintage. He wouldn’t consider any Eclipse Awards absent from American Pharoah with a get right here but it even now would be an important clue to 2016. Effinex was fourth in the Grade I Woodward, third in the Quality I Jockey Club Gold Cup and 2nd in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Race Day, a terror in Arkansas this spring, bounced back from two inadequate starts off to acquire the Grade II Fayette on Breeders’ Cup Friday at Keeneland. Hoppertunity received this race previous year but has experienced a challenging time discovering the winner’s circle because then. He finished next in the Fayette.

A bakers dozen will contest Friday’s $ one hundred,000, Quality III Commonwealth Turf and it truly is a “you choose ’em” occasion. Amid the fancied by oddsmaker Mike Battaglia are Saham, Granny’s Kitten, Nun the Considerably less, A single Go All Go, Almasty and Nucifera. Very good luck.

A colt making his very first start the dust and a California shipper fresh off a maiden get are the early morning-line picks for Saturday’s $ 200,000, Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club. Airoforce received the Quality III Bourbon on the Keeneland grass, then completed next a neck to the amazing Hit It a Bomb in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Now coach Mark Casse puts the Colonel John colt on the main keep track of, including blinkers but trying to keep Julien Leparoux and getting the nod from oddsmaker Mike Battaglia. Bob Baffert has introduced Mor Spirit, an Eskendereya ridgling, from California in which he concluded second in his very first work, then gained effortlessly when stretched out to one mile. Among the other folks, Yearly Report has received each his commences for Godolphin, including the Grade II Futurity at Belmont, Gun Runner is undefeated in two commences, Mo Tom received the Road Sense Stakes above the system before in the thirty day period, and Rated R Superstar has been hard besides for a misadventure in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

Carina Maria, Stageplay and Dothraki Queen are reliable early morning-line picks between 9 two-12 months-outdated fillies set for Saturday’s $ 200,000, Grade II Golden Rod at Churchill Downs. Carina Maria finished next to Stageplay in her career debut at Keeneland, then came again to acquire by nine 3/4 lengths on Breeders’ Cup weekend. Stageplay went on from her 1st-out victory to get the Rags to Riches Stakes at Churchill Downs on Nov. 1. Dothraki Queen won the Grade II Pocahontas beneath the twin spires, then shut to finish third in the Breeders’ Cup soon after getting roughed up at the start. Desire Dance finished second in the Rags to Riches and could be bettering sufficient to determine in this.

Hawthorne Race System

Commissioner, a reputable graded stakes performer, will represent trainer Todd Pletcher’s barn as the favored among eight in for Saturday’s $ 250,000, Grade II Hawthorne Gold Cup. The 2014 Belmont Stakes runner-up gained the Quality III Skip Away and the Grade II Pimlico Special earlier this 12 months and will come off a fourth-area hard work in the difficult Quality II Fayette at Keeneland on Breeders’ Cup weekend. His rivals include the 1-two finishers from the Marathon at Keeneland — Neck ‘n Neck and Majestic Harbor — and regional favored Mr. Marti Gras, who concluded second in this race last 12 months for coach Chris Block.

Truthful Grounds

Management Stake led from the split in Thursday’s $ sixty,000 Thanksgiving Handicap, then inched absent in the stretch to win by one one/four lengths over Officer Griffin. The odds-on favourite, Clearly Now, picked up show money. Management Stake, a 3-calendar year-outdated colt by Discreetly Mine, ran six furongs on a quickly observe in one:09.eighty three with Colby Hernandez riding.

Zia Park

Wednesday was a huge day of stakes races with the keep track of quick.

Lavender Chrissie collared pacesetting favourite Calamity Kate in the extend operate of the $ 300,000 Zia Park Oaks and went on to earn by three lengths from that rival. Sweet Possibility was 3rd. Lavender Chrissie, a Scat Daddy filly skilled by Dale Romans, ran one 1/16 miles in one:44.92 with Corey Lanerie in the irons.

Cellular Bay won an all-out extend struggle with Discomfort and Misery in the $ 200,000 Zia Park Derby, scoring by a nose more than that rival with Daring Conquest an additional 11 lengths in arrears in 3rd. Mobile Bay, a Louisiana-bred Lone Star Unique colt, ran one one/16 miles in 1:43.sixty two with Edgar Prado using.

13 Arrows, very last seen winning at Keeneland, battled to the direct in the $ one hundred,000 Zia Park Distaff, then kicked absent to a two one/four-lengths victory with Florent Geroux up. Lasting Bubbles and Phone Me Sandy completed the trifecta. Thirteen Arrows, a four-year-aged Indian Charlie filly, ran six furlongs in 1:09.78.

Smack Smack outfinished Point Piper and Whine for Wine in the $ a hundred and fifty,000 Zia Park Championship Handicap, with the margins only a pair of necks. Smack Smack, a 4-12 months-old Closing Argument gelding, finished 9 furlongs in 1:49.79 with Shane Laviolette up.

Dust Monster broke a step little by little in the $ a hundred and fifty,000 Zia Park Dash but swiftly assumed the lead and drew off to acquire by three lengths. Forin Sea and Redneck Humor accomplished the trifecta. Grime Monster, a three-calendar year-previous Line of David colt, ran 6 furlongs in 1:09.03 with Alfredo Juarez Jr. in the irons.

Gold Boundry led all the way to a six 1/two-lengths victory over Ten Penny Cents in the $ 140,000 Eddy County Stakes for New Mexico-bred two-year-olds, working one mile in one:39.twenty five with Elvin Gonzalez up.

Woodbine

Kingsport stalked the speed in Wednesday’s $ a hundred twenty five,000 (Canadian) Sir Barton Stakes for Ontario-sired three-yr-olds and up, took the lead when prompted by jockey Patrick Husbands and went on to win by 1 duration over Born in a Breeze. Chris’ Brew was third. Kingsport, a three-year-outdated Milwaukee Brew colt, obtained 1 one/sixteen miles on the all-temperature monitor in one:forty three.14.

Penn Nationwide

Favorite Tale produced all the likely in Wednesday $ 200,000 Wonderful Strike and won handily as Ben’s Cat, probably hinting he’s about accomplished with his wonderful profession, beat only a single of 7 rivals though he did stumble out of the gate. Preferred Tale, a four-year-old Tale of the Cat gelding, obtained property first by two lengths in excess of Majestic Hussar with Galiana third. The six furlongs on a quick took 1:eleven.00 with Javier Castellano steering the winner.

Page McKenney ran by the leaders and gained a long extend battle to consider Wednesday’s $ one hundred,000 Swatara Stakes by one/two length. Child Cruz was up for second, 2 lengths greater than Catron. Webpage McKenny, a five-year-outdated Eavesdropper gelding, ran 1 one/16 miles on a quick keep track of in one:forty four.08l with Horacio Karamanos in the irons.

Behrnik’s Bank, the prohibitive favorite, ran to her notices in Wednesday’s $ 75,000 Blue Mountain for two-12 months-previous, Ohio-bred fillies. With Edwin Gonzales up, she place the subject to rest early and received by 13 lengths, properly in hand, masking six furlongs on a quick keep track of in one:ten.22. The Bank Heist filly gained for the 2nd time in as a lot of attempts.

Mahoning Valley

Lewys Vaporizor was out front early in Monday’s $ two hundred,000 Metal Valley Dash for 3-year-olds, opened up a daylight guide and lasted, finishing first by one 1/two lengths above Bayerd. Hebbronville was 3rd, adopted by Sharm and Tanner’s Popsicle. Lewys Vaporizer, an Illinois-bred gelding by Michael Lewis, ran 6 furlongs on a quick monitor in one:twelve.05 with Irad Ortiz Jr. in for the trip. “My match plan was to go to the direct. He broke sharp and actually preferred the monitor and was never challenged,” Ortiz explained. Very last month’s Perryville Stakes at Keeneland located the very same leading three in the reverse get — Hebronville 1st, Bayerd second and Lewys Vaporizer 3rd soon after fading from the lead.

The photo end camera confirmed a dead heat for the acquire in Monday’s $ seventy five,000 Hollywood Gaming Mahoning Distaff for fillies and mares. But the stewards stated, “Not so quickly,” and demoted one particular of the winners, Donita’s Ruler, to next for drifting out late and impeding Heykittykittykitty, the other winner. Helluva Idea was 8 1/four lengths farther again in 3rd. Heykittykittykitty, a 4-12 months-aged Tactical Cat filly, was ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr. The six furlongs went in 1:12.51.

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