The dust – or mud – settled from last week’s Kentucky Derby and it’s time to start another countdown toward the second jewel of the Triple Crown. Just a week until the Preakness and another loaded day of racing previewed in the latest edition of The Saturday Special presented by Pin Oak Stud.
Man o’ War Day at Belmont Park tops the day’s action with the Grade 1 turf feature and Grade 3 Peter Pan on tap. Graded stakes in Chicago and Southern California are also set, with one of the best steeplechase cards of the spring season down in Nashville. We preview the action from Percy Warner in our Steeplechase Picks & Preview on the site.
Here’s your primer for Saturday, May 12. Enjoy and good luck.
Lingfield. Race 1. 8:55. Flattering, a 10-length winner at Cork in May, ventures from Ireland for the Oaks Trial. Stream Song tries to make it three in a row for George Strawbridge, John Gosden and Frankie Dettori.
Haydock. Race 1. 9:00. Haydock offers a strong dual-purpose card with the jumpers and flat horses sharing space. We love Debece and Wolf Of Windlesham in the opener.
Lingfield. Race 2. 9:30. Strawbridge’s Corelli, an American son of Point Of Entry, tries to make it three out of four in his stakes debut.
Ascot. Race 2. 9:50. Barsanti looks strong in the Carey Group Buckhounds Stakes.
Haydock. Race 3. 10:10. Sweet group of hurdlers clash in the Grade 3 Swinton Handicap Hurdle. One of these days, Silver Streak is going to put it all together.
Ascot. Race 3. 10:25. The hunch play of the day. Belle Meade.
Lingfield. Race 4. 10:40. The Grade 3 Betfred Chartwell Fillies Stakes highlights a strong card at Lingfield.
Ascot. Race 4. 11:00. You want big fields? The Victoria Cup attracts 29. Yes, 29. They range from the 136-pound highweight Zhui Feng to the 113-pound lightweight, Ripp Orf.
Haydock. Race 5. 11:20. The flat feature, a listed 7-furlong stakes, could provide So Beloved with his seventh career win.
Curragh. Race 5. 11:30. Jaega won like a good thing in April, the daughter of Fastnet Rock makes her second career start in this Grade 3 stakes.
Churchill Downs. Race 1. 12:45. We say it every year, what a difference a week makes. Last week Derby Day, this week the opener a $30,000-$25,000 claimer going 6 furlongs.
Pimlico Race Course. Race 1. 1:10. First Saturday of the Preakness Meet opens with waiver-claiming race for maiden 2-year-olds at 4 1/2 furlongs.
Belmont Park. Race 1. 1:30. Man o’ War Day starts with state-bred allowance going 7 furlongs.
Churchill. Race 4. 2:13. Everyone has Preakness fever, even the racing office in Louisville. Here’s a 1 3/16-mile allowance. Front Door ran lights out when second going 9 furlongs at Keeneland at 46-1; he could be tough again against Hint Of Roses and Pryor.
Belmont. Race 3. 2:34. Holiday Disguise and Sounds Delicious, stablemates in Linda Rice’s barn and 1-2 in Grade 3 Distaff last time, are the ones to beat in the Grade 3 Vagrancy.
Arlington Park. Race 2. 2:56. Jean Elizabeth brings 3-for-3 mark, including a win last time in state-bred stakes at Hawthorne, to 6-furlong allowance-optional. She’s entered for the $75,000 tag for Larry Rivelli as are five of her six opponents.
Gulfstream. Race 6. 3:19. Pure One, half sister to multiple graded stakes winner Pure Sensation, looks to make it two straight in 1-mile state-bred allowance for owner-breeder Patricia Generazio and trainer Christophe Clement.
Finger Lakes. Race 6. 3:25. Midnight Champagne, second and third in her last two starts at Charles Town, returns to central New York where she’s 3-for-5 for 5-furlong allowance.
Belmont. Race 5. 3:38. Voodoo Song tore it up last summer at Saratoga with four wins highlighted by the Grade 3 Saranac over Closing Weekend. He finished fourth in allowance return last month and shortens up to 7 furlongs on the grass for second start of 2018.
Churchill. Race 7. 3:50. Nine fillies and mares line up for 1 1/16-mile allowance on the grass, including In The Mood in her grass debut and last out winner Inchargeofme.
Finger Lakes. Race 7. 3:52. Veteran’s Day in 5-furlong state-bred feature with last year’s Hudson winner Ostrolenka shipping in from downstate to take on 17-time Finger Lakes winner Breakin The Fever and six-time Finger Lakes winner Saratoga Giro.
Gulfstream. Race 7. 3:52. Maiden Florida-bred 2-year-olds go 4 1/2 furlongs.
Belmont. Race 6. 4:10. Patch, everyone’s favorite story horse from last year’s Triple Crown, makes 4-year-old debut in 1 1/16-mile allowance.
Pimlico. Race 8. 4:26. The day’s feature is 1 1/16-mile turf allowance-optional with Lift Up, Full Of Zip, Giovanna Blues and Point System leading the way.
Santa Anita Park. Race 3. 4:30. Victory Element should win stretching out for Bob Baffert in 1 1/16-mile maiden.
Churchill. Race 9. 4:55. Older female turf sprinters gather for $70,000 Unbridled Sidney Overnight going 5 furlongs on the grass. Triple Chelsea won the Giant’s Causeway at Keeneland last time, her third win in four starts, and faces Morticia, Excessivespending and There’syourtrouble again.
Woodbine. Race 8. 5:02. Last year’s Schuylerville winner Dream It Is, 2-for-2 at Woodbine, returns north of the border for Barbara Minshall in $100,000 Star Shoot. Daughter of Shackleford as fifth last time after leading in the stretch of Grade 3 Beaumont at about 7 furlongs and she shortens up to 6 furlongs for this.
Belmont. Race 8. 5:14. Inaugural running of the $150,000 Runhappy, which could be a prep for the True North during Belmont Stakes Week and possibly take away from Grade 3 Maryland Sprint next weekend. Only a field of six so perhaps not doing much of the latter.
Santa Anita. Race 5. 5:30. Kanthaka shortens back up after failed Blue Grass experiment and breaks from the rail in Grade 3 Lazaro Barrera going 7 furlongs. Bob Baffert sends out a pair in McKale and Zulfikhar, while Keith Desormeaux also shortens up Beautiful Shot after eighths in Grade 1 Arkansas Derby and Grade 3 Gotham.
Arlington. Race 7. 5:41. One of only a few graded races outside New York this weekend is the Grade 3 Hanshin Cup for older horses going 1 mile. Christian C ran well on the synthetic last summer and comes off layoff for Wayne Catalano while Wellabled returns to scene of his biggest win in Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity in 2016. He’s 2-for-2 at Arlington and 5-for-7 on a synthetic surface.
Belmont. Race 9. 5:46. Field of seven for the Grade 3 Beaugay features German-bred A Raving Beauty making first start in the U.S. for Chad Brown, Grade 3 winner Tricky Escape and multiple stakes winners My Impression and Inflexibility.
Gulfstream. Race 11. 6:03. Three Rules should get back on track in $100,000 Big Drama.
Golden Gate Fields. Race 6. 6:15. Not Now Carolyn, Cynthiana and Dalsaros ship north for $50,000 Golden Poppy going 1 1/16 miles on the grass.
Belmont. Race 10. 6:18. Blended Citizen turned heads training at Keeneland Churchill Downs, didn’t get into the Kentucky Derby and preps for possible start in the Belmont in Grade 3 Peter Pan. Eight entered, including the previously thought Preakness-bound Diamond King, Northern Spur winner High North and Santa Anita Derby third Core Beliefs.
Arlington. Race 8. 6:45. Open maiden going 6 furlongs draws two firsters for Brian Williamson in Graffico and Attain Success and one for Wayne Catalano in Awesome Arion.
Belmont. Race 11. 6:50. Wake Forest, winner of the Grade 1 Man o’ War in 2016 and fifth last year, is back for a third run in 11-furlong turf stakes. He takes on two of his stablemates in Money Multiplier and Call Provision, Grade 1 Sword Dancer winner Sadler’s Joy, Grade 2 Pan American winner Hi Happy and Grade 2 Elkhorn winner One Go All Go.
Santa Anita. Race 8. 7:00. Moonshine Memories, winner of the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante and Grade 1 Chandelier and beaten favorite in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, makes return in $75,000 Angels Flight going 7 furlongs.