And we’re back with The Saturday Special. Perhaps, it’s proper jump racing at Newbury and Newcastle or Mendelssohn’s return to New York, but it’s time to bring it back. Print it out, email it to yourself, tape it to your forearm and then sit back and enjoy the day.
Newcastle. Race 1. 6:50 a.m. Up early. Fans of Champs Elysees? There are three of his offspring in this juvenile hurdle.
Newbury. Race 1. 7:10. It’s that time of year, National Hunt racing at Newbury and Newcastle on a stellar Saturday. Lust For Glory, 3-for-4 in her career, and Passing Call, riding a three-race win streak, rumble in the opener.
Newbury. Race 2. 7:45. Named after one of the greats, the John Francome Novices’ Chase. Santini finished the spring season with a Grade 1 win at Aintree.
Newbury. Race 3. 8:20. Another named after one of the greats, the Sir Peter O’Sulleven Memorial Handicap Chase. One thing about Paul Nicholls, he runs his horses. Adrien Du Pont comes back after finishing fourth at Ascot Nov. 3, Brelan D’as returns after finishing second at Hereford Nov. 13 and Kapcorse wheels back after finishing seventh at Newbury Nov. 8.
Fairyhouse. Race 3. 8:25. While Gigginstown, Elliott and Kennedy travel, Duca De Thaix represents in the feature, a rich handicap chase.
Newbury. Race 4. 8:50. Champ might be champ. Irish-bred makes his seasonal debut, rested after two facile wins in May.
Newcastle. Race 5. 9:05. The race of the day. The race of the season. Two-time Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D’Air makes his seasonal reappearance in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle. The French-bred 7-year-old carries a 14-for-17 career record. Facing him? Eight-time winning stalwart Samcro makes his second start out of the novice division for Gordon Elliott and Gigginstown. Beyond those two, Bedrock, vanquisher of Samcro at Down Royal, makes his debut for American owner Irv Naylor. Yes, Irv Naylor. Wow, what a race.
Newbury. Race 5. 9:25. Global Citizen won a Grade 2 over the same course last winter, he takes on a solid group of handicap hurdlers.
Newcastle. Race 6. 9:40. Nothing like seeing a high-profile maiden for J.P. McManus, Nicky Henderson and Barry Geraghty. Champagne Platinum makes his debut.
Newbury. Race 6. 10:00. The feature on a scintillating card. Grade 3 chasers clash in the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase. Black Corton and Bryony Frost recovered from a hat-rattling blunder to finish second in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby. Thomas Patrick is potent. Ms Parfois is game. The Young Master is dangerous on the front end. Cool race.
Newcastle. Race 7. 10:20. Big purse for the finale. Chasers chase $94,500 in the Rehearsal Handicap Chase. Solighoster makes his second start of the season for The Colony Stable. Come on, my son.
Newbury. Race 7. 10:35. Don’t walk the dog yet, a confounding handicap chase serves as the finale.
Aqueduct. Race 1. 11:30. OK, you had a 55-minute break to walk the dog. The promising Hierarchy tackles on the established Mr Maybe, Fox Rules and other tough claimers in this optional claimer on the turf.
Gulfstream Park. Race 1. 11:50. Welcome back to Gulfstream. High-priced daughters of War Front and Medaglia d’Oro try to break their maidens in the opener.
Aqueduct. Race 2. Noon. Take notes for the first Saturday in May. Juveniles stretch to a mile.
Mahoning Valley. Race 1. 12:15 p.m. It pays to breed in Ohio. Leona’s Reward has won 13 races and over $600,000. The daughter of Parent’s Reward is 1/9 in the Bobbie Bricker Memorial Handicap.
Gulfstream Park. Race 2. 12:20. Uno Mas Modelo aims at his fifth win this year, he breaks from the rail in the starter stakes for a cool $110,000.
Gulfstream Park. Race 3. 12:50. Skychief, on the board in three of five starts so far, looks strong in the turf maiden for juveniles. Lucky Mike hit the board in a Florida-bred stakes for Lilli Kurtinecz in November.
Aqueduct. Race 4. 1:02. Molto Bella travels from Kentucky to take on Enliven and five others in the Grade 2 Demoiselle.
Gulfstream Park. Race 4. 1:20. Another starter stakes, this one for horses who have started for $8,000 or less. Makes you want to claim a horse. How would you like to have claimed Creative Art for $8,000 or less. He’s won 19 races for over $400,000.
Mahoning Valley. Race 4. 1:38. There won’t be a dry eye in the place if Pat’s Karma, Jack Be Fast or Verissimo can win the Joshua Radosevich Memorial for trainer Jeffrey Radosevich.
Tampa Bay Downs. Race 3. 1:40. Tricks To Do returns for his first race since finishing third in the Hutcheson in March, the son of Into Mischief makes his turf debut in the Turf Dash. Vision Perfect tries to bounce back from a debacle in the Breeders’ Cup.
Gulfstream Park. Race 5. 1:50. Starter stakes for everybody. This one rips 5 furlongs on the turf for fillies and mares.
Aqueduct. Race 6. 2:06. Marley’s Freedom tries to bounce back from a tough loss in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint in the Grade 3 Go For Wand. The six-time winner has never tried a mile.
Gulfstream Park. Race 6. 2:20. Mary Eppler and Horacio Karamanos go on the road with Double Whammy, he’s 20-1 in this starter stakes. Moon Gate Warrior has already won eight races this year for owner/trainer Louis Linder Jr.
Turfway Park. Race 5. 2:45. Feargal Lynch picks up the ride on Morticia in the Lightning City.
Gulfstream Park. Race 7. 2:52. Valedictorian, winner of the All Along in September, looks strong in this starter stakes on the turf for Kelly Breen and Epic Racing. Well, maybe Starship Jubilee, winner of a Grade 2 at Woodbine in September, looks stronger.
Aqueduct. Race 8. 3:12. Which horse comes out of the Remsen and becomes a star? Maximus Mischief has crushed foes at Parx, this is his acid test against the likes of Network Effect.
Laurel Park. Race 7. 3:15. In case you missed it, Lacey Gaudet is 20-for-53 at Laurel Park. She aims to win her third race with No More Talk since being claimed for $25,000 in August.
Gulfstream Park. Race 8. 3:26. Are you keeping up with all these starter stakes? Well, here’s another.
Parx. Race 8. 3:34. Call Paul gets a class relief, dropping from three straight graded stakes starts to take on Pennsylvania-bred juveniles in the Pennsylvania Nursery.
Aqueduct. Race 9. 3:45. Come on Mendelssohn, you deserve a big one. The Irish raider tries to win his elusive Grade 1 stakes on the dirt. The Cigar Mile could be the one.
Gulfstream Park. Race 9. 4:02. And another.
Hawthorne. Race 1. 4:10. Wayne Catalano unveils two homebred daughters of Brilliant Speed in the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante.
Gulfstream Park. Race 10. 4:34. And, yes, another. Veteran Montclair, claimed for $5,000 in October, rides a four-race win streak into this one. Wow, Slim Shadey is still going strong.
Woodbine. Race 8. 4:38. Silent Name should be proud. His sons, Silent Mistake and My Silencer are locked and loaded in the Kingarvie.
Tampa Bay Downs. Race 9. 4:53. We say it every year, there is nothing like a filly and mare turf maiden at Tampa Bay Downs. Daughters of Dream Ahead, Medaglia d’Oro, Arch, Curlin, War Front, Bernardini, Kitten’s Joy, Ghostzapper…clash for a $22,500 purse.
Gulfstream Park. Race 11. 5:06. And, we won’t type starter stakes again today.
Fair Grounds. Race 9. 5:22. The one and only Richard Scherer. Fourteen hard-hitting sprinting fillies and mares line up for his race.
Woodbine. Race 10. 5:40. Tappitty Tappitty, a daughter of Tapit (shocker) and My Typhoon makes her debut for Live Oak and Mark Casse.
Del Mar. Race 7. 6:30. East Coast shippers Have At It, Raging Bull, Instilled Regard, Way Early and Carrick take cracks at the Hollywood Derby.
Golden Gate. Race 7. 6:45. Tivan won the Golden Nugget, he comes right back and wins the Gold Rush.
Del Mar. Race 8. 7:00. Take notes. High-profile juveniles make their debuts for Baffert, Sadler, Hess and Shirreffs.
Turfway Park. Race 6. 8:41. Venture Forth, second at the International Gold Cup, aims to break his maiden for owner/trainer Desmond Fogarty.
Charles Town. Race 7. 9:49. West Virginia-bred juvenile fillies square off in the Eleanor Casey Memorial.