ST January summit? Every year we meet and every year we talk about revving up the content here. Joe and Tom rallied this week, Joe tracking down Pat Kelly about the people’s horse, Evening Attire, while Tom actually went to the races, he’ll be on top of the action at the Pegasus at Gulfstream Park. Sure, the action is there, check out Tom’s Pegasus Special, but here’s the rest of the Saturday action from Cheltenham to Charles Town.
Cheltenham. Race 1. 7:40 a.m. Take your notes for March. Juveniles (4-year-olds) have their own division in Europe, allowing young horses to compete against each other, learning the game, developing their skills. Disappointingly, the method hasn’t been modeled here. Ah, an editorial. Adjali adds depth to the always-deep arsenal of Munir and Souede. Five of the nine runners hail from France, the country who has revolutionized the young horse approach.
Cheltenham. Race 2. 8:15. Stellar group of novice chasers clash. We’ve always loved Azzerti.
Doncaster. Race 2. 8:30. Dynamite Dollars rates 1-5 favoritism on the morning line in the Napoleons Casino Lightning Novices’ Chase.
Fairyhouse. Race 4. 8:35. The Solerina Mares Novice Hurdle. Remember Solerina? Legendary mare, the ultimate underdog. Hard to find the underdog here as Mullins, Elliott, De Bromhead look strong-armed.
Cheltenham. Race 3. 8:50. Siruh Du Lac aims to make it three in a row against Grade 3 chasers.
Doncaster. Race 3. 9:05. Commodore Barry is a bridge here. Over there, he’s a four-time winner riding a two-win streak into Grade 2 Albert Bartlett River Don Novices’ Hurdle.
Cheltenham. Race 4. 9:25. Frodon aims at win number 12 in a stellar career for Bryony Frost and Paul Nicholls. Minella Rocco tries to right the ship, the veteran chaser hasn’t been competitive since finishing second in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2017.
Doncaster. Race 4. 9:40. Lady Buttons rides a three-race win streak into Grade 2 Yorkshire Rose Mares’ Hurdle. Keith Dagleish keeps his foot on the gas with Chica Buena, the 4-year-old filly makes her fifth start since joining his stable in the fall.
Cheltenham. Race 5. 10:00. Birchdale. Remember that name.
Doncaster. Race 5. 10:15. Lucrative purse on the line in the Sky Bet Handicap Chase. O O Seven has a big one in him.
Cheltenham. Race 6. 10:35. The featured Cleeve Hurdle offers Lil Rockerfeller a reprieve from his chasing career. He won three of five, lost his rider and failed to threaten in his fifth start over fences in December. The Pennsylvania-bred goes back to hurdling here. Nothing easy about this spot as he faces the likes of Jarveys Plate, Black Op, Unowhatimeanharry and Sam Spinner.
Cheltenham. Race 7. 11:10. Enjoy the finale.
Laurel Park. Race 3. 1:30 p.m. How do you like the versatility of Virginia-bred River Deep? He’s won six races, three on the turf and three on the dirt, including the restricted Bert Allen and Hansel in 2018.
Aqueduct. Race 5. 2:22. Good to see Horacio DePaz training for Barry K. Schwartz, the former private trainer for Sagamore Farm sends out Amundson. The son of Curlin is coupled with Dr. Lloyd, third in his debut for Linda Rice.
Aqueduct. Race 6. 2:51. Franknjymme goes for two in a row for Keeneland-based Charlie LoPresti. The horse can run.
Santa Anita. Race 3. 3:30. The California Turf Sprint offers $100,000 for California-breds.
Aqueduct. Race 8. 3:49. Backsideofthemoon aims for his second consecutive Jazil Stakes win. Whew, Sunny Ridge stands tall, freshened since finishing third in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile.
Santa Anita. Race 4. 4:00. Richard’s Boy, nearing $1 million in earnings, tries to snap a long losing streak in the California Cup Sprint.
Laurel Park. Race 9. 4:30. Matt Schera and Chuck Lawrence might not have won an Eclipse Award Thursday night but they should win this allowance race with Elverson.
Turf Paradise. Race 5. 4:44. Eoin Harty puts maiden Bev’s Humor on the road for the Jeff and Jack Coady Sr., a $25,000 “stakes” for 3-year-old fillies.
Oaklawn Park. Race 7. 5:09. Jack Van Berg.
Oaklawn Park. Race 8. 5:38. Vertical Oak makes her 5-year-old debut in the American Beauty. She’s won nine of 20 races, including the Grade 2 Prioress, for Kirk and Judy Robison.
Oaklawn Park. Race 9. 6:09. Check out these purses. Maidens volley for $77,000 in the finale.
Turf Paradise. Race 8. 6:14. Call Waiting won his first two (one stakes), lost his next three (all stakes) and should get back on the track in the Startac.
Santa Anita. Race 9. 6:50. Cordiality, a $62,500 claim in December, aims at the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Sprint.
Santa Anita. Race 11. 7:50. Come on, it would only be right if Unusually Green, a son of Unusual Heat, wins the Unusual Heat Turf Classic to finish off the California-bred-themed card.
Charles Town. Race 5. 8:55. Gin N Spice seeks her fifth win in a row for Ray Pennington III and Ollie Figgins III.