Saturday Special – May 14

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Ah, the weekend between the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. Time to rest up, count that bankroll or lick the wounds, and binge on the best steeplechase meeting of the spring down in Nashville. A slightly reconfigured stakes schedule in New York brings a big afternoon of racing to Belmont Park and we’ve got that and more covered in this week’s Saturday Special presented by Pin Oak Stud, home of Alternation, Broken Vow and Cowboy Cal.

The action overseas is fairly light, too, with Al Shaqab Lockinge Day and its accompanying Group 1 feature taking center stage at Newbury.

Here’s your primer for Saturday, May 14. Good luck.

Newbury. Race 1. 9:10 a.m. Global Applause impressed winning 13 days ago at Newmarket and now he’s back in $73,500 conditions stakes going 6 furlongs.

Newbury. Race 2. 9:45. The Group 3 Al Rayyan Stakes – formerly known as the Aston Park – attracts a field of only five. Eagle Top is heavy favorite on the morning line, off since finishing 15th in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Newmarket. Race 4. 10:35. Thikriyaat takes next step up ladder and looks to go 3-for-3 for Sir Michael Stoute in $54,500 Betfair Cash Out King Charles II Stakes.

Newbury. Race 4. 10:55. Field of 13 lines up for Group 1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes going 1 mile. Group 2 winner Limato was second in a couple Group 1 events last season, while Euro Charline looks to improve on strong second in Group 1 Dubai Turf last time for Team Valor.

Monmouth Park. Race 1. 12:50 p.m. Sure sign of summer on the way, Opening Day at the Jersey Shore. Eleven-race card kicks off with 6-furlong sprint for $12,500 to $10,500 claimers.

Pimlico Race Course. Race 1. 1:10. A week out from the Preakness and nine-race card in Baltimore looks not surprisingly and understandably light.

Arlington Park. Race 1. 2:15. Eight-race card kicks off with 6-furlong allowance for fillies and mares and draws two from Michael Stidham (Storied Tale and Sunset Knoll) and one from Wesley Ward (Bruised Orange).

Gulfstream Park. Race 3. 2:17. Giant Two Step, first-timer starter by Giant’s Causeway, looks to maintain Todd Pletcher’s raid on South Florida well into May in 6-furlong maiden.

Belmont Park. Race 3. 2:32. Doctor Mounty exits back-to-back runner-up finishes at Gulfstream and Aqueduct and shortens back up to one turn in 1 1/16-mile maiden race.

Churchill Downs. Race 6. 3:15. Julerette improved off layoff and debut last month at Keeneland and looks ready to break maiden for Ben Colebrook going 5 1/2 on the main track.

Gulfstream. Race 5. 3:21. How good is Gentlemens Agreement? He’s 3-for-3, but will need to be pretty good in allowance-optional off nearly a year layoff.

Thistledown. Race 7. 3:55. Well-matched group for $75,000 Michael F. Rowland Memorial Handicap going 6 furlongs. Startin Something takes on the boys, owns six wins locally and is better than her last.

Belmont. Race 6. 4:09. Ascend looked good winning allowance at Keeneland and takes next step up ladder in allowance-optional on the grass for Graham Motion. The chief opposition is led by stakes winner Offering Plan and Juddmonte’s Western Reserve.

Arlington. Race 5. 4:14. Ditka. Enough said.

Finger Lakes. Race 8. 4:19. Unstoppable U, sixth in the 2012 Belmont Stakes in just his third career start and claimed for $10,000 April 6, returns to allowance company in Western New York debut for owner-trainer Rafael Rohena.

Churchill. Race 8. 4:19. Acapulco, a winner of Group 2 Queen Mary at Royal Ascot last summer, goes back to the grass for 5-furlong Unbridled Sidney Stakes. She meets older foes Late Spring, stablemate Tesalina and Lindisfarne.

Belmont. Race 7. 4:41. How good is Carrumba? She’s won four of her last five, the lone blemish a second to Forever Unbridled in Grade 3 Comely last November. She gets serious test in Grade 2 Ruffian against the likes of Grade 1 winners Cavorting and Include Betty and last year’s Delaware Oaks winner Calamity Kate.

Churchill. Race 9. 4:51. One-mile maiden race for 3-year-olds and up draws field of nine. Two firsters – Seeking Blame and Air Raid – meet three who finished second in their last starts at Keeneland in The Player, Refinance and Power Driven.

Woodbine. Race 8. 4:53. Riker found the water a bit deep in Tampa Bay Derby and Lexington and ships north for Grade 3 Marine Stakes. Waiting for him are rock-solid locals Bear’sway, Greatest Game and Dragon Bay.

Belmont. Race 8. 5:13. Several in Grade 3 Beaugay are no doubt glad Tepin stayed in Kentucky last weekend as they’ve got losses on their form to the dominating champion. Recepta tried her in Kentucky last month, finishing fifth in Grade 1 Jenny Wiley, as did Ball Dancing earlier this winter at Tampa Bay Downs and My Miss Sophia last October at Keeneland.

Churchill. Race 10. 5:21. Nice turf allowance for 3-year-old fillies late in the card. Squeeze looked good winning debut at Keeneland, while grass always was in the cards for Moonlight Sky.

Monmouth. Race 10. 5:24. Lucy’s Bob Boy makes rare trip away from Charles Town for $75,000 Decathlon Stakes going 6 furlongs. Millionaire and multiple stakes winner hasn’t quite found his best form and is rightfully 15-1 on the morning line. David Jacobson sends Fabulous Kid and Seeking The Sherif from New York while Jorge Navarro looks to keep sprint stakes run rolling with Delta Bluesman.

Belmont. Race 9. 5:45. Lack of points cost Adventist a spot in the Kentucky Derby, but that might work out in the end as Leah Gyarmati looks to use Grade 2 Peter Pan as possible prep for the Belmont Stakes. The bad news is Jimmy Jerkens is looking to keep flashy Bay Shore winner Unified unbeaten in the same spot. Throw Decorated Soldier and Governor Malibu in the mix and it’s another strong renewal of 9-furlong sophomore stakes.

Santa Anita Park. Race 3. 6:00. Three-year-olds take to the grass for the 1-mile Singletary Stakes. Hard to believe it’s been nearly a dozen years since Singletary won the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

Belmont. Race 10. 6:17. Kaigun and Wake Forest were 1-2 in Grade 2 Pan American last month and they renew rivalry in Grade 1 Man o’ War. Field of nine for 11-furlong grass stakes, placed a week after the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve at Churchill and a week before the Grade 2 Dixie at Pimlico. Must be a lot of turf horses to go around.

Santa Anita. Race 6. 7:30. Trio who tried unsuccessfully in Santa Anita Derby – Iron Rob, Denman’s Call and Smokey Image – cut back in distance to 7 furlongs for Grade 3 Lazaro Barrera. Doug O’Neill, Reddam Racing and Mario Gutierrez look to keep their run going with Mrazek while Jerry Hollendorfer looks like he’s got the one to beat in I Will Score.

Golden Gate Fields. Race 7. 7:45. Central Heat puts six-race win streak on the line in $50,000 Golden Poppy.

Lone Star Park. Race 1. 8:05. W V Jetsetter started his career with Bret Calhoun then went to George Weaver and now he’s back with Calhoun. Texas-bred son of Jet Phone, third in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special in 2014 and second in the Grade 3 Jersey Shore in 2015, makes turf debut in 5-furlong allowance.

Santa Anita. Race 8. 8:30. One More Round nearly sprang upset as maiden in Grade 3 Lexington April 16 at Keeneland. He’s back in the maiden ranks and might be a fair price against the popular Ziconic, Zenyatta’s second foal by Tapit.