Saturday Special – November 26

- -

Just in case you didn’t get enough fill on Thanksgiving Day the world of racing offers up another smorgasbord of action from Doncaster to Newcastle, Aqueduct to Del Mar and Churchill to Tampa. Another loaded day and Saturday Special presented by Pin Oak Stud previews all the action.

The day starts early with the best steeplechaser on the planet at Newbury before we get rolling here in the U.S. with loaded cards at Aqueduct and Churchill Downs. The former hosts the final Grade 1 stakes of the year in New York with the Cigar Mile, while the latter serves up the Stars of Tomorrow II card for 2-year-olds.

Elsewhere it’s Opening Day at Tampa Bay Downs, while Del Mar begins to wind down its Bing Crosby meeting with a strong post-Thanksgiving program.

Here’s your primer for Saturday, November 26. Good luck.

Newbury. Race 2. 7:55 a.m. Thistlecrack, the best steeplechase horse in the world, tries to polish his style after an indecisive round of jumping two weeks ago. That day, he jumped an open ditch like he saw a ghost. It should be smoother here.

Doncaster. Race 5. 9:30. Cornborough stayed well in his most recent start, he goes another furlong here. Bet him and pay for the turkey.

Newbury. Race 5. 9:40. Theligny aims at his fourth consecutive win, taking on seven rivals in the listed handicap hurdle.

Newcastle. Race 6. 9:55. How many times has Irving run in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle? The wily veteran takes on five, including Irish raider Apple’s Jade and Sceau Royal, a runaway winner three weeks ago.

Newbury. Race 6. 10:10. The race of the day – 20, yes, 20 clash in the Hennessy Gold Cup Chase. Historic race. Epic renewal.

Newcastle. Race 7. 10:30. Big purse on the table for the Rehearsal Handicap Chase.

Doncaster. Race 7. 10:40. Bet Eskendash/Motcomb Street – the old Eskendereya/Street Cry exacta going 1 5/8-miles in the bumper.

Aqueduct. Race 1. 11:50. New York’s final card of consequence for the year gets started with 7-furlong starter allowance.

Tampa Bay Downs. Race 1. 12:10 p.m. Sure sign of winter, Opening Day in Oldsmar. The 2016-2017 season gets underway with $8,000 claimer going 7 furlongs.

Aqueduct. Race 3. 12:50. Lewis Bay and Flora Dora, one-two in Grade 3 Turnback The Alarm last month, meet again in Grade 3 Comely. Unbridled Mo rides four-race win streak into 9-furlong stakes while Going For Broke looks to land first graded victory after knocking heads against the likes of Songbird and Forever Unbridled in her last two.

Gulfstream Park West. Race 3. 1:00. Turf sprinters line up for $75,000 Gin Rummy Champ going 5 furlongs.

Churchill Downs. Race 1. 1:00. Stars of Tomorrow II card begins with 6-furlong allowance that lures Reckling, Will Call, Blame Will and Reedini.

Gulfstream Park West. Race 5. 2:00. Strike Charmer upset Lady Eli in her return in Grade 2 Ballston Spa three starts back and aims to get back to winner’s circle in Grade 3 My Charmer.

Tampa. Race 4. 1:40. Full field for 1 1/16-mile maiden on the grass. Tom Proctor sends out the well-bred Glen Hill Farm homebred firster Chicago Style.

Aqueduct. Race 6. 2:20. Rudy Rodriguez is loaded in Grade 2 Demoiselle with Frizette runner-up Libby’s Tail, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies fifth Jamyson ‘n Ginger and unbeaten New York-bred Bonita Bianca. Todd Pletcher owns five Demoiselle victories since 2001 and sends out Elandess and Spirituality.

Churchill. Race 4. 2:27. Perfect Wife impressed breaking maiden in debut Oct. 28 at Keeneland. Same can be said for Vertical Oak, a winner at Saratoga Aug. 21 and solid second behind Golden Mischief in allowance during Churchill’s September meet for Steve Asmussen.

Gulfstream Park West. Race 7. 3:01. The ageless Lubash keeps giving and giving. Nine-year-old son of Freud bids for win No. 18 in Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap against Coalport, War Correspondent, Granny’s Kitten and Rose Brier.

Laurel Park. Race 7. 3:06. Nine maiden 2-year-olds set to go 6 furlongs. Michael Trombetta sends out two firsters for Harry and Tom Meyerhoff, the Uncle Mo colt Alive and the Bodemeister colt Dharmaster.

Golden Gate Fields. Race 6. 3:15. Jerry Hollendorfer sends out two – Southern Freedom and G. G. Ryder – in Grade 3 Berkley Handicap. Southern Freedom rates the edge with two wins on the local synthetic and a freshening since dull effort in small stakes in early September against two opponents in this spot.

Aqueduct. Race 8. 3:20. No Dozing caught a wide trip on both turns in Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity and looks for more luck in Grade 2 Remsen. Shadwell’s Bernardini colt Takaful was impressive breaking maiden Oct. 29 and takes leap from 6 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/8 miles.

Aqueduct. Race 9. 3:50. Definitely not many of these opportunities – 11 furlongs on the grass – left for the year north of the Mason Dixon Line.

Laurel. Race 9. 4:05. Big field of 12 for 5 1/2-furlong turf allowance.

Aqueduct. Race 10. 4:20. Anchor Down, who defeated eventual Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Tamarkuz fairly convincingly in Grade 2 Kelso Handicap last time, is deserving highweight against nine others in Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap. Others in the field include Connect, winner of Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby after flop in the Travers; King’s Bishop runner-up Economic Model, Threefiveindia and Divining Rod.

Tampa. Race 10. 4:40. Smoke Signals exits third behind Miss Ella and Fair Point in Grade 3 Buffalo Trace Franklin County at Keeneland for Arnaud Delacour. Daughter of Street Sense won’t run into the likes of those in 5-furlong turf allowance, but field does include Everything Lovely and Cali Thirty Seven.

Woodbine. Race 8. 4:46. Born In A Breeze, second in last year’s Sir Barton Stakes, takes another crack in this year’s renewal of $125,000 stakes for new connections.

Churchill. Race 9. 4:57. Daddys Lil Darling endured troubled trips in her last two starts – both Grade 1 stakes – and looks for a little more luck in Grade 2 Golden Rod. Scat Daddy filly will again need to make her way through the field, which numbers 12 and also features Eve So Clever, Fun, Dream Dancing and China Grove.

Churchill. Race 11. 5:56. Start looking for clues into next year’s Kentucky Derby in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club. The two on the outside in the field of 12 – Street Sense Stakes winner McCracken and flashy Keeneland maiden winner Uncontested – look like the two to beat.

Del Mar. Race 6. 6:00. Jimmy Toner ships Defiant Honor to the West Coast for stakes debut in Grade 3 Jimmy Durante going 1 mile on the turf. Speightstown filly won’t have it easy against With Honors, Jimmy Temple, Happy Mesa and La Force.

Del Mar. Race 7. 6:30. Lady Mamba, a $1 million daughter of War Front, makes debut for Peter Eurton in 6-furlong maiden.

Del Mar. Race 8. 7:00. Om, who just missed in Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, stretches back out to 1 1/16 miles for Grade 2 Seabiscuit Handicap. Fellow Breeders’ Cup contenders Vyjack, What A View and Ring Weekend are also in the field.

Golden Gate. Race 8. 7:15. Urban Bourbon, graded stakes placed as a member of Eddie Kenneally’s barn on the East Coast, resurfaces for new connections in two-turn grass allowance.

Charles Town Races. Race 7. 9:49. Lucy’s Bob Boy, a 26-time winner at Charles Town and millionaire, makes first start since mid-June in featured $27,000 allowance going 7 furlongs.