Saturday Special – October 22

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Maryland Million, Empire Showcase, a strong Saturday card at Keeneland; who says all the preps and the actual Breeders’ Cup World Championships pull all the air out of the balloon. Another big day on tap and we’ve got the action covered coast-to-coast and around the world in Saturday Special presented by Pin Oak Stud, home of Alternation, Broken Vow and Cowboy Cal.

The Maryland Million card gets rolling just after the noon hour, with the Empire Showcase shortly after at 12:25 p.m.

There’s plenty of action overseas before those events get rolling, so prime the pump, load up the ADW account and settle in for a great day of racing.

Here’s your Saturday Special for October 22. Good luck.

Newbury. Race 2. 8:45 a.m. Group 3 stakes starts off a three-stakes afternoon at one of Britain’s best racetracks. John Gosden and Frankie Dettori team up with Coolmore’s Eaton Square.

Cheltenham. Race 1. 8:50. Welcome back, old friend. Cheltenham began its jump season Friday and keeps it rolling Saturday. The Randox Chase opens the card.

Doncaster. Race 2. 9:05. The proper flat season begins to fade but not before a strong card at Doncaster. The Scott Dobson Memorial Doncaster Stakes pits 2-year-olds at 6 furlongs. Timeless Flight has won two of three so far.

Newbury. Race 3. 9:20. The Worthington’s OCL Stakes offers $88,000 and a Group 3 tag to the likes of Kings Fete, Western Hymn and globetrotting Quarterback, who jaunts out of a Grade 3 score in Sweden.

Doncaster. Race 3. 9:40. Twenty-two sprinting handicappers sign on for a 5-furlong dash in the Templegate Tips Handicap. Nine-year-olds Mirza and Humidor, for our old friend George Baker, carry top weights.

Cheltenham. Rae 3. 10:00. Paul Nicholls begins his annual unveiling. Adrien Du Pont, 4-for-5 in his career, looks strong in the Masterson Holdings Handicap. The Bloomfields Dispersal wasn’t exactly a dispersal, Leoncavallo represents Bloomfields with new trainer Ben Pauling. Wolf Of Windlesham will win.

Newbury. Race 5. 10:20. Glitter Girl makes her seventh start of her juvenile year in the JLT Stakes, a listed stakes for 2-year-old fillies.

Cheltenham. Race 4. 10:30. Fox Norton, winner at Cheltenham in April, returns in the Randox Health Handicap Chase.

Doncaster. Race 5. 10:50. The Racing Post Trophy, a Group 1 stakes going a mile for 2-year-olds, tops the card. Rivet drops from the Dewhurst while Yucatan exits a third in the Juddmonte Beresford for Flaxman/Coolmore.

Cheltenham. Race 5. 11:05. New Math. Old friend, Eshtiaal, skipped the $350,000 Grand National at Far Hills this year to concentrate on a $29,500 handicap hurdle at Cheltenham.

Cheltenham. Race 6. 11:40. Shantou Village, a 34-length winner in his chasing debut in April, returns for this novice chase. Money in the bank.

Laurel Park. Race 1. 12:15 p.m. Maryland Million Day launches with maiden race on the grass for older females.

Belmont Park. Race 1. 12:25. Empire Showcase card kicks off with 1-mile allowance on the main track.

Laurel. Race 3. 1:23. Greatbullsoffire returns to the dirt for $100,000 Maryland Million Nursery off good third on the grass in Laurel Futurity.

Belmont. Race 3. 1:28. Small and select field for $150,000 Iroquois, led by Union Avenue 1-2 finishers Hot City Girl and Quezon. Check out our recap of the Union Avenue from The Saratoga Special.

Laurel. Race 4. 1:55. Fillies take their turn in $100,000 Maryland Million Lassie.

Belmont. Race 4. 2:01. Weekend Hideaway ran extremely well to finish third in Grade 1 Vosburgh and returns to state-bred ranks for $150,000 Hudson Handicap. Old class horse takes on just four opponent, including Ostrolenka and Drama King.

Laurel. Race 5. 2:27. Complete St., despite 0-for-6 mark on the season, looks tough from the rail in $125,000 Maryland Million Ladies going 9 furlongs on the grass. 

Belmont. Race 5. 2:34. The 2-year-old fillies take their turn in $250,000 Maid of the Mist. Tough to sort out field of nine, so we’ll lean toward the accomplished in Seeking The Ante winner Iron Mizz from the rail.

Belmont. Race 6. 3:07. Don’t stop reading if you’ve seen this before … Kharafa, King Kreesa, Lubash and now Tapitation. That’s right, old friends together again for the $200,000 Mohawk.

Keeneland Race Course. Race 5. 3:18. Tequilita exits back-to-back seconds at Saratoga and Laurel for Michael Matz. Union Rags filly adds Lasix for 7-furlong maiden race for 2-year-old fillies.

Gulfstream Park West. Race 5. 3:21. Master Plan makes local debut after one start and plenty of training up in Saratoga for Todd Pletcher.

Woodbine. Race 6. 3:30. The $125,000 Bunty Lawless, a 1-mile turf stakes for 3-year-olds and up by stallions standing in Ontario for his entire season the year of conception and registered with the CTHS. But who is Bunty Lawless? None other than the 1938 King’s Plate champ who won 19 of 48 starts.

Laurel. Race 7. 3:33. Phlash Phelps capped unbeaten season with victory in last year’s Maryland Million Turf and he returns this year as formidable favorite despite presence of 10 opponents.

Belmont. Race 7. 3:40. Gold For The King kept the beat rolling for Charlton Baker in New York Breeders’ Futurity at Finger Lakes and stretches out a bit more for $250,000 Sleepy Hollow. Runaway Lute returns to state-bred ranks after sixth in Grade 1 Hopeful.

Keeneland. Race 6. 3:51. Naifah, fourth in P. G. Johnson Stakes in U.S. debut, looks to keep the train rolling for Graham Motion barn in Lexington. Full field of 12 for 2-year-old filly turf maiden race.

Laurel. Race 8. 4:06. Ben’s Cat looks to end four-race losing skid in $100,000 Maryland Million Sprint, a race he finished second in last year. Fan favorite breaks from the rail against just five opponents, which include the comebacking Morning Fire.

Belmont. Race 8. 4:13. Another tough one to sort out, the $250,000 Empire Distaff Handicap brings together Bar Of Gold, Wonder Gal, Jules N Rome and Super Surprise.

Keeneland. Race 7. 4:24. Gettysburg, the gallant pacesetter in Belmont Stakes for WinStar Farm, draws outside for 9-furlong allowance on the main track that also attracts Seeking Blame, Flash Trading and December Seven.

Parx Racing. Race 9. 4:31. Include Betty, winner of last year’s Grade 1 Mother Goose and off since a fifth in Grade 2 Ruffian in May at Belmont, makes return in $90,000 allowance going 1 mile.

Woodbine. Race 8. 4:37. Good group for $250,000 Cup and Saucer Stakes for 2-year-old Canadian-breds on the grass.

Laurel. Race 9. 4:40. Another big field for $100,000 Maryland Million Distaff. Lovable Lady is 4-for-8 at Laurel, 4-for-8 this year and riding a three-race win streak for Mary Eppler.

Belmont. Race 9. 4:46. Fourstar Crook puts six-race win streak on the line in $200,000 Ticonderoga for fillies and mares on the grass. The Tea Cups and Flipcup tried her in recent stakes and take another shot.

Keeneland. Race 8. 4:57. Look for Tale Of Life to be a bit closer to the pace than he was last time at Parx. We mentioned Motion earlier and a bet against at this point in the meeting is at your own risk.

Santa Anita Park. Race 4. 5:00. Cal-bred and Cal-sired turf sprinters venture down the hill for $100,000 California Flag Handicap. Boozer loves the course and exits strong second in Grade 3 Eddie D. last time out.

Laurel. Race 10. 5:13. The $150,000 Maryland Million Classic . Admirals War Chest, on the board in eight of nine career starts at Laurel, takes on Flash McCaul, Bullheaded Boy and Just Jack in headlining event.

Belmont. Race 10. 5:19. The main event, $300,000 Empire Classic Handicap, looks like perfect spot for Governor Malibu to land first stakes win since February. That’s hard to believe, until looking at Malibu Moon colt’s resume that features starts in Peter Pan, Belmont Stakes, Jim Dandy and Travers.

Keeneland. Race 9. 5:30. Southern Girl, once considered a rival or perhaps even better than Songbird (page 15) by the connections of both fillies, is one of a dozen entered for $250,000 Lexus Raven Run. Unbeaten filly Lucy N Ethel Lightstream, Sophia’s Song and Bellamentary also entered in Grade 2 stakes.

Santa Anita. Race 5. 5:30. Maiden races in Southern California this time of year merit a lot of respect. Most of the major players on the circuit send out starters – Bob Baffert (Mastery), Doug O’Neill (Stone Hands), Jerry Hollendorfer (Sheer Flattery) and Keith Desormeaux (Moonman).

Keeneland. Race 10. 6:03. Allowance going 5 1/2 furlongs on the grass closes the card roughly 90 minutes before the kickoff the Kentucky-Mississippi State football game at Commonwealth Stadium. Crowd should be thin at the track but you’ll want to stick around for Orient  Harbor.