Wow, what a day of racing. Sizing Europe in Ireland. Wise Dan at Keeneland. Stakes stacked cards at Gulfstream, Belmont, Keeneland, Indiana Downs…think they’ll simulcast to the big screen at Virginia Fall? Is there a big screen at Virginia Fall?
Here’s your Saturday Special for Oct. 4:
Newmarket. Race 1. 8:50. The Tattersalls Millions 2-year-old fillies. A cool $516,000 on the line for 2-year-old fillies catalogued in Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale. The condition attracts a first-time starter and a Group 3 winner.
Newmarket. Race 2. 9:20. The Tattersalls Millions 2-year-old colts. Same condition for the boys. Equal wages for women? Not here, the boys run for $860,000.
Ascot. Race 2. 9:40. The Cumberland Lodge Stakes. Group 3. Encke runs sparingly but he runs well. Godolphin’s son of Kingmambo missed all of 2013 but has knocked at door in two starts this season.
Redcar. Race 3. 10:05. Totepool 2-year-old Trophy. $343,000 up for grabs. Limato puts his undefeated record on the line for Henry Candy. He’s got to beat 22 rivals.
Longchamp. 3:15. Veteran Cirrus Des Aigles returns for his first start since winning the Coronation Cup in June. He won but returned lame that day, hearts in our throats here. The 8-year-old has notched 21 wins, 20 seconds and six thirds in 58 starts. Form line? 4322/21222211223312115/4311297/23212111215/2112d12/54251123-42111
Ascot. Race 3. 10:15. Reckless Abandon nearly had the good life but fertility issues scrapped that route, five-time winning sprinter makes his third start of 2014 in the Group 3 Bengough Stakes.
Newmarket. Race 4. 10:30. Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes. Falmouth Stakes winner Integral aims for win number six while Sky Lantern tries to return to the top.
Redcar. Race 4. 10:45. World-traveling Linton returns for his second start this season, the 8-year-old has danced in Australia, Hong Kong and Dubai in his last three starts. There is nothing like racing in Europe – the 7-furlong listed stakes attracts two 8-year-old geldings, a 5-year-old horse, a 5-year-old gelding, a 4-year-old gelding, a 3-year-old colt and two 3-year-old fillies. And they’re all close in credentials and value.
Ascot. Race 4. 10:50. The Totepool Challenge Cup. $249,000. Eighteen runners clash in 7-furlong class 2 stakes.
Gowran Park. Race 5. 11:45. The great Sizing Europe returns for another season, making his fall debut in the PWC Champion Chase. He’s 21-for-42 in his career, with earnings of over $2.1 million.
Belmont Park. Race 4. 2:23. The Temperence Hill Invitational. The 1980 Belmont Stakes winner would have loved this trip, a mile and five eighths around Big Sandy. Brendan Walsh travels with the sweet-moving Cary Street.
Belmont Park. Race 6. 3:25. The Frizette. Next step, girls. The Adirondack winner, the Spinaway winner and maiden winners.
Keeneland. Race 5. 3:25. Something happened on the way to the . . . Wesley Ward had a plan for No Nay Never back in March. Swale, Saratoga…well, here is Plan B. Royal Ascot winner returns in the Woodford Presented by Keeneland Select.
Keeneland. Race 6. 4:00. There is nothing like Keeneland. The Thoroughbred Club of America attracts eight, including R Free Roll, who has rolled from Gulfstream to Calder to Saratoga.
Belmont Park. Race 8. 4:29. Rick Violette opted to wheel back Upstart in nine days at Saratoga because it would set him up better for the Champagne. The theory and the horse are tested against the likes of I Spent It and wildly impressive maiden breakers. Watch I Spent It in the paddock, he lost the plot before the Hopeful.
Keeneland. Race 7. 4:35. The First Lady. Filimbi tries to erase a weak effort in the Ballston Spa, rain won’t help. Everyone will chase Istanford who scourged California for two stakes wins this summer. Dayatthespa, Somali Lemonade, Centre Court…hello again.
Woodbine. Race 8. 4:42. His Race To Win has his race to win. The favorite rates a long look in the Durham Cup.
Suffolk. Race 9. 4:45. As the doors begin to swing at Suffolk, it’s bittersweet of course. The racing isn’t high quality but ends of eras are always tough. Chuck Fipke sends homebred Indy’s Illusion to Kevin McCarthy. A son of A. P. Indy receives a class relief from competing at Saratoga, Belmont Park and Gulfstream Park. Wonder where he goes without Suffolk? Wonder where McCarthy goes?
Belmont Park. Race 9. 5:02. Ring Weekend, Tourist and Mr Speaker take on importers Sloane Avenue, Blacktype and Cabral in the revamped Hill Prince.
Keeneland. Race 8. 5:08. The Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity. Grade 1 stakes on the dirt – again – at Keeneland. Conquest Tsunami heads south with a 4-for-4 record for Mark Casse. Some race. Next stop, Breeders’ Cup.
Laurel Park. Race 9. 5:10. Schoodic’s sister Chiffonade aims for her first allowance try for Edie Dixon and Michael Matz. She probably won’t be jumping.
Santa Anita. Race 4. 5:30. Road trip. Northwest Farm’s homebred Stopshoppingdebbie (evidently Mike Repole’s approach to naming horses is catching on around the nation), takes her undefeated 9-for-9 record on the road for the L.A Woman. Yes, cue The Doors.
Keeneland. Race 9. 5:45. Wise Dan.
Gulfstream Park. Race 11. 6:15. The Florida Sire In Reality tops off a stakes-full card in Florida. Stanley Gold casts his typically long shadow in the Florida series, sending out Twotwentyfive A, Southern Barbecue, Sing Praises and Hear That Tune for Jacks or Better Farm.
Santa Anita. Race 8. 7:30. Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Secret Circle preps for his title defense in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship. Never worse than second in 10 starts, son of Smart Strike has been away since February. Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Goldencents stands in the way. Rich Tapestry makes stateside debut after a productive career in Hong Kong.
Santa Anita. Race 9. 8:00. The City of Hope. Twelve of varying degrees of ability clash in the Grade 2 turf stakes.
Indiana Grand. Race 9. 8:41. Don’t go to the French Hound in Middleburg, keep watching, it’s the Indiana Oaks. Miss Besilu, third in the Alabama, travels west…south…where is Indiana anyway?
Mountaineer Park. Race 7. 9:12. The great Tend, bred by Claiborne and Adele Dilschneider, is still going strong at age 9. Son of Dynaformer has won five in a row at River Downs (Belterra?). Tough way to make a living, he’s earned $29,627 this year.
Indiana Grand. Race 10. 9:30. Atreides takes his 3-for-3 record on the road from Gulfstream for Stonestreet and Marty Wolfson. Vicar’s In Trouble tries to add the Indiana Derby to his Super Derby win.
Now, grab a beer, you’ve graduated from the Saturday School of Racing.