Saturday Special Rewind

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You read The Saturday Special with all the stars from McCracken to Native River and the predictions and insights. Well, we nailed some. We missed some. Here are the highlights and lowlights form the weekly feature, which should help reset your table for the week.

• Newbury. Race 1. 8:15 a.m. Each Saturday during the winter, there’s a showcase card of racing in England. Today’s headliner plays out at Newbury. High Bridge, undefeated in two starts over hurdles and Azzerti, on the board in each of his three hurdle starts, open the card.

High Bridge won again, dispatching Azzerti with ease.

•Newbury. Race 2. 8:50. Change of scenery? Tobefair is undefeated in six starts since joining Debra Hamer. The water gets deeper the farther you swim.

Deeper water, stronger stroke. Tobefair won again.

• Newbury. Race 3. 9:25. The Betfair Denman Chase only attracts three but a big three. Native River, winner of the Coral Welsh National and Hennessy Gold Cup this season, takes on Bristol De Mai. Dad always says bet the longest shot in a three-horse field, well, Dad will be betting Le Mercurey.

Dad would have split them as Le Mercurey finished second behind Native River.

• Warwick. Race 3. 9:40. The Betway Kingmaker Novices’ Chase offers £40,000 to a competitive field of six. We always have faith in Harry Fry and Noel Fehily, so bet Overtown Express and buy Sunday brunch for the kids.

No brunch for the kids, Overtown Express finished last.

• Newbury. Race 4. 10:00. Now, here’s a race. Fox Norton, a 9-length winner at Cheltenham in November against Altior, undefeated in three starts over fences, with a Queen Mother winner thrown in the sauce.

Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner Altior stayed unbeaten with a crushing performance over Fox Norton and Queen Mother winning Dodging Bullets.

• Naas. Race 4. 10:20. Tough season for Willie Mullins, losing Gigginstown and a slew of his Cheltenham-bound stars. Well, it isn’t exactly skid row over there. Mullins will win the feature at Naas with Listen Dear. And, by the way, block off Sunday morning to watch Leopardstown’s dynamic card of four Grade 1 stakes – Don Poli, Empire Of Dirt, Bellshill, Saturnas…

Mullins’ inexplicable skid (for his standards) continued with a 15-length drubbing of Listen Dear.

• Newbury. Race 5. 10:35. The Betfair Hurdle, a Grade 3 affair attracts 16 competitive hurdlers, including 146-rated Hargam and the consistent Ballyandy. We’ve always like Boite and Beltor around our office – big prices.

Boite and Beltor finished 1-2, well, actually 7-8 but they were together. Consistency is key, Ballyandy won a thriller.

• Newbury. Race 6. 11:10. A handicap chase begins to slow down a stellar card, but what else do you have to do on a chilly Saturday morning? If you get a price on Boa Island, take it.

You got a price on the board, then you got a punch in the mouth as Boa Island finished last of six. Sorry about that.

• Aqueduct. Race 3. 1:50. Early stakes on the card, the $100,000 Haynesfield for state-breds features field of five led by 2-5 favorite Send It In. Son of Big Brown handled jump to stakes company last time, winning Alex M. Robb by daylight and might not get much resistance from this group.

Well, we were right, Send It In won again, but there was plenty of resistance as Fox Rules hung tough before succumbing by a nose to the favorite.

• Parx Racing. Race 4. 2:16. Thirstforthecup sports a third and a second in two starts at Parx. Is the third time the charm for daughter of Stay Thirsty in 1-mile maiden?

Yes, the third time was the charm as Thirstforthecup scored by a half-length.

• Aqueduct. Race 4. 2:20. Don’t look now but Joe Parker is 6-for-25 on the inner track in 2016-17. He sends out longshot Seethisquick in 6-furlong open maiden.

We’re looking, Seethisquick finished third at a big price. Sunday, Parker got back to winning with Time Squared (and had a second). The five wins already match Parker’s total from all of 2016.

• Tampa Bay. Race 6. 2:43. Ian Wilkes looks to get what could be a big day rolling with Arch first-timer Legal Jargon from the rail for longtime client Lothenbach Stables. Ten others stretch to 7 furlongs, including Todd Pletcher’s Egyptian Hero, Tom Proctor’s Ticker Tape Parade and Arnaud Delacour’s Major Force.

Egyptian Hero won, Legal Jargon finished last. Wilkes’ good day would come later.

• Fair Grounds. Race 2. 2:52. Good field of eight 3-year-old fillies for the $50,000 Joseph E. “Spanky” Broussard Memorial going 1 mile on the grass. Rum Go, third in Grade 3 Jessamine last fall at Keeneland, makes 2017 debut for Tom Proctor while Mark Casse sends out the duo of Superduper Sky and Summertime Sky.

Wow, Stallion Heiress, a daughter of Exchange Rate trained by Mike Stidham, dominated the Broussard. Look out.

• Laurel. Race 7. 3:30. Graham Motion sends out Johnny Hop, first-time starter by Bodemeister who cost $350,000 last March, in 6-furlong maiden for 3-year-olds.

Could be a bargain…Johnny Hop won his debut by a neck.

• Tampa Bay. Race 8. 3:45. How good is Elate? She won by 12 1/4 lengths in her debut on Cigar Mile Day at Aqueduct. Daughter of Medaglia d’Oro takes next step in $100,000 Suncoast Stakes for 3-year-old fillies eyeing bigger prizes down the road.

How good is Elate? She’s still good, but she’s not undefeated, finishing second behind Tapa Tapa Tapa.

• Gulfstream. Race 9. 4:03. Sandiva looks to call it a career with second straight victory in Grade 3 Marshua’s River before going off to be bred to Mshawish.

Thanks for the memories, Sandiva finished third to rail-skimming Dickinson and late-charging Elysea’s World

• Parx. Race 8. 4:04. Who says all the 3-year-olds go south? Here’s a solid 7-furlong allowance that draws runners who competed in the Grade 1 Champagne (Thirst For Victory), Grade 3 Jerome (The Walk), six straight stakes at Woodbine (Pachi Cruze) and another from a small stakes at Laurel (Chill Factor).

You’re To Blame rallied from last, hinting at bigger things.

• Tampa Bay. Race 9. 4:15. Kasaqui is a favorite around our office and big gray son of Lasting Approval is back on preferred surface in $150,000 Tampa Bay Stakes going 1 1/16 miles on the grass. Brian Lynch sends out Australian import Turbo Street for the first time while Graham Motion tries to win another for Isabelle de Tomaso with Irish Strait (a half-brother to top 3-year-old Irish War Cry). Catapult, Kaigun and Inspector Lynley give the field plenty of depth.

Like always, John Velazquez made up for a rough trip with a perfect trip, guiding Inspector Lynley to the stakes score.

• Gulfstream. Race 10. 4:34. Buff Bradley hopes Divisidero improves off third in Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale against familiar foes in Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap. Beach Patrol might be tough to handle in 9-furlong grass stakes, along with Almanaar, Lukes Alley, Flatlined and All Included. 

Almanaar proved best in another wildly competitive stakes over the Gulfstream turf.

• Tampa Bay. Race 10. 4:45. McCraken puts unbeaten mark and big reputation on the line in Grade 3 Sam F. Davis, which offers a $250,000 purse and 10 points to the winner toward a spot in the Kentucky Derby field. No Dozing, fourth after being wide on both turns in Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity and second in Grade 2 Remsen, is starting to feel like the wise-guy horse of this year’s sophomore class. We wish he was still at Fair Hill, though we’re sure he doesn’t. Fact Finding also brings unbeaten mark to the party and Tapwrit sports back-to-back victories. Something’s got to give.

McCraken didn’t give. He won again, improving his record to 4-for-4 in his career.

• Santa Anita. Race 4. 5:00. Vale Dori looks to make quick work of older female set once again as she bids for fourth straight win in Grade 2 Santa Maria.

Put another picture on Mike Smith’s wall, as Vale Dori won again.

• Gulfstream. Race 11. 5:05. Tommy Macho loves Gulfstream and breaks from the rail in $350,000 Hardacre Mile Gulfstream Park Handicap. Stablemate Zulu looks to jump back in the mix, while Sharp Azteca and the Mark Casse duo of Awesome Banner and Awesome Slew lurk on the outside in Grade 2 stakes going 1 mile out of the chute.

Sharp Azteca crushed Awesome Slew, Tommy Macho and all the rest.

• Tampa Bay. Race 11. 5:15. The Grade 3 Lambholm South Endeavour lost some star power when connections of two-time Eclipse Award winner Tepin opted to skip the race. The racing office most likely didn’t mind, hustling up a field of 11 for $150,000 stakes, including graded stakes winners Isabella Sings and Evidently and Light In Paris and Elysea’s World from Chad Brown’s Palm Meadows string.

When Tepin is away, Isabella Sings will play. The frontrunner lost a 17-length lead to Tepin in last year’s Hillsborough at Tampa Bay Downs. Saturday, she opened up a 6-length lead and kept it, taking the $150,000 stakes by 3 lengths

• Santa Anita. Race 5. 5:30. Small field of five for Grade 2 Arcadia going 1 mile on the grass. Ring Weekend, winner of Grade 2 Seabiscuit two back and beaten fifth as favorite in off-the-turf Grade 3 San Gabriel last time, is 6-5 on the line while Grade 2 Mathis Brothers Mile winner Conquest Enforcer is 8-5.

Welcome back, Bolo.

• Oaklawn Park. Race 8. 5:38. The path to the Fantasy and possibly the Kentucky Oaks continues in $125,000 Martha Washington. Good group lines up, including Remington stakes winner Perfect Wife for Ken McPeek, Torrent for Ron Moquett, Pocahontas runner-up Ever So Clever for Steve Asmussen and Arlington-Washington Lassie runner-up Benner Island for Brad Cox.

McPeek, Moquett, Asmussen and Cox…meet Lynn Chleborad and Chanel’s Legacy, who scored at 13-1 in the $125,000 stakes.

• Rillito. Race 7. 6:00. The featured $5,000 Bert W. Martin Foundation is two-turn affair going 5 1/2 furlongs. Frat Boy, a 5-year-old son of the recently deceased Roman Ruler, shows races on his form from Del Mar, Santa Anita, Los Al and Turf Paradise. He should enjoy this company a bit better. 

Rilito is back and so is Truco Latino, the 8-year-old won his 13th career race.

• Fair Grounds. Race 10. 6:28. Is Gary Scherer throwing a Hail Mary with Flutie? First-time starter by Tapizar rates a better chance than an end-zone heave in 1 1/16-mile turf maiden. Check it out again, and the call from recently retired Brent Musberger.

Where’s Gerard Phelan when you need him? Flutie finished seventh.

• Golden Gate Fields. Race 8. 7:15. Simmy’s Temple and Tapped were one-two in small stakes in Northern California last October. They’re back for $50,000 California Oaks, along with Tap It All from Doug O’Neill’s Santa Anita string.

More ad copy for Tapit as Tap It All, by Tapit’s son Tapizar, bested Tapped, a daughter of Tapit.

• Delta Downs. Race 5. 8:32. Dallas Stewart scratched his homebred Saint’s Fan from Kentucky Derby prep at Fair Grounds and sends Tale Of Ekati colt out here as strong favorite in $100,000 Louisiana Premier Night Prince. The first three from the local prep, Freakonthelead, Underpressure and Magic Vow, and stakes winner Tip Tap Tapizar are also in the field.

Saint’s Fan fumbled, finishing third behind Underpressure and Magic Vow.

• Turfway Park. Race 6. 8:40. The 31st running of the $50,000 WEBN Stakes. The race used to be called the WEBN Frog, which was kind of cool. Still a neat race although it looks like Mike Maker, Ben Colebrook and Wesley Ward might have the field over a barrel. Maker goes with En Hanse, Hey Mike and Hunka Burning Love, Colebrook sends out Preemptive Strike and Noshackleshere and Ward runs Star Empire and Bound For Nowhere.

Somebody bring Hansen back to America. En Hanse won the WEBN easily.

• Delta. Race 6. 9:02. The $100,000 Louisiana Premier Night Starlet doesn’t look as deep as the Prince, but probably because of Mr. Al’s Gal.

Mr. Al’s Gal won again.

• Sam Houston. Race 9. 10:58. Union Jackson, third in Grade 3 Aristides in June at Churchill and third in Thanksgiving Handicap last time out at Fair Grounds, tops field of 10 for $50,000 Sam Houston Sprint Cup.

Union Jackson enjoyed the stroll, drawing off to win by 8 ¼ lengths.

• Delta. Race 10. 11:02. Mobile Bay romped last time on Louisiana Champions Day and looks to leave his mark on Premier Night, too, in $150,000 Louisiana Premier Night Championship. Featured event drew field of 10, which also includes Chocopologie, Mageez, The Pickett Factor and Watch My Smoke.

Well, we went out a winner, albeit a short-priced winner, as Mobile Bay won the nightcap.