The Saturday Special – June 13

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Slowly but surely things are starting to reopen and – dare we say it – feel at least a little bit more back to normal. No fans for the races just yet but an especially busy Saturday on tap with graded stakes at Belmont Park and Churchill Downs and stakes from Woodbine, Santa Anita and Golden Gate.

The Grade 1 Ogden Phipps leads the way, shifted from its former spot on the Belmont Stakes Day undercard to its own headlining Saturday spot. Churchill runs the Grade 3 Louisville going long on the grass to carry the card in Louisville.

How about the return of jump racing here in the U.S.? We’re excited about the 11-race program for the delayed Middleburg Spring Races and previewed the Temple Gwathmey and other action along with Joe Clancy’s piece on what it actually took to make the day happen. Read all about it.

Racing continues to pick up overseas, too, and Saturday’s slate in Europe features racing from Doncster, Newbury, Sandown, The Curragh, Leicester and more. We’ll start there and roll into the action here in North America.

Want to watch? Don’t forget America’s Day at the Races on Fox Sports. Everything starts on FS2 from 1-2:30 before moving to FS1 from 2:30-6:30. The same programming will also run on MSG+ from 1-6:30 p.m.

Here’s your primer for Saturday, June 13. Take care, be safe and good luck.

Newbury. Race 1. 7:15 a.m. Impressive in October, Tsar makes his 3-year-old debut for Gosden and Dettori.

Doncaster. Race 4. 8:40. No trainer is rolling like John Gosden. He unveils the promising Seventh Kingdom, a son of Frankel, for this juvenile event.

Newbury. Race 5. 9:25. Ryan Moore can’t go to Ireland to ride for Coolmore so he stays put and picks up the ride on Preening in the Mansionbet Maggie Dickson Fillies’ Stakes. 

Sandown. Race 4. 9:40. Al Raya won a Group 3 in August and hasn’t been seen since, the daughter of Siyouni looks imposing in a solid listed stakes.

Newbury. Race 6. 10:00. Moore could make it a quick double (or more) with the ride on Cabaletta for Roger Varian in this listed stakes. Competitive. 

Newbury. Race 7. 10:35. The Group 3 Mansionbet’s Beaten by a head Diomed Stakes. Yeah, that’s the name of it. Zaaki, with who else Ryan Moore, returns from a jaunt to Hong Kong in December for Sir Michael Stoute. King Of Comedy drops from the Queen Elizabeth II in October. Wow, some race.

Curragh. Race 1. 11:00. Stellar card gets underway with a 2-mile handicap. Yeah, 2 miles. Europe doesn’t limit its horse population by its race conditions. Eclectic group. Godolphin and Jim Bolger send out Harriet Tubman, a 4-year-old filly by Dubawi, while Anthony Bloom and Willie Mullins sends out Kaatskill Nap, a 7-year-old jumper by Rip Van Winkle. A bunch of jumpers in here. 

Curragh. Race 2. 11:35. Ten 2-year-old fillies make their debuts. Tabor, Magnier and Smith named one Finest. Think they know something? 

Gulfstream Park. Race 1. Noon. Start the day in South Florida with a maiden claimer going 1 mile on the grass.

Curragh. Race 3. 12:10 p.m. Florence Camille looks like a cinch for Moyglare and Weld.

Compiegne. Race 4. 12:27. They’re jumping in Middleburg and France! Gardons Le Sourire looks strong in the Grade 1 Prix Ferdinand de Chevigney Chase. 

Laurel Park. Race 1. 12:40. The show rolls on in Maryland and the two-turn opener is $10,000 to $8,000 claimer. 

Compiegne. Race 5. 1:00. Kool Has rolls into the Grade 1 Prix Alain Du Breil Hurdle straight off a Grade 2 romp in May. 

Leicester. Race 3. 1:00. Our friend George Baker aims for a hat trick with Bowling Russian. 

Churchill Downs. Race 1. 1:00. More and more 2-year-old races on the cards these days, a sure sign of summer on the way even though many haven’t even gone through the sales ring just yet. The opener is $75,000 maiden claimer at 5 furlongs.

Woodbine. Race 1. 1:00. Skygaze won the Grade 3 Mazarine in her final Woodbine start of 2019 and returns “home” for 7-furlong allowance to start the card.

Curragh. Race 5. 1:15. Eighteen strong go in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF ‘Ragusa’ Handicap. Wow, what a race. 

Belmont Park. Race 1. 1:15. About the only After Prom Party you’ll see this year comes in the opener when 5-year-old son of Desert Party out of Prom Dance makes his fourth start in state-bred maiden claimer going 6 furlongs on the grass.

Curragh. Race 6. 1:45. Lancaster House has only lost once in four starts. Son of Galileo makes his 4-year-old debut in the Group 3 Coolmore Calyx Gladness Stakes. 

Woodbine. Race 3. 2:06. Mark Casse sends out Polyanthus and Carpe Horsehoe while Wesley Ward enters Tequila Queen for 4 1/2-furlong maiden for 2-year-old fillies.

Laurel. Race 4. 2:10. Fly makes first start off trainer change from the indicated Jason Servis to Brittany Russell for owners Michael Dubb and Bethlehem Stables. Veteran Brilliant Speed mare is 2-for-7 on the turf at Laurel and could be tough in 5 1/2-furlong optional on the grass if she’s ready off near 14-month layoff.

Gulfstream. Race 5. 2:10. Peter Brant’s Brewmeister makes first start for Lisa Lewis after two runs for Chad Brown last year in New York. Son of Point Of Entry finished fourth in good maiden last September and shortens up to 6 furlongs here.

Curragh. Race 7. 2:15. Well, we should be between the timber and the maiden hurdle at Middleburg. Perfect, tune in for the Group 1 Tattersalls Irish One Thousand Guineas. Albigna makes her first start since finishing fourth behind Sharing in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. Aidan O’Brien goes with Peaceful and So Wonderful, Joseph launches Brook On Fifth and New York Girl and Donnacha counters with Fancy Blue. 

Curragh. Race 8. 2:45. Magic Wand is back home after a world tour that included Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Florida and Saudi Arabia. She takes on six rivals in the Group 2 Lanwades Stud Stakes.

Belmont. Race 3. 2:23. Very short price on the morning line for Primacy, 3-year-old daughter of Union Rags set to break her maiden going 6 1/2 for Chad Brown.

Churchill. Race 4. 2:38. Tom Amoss sends Millennium Force back to the grass for 5 1/2-furlong maiden after trying 6 furlongs on the dirt last time at Oaklawn. Declaration Of War colt finished second in debut at similar trip in debut at Fair Grounds.

Gulfstream. Race 6. 2:42. Violent Trick, previously trained by the indicted Jorge Navarro, brings 3-for-6 record to 1-mile optional in first start for Todd Pletcher.

Churchill. Race 5. 3:10. Necker Island gets class relief – and drops in for $100,000 tag – after four straight stakes appearances. Son of Hard Spun meets four others, including Arkansas Derby third Finnick The Fierce – in two-turn optional.

Gulfstream. Race 7. 3:14. A dozen plus an AE and three MTOs for 1-mile maiden on the grass.

Woodbine. Race 5. 3:16. Sister Peacock, 4-5 on the morning line for Stuart Simon, set for 2020 debut in Toronto. She won three of five on the synthetic there the last two seasons and goes 7 furlongs here on that surface.

Belmont. Race 5. 3:27. Nine older state-breds led by Playwright, Twisted Tom, Sea Foam and Hit It Once More go 1 1/16 miles in optional on the main track.

Santa Anita Park. Race 1. 4:00. Cal-bred or Cal-sired 2-year-old fillies start the card in 4 1/2-furlong maiden.

Laurel. Race 8. 4:10. Another 5 1/2-furlong turf allowance and another big field of 13 entered.

Woodbine. Race 7. 4:21. Untitled needs to bounce back to form that saw him finish second in Grade 3 Gotham three starts back and win state-bred optional at Gulfstream if he wants to get it done in $75,000 Woodstock. Chief opposition are eclectic group of shippers who made last starts at Gulfstream (Aye Aye Sir), Turfway (Newstome) and Woodbine (Calyton, in November).

Belmont. Race 7. 4:32. Too Sexy just missed in 1-mile maiden on the grass at Gulfstream in early April and looks to get it done in similar spot against entry from Chad Brown (Dovima and Cost Benefit).

Churchill. Race 8. 4:46. Tough to sort full field of 12 fillies and mares for 5 1/2-furlong optional on the grass.

Woodbine. Race 8. 4:53. The co-featured $100,000 Star Shoot for 3-year-old fillies at 6 furlongs. New York Groove won the Glorious Song north of the border last fall for Mike Trombetta and returns from Fair Hill off back-to-back wallops in graded stakes.

Belmont. Race 8. 5:04. Amira Chichakly saddled her first winner Thursday and looks for another with Bustin Scones in 6-furlong state-bred allowance. Daughter of Bustin Stones should be a price against the likes of Behind The Couch, Good Credence, Quality Stones and Officer Hutchy.

Gulfstream. Race 11. 5:22. Diamond Oops, mentioned as a possible for the Grade 1 Jaipur at Belmont, would stand out in 1-mile handicap if he runs. Multiple Grade 3 winner would shoulder 125 pounds, giving two to Grade 1 winner Math Wizard in his second start of 2020 after dismal run in Grade 3 Razorback at Oaklawn.

Belmont. Race 9. 5:36. Deep field for the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps. John Sadler ships Ollie’s Candy from Santa Anita looking for her second Grade 1 victory along with last year’s Clement L. Hirsch at Del Mar while Pink Sands, Point Of Honor, She’s A Julie and Golden Award all have legitimate credentials. And don’t forget Blamed, who is our pick and very capable on her best day if she isn’t rank early.

Churchill. Race 10. 5:50. Figure Of Speech, third in the Grade 1 Spinaway last summer at Saratoga, makes 2020 debut for Chad Brown in 6 1/2-furlong optional that also attracts Miss T Too, Scolding and She Can’t Sing.

Woodbine. Race 10. 5:54. A dozen fillies and mares – not including two on the AE list – take to the grass for 6 1/2-furlong allowance worth $101,200.

Churchill. Race 11. 6:22. Feature closes the card, the Grade 3 Louisville at 12 furlongs on the turf. Arklow won at the distance in Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic to earn spots in Breeders’ Cup Turf and Pegasus World Cup Turf, where he didn’t hit the board. He stands out against this bunch although the likes of Tiz A Slam, Admission Office, He’s No Lemon and Apreciado are certainly capable.

Santa Anita. Race 6. 6:30. The $100,000 Thor’s Echo Handicap, first of two stakes on the card, goes 6 furlongs for Cal-breds. Desert Law, second in last year’s Grade 1 Bing Crosby at Del Mar, returns to defend title from the rail.

Charles Town Races. Race 1. 7:00. Start the evening card with a 7-furlong allowance for West Virginia-breds.

Golden Gate Fields. Race 7. 6:18. Three-year-olds on the grass for the $75,000 Alratraz. Of course the Alcatraz in San Francisco.

Santa Anita. Race 8. 7:30. Gingham ran well chasing Venetian Harbor in the Grade 2 Las Virgenes in February then didn’t show up in Gardenia Stakes at Oaklawn last month. She’s back on more familiar ground and should get it done in $75,000 Angels Flight.

Charles Town. Race 2. 7:32. Same distance for the second, a maiden for 3-, 4-, 5- and 6-year-olds.

Charles Town. Race 3. 8:03. Three turns – or 1 1/16 miles – await field of six in allowance led by last-out winners Golden Appeal and Charitable Spenny.

Charles Town. Race 6. 9:32. Similar conditions as the second, but at 6 1/2 furlongs. Bobby Aexelrod makes first start for Jeff Runco after toiling with Peter Miller in Southern California, Kentucky and Arkansas.

Charles Town. Race 8. 10:32. Late 7-furlong allowance with a field of 10.