HHR’s 2 Year Old Stakes Watch August 28th

Wednesday’s 2 Year Old Stakes

Flat Out CharmingThis past weekend we saw an onslaught of 2 year old talent in stakes races around the country. In the Birdcatcher Stakes at Northlands our value play, Wild Legend, captured a ½ length win over Lintlaw paying $19.80 for the win and $8.70 on the place. In the very next race at Northlands, Cougarville upset Honey Candy in the Bird of Pay Stakes by 2 lengths. The 2 year old stakes were in abundance at Calder on Saturday as they presented their annual Juvenile Showcase Day. In the Seacliff Stakes, Brothersofthetime nosed out our value play East Hall, but in the Lindsay Frolic Stakes our value play, Flat Out Charming got a nose over Light Bringer paying $17.40 for the win and $6.40 for the place. Secret Kitten grabbed a 4 ½ length win over Ya Esta in the Catcharisingstar Stakes. That exacta brought in a nice $109.20. As expected, Scandalous Act romped the field by 8 ¾  lengths in the  Florida Stallion Susan’s Girl Stakes. Bon AccordIn the Florida Stallion Affirmed Stakes, My Brown Eyed Guy  beat Best Plan Yet by 2 ¼ lengths. The biggest shocker of the day was when Bon Accord took to the turf for the first time and won in the Calder Turf Dash by 1 ¾ lengths. This was the horse that upset HHR’s Pick 6 chances (we caught 5 of 6)! Bon Accord paid $94.80 for the win and $29.00 for the place!  Needless to say, I wish we had of looked a little harder at Bon Accord or at least picked “all” in that last one, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes. On Sunday, Chu and You took a 2 ½ length victory over Strawberry Dawn in the Barbara Shinpoch Stakes at Emerald. This week on Wednesday, August 28th we have 4 2 year old stakes races to look at, so let’s get rolling!

Generous Portion Stakes at Del Mar

Moving Desert Chasing California Chrome in Graduation StakesRace 7 at Del Mar on Wednesday is the $150,000 Generous Portion Stakes for California bred or sired fillies at 2 years old. This field of 6 will travel 6 furlongs. The 7/5 morning line favorite is Sunday Rules. Sired by Tribal Rule, this 2 year old filly broke her maiden at Del Mar on August 3rd in a straight 75k maiden race by 4 ½ lengths. She likes that early lead and if no one goes with her, she’ll put the Generous Portion in the books before the rest of the field is aware of what’s happening. More than likely, that’s exactly what is going to happen here, but for the sake of argument, I have a few other fillies that certainly stand a chance. Moving Desert might compete with Sunday Rules for the early lead. If she does, this race could shape up a lot differently. Running 2nd in the Graduation Stakes, Moving Desert has the advantage of experience on her side. In the Graduation, she ran against mixed company to capture that 2nd place spot, another sign that she is capable of out-performing this group on Wednesday. My value play here would have to be Feature Attraction. Feature Attraction is 8 to 1 on the morning line and should be overlooked on Wednesday by the public. If an early pace battle ensues between Sunday Rules and any of the other horses, Feature Attraction poses a big threat as she likes to make that late run. She has the speed to contend with the other two and I wouldn’t be surprised if she lugged in an upset.

Muskoka Stakes at Woodbine

Skylander Girl Winning Ontario DebutanteOn Wednesday at Woodbine, the 5th race on the card is the $200,000 Muskoka Stakes for 2 year old fillies foaled in Canada. Set at 6 ½ furlongs, the Muskoka spotlights a field of 8. The 9/5 morning line favorite is Skylander Girl, who happens to be one of my favorite up-and-coming fillies. Her first win was in the My Dear Stakes at Woodbine on July 6th where she won by 3 lengths. In her next race, she came up for fourth in the Shady Well after a troubled start, but redeemed herself in the Ontario Debutante Stakes when she won by 2 ½ lengths. I’m not one to cheer on the favorite, but I must admit that secretly I hope she pulls in another win here in the Muskoka. That being said, let’s look at the contenders and see if we can spot a value play and possible upset. First of all, we have to consider On Rainbow Bridge. On Rainbow Bridge won her last two outings, taking the Shady Well by 1 ½ lengths and the Nandi Stakes by 1 ¼ lengths ridden out. I think there will be a lot of contenders for that early lead. On Rainbow Bridge can stalk the pace, but likes taking the lead by the stretch. Skylander Girl likes to do this, too and that could make for an all-out struggle between the two all the way to the finish. A lot will depend on who pulls the trigger first and how soon they do it. Should both of these horses get caught up in a speed duel early on, I look for Paladin Bay to take advantage and bring in a nice value play for us. Paladin Bay has yet to break her maiden, but she has put up some really nice finishes and is due. Her works have shown steady improvement and if anyone could upset this field, I believe she has the best chance.

Simcoe Stakes at Woodbine

Spin the KingRace 6 at Woodbine is the $200,000 Simcoe Stakes for 2 year old colts and geldings foaled in Canada. A field of 8 will travel 6 ½ furlongs in this race. Go Greeley is the morning line favorite here and has the credentials to back that up. Go Greeley ran 2nd in the Clarendon where he lost by a nose, but followed that up with a win in the Colin by 2 ½ lengths and a nose victory in the Vandal. He has the speed and if he’s left out alone on the lead, he’ll steal this one. Just like in the Vandal, I believe Heart to Heart will challenge him for that position. Spin the King will stalk the pace like he did in the Clarendon and I think he has a legitimate shot of beating this field that way. He’s been showing some great works like his 47 and 2 bullet on August 24th and could be the real contender here. For a value play, Man o’ Bear could be the one to watch. In his first and only outing he ran 3rd in the Vandal and determinedly gained ground and horses down to the wire. His works look good and for a late runner, he has a great chance to upset everyone here. For a real longshot, I will be putting a little money on the first time starter, Majestic Sunset. He has a great jockey/trainer combo with jockey Gary Boulanger and trainer Mark Casse. He’s getting the weight break and his 1 of 55 bullet work of 1:00 on August 18th puts him in line to make a strong run here. At the very least, Majestic Sunset has to be considered for your exotic plays.

P. G. Johnson Stakes at Saratoga

La Reine BourbonThe $100,000 P.G. Johnson Stakes at Saratoga will be the 8th race on the card on Wednesday and will feature a field of 7 two year old fillies travelling 1 1/16 miles over the turf. The 2/1 favorite in this field is True Blue Nation, but is entered for the main track only. Should the race be transferred to the main track, remember True Blue Nation as she will certainly be a threat. The 5/2 morning line choice is Granny Mc’s Kitten. This 2 year old filly has shown some good speed, but has yet to break maiden. In her first and only race, she ran 2nd and missed it by a nose. There is a lot of early speed in this field which will give Granny Mc’s Kitten and advantage since she loves to come from behind. La Reine Bourbon is another to consider as she won her last race in stalking fashion and the pace that should develop here will suit her. If early speed should win this race, I believe it will go to Miss Frost. She has proven herself at this distance at the maiden 85k level and has some serious speed the others will have to contend with. At 5 to 1 morning line odds, I believe she will make a great value play and should be in the money. But my top choice for value here will be La Mejor Fiesta. La Mejor Fiesta hasn’t raced at this distance, so that’s obviously a concern, but she has stakes experience over the turf running 2nd in the Tippett at Colonial. She likes to make that come from behind run and her works are looking good.

That’s it for Wednesday, August 28th but be sure and check back with us on Thursday the 29th when HHR will cover the With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga in our next 2 year old stakes watch.




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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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