HHR’s 2 Year Old Stakes Watch August 3rd

2 Year Old Stakes You May Have Missed!

California Chrome Wins Graduation StakesThe weekend of August 3rd through the 4th we’ll see a stampede of 2 year old stakes races around the country! On Saturday August 3rd, we have a total of eight 2 year old stakes to go through, but before we get into them, I have to make a brief mention about the two value plays we hit earlier in the week just in case you missed it. On Monday, July 29th we caught a huge value play with Barracuda Wayne at Delaware in the Strike Your Colors Stakes. Barracuda Wayne landed us a $48.20 payday for the win and $13.80 for the place! We followed that up by reeling in California Chrome in the Graduation Stakes at Del Mar on the 31st. California Chrome came charging home for $14.40 on the win and $7.40 for the place. Always check with us during the week for these 2 year old stakes races (if you don’t already!). Many of our subscribers thought that we only covered the weekends, but regardless of what day it is, I always try to capture every 2 year old stakes race I can get my hands on!

Iowa Sorority & Cradle at Prairie Meadows

Prairie MeadowsThe $75,000 Iowa Sorority Stakes at Prairie Meadows is the 3rd race on the card. Two year old Iowa registered and foaled fillies will travel 6 furlongs and is sporting a field of 8. The 8 to 5 morning line favorites are the coupled entry of Lauren’s Powerplay and Haforuhaforme. Both horses look awesome for the Sorority, with the edge being in Haforuhaforme’s favor. Trained by Chris Richard, both of these horses will be tough to beat. Golden Tiago might be the filly to give them a run, though winning her maiden race by 8 lengths. She’s showing some good works and seems ready for this race. My value play here will be Jockie Gold. Jockie Gold is showing some great works and does have some stakes experience, although she finished 9 of 11 in that race. She followed it up with a 1 ¼ length victory in her next race and I believe this daughter of Giacomo will only get better with age.

Prairie MeadowsIn the $75,000 Iowa Cradle Stakes at Prairie Meadows we have a field of 9 two year old colts and geldings traveling 6 furlongs. The 2 to 1 morning line favorite is Boji Moon. He has a very nice jockey/trainer combo with jockey, Terry Thompson and trainer, Chris Richard, not to mention the 11 length victory in his maiden race at Prairie Meadows on July 6th. Boji Moon’s works are sharp and he will be the one to beat here. Boji Moon’s main competition should come from Never Hide who won his maiden race by 7 ¾ lengths. Should we catch a muddy track in this race, I would look for Magic and More and Excessive to put on a show. Both horses got caught up in a dead heat over the mud at Prairie Meadows on June 1st and put the rest of the field away by 8 ¾ lengths. My value play here is Granite Ridge. This horse has an excellent jockey/trainer combo with jockey, David Mello and trainer, Chris Richard. He ran 5th out of an 11 horse field in the Iowa Stallion Futurity and followed that race up with a maiden win on July 20th. Granite Ridge should definitely put on a good show come Saturday.

Wilhite Memorial & Sunny’s Halo at Louisiana

Louisiana DownsThe $50,000 Donnie Wilhite Memorial Stakes is the 4th race on the card at Louisiana Downs Saturday and is for 2 year old fillies going 7 ½ furlongs on the turf. With a field of 12, the morning line 3 to 1 morning line favorite is Sass and Class who won her maiden race by 7 ¼ lengths. The set back here is that she won it at Lone Star back on May 12th and she’s untested over the turf. There have only been a few in this race that have been turf tested and even less who have been turf tested at this distance, so this field is wide open, in my opinion. Because of this, I think we have to consider Shea’s Lil Shug, Lil Watt and Nevada Deputy. All 3 of these fillies have performed well at 7 ½ furlongs on turf and should perform well in this race. My favorite here is Redgrass Cat, though. Despite the fact that Redgrass Cat has not yet won her maiden race, she started her career at Churchill Downs and had some nice showings, including a 3rd place finish out of a field of 9 on turf June 13th. She followed that performance up with a 2nd place finish at Lone Star behind Nevada Deputy by 1 ¾ length at 7 ½ furlongs over the turf. I look for a big run out of this filly at a very nice price.

Louisiana Downs The $50,000 Sunny’s Halo Stakes is the 6th race on the card Saturday for Louisiana Downs. Another 7 ½ furlong race over the turf, the Sunny’s Halo features a field of 12 two year olds. The 8 to 5 morning line favorite is Da House. While there is no doubt that Da House can get the distance having won his maiden race 7 ½ lengths at 7 furlongs, he is untested on the turf. I believe he will do well in this race having won his maiden so well even after a stumbled start, but I am always looking for value and the public will be all over this horse. I do like Time Iz Flyin, especially after his 2nd place finish in the TTA Sales Futurity at Lone Star, but he, too is unfamiliar with the turf. Just in case, I will be keeping an eye on him. Because I believe there will be a strong battle for the lead between several in this field, my value play will be on Pontotoc. He has the turf experience and the distance with his maiden win at Lone Star. I love that he ran from the back of the pack to pull up for first in that race and I believe we will see a big run out of him in the Sunny’s Halo.

Shakopee Juvenile Stakes at Canterbury

Canterbury ParkOn the 7th race of the day at Canterbury we have the $100,000 Shakopee Juvenile Stakes. This is a 2 year old stakes race set at 7 ½ furlongs over the turf. The 3 to 1 morning line favorite is General Jack who hasn’t broke maiden yet, but ran 2nd in his career starter at Belmont coming up short by ½ a length. He hit the gate and was bumped at the break, but made a great rally to come up for second there and should put on a great show Saturday. The next horse you have to consider is My Corinthian. My Corinthian passed on a 2 year old stakes race earlier in the week at Delaware for a smaller purse, so I feel his connections must be confident that he is well suited for the Shakopee Juvenile. He ran 3rd in the Bashford Manor and barely missed winning the Chenery at Colonial, so I believe he well make a big go of it here. Clarisimo is one to watch here as well. Clarisimo won his opener by 6 ½ lengths at Canterbury on June 30th. With trainer Sandra Sweere in the colt’s corner and his times, he could be in the money. But my value play in the Shakopee would have to be Fling. Fling might not look so great at first glance on paper, but a closer look at his outing in the Chenery has me convinced that this horse could be dangerous and at a healthy price. He only ran 5th in that race, but came from dead last and gained a little over 6 lengths on the winner in the final stretch. If the other horses in this race get caught up in a speed duel for the lead, Fling might very well come charging home in this one.

Mountaineer Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies Stakes

MountaineerStarting off a big day at Mountaineer on Saturday in race one is the $100,000 Mountaineer Juvenile Stakes. This 9 horse field of two year olds will go 6 furlongs. The 4/5 morning line favorite is Joedini. Joedini won his career starter by 5 lengths in a 5 furlong race at Indiana Downs and will be the horse to beat here. Bisque is another consideration for this race. He won his maiden over the turf at Indiana by 7 ¼ lengths driving. He’s sporting a July 30th workout of 47 and 1 over 4 furlongs and should be more than ready for this race. Bisque is 7/2 on the morning line. For a longshot play, I think that you have to consider Just a Morgan. Although he didn’t fare so well at Keeneland in his opener, he followed that up with a 7 length victory at Indiana Downs in early July. I look for Just a Morgan to hit the board or better here. My favorite though is Rise Up. Rise Up broke his maiden at Presque Isle and won by 4 ½ lengths handily. He’s sporting some really nice bullet works and will have Rosie Napravnik in the irons for this race giving him a very nice advantage.

MountaineerThe 4th race on the card at Mountaineer will be the $100,000 Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies Stakes. This field of 9 will battle it out over 6 furlongs. Many will be looking at Lady Red Di, the 2 to 1 morning line favorite ridden by Robby Albarado. Lady Red Di is coming out of a maiden win at Indiana Downs and had previously run 3rd at Churchill. Looking to give Lady Red Di a run for her money will be Silver Valley. Silver Valley has some stakes experience having run 4th in the Debutante at Churchill and 5th in the Schuylerville at Saratoga. For a value play here I like Dream S’more. I like the jockey/trainer combo here of jockey Christian Pilares and trainer Eric Reed. Although she ran 6th in the Tippett, Dream S’more had a nice 3rd place finish at Keeneland and a turf win at Indiana Downs. She’s sporting a lot of bullet works and should be ready for this race.

The Nandi Stakes at Woodbine

On Rainbow BridgeTo wrap up Saturday’s 2 year old stakes, we look at the $125,000 Nandi Stakes at Woodbine. The Nandi is for 2 year old fillies and is set at 6 furlongs. The 9/5 morning line favorite is On Rainbow Bridge who won the Shady Well on July 14th by 1 ½ lengths. If the Shady Well is any indication then On Rainbow Bridge is definitely the horse to beat here since 4 of this field were in that race including Paladin Bay, Where’s the Carat and Lexie Lou. Paladin Bay ran second in that race and if she gets a good trip here, she will certainly give On Rainbow Bridge a run for it. Lia’s Miracle could also be a problem. She is coming off of a 3 ¼ maiden win where she started slow and was ridden out in the end. With a jockey/trainer combo of Luis Contreras and Steven Asmussen, Lia’s Miracle will be a top contender. I have 2 value plays here that you might want to consider. The longest shot on the board will be Strela. Although Strela hasn’t won her first race yet, she seems to be working up to it and the Nandi could be her day at a large price. Maybe I’m asking for a miracle here, but I do believe she will hit the board. My other value play is Lexie Lou. In the Shady Well, she just didn’t show up at all, so I’m going to throw that race out and consider it a bounce. She has a great jockey/trainer combo in Gary Boulanger and John Ross. She’s showing some decent workouts, including a little 2 furlong work on August 1st to freshen her up for this race. Her connections have also decided to put the blinkers on and I think she is going to have a big race here.

Check back with us on Sunday for more 2 year old stakes and good luck to all!




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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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