HHR’s 2 Year Old Stakes Watch- December 28th

Saturday’s 2 Year Old Stakes

California ChromeThis Saturday we have 3 two year old stakes races to consider as this year’s 2 year old season is quickly coming to a close. At Turf Paradise we have the Arizona Juvenile Fillies Stakes and the Lost in the Fog Juvenile Stakes. At Laurel, we have the Maryland Juvenile Championship Stakes. Before we jump into these races, let’s get a quick recap of last Sunday’s events. In the East View Stakes at Aqueduct, favorite Flipcup won by 4 ½ lengths over Champagne Ruby. In the King Glorious at Hollywood Park, California Chrome romped over the field by 6 ¼ lengths in the next-to-last race ever at the legendary racetrack and paid $6.40 for the win. Here at HHR, we are sad to say goodbye to Hollywood Park and wish all of its employees the very best as they search for employment elsewhere.  Now let’s take a look at this Saturday’s 2 year old races.

Arizona Juvenile Fillies Stakes

Lazy Daisy MayThe $35,000 Arizona Juvenile Fillies Stakes is the 4th race on the card at Turf Paradise on Saturday and will feature a field of 7 two year old fillies set to travel 6 ½ furlongs. The 5/2 morning line favorite is Jet Set Kitten. Jet Set Kitten is undefeated in 2 starts including wins in the Catalina Harbor and Janet Wineberg Stakes at Portland Meadows. In the Janet Wineberg she won by 9 ¾ lengths and looks perfect for this field. I don’t normally side with the favorites, but I will make an exception here. I have been watching Turf Paradise over the past few weeks and front-end speed has been dominating here. I do believe that the public will ignore the morning line, though and focus in on Lazy Daisy May. She has proven herself at Turf Paradise and the public is sure to love her for her recent victory in the Arizona Breeders’ Futurity where she won by a neck after stalking the pace. This should give us a better pay-out on Jet Set Kitten who I believe will win this one gate-to-wire. If an upset is in the cards, I like Enact at 6 to 1 on the ML for a longshot. Enact ran a neck behind Lazy Daisy May in the Arizona Breeders’ Futurity and could make up for that shortcoming in this race.

Lost in the Fog Juvenile Stakes

Turf ParadiseThe $35,000 Lost in the Fog Juvenile Stakes is the 7th race on the card and will host a field of 9 two year olds traveling 6 ½ furlongs. The 3/1 morning line favorite is Dallon’s Gold. Dallon’s Gold is undefeated in 3 starts including his latest victory in the Calhill Road at Emerald Downs where he won by 3 ½ lengths. The problem I have with him is the lay-off. He hasn’t raced since late September. There is also a lot of front-end speed here and although Turf Paradise seems to be catering to the front-runners, this field sets up for a stalking/come-from-behind horse to take advantage. For value, I like I Rock the Party at 9/2 on the ML. In his last outing, I Rock the Party ran 2nd behind co-favorite here, Rockin Home. I look for Rockin Home and Dallon’s Gold to be duking it out on the front-end along with a few others, giving I Rock the Party the opportunity to make a late run on these tiring horses. He may need to pull the trigger a little bit sooner than he has in the past, but I believe he can get it done. For a longshot, I like J P Rocker at 8 to 1 on the morning line. If jockey Juan Rivera can get this colt to stalk at a close 2nd or 3rd, I feel he could upset this field.

Maryland Juvenile Championship at Laurel

It's a BangThe $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Championship Stakes is the 8th race on Saturday’s card at Laurel and will spotlight a field of 8 two year olds battling it out over 7 furlongs. The 6/5 morning line favorite is It’s a Bang. It’s a Bang ran 3rd in the James F Lewis III Stakes at Laurel in November, but had 2 solid wins prior to that race, including a 1 ½ length victory in the Maryland Million Nursery Stakes. Close on his heels in the morning line at 7/5 is Joint Custody. Joint Custody recently won the Marylander by 1 ¾ lengths, gate-to-wire. Both horses seem to prefer the front-end early lead, but will have another contender in the early set-up with Buck n’ Ham Lane. I believe the edge here will go to It’s a Bang (provided we don’t see a muddy track), but with these 3 fighting hard for the early lead, this should open up for a stalker or late-comer to pull off an upset. For value, I am considering Fleet Gold Digger at 8 to 1 on the ML. He won his last two outings at longer distances and has a knack for making the late rally. My longshot play is Fran’s Buckaroo at 20 to 1 on the morning line. He ran 3rd in the Maryland Million Nursery Stakes behind It’s a Bang and Joint Custody, but he has shown nothing but improvement in his speed figures since. Look for a late surge and possible upset from this 2 year old. Good luck everybody!




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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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