HHR’s 2 Year Old Stakes Watch July 13th-14th

7 Two Year Old Stake Races On Tap

Skylander GirlThis weekend is jammed-packed with 7 two year old stakes around the country. Some strong up and coming “babies” will be flying right out of this weekend and straight into thoroughbred history! Last weekend we saw some awesome wins from the likes of Spin the King, Long on Value, Circustown Flyer and Closing Report, not to mention an astonishing win by Skylander Girl who wasn’t even on my radar! (You can bet that she is now, though.) This weekend the 2 year old stake races are sure to provide even more talent split over Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, we have the Landaluce Stakes and Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes at Hollywood Park and the Chenery Stakes and Tippett Stakes at Colonial. On Sunday, Hastings will host the New Westminster Stakes and the Boulevard Casino Stakes, while Woodbine will present the Shady Well Stakes. Lots of 2 year old stakes and lots of horses, so let’s get started!

Landaluce Stakes at Hollywood

Peter Miller, Trainer of On the BackstreetsSet at 6 furlongs the $150,000 Landaluce Stakes at Hollywood is the 2nd race on the card. 2 Year Old fillies will duke it out for this one in this field of 7. Sure to be one of the crowd favorites is Pleasant Miss, who ran 2nd in the Cinderella at Hollywood in June. Pleasant Miss will want to take the lead in this one in an effort to control the race and save enough kick for a stronger finish than what she had in the Cinderella. Backed with a superb jockey/trainer combo, Pleasant Miss will be tough in the Landaluce. Only two other horses have competed in other stakes races- On the Backstreets, trained by Peter Miller and who ran 4th in the Cinderella and Perch, who ran 4th in the Lost In The Fog at Golden Gate. Both horses will have had to do some major improving to best Pleasant Miss, but their experience should help them oust the rest of the competitors. The big longshot here that I like would be E Equalsmcsquared. She won her maiden race by 7 ¾ lengths at Lone Star in May. I believe she will have an edge with Mike Smith aboard. Smith just seems to know his way around the fillies and is on a hot streak lately. Another reason I like this horse is that there have been a lot of rising stars popping out of Lone Star over the past few months and E Equalsmcsquared could be the next one. She should fetch a very large price, too.

Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes

Gary Stevens to Ride Alpine LuckThe $150,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes is at 6 furlongs and will be the 4th race on Saturday.  This 7 horse field has 3 first time starters. Of those 3, I like Knock Em Flat. This gelding has shown some decent works and has a nice trainer/jockey combo with Jeff Mullins and Joe Talamo. As far as the “experienced” horses go, it’s tough not to take notice of Willie B Awesome. Having run 2nd in the Willard L Proctor Memorial Stakes in a field of 9, he has shown that he likes to stalk the pace and could be a threat in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship. His 59.4 workout on July 4th is nice and he is showing signs of improvement. Will he be awesome? I think maybe so. Solid Wager could be a potential problem though, having run a close third behind Willie in the Proctor.  A major contender here would also be Alpine Luck, ridden by Gary Stevens. Stevens will take Alpine Luck to the lead and if no one goes with him, it’ll be just like my grandfather always says-

“That’s All She Wrote”

Chenery Stakes at Colonial

For the $75,000 Chenery Stakes we head to Colonial Downs. A field of 9 2 Year Olds will travel 5 1/2 furlongs on the outer turf for this one. Many will be looking at My Corinthian in the Chenery after his third place finish in the Bashford Manor at Churchill 2 weeks ago.  If you missed that race, you missed an outstanding run from Debt Ceiling in that one. Here’s that replay-

Debt Ceiling Wins Bashford ManorIn the Bashford, My Corinthian was rushed to a blistering lead by Hollywood Talent, tiring both horses and allowing Debt Ceiling to drop back to stalking, save some energy and kick away for the win. We see this all the time, but the question is- can Kristina McManigell keep My Corinthian from running out too fast in the Chenery? Of the 9 horses in this race, 2 are first time starters and 6 like to take the early lead. If My Corinthian learned anything from the Bashford, he could be the one to watch. My Corinthian also has that strong maiden win over the turf by 7 ½ lengths that can’t be ignored. Silvertonguedtommy found himself in the same similar situation with Debt Ceiling in the Rollicking at Pimlico. Silvertonguedtommy ran 2nd in that race after having the early lead on into the stretch by 2 ½ lengths, only to get passed by Debt Ceiling and beaten by 2 ½ lengths. Have I tooted Debt Ceiling’s horn enough? Lol.  Silvertonguedtommy did hang on for second, though and should show My Corinthian a good challenge in the Chenery. He’s Got Talent might have the best opportunity for a win here with Joel Rosario on board. He proved in his maiden win that he could take the early lead, react to too much front end speed, and save enough for a strong kick finish. If He’s Got Talent can use that same “horse sense” in the Chenery, he’ll prove what kind of talent he really has.

Tippett Stakes at Colonial

Joel Rosario Aboard La Mejor Fiesta in TippettTippett Stakes is a $75,000 2 Year Old race set at 5 1/2 furlongs on the outer turf and is the 4th race at Colonial for Saturday. The Tippett will host a field of 10 fillies. The morning line favorite at 5 to 2 is Senora Bella who won her maiden at Delaware Park by a strong 6 ¼ lengths. Senora Bella bested Venice Queen in that race, who is also entered in the Tippett. Another favorite with the public will be La Mejor Fiesta who broke her maiden at a higher level at Churchill Downs. La Mejor Fiesta will also be carrying Joel Rosario for an added edge in this race. Where Senor Bella ran up for the early lead in her maiden win, La Mejor Fiesta likes to stalk the lead and kick it into overdrive in the final stretch. Fighting Senor Bella for that early lead will be Haute Cheque and Red Bottoms. Look for both of these horses to be potential problems for La Mejor Fiesta and Senora Bella. A dangerous longshot in the Tippett could be Sara Bay. Sara Bay ran 9th in the Debutante. She was noted in the comments to have had an “awkward stride” in that race, implying that something must have been wrong with her and caused her to fade. I can only assume that this problem has been corrected since trainer, Philip Aristone has her entered in the Tippett. If all goes well Saturday, we may see something special out of Sara Bay who should be strongly overlooked by the public.

New Westminster Stakes at Hastings

Aaron Gryder to Ride Deviance in New WestminsterOn Sunday, July 14th we have the $50,000 New Westminster Stakes at Hastings. These 2 year olds will be going 6 1/2 furlongs in the 6th race of the day. The first horse that stands out in this field of 7 is Deviance. For starters, he is the top earner in this group at $17,656 having placed in his first race and winning his second. He has the jockey/trainer combo of Aaron Gryder and Troy Taylor and is showing some decent works. Deviance is also the only one of the bunch that has gone at least 6 furlongs. The rest have only raced at the 3 ½ furlong mark, except for Son of Tiago who is the only first time starter. There won’t be much value in betting Deviance, as the public will be all over him, but he’s the closest thing to a sure bet in this race by leaps and bounds. Troy Taylor also has Three Way Trade entered in this race. Three Way Trade placed second in his debut through a disqualification. He hasn’t broken maiden yet, but I believe that Taylor must have something in mind for him in this race. Although he is lacking the needed experience here, Son of Tiago could be the value play in the New Westminster. He has at least worked out at 6 ½ furlongs on July 7th and should be well prepared to handle the course.

Boulevard Casino Stakes at Hastings

Trainer Dino CondileniosFor the $50,000 Boulevard Casino Stakes, 2 year old fillies will battle it out over 6 1/2 furlongs in the 4th race on Sunday at Hastings. Habida and Hey Didjanotis will be the crowd favorites, having been the only two that are no longer maidens in this field of 7. Of the two, I lean more towards Habida, who has 2 recent races under her belt and $14,145 in earnings. Hey Didjanotis hasn’t been out since May, but does hold $13,167 for only one race. In comparing these two, Hey Didjanotis did gain ground in the final stretch of her race whereas Habida lost a little ground in her maiden win. Of course both races were at 3 ½ furlongs, so anything could happen in Sunday’s 6 ½ furlong race. Architecture may be the real filly of the bunch to take notice of. She ran 2nd in her last outing, but unlike the rest of the field, she is the only one (besides Flatter You who ran 7th in the same race) to have ran at 6 furlongs. In that race, she came up for 2nd and lost by 1 ¾ lengths. With the capable hands of trainer Dino Condilenios, Architecture should be primed and ready for the Boulevard Casino Stakes.

Shady Well Stakes at Woodbine

For the $150,000 Shady Well Stakes, we turn to Woodbine and the 6th race on Sunday. 2 year old fillies will travel 5 1/2 furlongs for the Shady Well. Of the 10 horse field, we have last week’s My Dear Stakes winner, Skylander Girl, looking to make a repeat performance. I told you she was on my radar, lol. Here’s the replay of that win last weekend-

Sklander Girl Headed to Shady WellPulling away at the last 16th, Skylander Girl showed off some real talent in the My Dear. Like I said before, I completely overlooked her last week with my post, but I’m not going to let that happen today! Of course, she won’t fetch the pretty price she paid last weekend, but out of this bunch, she will be the force to reckon with. Where’s the Carat could give her some competition, though. Where’s the Carat won her maiden by 1 ¼ lengths June 29th at Woodbine in a field of 9. Her works are strong and she has the strong support of trainer, Ralph Biamonte on her side. For a shot at some value plays, I would consider Bella’s Rebel and Fair Shake. Both are coming out of maiden wins with really nice times and might be contenders in the Shady Well.

Have anything to add about any of these two year olds? Give us a shout out in the comment section below!




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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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