HHR’s 2 Year Old Stakes Watch July 27th-28th

2 Year Old Stakes at Northlands & Emerald

Wired BryanLast weekend HHR’s 2 year old stakes watch saw some serious action, highlighting some familiar faces and discovering some new ones in the process. The weekend started early for us last week when Sprouts won the CTBA Stakes at Del Mar over Eddies Curl on Friday. Saturday brought us the Colin Stakes at Woodbine where Go Greeley upset Conquest Two Step by 2 ½ lengths. At Calder, My Brown Eyed Guy bested Best Plan Yet in the Dr. Fager by 3 ¼ lengths and Scandalous Act romped the Desert Vixen field by 7 ½ lengths. The 2 year old stakes watch wrapped up on Sunday with the notorious Sanford Stakes. The House of Upset lived up to its name as long shot Wired Bryan took the title with a 5 ¼ length victory.

This weekend we will be toning it back a notch with only 3 two year old stakes to follow. The first two are at Northlands on Saturday with the Edmonton Juvenile Stakes and the Princess Margaret Stakes. On Sunday, Emerald will host the Emerald Express Stakes. Let’s get started!

Edmonton Juvenile Stakes

Northlands Park Gets Ready for Edmonton StakesThe $50,000 Edmonton Juvenile Stakes is a 2 year old race for colts and geldings set for 6 furlongs and is the 6th race on the card at Northlands Park. Many will be looking at the morning line’s 8 to 5 Go Max. Go Max will be ridden by Fernando Perez and trained by Joan Petrowski. Go Max broke maiden in early July at Northlands and won by a satisfactory 1 ¼ lengths at 5 ½ furlongs. What impresses me about this horse is that he stalked the leader throughout, was a full 4 lengths behind in the stretch and gained enough ground by the finish to pull away 1 ¼ lengths. That’s a really strong run for this company and Go Max will be tough to beat. True Thought is another top contender in the Edmonton. He won his maiden race by 6 ¾ lengths, but it was at 3 ½ furlongs at Northland. He is definitely ready for the distance, but he is also one of several horses here that will be fighting early on for that front-end lead. In my opinion, if you want the value horse of this field, take a closer look at King Kona. Although King Kona hasn’t broken his maiden yet and ran 4th behind Go Max in his last race, I think this horse is going to make a big go of it Saturday. His works are showing nice improvements and his connections are putting the blinkers on for the Edmonton. In his race against Go Max, he weakened early in the race, but then made a nice 5 length rally to the finish. In his first race, King Kona was learning how to race. Somewhere in the stretch, he realized that he liked it. Look for him to hit the board.

Princess Margaret Stakes

Princess Margaret Stakes at NorthlandsFollowing the Edmonton is the $50,000 Princess Margaret Stakes for 2 year old fillies. The 7th race of the day at Northlands, the Princess Margaret is a 6 furlong event with a 9 filly field. Holiday Babe is the 2 to 1 morning line favorite and is the only horse in the race that has went the 6 furlongs before. She won that race at Hastings drawing away by 5 ½ lengths! Holiday Babe will be the filly to beat here without question. Many think that Pay to Go Home could be Holiday Babe’s top competitor having won her maiden race by 1 ½ lengths at Northlands on July 6th. My only concern with this horse is if she can get the distance, having lost ground in her maiden and only holding on for the win at 3 ½ furlongs. Another horse to consider here is Bet On Soup. This filly broke her maiden in June at Northlands, winning a 3 ½ furlong race by 2 ¼ lengths. In mixed company, Bet On Soup prevailed over Out of Exile (who is in the Edmonton) in that race. For a true value horse that might get some good odds, I’m looking at She’s Original. She’s Original is at 6 to 1 morning line odds and ran second behind Pay To Go Home in her first outing. She’s got a great jockey/trainer combo with jockey Amie Pooli and trainer Greg Tracy. In her race against Pay to Go Home, she gained ground heading for home and I look for this filly to be in the money come Saturday.

Emerald Express Stakes

Emerald DownsOn Sunday, we have the $50,000 Emerald Express Stakes for 2 year old colts and geldings. This field of 11 will travel 6 furlongs on the 9th race of the day at Emerald. This bunch looks pretty evenly matched, which makes handicapping the race a bit tough. None of the horses have been the 6 furlongs, the 2 closest being Del Rio Harbor and Mizzo’s Gold at 5 furlongs. Both horses won their respective races, but Mizzo’s Gold won his by 6 lengths in hand over an 8 horse field at Emerald. Granted, Mizzo’s Gold was in a lower class of horses than Del Rio Harbor who won his 5 furlong race by ¾ of a length. These 2 have to be considered, but of the two I am favoring Mizzo’s Gold in the Emerald Express. Dallon’s Gold looks just as impressive winning his maiden by 8 ¾ lengths at 4 ½ furlongs. His works look sharp and I believe he can get the distance with ease. For a first time starter to consider, you have to look at Illumination Road. This horse has almost everything you would want in a first timer! He’s sporting bullet works at Emerald that line the bottom of his past performance like a machine gun blast. He has an impressive jockey/trainer combo with jockey, Eliska Kubinova and trainer, Terry Gillihan. All of his works are pointed to him prepping for this race, including a 6 furlong workout insuring that he can get the distance. Look out for Illumination Road! I also think that Stikine Slough might be overlooked come Sunday and I see him as being a top value play, as I believe he will definitely hit the board. 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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