HHR’s 2 Year Old Stakes Watch September 1st

Five 2 Year Old Stakes Races

She's a TigerYesterday, August 31st, 2013 we only had one 2 year old stakes race to watch. The Del Mar Debutante was the 9th race on the card Saturday and featured a talented field of 8 fillies rushing 7 furlongs. She’s a Tiger held off a late charge from Fascinating to win the Del Mar Debutante by a ½ length.  Fascinating had a few traffic problems before finding her way into second, so I would certainly keep an eye out for this filly in future races. She’s certainly going to be a force to reckon with! Today we have 5 two year old stakes races to consider starting with 2 at Canterbury in the Northern Lights Futurity and Northern Lights Debutante, 2 at Monmouth in the Sapling Stakes and Sorority Stakes and one at Saratoga in the Spinaway Stakes.

Northern Lights Debutante

Canterbury ParkRace 6 on the card at Canterbury is the $75,000 Northern Lights Debutante Stakes showcasing a field of 8 two year old Minnesota bred fillies travelling 6 furlongs. The morning line favorite at 2 to 1 is She Can Ski. She Can Ski won her career debut by 7 lengths in a straight maiden 30k. She is easily boasting the top speed in this field and they will have a hard time beating her. The second favorite here is Rockin the Bleu’s who won here career debut in a straight maiden 30k by 3 lengths. Although her speed is not as fast as She Can Ski, I believe we haven’t seen her top performance yet. She has a great jockey/trainer combo in jockey Alex Canchari and trainer McLean Robertson. Her workouts look good and I believe she stands a good chance of out-running She Can Ski. These 2 horses will be insanely tough to beat, but for a value play that could pay well, I like Bad River Belle. There is a lot of front end speed in this race including She Can Ski and Rockin the Bleu’s. With all of these 2 year olds fighting for that early lead and possibly tiring one another out, I think that Bad River Belle’s come from behind running style will suit her well her and possibly provide a huge upset.

Northern Lights Futurity

Canterbury ParkThe $75,000 Northern Lights Futurity Stakes is the 7th race at Canterbury today and will host a field of 12 registered Minnesota bred colts and geldings travelling a distance of 6 furlongs. The 4 to 1 morning line favorite is A P is Loose, but this field looks wide open for an upset. A P is Loose has yet to break maiden and is receiving favorite status for his 3rd place finish in the Shakope Juvenile on August 3rd. A P Loose should be a contender in this race, but I believe he’s a false favorite and will be out run. I believe the true favorite here should have been Orange Thunder. Orange Thunder won his last race by 8 ¾ lengths when he drew off from the 7 horse field in a straight maiden 30k. His speed figures weren’t as good as A P Loose, but with an 8 ¾ length lead- they didn’t have to be. In this race, Orange Thunder will be the horse to beat at 9/2 morning line odds. At 8 to 1 morning line odds, Appeal to the King is a good value play in this one should the public overlook him. He won his maiden race by 5 ½ lengths in hand and has one of the top speeds from this field. I look for him to be a beast in this race as well. There is going to be a ton of front end speed in this one, too. I believe that You Be Gator Bait could upset this field in a late charge as long as he gets a good trip with no traffic problems.

Sorority Stakes at Monmouth

Yes LizIn the 9th race at Monmouth today, we have the $100,000 Sorority Stakes for 2 year old fillies. This field of 9 will travel 6 furlongs. The 3 to 1 morning line favorite is Flay Mignon. Flay Mignon has 2 wins under her belt so far including her 1 ¾ length victory in the Colleen Stakes,  August 11th. Flay Mignon has a top notch jockey/trainer combo in jockey Paco Lopez and trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr. She will be the filly to beat in this one, but there are a few here who should be able to do that. The first to consider is Yes Liz. Yes Liz ran 4th in the Schuylerville Stakes at Saratoga. Keep in mind that this was a graded stakes race and was much tougher competition than what she will face here at Monmouth. This filly has Todd Pletcher in her corner and Joe Bravo will get the mount here, 2 factors in her favor. New to the stakes scene is Miss Behaviour, fresh from her career debut at Parx where she won by 2 ½ lengths. The thing to note about Miss Behaviour is that she is holding the top speed figure in this field, a fact that may go unnoticed by the public for her lack of race experience. At morning line odds of 5 to 1, she will be my value play here. Way out in longshots-ville, I like the 30 to 1morning line odds filly, She’s Hot Wired. She won a straight maiden 50k at Monmouth on August 3rd, drawing off from the rest by 4 lengths. Her speed figure was mediocre, but she didn’t have to set the track on fire to beat her competitors. She stalked the pace in that race through the first 2 calls, changed gears and took it on home for the win. She’s sporting some good works and I think she will definitely be in the money. I’ll certainly put some “just in case” money on her and say a little prayer, lol.

Sapling Stakes at Monmouth

Debt CeilingRace 11 at Monmouth today is the Grade 3 $100,000 Sapling Stakes. Set at 6 furlongs, this race hosts a field of 7. The 5/2 morning line favorite is All in Blue, who ran 4th in the Sanford at Saratoga. All in Blue is another Bravo/Pletcher combination and he holds one of the top speed figures in this bunch. The true favorite here should be Yes I’m Lucky. This 2 year old is undefeated in 3 starts, including wins in the Frank Gomez Memorial at Calder and the Tyro Stakes at Monmouth. Yes I’m Lucky is holding the top speed figure in this field for his performance in the Frank Gomez and will be the horse to beat here. Dunkin Bend is another top contender in this race to consider. Dunkin Bend broke his maiden at Saratoga in a straight maiden 80k and won by 5 ¾ lengths. Trained by Steven Asmussen, I look for Dunkin Bend to make a big run in his graded stakes debut. But my value play here goes to one of my favorite 2 year olds, Debt Ceiling. I have to forgive him for his dead last, 6th place finish in the Sanford and chalk this up as a bounce. Prior to that race, he was undefeated in 3 starts, including wins in the Rollicking at Pimlico and the Grade 3 Bashford Manor at Churchill. I believe he will stalk the pace here and upset this field.

Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga

Designer LegsThe $300,000 Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes is race 10 at Saratoga, hosting a field of 9 two year old fillies battling it out over 7 furlongs. The 2 to 1 morning line favorite is Todd Pletcher’s Sweet Whiskey. Sweet Whiskey won her maiden race in a straight maiden 80k by 5 ¼ lengths. With John Velazquez in the irons and some solid work-outs in her favor, not to mention a great speed figure, Sweet Whiskey will be a tough one to beat here. Bahnah and Brazen Persuasion have to be considered here due to their dead heat finish in the Schuylerville Stakes on July 19th. Both fillies look good on paper and could be Sweet Whiskey’s trouble in the Spinaway. My value play in this race is Sweet Reason at 8 to 1 morning line odds. Sweet Reason won her career opener in a straight maiden 96k by 6 ¼ lengths at Saratoga on August 25th. She ran from 8th (and last) place at the 2nd call to first by the finish and earned one of the top speed figures in this race for it. Look for her late charge in the Spinaway. For a longshot play, I’m leaning towards Designer Legs. Designer Legs ran 2nd in the Adirondack by a neck, but was placed first through a disqualification due to interference from Who’s in Town.  Her times are comparable with the rest of the field and I believe at morning line odds of 12 to 1, she has to get some of that “just in case” money I have set aside for just such a scenario. Look for a big run from Designer Legs in the Spinaway.

Be sure and check back with us tomorrow for our coverage of the 2 Year Old Stakes for Labor Day!




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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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