HHR’s 2 Year Old Stakes Watch-September 21st

Eight 2 Year Old Stakes Races

Two Year Old Stakes WatchWe have had a little over a week since our last 2 year old stakes watch, but this Saturday we have 8 races on tap for you to consider. These 2 year old stakes races come in pairs this week at Northlands, Charles Town, Louisiana Downs and Laurel Park. At Northlands we have the Sturgeon River Stakes and the Premier’s Futurity Stakes. At Charles Town we have the Rachel’s Turn and the Henry Mercer Memorial Stakes. Louisiana Downs has two Louisiana Stallion Series Stakes and Laurel has Selima and Laurel Futurity Stakes. It’s a busy weekend full of two year old promise, so let’s get started and see what gems we can locate.

Premier’s Futurity Stakes

Legend FortynineRace 2 on the card at Northland’s for Saturday is the $50,000 Alberta Premier’s Futurity Stakes for 2 year olds foaled in Alberta. This field of 6 is set to battle it out over 6 ½ furlongs. The 2 to 1 morning line favorite is Legend Fortynine. Legend Fortynine won the 2 Year Old Sale Stakes at Northlands on August 10th by 11 lengths, but ran a disappointing 6th in the Birdcatcher on August 24th. He’ll be receiving first time Lasix and should be ready for this one. Artie’s Brother is 3 to 1 on the morning line and could give Legend Fortynine some trouble. Artie’s Brother ran 4th in the 2 Year Old Sale Stakes after a 3rd place finish in the Edmonton Juvenile. If Legend Fortynine is on top of his game as I expect he will be, Artie’s Brother will have a hard time catching him unless another horse challenges him for the lead. There are 2 first time starters in this race that may do just that. One of them is my value play, All Run.  If any of these horses could contest Legend Fortynine for the early lead, I believe it will be All Run. Look for this 2 year old to be in the money in his career opener.

Sturgeon River Stakes

Alphabet SoupThe $50,000 Sturgeon River Stakes is the 8th race on the card at Northlands and will host a field of 6 two year old fillies foaled in Alberta set to run 6 ½ furlongs. The 8/5 morning line favorite is Bet On Soup. Bet On Soup ran 2nd in the Filly Sale Stakes at Northlands and 3rd in the Bird of Pay. Daughter of Alphabet Soup, she’ll definitely be a contender for this race and will be receiving first time Lasix. Closing on her hooves in the ML is 2/1 Pay to Go Home. Pay to Go Home ran 5th in the Bird of Pay, but ran a nice 2nd place finish in the Princess Margaret on July 27th. She has a great jockey/trainer combo in jockey, Rico Walcott and trainer, Craig Smith and will also have the blinkers on for this race. My value play here is Absolute Ginger. Absolute Ginger bounced in the Bird of Pay, finishing 7th, but I feel she will be back with a vengeance and should win this one wire-to-wire. At 8 to 1 on the morning line, Absolute Ginger should pay well, too.

Rachel’s Turn At Charles Town

Charles TownRace 6 on Saturday at Charles Town is the $50,000 Rachel’s Turn Stakes showcasing a field of 10 registered accredited West Virginia bred two year old fillies traveling 4 ½ furlongs. Nana Anna is the 5/2 morning line favorite. Nana Anna has yet to break her maiden, finishing 7th and 3rd in her only 2 outings at Indiana Downs. She has competed at a slightly higher class than the rest of this field, but I don’t believe it is enough to make her the favorite here. Next on the ML is Windsor’s Graduate at 3 to 1. Windsor’s Graduate won her career opener in a straight maiden 26k at Charles Town on August 25th and should prove tough to beat. A better choice might be the 9/2 Hill’s of Gold. Hill’s of Gold has three races under her belt at Mountaineer finishing 2nd in two of those outings and winning her last one by 3 lengths.  Her speed figures are in line with the top fillies in this field and I believe she is steadily improving. As my top value play, I’m going with City Exit. City Exit won her last race at Charles Town in a straight maiden 26k by 7 lengths. With the home field advantage and some very nice workouts backing her up, she should get there and pay well at 8 to 1 on the morning line.

Henry Mercer Memorial

Charles TownRace 7 on the card for Charles Town is the $50,000 Henry Mercer Memorial Stakes for registered accredited West Virginia Bred 2 year olds. This field of 9 will travel 4 ½ furlongs. At 8/5 on the morning line is Amherst Street. Amherst Street won his career debut at Charles Town in a straight maiden 26k by 3 ¼ lengths on July 14th. The layoff concerns me, but his workouts look solid and he appears to be ready for this race. At an even longer layoff is By His Word who hasn’t raced since June 16th when he won his career opener at Charles Town by 4 ½ lengths. Just like Amherst Street, By His Word’s works appear to be in line and I look for these 2 to fight for control of this race. For a value play, I like Limmey at 4 to 1 on the ML. Limmey has been out on 2 occasions, running 2nd in his first race and winning his last race by 2 ½ lengths. He has a great jockey/trainer combo in jockey, Jose Montano and trainer, Clovis Crane and I look for him to put up a strong effort in this race. For a longshot play, I like Late Caller. Late Caller is fresh from winning his career opener on September 4th by 2 lengths and has a speed figure that ranks with the rest of this field.  At 10 to 1, I look for this horse to run in the money and possibly upset this field, paying well.

Louisiana Stallion Series Stakes

IdeThe first Louisiana Stallion Series Stakes at Louisiana Downs is for 2 year old fillies and is the 2nd race on the card for Saturday. With a $100,000 purse, 8 fillies will battle it out over 7 furlongs. The 9/5 morning line favorite is Our Quista. Our Quista is fresh from a 5 length victory in a straight maiden 26k at Louisiana Downs. Her works are top notch and she should do fine in this race. Lady Grantham is another filly to consider here at 3 to 1 on the morning line. She ran 3rd in the Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies Stakes and with stakes experience and solid works backing her up, she is a real threat here. The value play in my opinion is Chickasaw Bayou at 6 to 1 on the morning line. Chickasaw Bayou should stalk the pace here and has the speed figures to win this one. For a longshot, I like Bojana. She’s a little out classed here, but has been showing good works and could upset this field and pay well at 15 to 1 on the ML. For the boy’s division, race 4 is the $100,000 Louisiana Stallion Series Stakes. A mix of 8 colts and geldings will travel 7 furlongs for this race. Ide B E Z to Njoy, son of Ide, is the 9/5 morning line favorite and will be difficult to beat. He has the speed figure to outshine this group and his late-run fashion will prove valuable in this race. The only value play I am considering here is Da House. Da House ran 2nd in the Sunny’s Halo Stakes and I believe that if anyone in this field could contest Ide B E Z to Njoy, he can. He can certainly get the distance and has the speed to match.

Laurel Futurity Stakes

Yes I'm LuckyFor the last 2 races we shift to Laurel Park. Race 2 is the $100,000 Laurel Futurity Stakes featuring a field of 8 two year olds traveling 5 ½ furlongs on the turf. The 9/5 morning line favorite is Tiger Bourbon who recently ran 4th in the With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga. I believe the distance and the company was just a little too much for Tiger Bourbon in that race, but in this field he should do well. Looking to give him trouble is the 2/1 Yes I’m Lucky. Yes I’m Lucky already has 2 stakes wins under his belt having dominated in the Frank Gomez Memorial at Calder and winning the Tyro at Monmouth. He followed those 2 victories up with a 2nd place finish in the Grade 3 Sapling Stakes at Monmouth on September 1st. Both Yes I’m Lucky and Tiger Bourbon will be in the mix at the end of this one, but for a value play I like Gallivanting. Gallivanting ran 2nd in the Jamestown at Colonial and followed that up with his maiden win at Delaware on August 26th. I don’t know if he can take the other two listed here, but I’m willing to bet him “just in case”. At 6 to 1 on the morning line, I’m willing to give him a shot!

Selima Stakes

Hot SqueezeRace 6 at Laurel is the $100,000 Selima Stakes for 2 year old fillies. The Selima is set at 5 ½ furlongs on the turf and will host a field of 11. The 5/2 morning line favorite is Hot Squeeze. Hot Squeeze recently won her career debut at Saratoga in a straight maiden 70k by 1 ¼ lengths. She will be receiving first time Lasix for this race, making her even tougher to contend with. Fancy Boss could be her biggest competitor having also won her maiden at Saratoga on August 30th. Her speed figure wasn’t as fast as Hot Squeeze’s, but to win the race she was in, it didn’t have to be. I think these two are likely to duke it out for the lead early on, so my longshot/value play here will have to be Aibhilin. I believe this daughter of Sky Mesa prefers the turf and has the ability to stalk, making her a possible upset in this race.




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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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