Weekend Lineup Presented By Del Mar: Grade 1 Trio From Coast To Coast - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Weekend Lineup Presented By Del Mar: Grade 1 Trio From Coast To Coast

Blue Grass winner Zandon, third in the Kentucky Derby, breezes at Saratoga

A trio of Grade 1 races highlight this weekend's action across the United States, two at Del Mar and one at Aqueduct.

The G1 Cigar Mile is Saturday's feature at Aqueduct, and brings together grizzled veteran Mind Control against rising sophomores Zandon and White Abarrio. On the same card are also a pair of prep races for the 2023 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, the Remsen and Demoiselle.

Saturday at Del Mar offers a trio of stakes contests; the feature is the matchup between a group of 11 turf sophomores in the G1 Hollywood Derby, five of whom shipped in from the East Coast.

The beachside track's Sunday highlight is the G1 Matriarch, also drawing five of its 10 starters from the East. Also on Sunday, Del Mar will offer a mandatory payout on the Pick 6.

Juveniles will take center stage with a pair of stakes at both Laurel Park and Tampa Bay Downs, while Woodbine's weekend offers two stakes Saturday and one Sunday.

Here's a quick look at some of this weekend's stakes:


2:16 p.m. – Grade 2 Demoiselle Stakes at Aqueduct

Julia Shining, a full sister to Champion 3-Year-Old Filly and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Malathaat, will make the step up to stakes company for her first try against winners in Saturday's Demoiselle. Trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, who will look to win this event for the third consecutive year, Julia Shining was an impressive debut winner on Oct. 16 at Keeneland in a seven-furlong maiden special weight.

Julia Shining will look to follow in the footsteps of her accomplished sister Malathaat, who won the 2020 Demoiselle. Julia Shining and Malathaat would be the first siblings to capture the prestigious Demoiselle since full sisters Coquette [1914] and Celandria [1915] took back-to-back editions.

Pletcher will also saddle Repole Stable's stakes-winning New York-bred Gambling Girl, who won the Joseph A. Gimma against fellow state-breds on Sept. 23 at Belmont at the Big A. The daughter of Dialed In was last seen finishing a troubled fourth in the one-mile state-bred Maid of the Mist as the post-time favorite where she was bumped hard at the break and struggled to improve position when five-wide in the turn.

Demoiselle Entries

2:44 p.m. – Grade 2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct

Undefeated Tuskegee Airmen will make his graded stakes debut for trainer John Servis in Saturday's Remsen, a nine-furlong main track test for juveniles. Tuskegee Airmen, a bay son of Street Sense, enters from an impressive 3 1/4-length score in the one-mile Rocky Run on Oct. 15 at Delaware Park where he showed a strong turn of foot under Paco Lopez to secure his first stakes win. The victory came three weeks after a dominant debut score sprinting seven furlongs in stalking fashion at Parx. He closed from eighth of 14 under Luis Saez to post the 5 1/2-length victory over next-out winner Didinger.

The Remsen offers 10-4-3-2-1 qualifying points for the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby to the top-five finishers.

Chester and Mary Broman's New York homebred Arctic Arrogance, a grey son of Frosted, enters from a dominant victory over returning rival Quick to Accuse in the state-bred Sleepy Hollow on Oct. 30 at Belmont at the Big A for trainer Linda Rice.

Rupp Racing's New York-bred Quick to Accuse will also make his first start outside state-bred company after finishing second to Arctic Arrogance in the Sleepy Hollow for conditioner Horacio De Paz. There, he rallied from fifth of 10 to make up considerable ground under regular pilot Manny Franco, but could not catch the runaway winner.

Graded stakes-placed Prove Right enters as the most seasoned horse in the field for trainer James Chapman, who co-owns the Justify colt with Stuart Tsujimoto. Prove Right was last seen finishing a close third 2 1/4 lengths behind the victorious Champions Dream in the Grade 3 Nashua on Nov. 6 at the Big A. He set the pace in the one-mile test but was collared by the winner and runner-up Full Moon Madness in the stretch, finishing eight lengths ahead of fourth-place American Speed.

Remsen Entries

3:43 p.m. – Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct

Dual Grade 1-winner Mind Control will attempt to go out on top when he takes on a field consisting of three other Grade 1 winners in Saturday's Cigar Mile Handicap. Mind Control, conditioned by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, has garnered seven graded stakes victories, reaching that pinnacle every year since 2018 while boasting a record of 28-11-3-6 and field best earnings of $1,773,334. He has never been out of the money in seven starts at the Big A.

A dozen 3-year-olds have bested elders in the Cigar Mile throughout its 34-year-history. This year will see a pair of Grade 1-winning Triple Crown alumni seek to add to those numbers with Jeff Drown's Zandon and C Two Racing Stable and Antonio Pagnano's White Abarrio.

Trained by four-time Eclipse Award-winner and dual Cigar Mile winner Chad Brown, Zandon has never finished out of the money in eight lifetime starts and enters Saturday's test off a late-closing runner-up effort in the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 24 at Parx Racing.

The Cigar Mile will be White Abarrio's first start going a one-turn mile since last October, when he defeated winners in an optional claimer at Gulfstream Park.

Cigar Mile Entries

7:30 p.m. – Grade 1 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar

There are 11 well-respected 3-year-olds entered in the Hollywood Derby, but there are no standouts in the lineup. Five eastern-based horses, including three out of the barn of conditioner H. Graham Motion, will try their luck in the turf test and it appears likely that one of them may go postward the favorite.

A pair of Hall of Fame conditioners – Claude “Shug” McGaughey III and Todd Pletcher – have runners entered that may draw the most mutuel action in Stuart Janney III's Celestial City (McGaughey) and Repole Stable, St. Elias Stable and Gainesway Stable's Wit (Pletcher). Both well-bred colts are stakes winners in the east and, naturally, have drawn top local riders — Ramon Vazquez on Celestial City and Flavien Prat on Wit.

Hollywood Derby Entries


6:30 p.m. – Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar

Trainer Chad Brown will start a pair in this one-mile turf contest for fillies and mares, including last year's winner Regal Glory. Though she finished 10th last out in the Breeders' Cup, the 6-year-old daughter of Animal Kingdom would be unlikely to ship cross-country unless she was ready to perform. Brown's other entrant is sophomore filly Dolce Zel, winner of the G3 Florida Oaks and G3 Lake George.

Also shipping in from the East Coast are the Christophe Clement-trained Pizza Bianca, Bill Mott trainee Wakanaka, and Graham Motion trainee Bipartisanship.

Matriarch Entries

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