Weekend Lineup Presented By Del Mar: Select Stakes Will Whet Bettors' Appetites For Holiday Action - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Weekend Lineup Presented By Del Mar: Select Stakes Will Whet Bettors’ Appetites For Holiday Action

Quality Road colt Integration, with Kendrick Carmouche in the irons, winner of the Virginia Derby (G3)

With a bit of a lull ahead of next week's holiday, this weekend's graded stakes action is highlighted by the Grade 2 Hill Prince at Aqueduct. The contest showcases 10 sophomores (including one also-eligible) going nine furlongs over the turf course; morning-line choice is Integration is the last-out winner of the G3 Virginia Derby for trainer Shug McGaughey.

At Churchill Downs, Saturday's card features the G3 Chilukki, in which Hidden Connection will try to end a losing streak for trainer Bret Calhoun.

Out West, Del Mar will conduct a stakes doubleheader Saturday featuring a pair of $100,000 offerings – one for older Cal-bred sprinters and the other for 2-year-old fillies.

The “older” race is the Cary Grant Stakes, a seven-furlong spin for 3-year-olds and up that has drawn a field of nine homegrown sprinters. It is topped – and seriously topped – by the multiple-stakes winner The Chosen Vron, who takes not a class drop but a plunge from Grade 1 company to the state-bred ranks and is listed at 4-5 in the morning line.

The filly affair – the Desi Arnaz Stakes — has five entered and also gets a 4-5 morning line favorite in the Kentucky shipper Royal Slipper, who was sent west by trainer Wesley Ward, a man who specializes in developing young horses.

Fair Grounds begins its winter meet on Friday, and offers three Louisiana-bred stakes on opening day as well as on Saturday.


1:48 p.m. – Grade 2 Hill Prince Stakes at Aqueduct

Integration will look to notch back-to-back graded victories in Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 Hill Prince, a nine-furlong inner turf test for sophomores, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, the son of Quality Road was last seen scoring an off-the-pace triumph in the nine-furlong Grade 3 Virginia Derby on September 9 at Colonial Downs in his first start against winners. There, he rated 6 1/2 lengths off the pace under returning rider Kendrick Carmouche and unleashed a strong turn of foot down the stretch to sweep past his rivals and prevail by 1 1/4 lengths over Grade 1 Saratoga Derby Invitational-winner Program Trading. The effort was awarded a 96 Beyer Speed Figure.

Freedom Trail [post 1, Jose Ortiz] looks to break through at the graded level for trainer John Terranova after a strong optional claiming performance against elders on September 21 at Belmont at the Big A. The son of Collected finished a game second to Exact Estimate, who was runner-up next out in the Artie Schiller, in a nine-furlong turf tilt when rallying from 6 1/2 lengths back and came up just a neck shy, earning a career-best 93 Beyer.

Four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown will have three chances to win his fourth Hill Prince with I'm Very Busy [post 8, Manny Franco], Equitize [post 4, Irad Ortiz, Jr.] and Faraday [post 5, Javier Castellano].

Hill Prince Entries

5:12 p.m. – Grade 2 Kennedy Road Stakes at Woodbine

Sprint star Patches O'Houlihan will face nine rivals in Saturday's $175,000 Kennedy Road Stakes (G2) at Woodbine.

A 3-year-old son of Reload-Maythefourthbwithu, Patches O'Houlihan arrives at the six-furlong main track race for 3-year-olds and up riding a six-race win streak after securing a gritty nose victory in the Vigil Stakes (G3) on September 16.

Bred and owned by Frank Di Giuilio, Jr. and trained by Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee Robert Tiller, Patches O'Houlihan sports a 7-0-0 career mark from eight starts.

Other starters include multiple graded stakes winner War Bomber (IRE), graded stakes winners Dream Shake and Ironstone, multiple graded stakes placed Ice Chocolat (BRZ), graded stakes placed Rockcrest, and stakes winner Sky's Not Falling.

Kennedy Road Entries

5:35 p.m. – Grade 3 Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs

She Can't Sing will attempt to defend her victory in last year's Chilukki Stakes (G3) when she meets eight fillies and mares entered for this year's edition of the $300,000 one-mile race next Saturday at Churchill Downs.

Trained by Chris Block, She Can't Sing is an eight-time winner from 38 starts. The 6-year-old daughter of Bernardini has won four of those races at Churchill Downs, including her 3¾-length triumph in last year's Chilukki.

Block also has entered Richard Perkin's 14-time winner Oeuvre, who's set to make her first start against graded stakes company. The 4-year-old Illinois-bred daughter of Shackleford is on a three-race win streak with victories in the Jean Elizabeth Handicap at Hawthorne and consecutive allowance wins at Kentucky Downs and Keeneland. Jockey Jareth Loveberry will be in the irons from post 4.

Trainer Bill Mott, a two-time Chilukki winner, aims for his third victory in the race with 2022 Gazelle (G3) winner Nostalgic. Ridden by Florent Geroux from the rail, Godolphin's homebred Nostalgic finished 10th in the 2022 Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI), just ahead of fellow Chilukki rival Hidden Connection, who finished 12th. Nostalgic, a Medaglia d'Oro filly, began her 4-year-old season in mid-July, finishing second to Sixtythreecaliber in a third-level allowance contest. Four weeks later she defeated five rivals in allowance company and would go on to finish third to Randomized and A Mo Reay six weeks later in the Beldame (G2).

Chilukki Entries

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