Weekend Lineup Presented By Del Mar Ship & Win: Foster Preview Day, Deep Turf Fields - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Weekend Lineup Presented By Del Mar Ship & Win: Foster Preview Day, Deep Turf Fields

Five Grade 2 races highlight the stateside racing action this weekend, three of which will be run on the turf.

Kicking things off on Friday is the G2 Penn Mile, with the third meeting between sophomore turf stars Major Dude and Candidate likely to produce a thrilling finish in Pennsylvania. Famed race announcer Larry Collmus, who calls the Breeders' Cup World Championships and first two legs of the Triple Crown, will call the Penn Mile as well as the five other stakes races.

Saturday's Grade 2 turf action continues with the Royal North at Woodbine and the Pennine Ridge at Belmont Park. Eleven are entered in the former, while the latter turf contest drew a deep field of eight sophomores.

Also on tap is the “Stephen Foster Preview Day” at Churchill Downs Saturday, offering six stakes with opportunities to prep for the July 1 Stephen Foster (G1) and undercard. In the Foster Prep, the G3 Blame Stakes, Pimlico Special winner Rattle N Roll will face an intriguing group of seven rivals.

The G2 Summertime Oaks at Santa Anita brings back several starters from this year's Kentucky Oaks, including third-place finisher The Alys Look for new trainer Chris Davis.

Reigning Canadian Horse of the Year Moira will make her 2023 debut in Woodbine's G3 Belle Mahone Stakes on Saturday, as well.

The weekend closes out with the featured G2 Eclipse Stakes at Woodbine as Artie's Storm will try to defend his title, as well as the inaugural running of the Pink Lloyd Stakes at the multiple champion gelding's home track.


7:45 p.m. – Grade 2 Penn Mile at Penn National

Major Dude and Candidate – two of the most promising 3-year-old turf stakes horses in the country – face off for the third time in the ninth running of the Grade 2, $400,000 Penn Mile on the grass at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.

Major Dude, the 8-5 favorite on the morning line, comes into the Penn Mile off a half-length defeat when third following a tremendous stretch battle in the Grade 2 American Turf on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs. Major Dude, who will be ridden by champion jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. in the Penn Mile, has competed in eight straight stakes races since breaking his maiden on debut last summer at Monmouth Park. He's won the Grade 2 Pilgrim along with the Kitten's Joy. One of his defeats came to Candidate in the Dania Beach Stakes in January at Gulfstream Park. Pletcher, second last year in the Penn Mile with Annapolis, is keenly aware of his formidable rival.

Candidate began his career last fall at Laurel Park then over the winter stamped himself as a force in the 3-year-old turf division by knocking off Major Dude and then finishing second to him in the Kitten's Joy. In his most recent start, the Grade 3 Transylvania at Keeneland, Candidate finished a close-up sixth in a race that has proven a giant key heat, with third-place finisher Webslinger coming back to win the American Turf and runner-up Nagirroc running a powerhouse race to take the James Murphy Stakes on Preakness Day at Pimlico.

Penn Mile Entries


4:16 p.m. – Grade 2 Royal North Stakes at Woodbine

Baby No Worries will make her second straight start at Woodbine when the 4-year-old takes on 10 filly and mare rivals in Saturday's $175,000 Royal North (G2T), the first turf stakes race of the 2023 season. Trained by Tim Girten, Baby No Worries is 3-3-4 from 15 starts, with her latest victory coming this January at Turfway Park when she came from last of 12 to post a half-length score in the six-furlong allowance race.

Other hopefuls include multiple graded stakes-placed Bay Storm, who will have John Velazquez in the irons for trainer Jonathan Thomas, and seven-time winner Adaay in Asia (GB), making her North American debut.

Royal North Entries

5:12 p.m. – Grade 2 Pennine Ridge Stakes at Belmont Park

Silver Knott will try to add to trainer Charlie Appleby's recent North American success when he takes on a field of sevenrivals for Saturday's nine furlong test over the inner turf at Belmont Park. Silver Knott, a Lope de Vega bay, enters off a distant 11th in the Group 1 British 2000 Guineas on May 6 over soft going at Newmarket, finishing 17 1/4 lengths in arrears of the victorious Chaldean. This was his first effort since his North American debut, where he finished a close second as the favorite in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf on November 4 at Keeneland Race Course. There, he was ninth down the backside, made a bold move in upper stretch along the rail, and held an advantage for a couple strides nearing the wire, but could not stave off the outside rally from Victoria Road.

Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher will seek his third straight Pennine Ridge conquest when sending out Far Bridge [post 8, Joel Rosario] and Sharar [post 2, Manny Franco].

Far Bridge enters from a troubled second in the Grade 2 American Turf on May 6 at Churchill Downs. Piloted by Rosario, Far Bridge raced in mid-pack along the inside down the backstretch and maintained his rail skimming position at the top of the lane. He made his bid to the inside of pacesetter Mo Stash in the final furlong, but couldn't hold off a four-wide rally from the victorious Webslinger, who prevailed by a nose. The effort produced a field-best 93 Beyer Speed Figure.

Sharar will make his debut for Pletcher following a campaign in the Middle East with trainer Fawzi Nass. The son of Gun Runner, and half-brother to 2017 Champion Turf Female Lady Eli, enters off a triumph in the 10-furlong Jumeriah Derby on February 24 at Meydan Racecourse. Since arriving under Pletcher's care, Sharar has recorded two half-mile breezes over the inner turf, and most recently went 48.84 seconds on May 26.

Four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown will go three deep in pursuit of his third Pennine Ridge coup when sending out Kalik [post 6, Irad Ortiz, Jr.], Congruent [post 5, Flavien Prat] and Belouni [post 3, Jose Ortiz].

Pennine Ridge Entries

7:44 p.m. – Grade 2 Summertime Oaks at Santa Anita

A wide-open affair on paper, the Summertime Oaks, to be contested at 1 1/16 miles, has attracted a field of seven sophomore fillies.

Fresh off a solid third place finish for trainer Brad Cox in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, The Alys Look figures prominently as she goes for a new barn and makes her Southern California debut. The Alys Look, who has been stabled at Keeneland following her 2 ¾ length defeat in the Kentucky Oaks May 5, will make her first start for Kentucky-based trainer Christopher Davis.

Although light on seasoning, John Sadler's Anywho looks to be long on ability, as she galloped to a two-length score in a seven furlongs allowance here on March 27, which was her first start for Sadler. A first-out winner at going seven eighths at Aqueduct Oct. 23, Anywho, a filly by Bolt d'Oro, rang up a Summertime Oaks best last-out Beyer Speed Figure of 90 in her March 27 win.

A disappointing fifth as the 3-5 favorite two starts back in the Sunland Park Oaks on March 26, Bob Baffert's Doinitthehardway returned home and bounced back with 2 ¼ length allowance score on May 12 and thus looms a solid contender.

Distanced by 17 lengths at 45-1 in the Kentucky Oaks, Peter Miller's Grade 1 winning And Tell Me Nolies should run a much improved race with regular rider Ramon Vazquez back aboard. Second to Baffert's Faiza in both the G2 Santa Anita Oaks April 8 and in the G3 Santa Ysabel March 5, And Tell Me Nolies had an outstanding 2-year-old campaign, winning both the G1 Del Mar Debutante and the G2 Chandelier Stakes prior to running eighth in the G1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Keeneland Nov. 4.

Summertime Oaks Entries


4:48 p.m. – Grade 2 Eclipse Stakes at Woodbine

Artie's Storm will face 10 rivals in the 1 1/16-mile Eclipse Stakes. Trained and owned by Paul Buttigieg, Artie's Storm, a 5-year-old son of We Miss Artie-Tiz Stormy Now, made his seasonal debut in last year's Eclipse, and went on to cross the wire a one-length winner at 7-1. It's the same scenario this time for the dark bay who went 1-3-1 from seven starts in 2022, the runner-up efforts coming in three Grade 3 events, the Dominion Day, Seagram Cup and Durham Cup. Jockey David Moran believes the lifetime earner of $455,995 (U.S.) is ready for his most recent challenge.

Eclipse Entries

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