No stakes action in the mid-Atlantic this weekend, but questions abound…
- Can Virginia-breds keep it going in stakes company this weekend? Last weekend Noble Moon and Just Call Kenny got it done at Aqueduct and Gulfstream, respectively. On Saturday, Simmstown, a son of Limehouse bred by Audley Farm and most recently first in the Kenny Noe at Calder, will try to tackle graded foes in the Grade 3 Hal’s Hope at Gulfstream; he’s 10-1 in the morning line. Meanwhile, across the country at Santa Anita, another Virginia-bred, Blueskiesnrainbows, who was second in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon, is the 2-1 favorite in the Grade 2 San Pasqual.
- Can Frat Man take them all the way in Laurel’s featured allowance on Saturday? It’s a first-level allowance/optional claimer with a $50,000 tag, and Frat Man has already won this race twice — both times for the tag — and looks to be the speed of the group. A win would be the fifth in his 15 career starts.
- Can Tuftikus win in allowance race at long last? The newly minted nine year-old daughter of — who else? — Luftikus will make the 59th start of her career on Saturday evening at Charles Town in a first-level allowance going 4 1/2 furlongs. She’s won seven times in her career, all in claiming company, most recently this past August against $8,000 claimers. She’s also never made a start anywhere other than Charles Town. It won’t be easy — she’s 15-1 in the morning line — but it’s a pretty mild group for the level.
- Can another debuting youngster open some eyes at Parx? This past weekend, Favorite Tale zipped to an impressive first-out win in 1:07 and change for six furlongs. The most interesting place to look might be in Saturday’s fifth, a maiden special weight for three year-old fillies going six furlongs. Antietam Creek (2-1) and Winning Saga (3-1), both of whom have failed at this level three times, probably will take the most money. But there are three interesting first starters, including Medallezza (7-2), a Medallist filly for Mike Trombetta; Kiss Me Forever (6-1), a Broken Vow trained by Kathleen DeMasi; and perhaps the most intriguing of all, Giantess (5-1), trained by Edward Coletti. She’s by Giant’s Causeway out of a winning City Zip mare named Warm Springs Girl.
- Can Access Love get a rest? The 10 year-old veteran of 82 career starts (11 wins), a gelded son of Not for Love, made 22 starts in 2013, including six in the last two months of the year. He’s entered on Saturday night at Penn National in a $5,000 claiming event.
Good luck this weekend![boxify cols_use =”4″ cols =”4″ position =”none” order =”none” box_spacing =”5″ padding =”3″ border_width =”1″ border_color =”blue” border_style =”solid” height =”60″ ]