[boxify cols_use =”2″ cols =”5″ position =”right” order =”none” box_spacing =”5″ padding =”3″ border_width =”1″ border_color =”blue” border_style =”dashed” height =”160″ ]Upcoming stakes action

  • Tuesday, January 21
    • Appalachian H. (CT) — Fillies and mares, four years old and up, 1 1/16 miles[/boxify]

The only immediately upcoming stake is Tuesday, at Charles Town, the $35,000 Appalachian Handicap.  For the weekend, we wonder…

  • Can mid-Atlantic connections take home any of the Eclipse Award hardware this weekend?  There are several with a shot (here).
  • Who will take the featured eighth at Laurel?  Rudy Rodriguez shipper Dawly is the 4-5 favorite in the second-level allowance/optional claimer, and Rodriguez is currently 3-for-6 at the Laurel meeting.  But he faces some intriguing rivals: chief among them 4-1 Irish Lion, the third-place finisher in the 2011 running of the Grade 3 Ohio Derby, who nevertheless needed 48 races to win his first allowance, and then nearly added his second in his very next (and most recent) start; and 6-1 Marilyn’s Guy, who won the 2012 running of the Grade 3 Excelsior at Aqueduct but has been in something of a tailspin ever since.
  • What do you do with favored Willies Grand Slam in the eighth at Penn National on Saturday?  He’s 9-5 in this $5,000 never-won-two claimer (which by itself tells you there are no Secretariats in the field).  On best, he should handle these; his career-best Beyer of 69 is a couple to several lengths faster than any of his rivals.  He was claimed two back out of the race in which he broke his maiden, at the $15,000 level — but that was back in September.  He’s made just one start since, at the $10,000 level in December at Penn, and he was pulled up that day.  And here?  Who knows?
  • Can another debuting youngster open some eyes at Parx?  In Sunday’s fourth, a maiden special weight event there are three interesting first starters: including Medallezza (7-2), a Medallist filly for Mike Trombetta; Kiss Me Forever (9-5 as part of an entry), a Broken Vow trained by Kathleen DeMasi; and perhaps the most intriguing of all, Giantess (8-1), trained by Edward Coletti.  She’s by Giant’s Causeway out of a winning City Zip mare named Warm Springs Girl.
  • And in Tuesday’s Appalachian, can favored Strike the Moon (8-5) get it done?  Julian Pimentel is slated to make the quick trip to Charles Town for trainer Mike Trombetta, and the bullring is the site of her two stakes wins, including the 2011 Charles Town Oaks (over Groupie Doll) and last year’s Municipalities Mayors.  Her last race, though, was a disappointing sixthplace finish in the Willa on the Move at Laurel.

Good luck this weekend!

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