- Geisha S. (R8) — Md.-bred fillies and mares 3 years old and up, 1 1/16 miles[/boxify]
A week after Charles Town and Pimlico peppered the calendar with stakes, it figures to be a quieter weekend in the mid-Atlantic, with just one weekend stake on tap. The highlights:
- Leg 2 of the Maryland Handicapping Series takes place Saturday. The free online handicapping tournament is a collaboration between The Racing Biz and the Maryland Horse Breeders Association and includes some fun prizes, including a VIP package to this year’s Maryland Million. Saturday’s races include seven from Pimlico and three from Atlantic City. Check it out here!
- Charles Town resumes racing after having taken a break the week after the Charles Town Classic. Saturday’s nine-race card features good-sized fields — three races have horses on the also-eligible list, and none has fewer than eight entered — and a pair of allowance races. Post time is 7:00 p.m.
- Penn National has the opposite problem; only two races have as many as eight entrants on its eight-race Saturday program. Convoy Captain is a lukewarm favorite in the featured sixth, a second-level allowance for older horses going one mile.
- Parx is dark this weekend, with racing having shifted to Atlantic City. The Mays Landing, NJ track will present six-race cards both Saturday and Sunday, heading towards its closing day — Wednesday, April 30. The track’s lone stake, the Tony Gatto Dream Big Stakes, takes place on Wednesday.
- If you’re heading out to Pimlico this weekend, you may want to check out the track’s creative, in-person handicapping contest. It’s a two-day affair involving eliminations and head-to-head competition. Learn more here.
Finally, there’s the region’s lone stake this weekend, the Geisha for Maryland-bred older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on the Pimlico main track. The crew:
- Charlie Renee (15-1) — Three year-old set to tackle her elders has not fared well in two prior forays into stakes company, most recently fourth in the Twixt behind Steady N Love, who’s here, and the winner, Aunt Ellen who was a maiden prior to that race. Draws the rail for the second straight time. Karamanos picks up the mount, which won’t hurt, but she’ll need to step it up to compete with these.
- Celtic Katie (3-1) — Ran a good second in the Conniver at 7 furlongs, and the winner and show horse have both run well next out. She was also second in the Nellie Morse, and has a win and three seconds from six tries at the distance. Speedy sort figures to be forwardly placed, and looks to be competitive — but you’d like it if she won more often.
- Steady N Love (5-1) — Another three year-old moving up a division, her near-miss second in the Twixt — at 1-2 — was more than a slight disappointment, as she took the lead in the lane and looked to be home and dry before getting grabbed at the wire by Aunt Ellen. Never worse than second in three tries at the distance, she owns a stake win and three other placings and despite youth is the most accomplished filly here. After three straight tries at odds-on, will the bump in class be an eye-opener, or a bridge too far? Should get the trip she wants, with speed to run at.
- C C Gold (9-2) — Ran a terrific race at long odds in the Dahlia, just losing to hard-hitter Embarr — but that was on the lawn. Suspect she will scratch here.
- Addison Run (9-5) — Favorite will make her stakes bow. Most recently second against allowance foes, and the winner that day returned victorious at a higher level before running an indifferent fourth. This will be the first try around two turns for the daughter of Unbridled’s Song, and while the breeding suggests that shouldn’t be a problem — and the horse is showing four straight bullet works since that last — at expected short odds you won’t get much reward for taking taking the plunge.
- Brenda’s Way (7-2) — Wheels back on short rest — last raced April 17 — after acquitting herself well in first two-turn try. Drawn well on the outside of the compact field, jockey Trevor McCarthy figures to ask for run from the get-go, try to clear the field, and hope for the best.