Who’re we watching? Let’s see what’s on tap in the mid-Atlantic this weekend:

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Saturday, 4:04 p.m., Parx Racing’s G3 Dr. James Penny Memorial H. 1 1/16 miles on the turf for fillies and mares 3yo and up, $200,000 purse.  A pretty good group gathers for one of Parx’s richer grass events. 

  • 1. #7 Coffee Clique (2-1 morning line) — G1 winner finds a more congenial spot than last few and possess tactical advantage in a race light on speed. 
  • 2. #4 Photo Call (6-1) — Forgive her last, and take a gander at that two-back run in the G3 Beaugay, where she closed stoutly even though the come-home time was blistering. A repeat puts the Motion trainee in the mix.
  • 3. #6 Nellie Cashman (5-1) — Dahlia winner didn’t show much last out in the Miss Liberty, but her better efforts compete here. 
  • 4. #5 Means Well (12-1) — Useful season debut for this four-year-old filly who’s never been favored in nine starts but has won three of them, shows improving figs

Saturday, 5:52 p.m., Monmouth Park’s Elkwood S. 1 mile on the turf, 3yo and up, $75,000 purse.  You’ve seen a bunch of this big field in other minor turf stakes in the region. 

  • 1. #6 Lochte (8-1) — Couple good works since middling try in the G2 Monmouth suggest former G1 winner might still have something in the tank. 
  • 2. #2 Plainview (8-1) — Formful seven-year-old is one of — and perhaps the speediest of — several early lick types signed up. 
  • 3. #1 Mr. Online (6-1) — Mike Pino trainee snapped an eight-race skid last out, looks to sit off the main speed. 
  • 4. #3 Paris Vegas (10-1) — Infrequent winner figures to get the pace he wants here, will likely have to catch ’em all.

Sunday, 5:12 p.m., Monmouth Park’s G3 Salvator Mile 1 mile on the main track for 3yo and up, $150,000 purse.  A hard-hitting group looks for graded laurels. 

  • 1. #5 Valid (5-1) — Four-time winner at the trip hopes to be the controlling speed here, shows three bullet works since runner-up effort in the Majestic Light.
  • 2. #8 Race Day (5-2) — Presence of Johnny V. here tells you what he thinks of this multiple graded winner; a dominant victory would be no surprise. 
  • 3. #6 Red Vine (3-1) — Big effort in Majestic Light was third straight win, but Clement trainee may not sit a perfect trip this time.
  • 4. #3 Pants on Fire (5-1) — Three-time winner over the strip was third in Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

Sunday, 5:46 p.m., Monmouth Park’s G1 United Nations S. 1 3/8 miles on the turf for 3yo and up, $500,000 purse.  A rugged group includes five G1 winners, two prior victors here, and the Eclipse champion turf horse.

  • 1. #6 Main Sequence (5-2) — Eclipse champ turf horse emptied out in Dubai in March, but return to North America (and Lasix) figure to find him back on his best game. Motion trainee’s a lukewarm favorite.
  • 2. #8 Ashleyluvssugar (5-1) — Gary Stevens is in to ride this guy, who’s won five of seven since donning blinks, including back-to-back G2 events in SoCal. 
  • 3. #1 Twilight Eclipse (9-2) — Hard knocker didn’t fire in the Manhattan but has been working better since.  The bad news: he was defeated by the favorite here five straight times.
  • 4. #5 Slumber (5-1) — Addition of blinkers did the trick last out, as Chad Brown trainee scored a 14-1 upset in the G1 Manhattan.  He’ll need to repeat that effort here.


  • PHBA LogoNew Jersey-bred Green Gratto, fifth among older horses in the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred/The Racing Biz Top Midlantic-bred Poll, tries his hand in the $400,000 Belmont Sprint Championship, a Grade 3 event on Saturday.  It’s a rugged group, including Grade 1-winning Maryland-bred The Big Beast (7-2) and favored Private Zone (8-5), a multiple Grade 1 winner.  Green Gratto is 15-1, and Fernando Jara will ride.
  • Granny’s Kitten, a Pennsylvania-bred who’s fifth among three-year-olds in the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred/The Racing Biz Top Midlantic-bred Poll, is 6-1 in the morning line for the $1.25 million, Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational on Saturday.  The third-place finisher in the G3 Penn Mile, Granny’s Kitten and rider Julien Leparoux will tackle some the top turfers of the generation, including favored Bolo (7-2) and Divisidero (4-1).