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

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Saturday, 3:10 p.m., Parx Racing’s Crowd Pleaser H. 1 1/16 miles on turf, 3yo PA-bred, $75,000 purse.  Modest group means a wide-open heat.

  • 1. #3 Saham (5-2 morning line) — Favorite possesses a class edge here; bang-up third, beaten 3/4, in the G3 Transylvania and just missed against elders last out.
  • 2. #6 Blitzensmajikreign (9-2) —  Last out was a mess for this Marcos Zulueta runner, but he’s been in the triple seven of nine; Street Magicians have typically liked the lawn.
  • 2. #7 Scattered (8-1) — First time on the green stuff for this John Servis-trained son of Scat Daddy, who’s won two of five and owns the right to improve..
  • 3. #2 Duff (10-1) — Versatile sort has won on the dirt and on synthetic, will try grass for the first time; closer did win the Elser, an SC-residency race, back in November

Saturday, 4:04 p.m., Parx Racing’s Power by Far H. 5 furlongs on the turf for PA-bred fillies and mares 3yo and up, $75,000 purse.  Go deep in here if playing multi-race wagers; there’s a lot of ways to go.

  • 1. #4 Royal Renege (12-1) — Stake-winner going farther owns two wins at the trip for Elizabeth Merryman; will need help from the pace but just might get it in a race packed with speedsters.
  • 2. #9 Fat Kat (6-1) — Speedy sort sits outside other major speed factors and gave a credible account of himself last out against N3X runners.  Butch Reid trainee has finished in the triple four straight with Pennington in the irons.
  • 3. #6 Previous Honor (8-1) — Long time between wins for the 6yo Congressionalhonor mare, who doesn’t much like winning anyway, but Roy Houghton trainee enters off a good try against allowance rivals and finished third here a year ago.
  • 4. #1 Kiss the Daddy (5-2) — Late-career switch to turf for five-year-old has paid dividends: two wins and a bad-trip third from three tries.  Likely will have to work out a trip from the rail, since other speeds seem speedier, but John Dunn pupil doesn’t need the lead.

Saturday, 5:46 p.m., Monmouth Park’s G3 Jersey Shore S. 6 furlongs on the dirt, 3yo, $100,000 purse.  Intriguing group, with someone hoping to seize a breakthrough opportunity.

  • 1. #2 Joe Franklin (4-1) — Trainer David Jacobonson’s 28 percent first off the claim; if this Bernstein colt posts, he figures to grab the early lead and just might be fast enough to drag ’em all the way.
  • 2. #3 Blame Jim (7-5) — Pletcher trainee was relegated to the barn’s B team at the Jersey Shore but still might have plenty of class and quality to thrive here.
  • 3. #5 Hebbronville (5-1) — Churchill shipper was a credible fifth in the Chick Lang at Pimlico, just behind #3, makes his return to stakes company after tuning up with a win against Ellis allowance horses.
  • 4. #7 Jackson P (12-1) — Not sure what he beat last out in off-the-turf allowance, but Maryland-bred trained by Cal Lynch has some upside to work with, having made just four starts, winning two and never out of the money.

Sunday, 5:14 p.m., Monmouth Park’s Little Silver S. 1 1/16 miles on the turf, fillies 3yo, $60,000 purse.  Solid sophomores seek stakes stature.

  • 1. #7 Red Sashay — Stakes-winning closer couldn’t make up ground into moderate pace in the Penn Oaks but figures to get plenty of zip in front of her here.
  • 2. #6 Pine Needles — Don’t judge that 9th place finish in the Belmont Oaks too harshly. Clement trainee was on the engine through solid fractions and still right there with an eighth to go; oh, and by the way, there’s no Lady Eli in the house today.
  • 3. #5 My Year Is a Day — Nice vote of confidence by trainer Motion to put French-bred in graded company in first NA start; result wasn’t great, but note trouble line, and attracts Trevor McCarthy in the irons.
  • 4. #8 Kitten’s Roar — Chad Brown trainee came home fast to win vs. N1X foes at Belmont and has won two of three; plenty of upside potential here.[/su_list]