OUR EXPERTS PICKS THE MATCH SERIES STAKES

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Whereshetoldmetogo won the Alapocas Run at Delaware Park. Photo Allison Janezic.

Saturday’s racing slate in the Mid-Atlantic includes three stakes that are part of the MATCH Series: the Alma North, Deputed Testamony, and Challedon, all at Pimlico Race Course.

After scratches the three races include a total of 16 horses. But among that group are such popular local stalwarts as Laki, Harpers First Ride, and Hello Beautiful.

We asked a couple of our experts for their picks:

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ALMA NORTH STAKES: 6 FURLONGS, $100,000, FILLIES AND MARES 3YO AND UP

The region’s two best sprinting fillies, Hello and Beautiful and Chub Wagon, squared off in a thriller in the Shine Again in June. But Chub Wagon went to Delaware July 10 for her most recent start, while Hello Beautiful stays in Maryland, where she’ll be the overwhelming favorite in this spot.

John PiassekFrank VespeDerby Bill Watson
First#2 Hello Beautiful (3-5)#2 Hello Beautiful (3-5)#2 Hello Beautiful (3-5)
Second#6 Precious (5-1)#4 Paisley Singing (12-1)#4 Paisley Singing (12-1)
Third#4 Paisley Singing (12-1)#6 Precious (5-1)#6 Precious (5-1)

DEPUTED TESTAMONY STAKES: 1 1/8 MILES, $100,000, 3YO AND UP

This season hasn’t been quite as kind to Harpers First Ride as was 2020 — when he won four stakes, including the G3 Pimlico Special in the second half of the year. But he won last out and might be getting back on track for trainer Claudio Gonzalez. Hard-hitting veteran Cordmaker hasn’t raced since May but owns two wins at the trip and won the nine-furlong Harrison Johnson earlier this year.

John PiassekFrank VespeDerby Bill Watson
First#4 Cordmaker (4-1) #4 Cordmaker (4-1)#1 Magic Michael (3-1)
Second#1 Magic Michael (3-1) #1 Magic Michael (3-1)#5 Mischief Afoot (9-2)
Third#6 Harpers First Ride (9-5) #5 Mischief Afoot (9-2)#6 Harpers First Ride (9-5)

CHALLEDON STAKES: 6 FURLONGS, $100,000, 3YO AND UP

Whereshetoldmetogo got back on track with a dominant win in the Alapocas Run at Delaware Park July 3 in his first start since April. He’ll meet an old rival here in Laki, who has won at least one stake in each of the last five years.

John PiassekFrank VespeDerby Bill Watson
First#5 Whereshetoldmetogo (8-5)#1 Lebda (9-2)#4 Laki (2-1)
Second#4 Laki (2-1)#5 Whereshetoldmetogo (8-5)#5 Whereshetoldmetogo (8-5)
Third#2 Mucho (3-1)#4 Laki (2-1)#1 Lebda (9-2)

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