Power Alert, Stanford are horses to watch in Gulfstream stakes
With so many favorites set for a blockbuster day of stakes action across the country, Twinspires.com's Vance Hanson took the time to ferret out a few profitable plays, including Power Alert in the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint and Stanford in the Fred W. Hooper (G3) on Saturday.
Kellie Reilly discussed the international racing scene in her weekly "The Dispatch Box" on the Twinspires.com blog, including Charming Kitten upcoming relocation to Dermot Weld's barn to prepare for Royal Ascot and the Melbourne Cup (Aus-G1).
Dick Powell reviewed last week's domestic action in his "Handicapping Insights," focusing on Sunday Rules' win over the boys in the California Cup Sprint and Mohaymen's victory in the Holy Bull (G2).
Frosted crushes foes in Dubai World Cup prep
Frosted brought a class edge into Thursday's Maktoum Challenge Round 2 (G2) at Meydan and made it look easy, rolling to a five-length decision in track-record time. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and ridden by William Buick, who also teamed up to capture the Firebreak (G3) with another Godolphin runner, Confrontation, Frosted confirmed his status as a major contender for the $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1) on March 26. The 4-year-old Tapit colt, who finished second to American Pharoah in the Belmont Stakes (G1), was making his first appearance since a seventh in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1).
Last seen capturing the Hollywood Turf Cup (G2), Arlington Million (G1) hero The Pizza Man will seek his second straight graded stakes victory on Saturday when he lines up for the $350,000 Gulfstream Park Turf H. (G1). Listed as the 4-5 morning line favorite versus seven rivals, The Pizza Man will be making his 7-year-old debut for trainer Roger Brueggemann and the gelding picks up the services of leading Gulfstream rider Javier Castellano.
Songbird returns in Las Virgenes; Mor Spirit tops Lewis
Champion juvenile filly Songbird will make her highly-anticipated return in the $300,000 Las Virgenes (G2) at Santa Anita, one of two Kentucky Oaks preps being offered Saturday along with the $100,000 Martha Washington at Oaklawn Park. Mike Smith retains the mount on the undefeated Jerry Hollendorfer trainee and six rivals will line up to challenge Songbird in the one-mile race.
Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) winner Mor Spirit headlines a field of seven in Saturday's $150,000 Robert B. Lewis (G3) at Santa Anita, a Kentucky Derby qualifier offering points on a 10-4-2-1 scale to the top four finishers. Santa Anita will also offer the $500,000 San Antonio (G2) for older horses on the main track and the $200,000 San Marcos (G2) for turf runners.
One of three runners entered from the Todd Pletcher stable, Mshawish will attempt to provide the leading conditioner his fourth victory Donn H. (G1) in seven years at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. Madefromlucky and Itsaknockout are the other Pletcher trainees in the eight-horse field, and Travers (G1) upsetter Keen Ice is among those using the 1 1/8-mile race as a possible springboard to the lucrative Dubai World Cup program on March 26.
Also at the TwinSpires Blog:
James Scully reviews last weekend's developments, including Mohaymen's impressive Holy Bull (G2) victory, and gives his weekly top 10 list in the Kentucky Derby Report. And Scully also remembers the epic showdown between Dortmund and Firing Line in the 2015 Lewis.
Vance Hanson weighs in on why the older horse division seems no closer to getting back on track.
Ed DeRosa explains why his race and wager selection process has helped start the New Year in a big way.
John Mucciolo provides his weekly take on the action over the inner track in the Aqueduct Notebook.
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