As we barrel towards the dog days of summer, the weekends begin to feel like Groundhog Day as every weekend is filled with stakes action. This weekend is no different.
Headlining the action is the 2018 Champion Three Year Old Filly, Monomoy Girl, who returns to graded stakes action for the first time since her 2018 G1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff win. The five year old daughter of Tapizar returned off an 18 month layoff with an easy allowance score for owners Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stables. She’ll be lining up as the morning line 2-5 favorite in the short field of 5.
Also contesting the G2 Ruffian will be Piedi Bianchi who has returned to the races in a positive way after her own long layoff, as she took an allowance at Aqueduct over the winter being going on to win the Correction Stakes after being away from the races for a year. Campaigned by Jay Oringer, Jack Bick and Madaket Stables, the five year old daughter of Overanalyze will be looking to add some more graded blacktype to her resume.
The stakes actions continues at Keeneland where Secret Message will be looking to make it two wins from two starts on the year after her exciting victory in the G3 Mint Julep at Churchill for owners Scott Heider, Madaket Stables, ERJ Racing, Elayne Stables, Bouchey, Rebhan and Carroll. While it looks to be an incredibly tough spot, the dark bay daughter of Hat Trick is in outstanding form and we look forward to seeing a bold bid from her.
Also taking part in the G1 Jenny Wiley is Altea, who closed from the closed to finish just a length behind Secret Message last out for owners Swift Thoroughbreds, Madaket Stables and Doheny Racing Stable. The French bred five year old mare is in career best form right now having narrowly missed in both the Endeavour and Tom Benson Memorial prior to her G3 Mint Julep effort.
One race prior, Speech will take her spot in the G1 Ashland for the three year old fillies. Second to Swiss Skydiver and Gamine in her last couple of starts, the daughter of Mr Speaker will be looking for her first Grade 1 victory for owners Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Madaket Stables.
At Delaware Park, Bellera goes in search of a second graded stakes victory in the G2 Delaware Handicap for owners Mathis Stable, Madaket Stables and Doheny Racing Stable. Over the winter at Aqueduct, the four year old daughter of Bernardini took two consecutive stakes races beginning with the G3 Comely before annexing the Ladies Handicap, both over the same 1 1/8 mile distance she’ll be running on Saturday.
Also taking part in the G2 Delaware Handicap is Ten Strike Racing’s Lucky Move. An upset winner of last month’s Obeah Stakes, Lucky Move will be going in search of her first graded stakes victory. Claimed for $30,000 in April of last year, the six year old daughter of Lookin At Lucky has only missed the board in one of eleven starts for her new connections in what has turned out to be a phenomenal claim.
A Bit of Both runs in the Dashing Beauty Stakes for owners Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables, Darsan, Inc., Bethlehem Stables and David Simon. A stakes winner on the dirt, turf and all-weather in 2019, the four year old daughter of Paynter will be making her first start since the end of January.
Rounding out the stakes action will be Miss J McKay who will be going for her second stakes victory in the Blue Sparkler going 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf for owners Maxis Stable, Madaket Stables and Wonder Stable. The three year old daughter of Hangover Kid was impressive last year at two, taking the Anne Arundel County at Laurel Park before running 3rd in the Lady Shipman at Belmont three weeks ago in her seasonal debut.