Racing fans waiting for next Saturday’s outstanding Belmont Stakes card may consider this a “bye” weekend of sorts, but Virginia-breds will have a busy weekend competing in stakes races around the country.
2015 Virginia-bred Horse of the Year Stellar Wind will face Beholder in the Grade I, $400,000 Vanity Stakes Saturday at Santa Anita and that “Clash of the Titans” showdown has been well documented already.
On the east coast Saturday, Sweet Victory and Made Bail will compete in separate stakes on the lucrative card at Penn National. Sweet Victory, bred by the William Backer Revocable Trust, is in the $200,000 Penn Oaks while Made Bail, bred, owned and trained by Susan Cooney, is in the $150,000 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup Stakes.
Sweet Victory is a 3 year old daughter of Blame who most recently won the Honey Ryder Stakes at Gulfstream. The Todd Pletcher trainee is 3 for 5 in her young career and has earned $92,065. Out of the Came Home mare, My Mammy, Sweet Victory will get the services of jockey Javier Castellano.
Made Bail is a 4 year old son of Closing Argument and is double entered — he is also in the $67,000 Mighty Beau Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs. Out of the Emancipator mare, Leva Mae, Made Bail has 3 wins and 3 runner-ups in 16 career starts and was second in last fall’s Punch Line Stakes at Laurel.
Do What I Say, bred and owned by Larry Johnson, is a 3 year old Street Magician filly that has been “in the money” in all 4 starts this year. She will compete 5 furlongs Saturday in the $100,000 Stormy Blues Stakes at Pimlico. Out of the Parfaitement mare, Not What I Do, Do What I Say did not race in her freshman campaign but seems to be blossoming as a sophomore. She won a maiden special weight race at Laurel on April 9th and an allowance score at Pimlico most recently on May 20th.
Tiger Tank, bred by the Estate of Edward Evans, will be at Churchill for the Might Beau Overnight Stakes. The 5 year old has been first or second in 6 of 9 career outs and has bankrolled $105,120 from those efforts. He is by Tale of the Cat out of Minidar by Alydar.
On Sunday, a pair of very consistent, $300,000-plus money earning Virginia-breds will vie in the Grade 3, $100,000 Red Bank Stakes at Monmouth.
Middleburg, a 6 year old bred by Mr. & Mrs. Bertram Firestone, will face Rose Brier, a 7 year old bred by William Backer. The former is by Lemon Drop Kid out of Rum Charger by Spectrum while the latter is by Mizzen Mast out of Mexicali Rose by El Gran Senor. Middleburg has earned $369,760 with 16 “top three” finishes in 18 starts while Rose Brier has won $376,720 from 25 “top three” finishes in 31 starts.
Virginia racing fans wager the action on line via TVG, XPressBet and Twin Spires.