Laurel Park on Saturday and Derby Preps

February 18, 2012 | Gary Quill

For the 3-day President’s Day weekend that many of us will get to enjoy (yours truly is not one of them), there’s a Derby prep race on each day. In northern California at Golden Gate Fields, the G3 El Camino Real Derby (CA) will be run on Saturday. On Sunday Santa Anita Park (CA) features the G2 San Vicente Stakes while on Monday G3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park (AR).

In the $200,000 G3 El Camino Real Derby a field, Maryland based and 2011 Kentucky Derby winning trainer H. Graham Motion send out Lucky Chappy (#6; 7-2 M/L) to face a field of 9 foes. The 5-2 Morning Line favorite is #4 – Russian Greek who the California Derby in his last start on the Tapeta (i.e. synthetic) surface at Golden Gate Fields. IMHO, this field is filled with Kentucky Derby pretenders who’d do their best running on turf. Go with #1 – Daddy Nose Best (9-2) who had a less than ideal trip in his last race, the Eddie Logan Stakes on the Santa Anita turf course. Julien LeParoux travels from south Florida just to ride him, so that’s saying something about his chances.

In the $150,000 G2 San Vicente Stakes a field of 8 will travel the shortest of Derby prep race distances, 7 furlongs. The prohibitive 3-2 Morning Line (M/L) favorite is #4 – Creative Cause. This son of Giant’s Causeway is making his 3 year old debut. Analysis and selections for this race will be posted on Sunday.

The G3 Southwest Stakes drew so much interest (21 3 year olds) that it will be run in two divisions. This means there will actually be two races on Monday, each having a purse of $250,000. No splitting of the purse here since graded stakes earnings are like gold when chasing the Kentucky Derby dream. Entries for the Oaklawn Park Monday race card get draw on Saturday afternoon. My analysis and selections for the Southwest race(s) along with Laurel Park’s President’s Day card will be posted on Monday morning.

Here are my opinions for Laurel Park’s Winter Meet Saturday card, Feb.18th. 1st race post is 12:35pm EST.

1st race – $10,000 Claiming for 3 yr olds – 6 furlongs
#3 – Avenuesofnewyork (5-2)
#7 – Distinctly Donovan (2-1)
#6 – Eye Sea A Pirate (8-1)

2nd race – $25,000 Claiming for 3 yr old fillies – 5½ furlongs
#3 – Preach Easy (3-1)
#6 – Lady June Bug (8-5)
#2 – Her Royal Honor (5-1)

3rd race – $8,000 Claiming NW3L fillies & mares 4 y.o. & up – 7 furlongs
#2 – Silent Whisper (7-2)
#6 – Miss Shoppin Diva (3-1)
#1 – Lipstick Traces (9-5)

4th race – $35,000 Allowance N1X for 4 yr olds – 6 furlongs
#7 – Big Sur (5-2)
#6 – Avenida Paseo (3-1)
#4 – Vows To Be Broken (6-1)

5th race – $10,000 Claiming NW2L for 4 yr olds – 7 furlongs
#6 – Roman Candle Light (15-1) $$$ LONGSHOT PICK $$$
#7 – Dunraven Lad (8-1)
#3 – Castleton Park (4-1)

6th race – $100,000 John B. Campbell Hcp. For 3 y.o. & up – 1 1/8 miles
#1 – Indian Dance (7-2) *** BEST BET ***
#4 – Jimanator (3-1)
#5 – Heart Butte(2-1)

7th race – $33,000 Maidens for 3 yr old fillies – 5½ furlongs
#3 – Cape’s Courage (12-1)
#5 – Bren’s Friend (2-1)
#6 – Chickamauga (9-5)

8th race – $200,00 G2 Barbara Fritchie Hcp.fillies & mares 3 y.o. & up – 7 furlongs
#4 – Magical Feeling (10-1)
#6 – Nicole H (6-5)
#1 – Aquitania (6-1)

9th race – $10,000 Maiden Claiming for 3 year old – about 1 1/16 miles
#2 – Queen Zori (6-1)
#8 – Laurelcoveproposal (4-1)
#4 – Versailles Fox (8-1)

Enjoy a great day of thoroughbred horse racing. Share the fun with a friend.

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