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Preview Of Upcoming Races For Weekend

Author: Ryan Knuppel
Published: Tuesday June 15, 2021
There is some high-quality racing to look forward to in the United States this weekend, as there are Grade 3 races taking place at Santa Anita, Belmont Park, and Monmouth Park. Below, we will run through all the graded races taking place in North America this weekend.

San Juan Capistrano Stakes


The San Juan Capistrano Stakes is a Grade 3 contest that will be taking place at Santa Anita on Saturday. This race is open to horses that are three and older, as the field will race across 1 ¾ miles.

  • Red King
  • Ward ‘N Jerry
  • Acclimate
  • Pillar Mountain
  • Lure Him In

There is a talented field set to go to post for this contest. Red King will be one of the leading contenders for trainer Philip D’Amato. The seven-year-old made his return to the track this year when coming third in the G2 Charles Whittingham Stakes. Last year he won both this race and the G2 Del Mar Handicap. On that form, he is a leading contender.

Acclimate finished slightly ahead of him in the G2 Charles Whittingham Stakes and could be a leading contender after winning this race in 2019, ahead of Red King. Ward ‘N Jerry is another horse that was involved 12 months ago, but he finished in third. He traveled strongly on his last run, as he finished fourth in the Unusual Heat Turf Classic, but he will need to find more. Let Him In could also be worth a second look, as the four-year-old recently finished third on his first start in graded company, as he finished third in the G3 Tokyo City Cup.

Poker Stakes


The G3 Poker Stakes is among the action on the card at Belmont Park on Sunday. Horses aged four and older can enter this race, which is run over a mile on the turf.

  • Raging Bull
  • Oleksandra
  • Get Smokin
  • Flavius

It will be fascinating to see how strong the top two from the Seek Again Stakes will be in this renewal on Sunday. Get Smokin won that race, while Flavius was back in second. Get Smokin has won graded races in the past, as he won the G2 Hill prince and G3 Tampa Bay Stakes over the past 12 months.

However, the leading contender in the race will be Raging Bull, who won the G1 Maker’s Mark Mile on his last start. That was a strong run, and he should be a leading contender once again this week. He will be looking for a sixth win at graded company, and it would be hard to bet against the Chad Brown-trained horse.

Eatontown Stakes


There is also Graded action at Monmouth Park this weekend, as the G3 Eatontown takes place over 1 1/16 miles on turf. Fillies aged three and older can enter this contest.

  • Nay Lady Nay
  • Crystal Cliffs
  • Micheline
  • Vigilantes Way

The likely top four in the betting for this race can be found above. Nay Lady Nay for trainer Chad Brown will be making her second start of 2021 but will be looking for an improvement after finishing fourth in the G3 Beaugay last time out. Crystal Cliffs could be one that has gone under the radar, as she was an impressive second in the listed Dahlia Stakes last time out.

Micheline and Vigilantes Way also have outstanding chances. Micheline was sixth in the G1 Jenny Wiley, while Vigilantes Way was second in the G3 Gallorette. The preference would be for the latter to get her first graded victory this weekend.

American Stakes


The American Stakes is a Grade 3 that will be run at Santa Anita on Sunday over a mile on turf. Horses that are three and older can enter this race.

  • Neptune’s Storm
  • Tatters To Riches
  • Restrainedvengence
  • Majestic Eagle

There are a number of interesting contenders in the American Stakes this weekend. Neptune’s Storm will be among the most interesting as he makes his first start of the season. He was the winner of the G3 San Francisco Mile last year and could be the one to beat on that form.

Restrainedvengence and Majestic Eagle have already returned to the track this season. Restrainedvengence has finished third on both his two recent starts, with those coming in the G3 San Francisco Mile and the G1 Shoemaker Mile. We would be willing to give him another chance at graded company. Meanwhile, Majestic Eagle was second in the G3 Daytona Stakes on his return to the track. He won the American Stakes in 2019.

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