More than six graded races for 3-year-olds happen on Saturday, including two of the most important, the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park and the Grade 3 Withers at Aqueduct. Over at Santa Anita, runners head to the track to run in the Grade 2 San Pasqual, the final prep for the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap. Check out more information for seven of Saturday’s top graded thoroughbred events.
Horse Racing Odds & Picks February 1st Edition
Top Stakes Races for the Week
- When: Saturday, Feb. 5
- Grade 3 Withers Stakes – 1 1/8 miles dirt 3-year-olds
Jerome winner Courvoisier takes on Grey Stakes Champion God of Love in one of the Wood Memorial’s top prep races. In addition to the two favorites, 3 last out maiden winners, Early Voting, Grantham, and Gilded Age, will also attract action.
- Grade 3 Kitten’s Joy – 1 1/16 miles turf 3-year-olds
Likely chalk Coinage didn’t run well in his last, the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Trainer Mark Casse should have the son of Tapit ready to fire off the bench, though. Grand Sonata, trained by Todd Pletcher, and last out maiden winner Paratus, a Bill Mott runner, should also have a say in the outcome.
- Grade 3 Swale Stakes – 7 furlongs dirt 3-year-olds
Fourth place Hopeful Stakes runner High Oak could go off the chalk. Saffie Joseph Jr. puts the saddle on Of A Revolution. So expect that runner to grab attention. Todd Pletcher will enter My Prankster and Brad Cox puts the saddle on In Dreams. Cox and Pletcher start unleashing monster 3-year-old this time of the year. Don’t discount either runner to get it done.
- Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes – 1 1/16 miles dirt 3-year-olds
Grade 2 Remsen winner Mo Donegal takes on Breeders’ Cup Juvenile third-place finisher Giant Game in what should be an excellent rendition of the Holy Bull Stakes. Also likely to enter are Saffie Joseph’s White Abbario, Tiz the Bomb from the Kenny McPeek barn, second place Kentucky Jockey Club finisher Classic Causeway, and last out maiden winner Galt.
Santa Anita Park
- Grade 3 Las Virgenes Stakes – 1 mile dirt 3-year-old fillies
No doubt, Bob Baffert will saddle 3 of the top 4 favorites. Eda won the Grade 1 Starlet in her last, Adare Manor is an impressive last-out maiden winner, and Under the Stars won the Grade 2 Santa Ynez in her last. Doug O’Neil will saddle a couple looking to turn the tables on the Baffert runners. Tonito’s finished third to Eda in the Starlet and Awake at Midnyte finished second to Under the Stars in the Santa Ynez.
- Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes – 1 1/16 miles 3-year-olds
Grade 2 Los Alamitos Futurity winner Slow Down Andy hopes to prove the victory wasn’t a fluke when he enters the starting gate for the Robert B. Lewis. Trained by Doug O’Neil, Slow Down Andy has the makings of a Kentucky Derby winner. Second place Los Al Futurity runner Messier hopes to turn the tables on his rival. Also likely to enter are Montebello, Flying Drummer, Wharton, Rockefeller, and Blackadder, all from the Baffert barn, and Slow Down Andy stablemate Happy Jack.
- Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes – 1 1/8 miles dirt 4-year-olds and up
Two of trainer John Shirreff’s best older horses, Express Train and Midcourt, headline the 2022 San Pasqual Stakes. Bob Baffert should run a couple, Eight Rings and Spielberg. Todd Pletcher hasn’t yet decided to ship Vindictive to this. If Vindictive runs, the 4-year-old Uncle Mo sired colt could be the horse to back. After a fifth in an allowance, Vindictive improved to finish third in the Grade 3 Discovery in his last.