Two of the top fall meets in thoroughbred racing start this week. Horses transfer from Saratoga to Aqueduct in Ozone Park, NY. Over in Kentucky, horses transfer from Ellis Park to Churchill Downs to run under the Twin Spires. Both the Big A and Churchill run graded stakes on Saturday. The top event is the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile at Woodbine in Ontario, Canada. Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds for the Top Stakes Races of the Week from Saturday, September 17. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.
Horse Racing Odds, Picks, and Betting Analysis | September 12th Edition
Aqueduct | Saturday, Sep. 17
- Grade 3 Jockey Club Oaks – 1 3/8 miles turf – 3 year old fillies
Bill Mott trained Nostalgic returns to turf in the Grade 3 Jockey Club Oaks. Nostalgic had tried dirt but with limited success. Back on her preferred surface, Nostalgic could be tough.
McKulick, the Chad Brown trained 3 year old filly, will go off the chalk. The Frankel sired runner won the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks and then finished second in the Grade 3 Saratoga Oaks. Myriskyaffair, a Cristophe Clement trained runner, Toskana Belle, Miss Yearwood, another Clement filly, Canisy, and Todd Pletcher trained Beside Herself should also run.
- Grade 3 Jockey Club Derby – 1 ½ miles turf – 3 year olds
Kenny McPeek trained Classic Causeway hopes to turn the tables on rival Nations Pride. After upsetting the field in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby on July 9, Causeway finished third behind Nations Pride and Annapolis in the Grade 1 Saratoga Derby.
Nations Pride will run on Saturday. Annapolis may or may not. Ardakan is confirmed. So is James Jones from the Chad Brown barn.
Churchill Downs | Saturday, Sep. 17
- Grade 3 Pocahontas – 1 1/16 miles dirt – 2 year old fillies
11 runners could enter the starting gate for the Grade 3 Pocahontas at Churchill Downs. Among the 11, Saffie Joseph Jr. trained Looking for Hope, Fun and Feisty from the Kenny McPeek barn, and D. Wayne Lukas trained Naughty Gal should attract the most action.
- Grade 3 Iroquois – 1 1/16 miles dirt – 2 year old colts
At least 8 runners are confirmed for the Iroquois. Brad Cox puts the saddle on Jace’s Road, a last out maiden winner sired by Quality Road.
Doug O’Neil plans on shipping Jin Tong to Churchill. Kenny McPeek will run a couple: Hayes Strike and Honed. Steve Asmussen puts the saddle on Echo Again, a Gun Runner sired colt.
- Grade 3 Locust Grove – 1 1/16 miles dirt – 3 year olds and up
Grade 1 Beldame fourth place finisher Gold Spirit headlines what should be a strong group of 3 and 4 year old fillies. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Gold Spirit has done nothing but run in stakes races.
The Omayad sired miss has yet to break her maiden. The fact Todd keeps entering her in graded stakes tells us all we must know about how much ability he believes she has.
Others pointing to the Locust Grove include Play Hard from the Phil Bauer barn. Kenny McPeek plans on saddling 2 runners: Crazy Beautiful and Envoutante. The McPeek runners should battle for favoritism.
Woodbine | Saturday, Sep. 17
- Grade 1 Woodbine Mile – 1 mile turf – 3 year olds and up
A full field of 12 project to enter the starting gate for the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile. Local contender March to the Arch finished fourth in the Grade 2 King Edward in the 7 year old gelding’s last.
Ivar, Mighty Heart, and Wakanaka will challenge March to the Arch for favoritism. Filo Di Arianna, War Bomber, Home Screen, and Finest Sound will go off the longshots. Shirl’s Speight, Town Cruise, and Get Smokin could offer overlay odds to win.