Horses to Watch This Weekend

We have an exciting weekend ahead for Virginia horses! Be sure to tune into all the action to cheer these horses on.

HORSE: TONALIST (VA-raised)

Race: Grade II Jim Dandy, Saratoga

Post Time: 6:01 PM Saturday

Despite lugging in under the shadow of the wire, Tonalist determinedly ground past Commissioner to secure the victory in the Grade I Belmont by a neck. Photo courtesy Nick Hahn.

Despite lugging in under the shadow of the wire, Tonalist determinedly ground past Commissioner to secure the victory in the Grade I Belmont by a neck. Photo courtesy Nick Hahn.

Tonalist is the 8/5 morning line favorite in this 1 1/8-mile prelude to the Travers. Bred by The Plains-based Rene and Lauren Woolcott and out of a mare selected by Virginia bloodstock agent Patrick Lawley-Wakelin, the son of Tapit took a win streak to two-for-two in a head victory in the Belmont Stakes in June. The lightly-raced Tonalist, raised in Virginia and sold by Timber Town Stables, is now owned by Shel Evans and trained by Christophe Clement. You can read the exciting Belmont story here

HORSE: JUST CALL KENNY (VA)

Race: Grade I Haskell, Monmouth

Post Time: 5:44 PM Sunday

Bred by Robin Richards, Just Call Kenny was the Grand Champion of the 2012 Virginia-bred Yearling Futurity.

Bred by Robin Richards, Just Call Kenny was the Grand Champion of the 2012 Virginia-bred Yearling Futurity.

3-year-old Just Call Kenny goes off at 10/1 on the morning line in the 1 1/8-mile Haskell.  Bred by Robin Richards, the son of Jump Start was the Grand Champion of the 2012 Virginia Yearling Futurity, giving Richards a good head-start on the $5,000 leading earner’s bonus. Now owned by ABL Stable, D. Bossone, J. Cahill, P. Donnely and Phantom House Farm, Just Call Kenny sold for $35,000 at Fasig-Tipton Midatlantic and is now trained by Patrick McBurney. The bay dominated in his third start, winning the Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream by 2 ¼ lengths, before returning to be second in the Long Branch at Monmouth. No worse than second in only four lifetime starts, Just Call Kenny is a talking horse in Sunday’s contest. 

HORSE: NOBLE MOON (VA)

Race: Grade II Amsterdam, Saratoga

Post Time: 4:57 PM Saturday

Ned Evans-bred Noble Moon dominated the Grade II Jerome on January 4. Photo Courtesy Adam Coglianese.

Ned Evans-bred Noble Moon dominated the Grade II Jerome on January 4. Photo Courtesy Adam Coglianese.

The Ned Evans-bred Noble Moon was the highest-rated Midatlantic 3-year-old this year. A winner of the Grade II Jerome at Aqueduct, the son of Malibu Moon is 8/1 morning line in the 6 1/2-furlong Amsterdam. Noble Moon was a $200,000 pinhook from the 2011 dispersal and ultimately joined Jeff Treadway’s racing stable for the same ticket as a September yearling. Trained by Leah Gyarmati, the bay colt broke his maiden at Belmont in September of last year before running third in the Grade II Nashua to Cairo Prince. He has not started since a sixth-placed finish in the Grade I Wood Memorial, his fourth lifetime start.