Weekend Stakes Preview For July 30-31; 3 Virginia-Bred/Owned Horses Will Compete In Stakes

Nyquist vs. Exaggerated and Beholder vs. Virginia-bred Stellar Wind. Four of the biggest names in horse racing will compete in two of the biggest stakes races of the weekend — the $1,000,000 Haskell Invitational (Monmouth) and $300,000 Clement Hirsch Stakes (Del Mar), both Grade I events. And, two more horses with Virginia ties — Rapid Rhythm and Disco Barbie — are entered into weekend stakes. If you don’t have an on line betting account yet to wager the action, you can still get one with Virginia Equine Alliance partners TVG.com, XPressBet.com and TwinSpires.com. Here’s your go-to preview.

Hronis Racing's Stellar Wind and jockey Victor Espinoza win the Grade I $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks Saturday, April 4, 2015 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, CA.   ©Benoit Photo

Hronis Racing’s Stellar Wind and jockey Victor Espinoza win the Grade I $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks Saturday, April 4, 2015 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, CA.
©Benoit Photo


Stellar Wind, 2015 Virginia-bred Horse of the Year, will face powerful Beholder Saturday in Del Mar’s 8th race, scheduled to go off at 8:33 PM EDT. The 4 year old daughter of Curlin will try to become the latest Virginia-bred million dollar earning horse. She enters the stakes with a lifetime bankroll of $993,200 from just 9 starts. In her only ’16 outing, she was runner-up to Beholder in Santa Anita’s Vanity Stakes. Stellar Wind, who was bred by Keswick Stables and Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC, is out of the Malibu Moon mare, Evening Star. Victor Espinoza will ride for trainer John Sadler.

Virginia-bred Rapid Rhythm will compete in Sunday’s $150,000 Royal North Stakes (Gr. 3) at Woodbine while Virginia-owned Disco Barbie has entered the $100,000 Caress Stakes at Saratoga the same day. The former is a 4 year old by Successful Appeal out of Patriot Miss by Quiet American and was bred by the Lazy Lane Farms. The latter is a Kentucky bred that is trained by Gary Capuano and is owned by Virginian Diane Manning. The Woodbine stakes is the 8th race on that card and the Caress is the 10th at Saratoga.

Exaggerator takes on Nyquist in Sunday's $1,000,000 Haskell Invitational. Photo by Anne Eberhardt.

Exaggerator takes on Nyquist in Sunday’s $1,000,000 Haskell Invitational. Photo by Anne Eberhardt.

Sunday’s highly anticipated $1,000,000 Haskell Invitational (Gr. I) at Monmouth pits Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist against Preakness winner Exaggerated. Four other graded stakes are on tap at Monmouth that day in their biggest program of the year. The Haskell is the 12th race and goes off at 5:47 PM.

Saratoga has a powerhouse card Saturday that includes the $500,000 Alfred Vanderbilt Handicap (Gr. I), $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (Gr. 2), $250,000 Bowling Green Handicap (Gr. 2) and $200,000 Amsterdam Stakes (Gr. 2). The Vanderbilt has been carded as Race 9 at 5:40 PM and the Jim Dandy follows as Race 10 at 6:18 PM.

For harness fans, Saturday’s focus is at The Meadows just outside of Pittsburgh, where a 17 race card is highlighted by the $500,000 Adios, a  3 Year Old Open Pace which is scheduled as Race 12 (3:40 PM). Post time is 12 Noon.

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