Free Picks: Weekend Horse Betting Preview

David Schwab

Thursday, June 20, 2013 6:53 PM GMT

Since late March, with the running of a number of crucial stakes races leading up to the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes that comprise horse racing’s Triple Crown, the three-year old thoroughbreds have dominated the racing scene.

Thoroughbred Horse Racing Betting Preview - Saturday, June 22

Looking at a few of the major stakes races on this upcoming Saturday’s schedule, it is finally time for the up-and-coming two-year olds to enjoy the spotlight. These are the thoroughbreds of tomorrow, the shining stars that will someday hopefully compete for next season’s Triple Crown. Let's take a look at which ones are worth your horse racing picks.

Debutante Stakes

The first race on this Saturday’s slate takes us to Churchill Downs for the running of the $100,000 Debutante Stakes for two-year old fillies. This stakes race is contested on a dirt track over a distance of six furlongs. The horse to watch in this field could be Fiftyshadesofgold, who won her maiden weight special at Lone Star Park on May 24th. Trained by Bret Calhoun, this Texas-bred filly comes out of Valor Farm in Pilot Point, which initially gained notoriety for producing the 1988 Horse of the Year, Alysheba.

Another filly to keep an eye this is Bahnah, who recorded the fastest Beyer Speed Figure for a two-year old in North America so far this year with a victory in a 4.5 furlong race at Churchill earlier this month. She is also trained by Calhoun for owners Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch. Calhoun has gone on record as saying he is reluctant to run her in this Saturday’s Debutante since it has only been 16 days since that race, but do not be surprised if she finds her way into this field.

Frank Gomez Memorial Stakes

Calder Race Course will host this Saturday’s Frank Gomez Memorial Stakes for two-year old thoroughbreds. This non-graded stakes race will be run on a dirt track over a distance of 5.5 furlongs with a total prize purse of $100,000.

A full field of 11 horses is expected for this race which features some high-profile two-year olds such as Vinny’s Wildcat and Yes I’m Lucky. Vinny’s Wildcat is trained by David Vivian and ridden by jockey Eduardo Nunez. He is coming off a victory in a 4.5 furlong maiden claimer at Calder on May 31. Yes I’m Lucky was also victorious in his first start with a win in a 4.5 furlong Maiden Special Weight race at Monmouth Park on June 2. He is trained by Edward Plesa Jr. and ridden by Mike Smith.

A few other horses to watch in this race are Breitling Flyer, who is trained by Leo Azpurua and Brothersofthetime, who is trained by San Antonio. These two also posted victories in previous maiden claimers.

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Victoria Stakes

The final big stakes race for two-year olds this Saturday takes us ‘north of the border’ to Woodbine Race Track in Ontario for the running of the $150,000 Victoria Stakes. This race is contested on a Polytrack surface over a distance of five furlongs.

One of the possible contenders for this year’s race is Ba Ba Brett, who is trained by Ricky Griffith and owned by Debmar Stables. He has looked sharp in workouts so far, but this would be his stakes race debut as a two-year old. Another colt that could make his racing debut in the Victoria Stakes is Cat’s Garden, who comes out of Windhaven Farms and is trained by Michael Doyle. He was originally bred in Kentucky by William Patterson. He has also looked strong in recent workouts and is among the lengthy list of nominations for this race.

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