US Racing - Grade Stakes Racing Preview

We’re back in action this week with three grade 3 races, all from Gulfstream Park

Race 4, The Sugar Swirl Stakes, Grade 3 for fillies and mares over 6 furlongs, Value $100,000.

This race throws up one of those classic matches between a seasoned performer in Stonetastic and an upandcoming potential star in Dearest. This looks the perfect distance for Stonetastic although she has graded form over 7 furlongs. She likes to dominate so a good exit will be crucial.

If Stonetastic and Dearest get hooked up in a speed war then the more than useful You Bought Her could pick up the pieces. Whatever happens, it is likely that this is Stonetastic’s last race before she moves on to breeding duties.

All in all, this race looks too difficult to call and is a race to watch rather than wager.

Race 5, The Rampart Stakes, Grade 3 for fillies and mares over 1 mile, Value $100,000

Seven runners face the starter for this second grade three race for fillies and mares and again we have a fascinating match up, this time between Genre and Eskenformoney. Eskenformoney had two decisions over Genre this time last year at this venue. However since then Genre has had the upper hand on all three occasions they have met although it has been close at times.

Genre looks to be going the right way and may get the better of the duel with Eskenformoney but I feel that the Marty Wolfson trained Curlin’s Approval is the one to beat.

Race 7, The Harlan’s Holiday Stakes, Grade 3 for 3 year olds and up over 1 1/16 miles, Value $100,000

Again we have just the seven runners for the final grade 3 on the night but it still looks a high quality renewal of this $100,000 race. The Morning Line has allocated second favorite status to Stanford (2/1) although the horse hasn’t run since a below par performance in the Met Handicap in June. On the plus side, this is a drop in grade and he runs well after a break.

Keen Ice is the 9/5 Morning Line favourite. He is the only grade 1 winner in the race but is not penalised and is in fact getting weight from his major rivals. He was well beaten by Arrogate and California Chrome in the BC Classic but that is still high quality form in the context of this race.

Madefromlucky is also a live contender. He was second in last year’s renewal of this race and earned an excellent Beyer of 103 when second in the Excelsior. He does, though, have a long lay-off to overcome.

In conclusion, this is a cracking looking race but there are just too many imponderables for me to recommend a bet.

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