ZENYATTA RETURNS IN HIRSCH
Champion wonder horse Zenyatta has been entered in hopes of retaining her crown in the G1 $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar on Saturday. Perfect from 17 career starts, the massive mare narrowly won in this event last campaign, but is a clear standout in this field. The daughter of Street Cry will once again be guided by Mike Smith.
G3 Beverly Hills Handicap second Princess Taylor, G2 Milady Handicap heroine Made for Magic, Spring Style, Dance to my Tune and Rinterval comprise the overmatched field.
The Friday feature at Del Mar is the G2 $150,000 Sorrento Stakes for juvenile fillies and drew a field of eight. Landaluce Stakes vixen Dawnie Macho, impressive first-out star Wickedly Perfect, dual stakes queen and unbeaten Final Mesa and Bob Baffert’s sharp debut winner A Z Warrior, look like the big players.
The G2 $150,000 Best Pal Stakes is the top draw on Sunday’s card.
WHITNEY HIGHLIGHTS HUGE SARATOGA WEEKEND
Leading handicap horse Quality Road is the top draw of the six entered in Saturday’s G1 $750,000 Whitney Handicap. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the Edward Evans homebred has been a monster in 2010, reeling off three wins in easy fashion including a fine tally in the G1 Met Mile Stakes last out. The four-year-old, who is a leading Horse of the Year contender at this point, will tote 126 pounds including John Velazquez.
Blame, winner of the G1 Stephen Foster Handicap most recently, has won six of seven and was a solid winner over this oval last season for Albert Stall, Jr. The bay four-year-old will be guided by Garrett Gomez. 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, streaking G2 Suburban Handicap victor Haynesfield, Met Mile second Musket Man and Jardim, round out the group.
Ten have been entered in Saturday’s G1 $250,000 Test Stakes, and this race looks like a grand betting opportunity. G3 Azalea Stakes romper Pica Slew, G1 Acorn Stakes victress Champagne d’Oro, Azalea second Buckleupbuttercup, G1 Prioress Stakes star Fanny Freud, impressive New York-bred Lovely Lil and the highly regarded Ash Zee are among the top ones in this field.
The Sunday headliner at the Spa is the G1 $250,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at six furlongs, while the G2 $150,000 Honorable Miss Handicap will also be contested.CONCORD POINT READY TO ROLL IN WEST VIRGINIA DERBY
Trainer Bob Baffert has the leading three-year-old colt in the country in Lookin at Lucky, but the silver-haired Hall of Famer has a deep bench. On Saturday, the vastly improving gray Concord Point will represent the barn as one of nine in the G2 $750,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park. The 1 1/8-mile contest anchors a nine-race, all-stakes program that will be conducted in the afternoon, a rarity at the Chester, West Virginia, oval.