News and STORIES

Whitney and Test Highlight Weekend of Stakes Action

Author: Chris Adams
Published: Tuesday August 03, 2021

Summer racing is one of the most exciting times of the year. With many of the premiere meets happening simultaneously, this weekend is loaded with graded stakes action.

Del Mar

Best Pal Stakes (Grade 2)

The Best Pal Stakes is one of the 2 year old races that racing fans love to watch. With so many future Kentucky Derby winners coming from California, bettors will be eager to find the 2022 winner as they burst onto the scene.

As of Wednesday the race lists 5 possible runners which is subject to change as entries are still open. Big City Lights, is the most accomplished with a listed stakes victory to his name. Olympic Legend, Pappacap, and Our Empire are all coming off of maiden victories.

Charter Oak is a bit of a head scratcher as the only maiden entered in the race. He last finished third in a maiden claiming race.

Yellow Ribbon Handicap (Grade 2-Turf)

The Yellow Ribbon Handicap will be run for 3 year old and up fillies and mares over a route of ground on the Del Mar turf. As of Wednesday the race did not have any probables, but did list 4 possible entrants. The biggest name on the list is Maxim Rate who won the 2021 Grade 1 Gamely.

Other possible runners include stakes winners in Dogtag for Richard Mandella and Ippodamia’s Girl for Richard Baltas. Grade 3 stakes winner Princess Grace is also on the list of possible runners.


West Virginia Derby (Grade 3)

The biggest name in the West Virginia Derby is Bourbonic who made a name for himself on the New York circuit on the trail to the Kentucky Derby. The horse last finished 5th in the Belmont Stakes.

Joining Bourbonic will be a pair of Derby winners. Mr. Wireless won the 2021 Indiana Derby while Warrant won the Texas Derby at Lone Star Park.

Other horses entered for the race are Kinetic Sky, Bourbon Thunder, Channel Fury, and Americainaed.

West Virginia Governor’s Stakes (Grade 3)

Canadian, Mighty Heart is entered here coming off of a 2 race win streak.The horse burst onto the scene winning the 2020 Queen’s Plate and Prince of Wales Stakes. 

A couple of horses will challenge coming out of runs in stakes company including Sprawl, Bourbon Calling, and Exulting. Other entries include Shy Guy and I Wanna Win.


Glens Falls (Grade 2-Turf)

The turf route is scheduled to be headlined by War Like Goddess who returns off a victory in the Grade 3 Bewitch Stakes. Joining her will be the first and 3rd finishers from the Grade 3 Robert G. Dick Memorial in Dalika and Temple City Terror.

My Sister Nat is also listed as probable for Chad Brown in the famous green Peter Brandt silks. Other probable entries are Orglandes, Call Me Love, and Enjoyitwhilewecan for Mike Maker who currently leads in the Saratoga trainer standings.

Longines Test Stakes (Grade 1)

The Longines Test will see a rematch between the top 2 finishers in the Grade 1 Acorn. Winner Search Results will once again try to defeat Obligatory. Trying to turn the tables on both of them will be Dayoutoftheoffice who finished 4th in the race.

Other prominent races represented in the probable entries are the Grade 2 Mother Goose and the Grade 3 Victory Ride. The former will likely send Zaajel (1st), Always Carina (2nd), and Make Mischief (4th). The latter race appears to have both the first and second place finishers pointed here in Souper Sensational and Ova Charged respectively. 

Other probable runners include Illumination and Bella Sofia.

Saratoga Derby Invitational (Grade 1-Turf)

The Grade 1 turf events in this country are few and far between in the United States. With the rarity of the opportunity comes really salty fields. The current leader in the division is Bolshoi Ballet who was ultra impressive in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby. 

Joining her in the starting gate will be a number of returning foes from the Belmont Derby. Cellist (3rd), Du Jour (4th), and Hard Love (7th) are all slated to return her as well.

They will likely be joined by 5 other last out stakes winners in Original (Manila), Tango Tango Tango (American Derby), Yes This Time (Kent-G3), Cadillac (International-G3) and Flashiest (Oceanside).

Former Derby horse King Fury is also pointed here after a 2nd place finish in the Grade 3 Ohio Derby. 

Rounding out the probables are Secret Protector, Soldier Rising, and State of Rest.

Whitney Stakes (Grade 1- Breeder’s Cup “Win and You’re In”)

The Whitney is slated to have an absolutely loaded field. Current probables list 3 last out winners including Maxfield (Stephen Foster-G2), Knicks Go (Cornhusker-G3), and Silver State (Met Mile-G1). Swiss Skydiver who rose to fame winning the 2020 Preakness Stakes returns here as well and is rumored to have Irad Oritz Jr. taking over for Robby Albarado. The move is a major jockey upgrade.

Other probables include By My Standards, Happy Saver, and Informative.

For a full listing of stakes races from around the country, bloodhorse provides a stakes calendar of all upcoming events.