Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario opened to record handle on the first day of its 2021 meet.
Woodbine hosts its first graded stakes races this year with the Whimsical on Saturday, and the Jacques Cartier on Sunday, with the latter led by seven-time Sovereign Award winner Pink Lloyd. Three-time Grade 1 winner Raging Bull is the one to be beat in Belmont’s Grade 3 Poker Stakes. On the West Coast, Santa Anita concludes its season, which began the day after Christmas, headlined by Saturday’s demanding Grade 3, 1 ¾-mile San Juan Capistrano on turf. And in Great Britain, Saturday’s Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes, televised on NBC, will be the final Group 1 of this year’s Royal Ascot meeting.
TVG will be broadcasting racing throughout the weekend from Monmouth Park, Santa Anita Park and Gulfstream Park, and more. Fans can tune in on TVG, TVG2 and the Watch TVG app, which is available on Amazon Fire, Roku and connected Apple TV devices.
“America’s Day at the Races” will be broadcasting live on Saturday, June 19 on FS2 from 12:30-6 p.m., from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs, and again on Sunday, June 20 on FS2 from 12:30-5:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 19
11:20 a.m. ― $975,000 Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot on NBC
The five-day Royal Ascot meeting draws to a close as turf sprinters take the spotlight in the Group 1, 6-furlong Diamond Jubilee Stakes in a 14-horse field. David Ward’s 4-year-old Starman (GB) will vie for favoritism with Saeed Suhail’s 7-year-old gelding Dream Of Dreams (IRE). Trained by Ed Walker and ridden from post 13 by Oisin Murphy, Starman has won four of five Starts, including his most recent score in the May 12 Group 2 Duke of York Clipper Logistics Sakes at York Racecourse. The Michael Stoute-trained Dream of Dreams has won nine races, highlighted by last September’s Group 1 triumph in the Betfair Sprint Cup Stakes at Haydock. Ryan Moore has the mount, breaking from post three.
5:31 p.m. ― $150,000 Grade 3 Whimsical Stakes at Woodbine on TVG
Racing returned to Woodbine last weekend and the Toronto track will host its first graded stake of the season on Saturday with the Grade 3 Whimsical for fillies and mares going 6 furlongs. The field of eight is led by Kenneth and Sarah Ramsay’s Artie’s Princess, who finished just a head in front of LNJ Foxwoods’ Boardroom in last November’s Grade 2 Bessarabian Stakes at Woodbine. Trained by Wesley Ward and ridden by Kazushi Kimura from post seven, Artie’s Princess, a Canadian-bred daughter of We Miss Artie, has won five of seven starts. Breaking just outside of Artie’s Princess is the 4-year-old Boardroom, trained by Canadian Racing Hall of Famer Josie Carroll. A bay daughter of Commissioner, Boardroom has won three of five races, including the listed Duchess Stakes at Woodbine prior to the Bessarabian. William and Anne Scott’s 6-year-old Summer Sunday, trained by Stuart Simon, has won nine races, and finished third in last year’s Whimsical. Gary Boulanger will ride, breaking from post three.
9:29 p.m. ― $100,000 Grade 3 San Juan Capistrano at Santa Anita Park on TVG
At Santa Anita, trainer Phil D’Amato sends out a strong hand for Saturday’s Grade 3 San Juan Capistrano at 1 ¾ miles on turf with defending champion Red King and 9-5 morning line favorite Acclimate leading the six-horse field. Owned by Little Red Feather, Gordon Jacobsen and Philip Belmonte, the 7-year-old gelding Red King won last year’s San Juan Capistrano by 3 ¼ lengths, and followed up that triumph by winning the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap presented by The Japan Racing Association in August. A bay son of Eclipse Award-winner English Channel, Red King finished third in the Grade 2 Charles Whittingham Stakes at Santa Anita on May 29. Umberto Rispoli has the mount breaking from post two. The Ellwood Johnston Trust, Timmy Time Racing and Ken Tevelde’s Acclimate, also a 7-year-old gelding, won the 2019 San Juan Capistrano. Ridden from post four by Ricardo Gonzalez, the California-bred Acclimate finished second by a head in the Charles Whittingham. Fellow Cal-bred Ward ‘n Jerry, an 8-year-old gelding owned by Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams, has won two starter allowance races this year at 1 ¼ and 1 ½ miles, respectively. Trained by Mike Puype and ridden from post four by Flavien Prat, Ward n’ Jerry finished third in last year’s San Juan Capistrano..
Sunday, June 20
4:29 p.m. ― $150,000 Grade 3 Jacques Cartier Stakes at Woodbine on TVG
The 9-year-old Canadian-bred gelding Pink Lloyd is odds-on to win his fifth straight Grade 3 Jacques Cartier Stakes at 6 furlongs against five rivals. Owned by Entourage Stable and trained by Robert Tiller, Pink Lloyd has been the champion Canadian sprinter four consecutive years and won Canada’s 2017 Horse of the Year title. Heading into Sunday’s race, Pink Lloyd, a chestnut son of Old Forester, has won a remarkably consistent 26 races in 33 starts. Ridden from post two by Daisuke Fukumoto, Pink Lloyd won his first four starts of 2020 before finishing third in the Grade 2 Kennedy Road Stakes last November. Live Oak Plantation’s 4-year-old Florida-bred gelding Souper Stonehenge, trained by Mark Casse, finished second in the Kennedy Road. Searching for his first win of 2021, Souper Stonehenge, ridden by Patrick Husbands from post six, finished third in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct on April 3.
5:02 ― $150,000 Grade 3 Eatontown Stakes at Monmouth Park on TVG
Sixteen fillies and mares, including four also-eligibles, have been entered for the $150,000 Grade 3 Eatontown Stakes going 1 1/16 miles on the turf at Monmouth Park. Godolphin’s 4-year-old filly Micheline, trained by Mike Stidham, has won five races, including the Grade 2 Hillsboro at Tampa Bay in March. The bay daughter of Bernardini, ridden by Mychel Sanchez, was also second in last year’s Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland. First Row Partners and Hidden Brook Farm’s Nay Lady Nay has won both her starts at Monmouth, including last July’s Grade 3 WinStar Matchmaker Stakes. Trained by Chad Brown and ridden from post six by Dylan Davis, Nay Lady Nay finished fourth in the Grade 3 Beaugay at Belmont Park on May 8. Trainer Christophe Clement has entered Waterford Stable’s Speaktomeofsummer, who won last year’s Grade 2 Lake Placid at Saratoga.
5:12 p.m. ― $250,000 Grade 3 Poker at Belmont Park on FS2
Peter Brant’s three-time Group 1 winner Raging Bull (FR) is the standout in the Grade 3 Poker at Belmont against eight rivals at 1 mile on the turf. A 6-year-old son of Dark Angel (FR), Raging Bull began the year on a solid note, winning the Grade 1 Maker’s Mark Mile at Keeneland on April 9. Ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. from post one, Raging Bull’s two other Grade 1 wins came in last year’s Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita and in the 2018 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar. Mary Abeel Sullivan Revocable Trust’s 4-year-old gelding Get Smokin, trained by Thomas Bush, has won two of three starts this year, including the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Stakes in February, and the Seek Again Stakes on May 22 at Belmont. Junior Alvarado rides, breaking from post four. Team Valor International’s 7-year-old mare Olekandra (AUS) returns to Belmont where she won the Grade 1 Jaipur Stakes last June for trainer Neil Drysdale.
7:21 p.m. – $100,000 Grade 3 American Stakes at Santa Anita on TVG
CYBT, Saul Gevertz, Lynn Gitomer, Mike Goetz, Michael Nentwig, and Daniel Weiner’s Neptune’s Storm leads a field of six in the Grade 3 American Stakes at 1 mile on turf at Santa Anita. Trained by Peter Miller, the 5-year-old gelding has won six races, including last year’s Grade 3 San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate Fields. Neptune Storm will be making his first start since finishing fourth-place in the Tourist Mile Stakes at Kentucky Downs last September. Flavien Prat has the mount, breaking from post three. Rave Green Racing’s 6-year-old gelding Majestic Eagle, trained by Neil Drysdale, finished second in the Grade 3 Daytona Stakes at Santa Anita on May 29 in his 2021 debut. Majestic Eagle will be ridden by Mario Gutierrez from post five.
8:28 p.m. – $100,000 Grade 3 Wilshire Stakes at Santa Anita Park on TVG
Warren and Sally Benjamin’s 4-year-old California-bred Warren’s Showtime leads a wide open field of eight fillies and mares in the Grade 3 Wilshire Stakes going 1 mile on the turf. A six-time winner for trainer Craig Lewis, Warren’s Showtime finished second in the 1-mile Fran’s Valentine last time out on May 6 at Santa Anita. She won last October’s Grade 3 Autumn Miss Stakes over the course. Juan Hernandez will ride from post five. Leggs Galore, another California-bred 4-year-old filly, owned by William Simms, defeated Warren’s Showtime in the Fran’s Valentine by three-quarters of a length. Trained by Phil D’Amato and ridden by Ricardo Gonzalez from post six, Legg’s Galore has won six of nine races, and is seeking her first graded-stakes win.
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