While we have had a few Grand Circuit events this year; I like to consider them the appetizer. This Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer, starts the main course as stakes season kicks into high gear as the top horses start bumping heads against each other with regularity.
Saturday brings us a pair of eliminations for the $300,000 Art Rooney Stakes for three year old pacers at Yonkers Racewaay. While there are two divisions, the divisions are split into a six and seven horse field, not bad for a stakes race at the Old Hilltop. where five horse fields are not uncommon in their eliminations.
Sunday brings us a mini-Super Sunday as a trio of $150,000 Invitationals are contested at Harrah's Philadelphia. While the exotics in Pennsylvania carry high rakes, Win players will have some high class fields to dissect. In the Jerry Taylor Invitational, Modern Legend draws the outside post while Doctor Butch, who has finally lost his 'New York' horse label, and Sapphire City look to give Legend a run for the money. In the Betsy Ross, you have Anndrovette and Radar Contact going up against Yagonnakissmeornot.
Finally, in the Maxie Lee Memorial the cup overflows with talent. While the race is being billed as a match between Bee A Magician and Father Patrick, the race also has Classic Martine, Market Share and Melady's Monet providing challenge to the top two-billed. With Bee A Magician and Father Patrick being top-billed, one of these other horses may provide value.
Monday brings us to Tioga Downs where we will start to see how the revamped Graduate Series is received as a trotting division has been added to the familiar pacing series. Since entries are yet to be drawn we don't know who will be competing this week, but if the nominees are any indication these races should draw some nice horses.
If you are looking to head out to the track but not near these named ovals, remember sires stakes action is already in high action so depending where you are located, you may be able to see your state's best horses competing.
Whether at home or at the track, enjoy your holiday weekend.