Week of September 6, 2010
By Dana Byerly, Hello Race Fans Co-founder

It was a mixed bag of performances with everything from the workmanlike to the break-out, with an emphasis on juveniles. At Saratoga, Here Comes Ben fell into the break-out performance category stepping up to beat several accomplished sprinters in the Forego. He heads back to Keeneland to prep for his goal of the Breeders’ Cup. In the workmanlike column was Quality Road’s easy win in the Woodward. He’ll train up to the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Former maiden Soldat won with the With Anticipation in his first start on turf for freshman sire War Front (Danzig) and one of the four Pletcher entries in the Spinaway, the one with the best price (R Heat Lightening), took the honors at odds of 4-1.

The most eye-popping break-out performance so far happened in the Darley Debutante at Del Mar when Tell a Kelly exploded in the stretch to crush the competition. Twirling Candy put in an easy workmanlike win in the Del Mar Derby after briefly altering course in the backstretch. Other notable performances were Gran Estreno’s game consecutive second win in the Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park and Madman Diaries upset in the Sapling at Monmouth Park.

Stakes action continues today as Saratoga with the Hopeful Stakes for juveniles and the Fall City Handicap, where turf champ Forever Together tries to regain her winning form. We’ll post replays as the become available. Del Mar’s meet ends on Wednesday, with the Futurity for 2-year-olds.

Sadly, there a number of injuries this week. Red hot sprinter Majestic Perfection sustained a potentially career-ending injury while training yesterday at Saratoga while undefeated 2-year-old Kantharos was retired earlier in the week with an injury. Miner’s Reserve will be out indefinitely with a knee injury and 2007 Pennsylvania Derby winner Timber Reserve was euthanized after a catastrophic breakdown at Saratoga.

At HRF this week, we’ve already published our Ten Things You Should Know for the week about the Hopeful Stakes. And, we’re happy to announce that we’re having our first theme month… September is Figs Gone Wild Month! We’ll have one post a week for the entire month about figs. What are figs? Figs are short for figures, or composite numbers that help you more quickly assess a component, such as speed or pace.

Figs Gone Wild Month kicks off this week with an overview of speed figures, followed up next week with a discussion about Beyer Speed Figures. The third week will be a look at pace figures and the last week we’ll provide some tips for those looking to dive into the time honored tradition of DIY figs.

Next weekend is relatively light with only four graded stakes, but you can keep up with all the action as summer transitions into fall at Raceday 360, where recent trending topics have included Juveniles, Del Mar and Saratoga.

Last Week’s Races

View our gallery at Flickr!

2010 With Anticipation Stakes Replay

2010 Forego Handicap

2010 Woodward Stakes Replay

2010 Washington Park Handicap Replay

2010 Sapling Stakes Replay

2010 Darley Debutante Replay

2010 Spinaway Stakes Replay

2010 Del Mar Derby Replay

2010 Hopeful Stakes Replay

Graded Stakes Races This Week

Check probable starters at Horse Racing Nation’s Stakes Tracker

See you at the track!

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