With important stakes on both coasts this Saturday, it's another fabulous weekend for racing fans. The Grade I Whitney, inaugurated in 1928, will this year feature Edward Evans' homebred Gr I winner Quality Road, never off the board in 10 starts, with earnings of 1.6 million. He is topweight at 126. If he should win this, he will give his owner a remarkable THIRD graded stakes win in 8 days. Mr. Evans is the owner of A Little Warm, who won the Jim Dandy last Saturday, and Malibu Prayer, who won the Ruffian on Sunday. His biggest rival is Blame, owned by Adele Dilshneider and Claiborne Farm. This Claiborne-bred son of Arch, has won 6 out of his last 7. He is getting 5 lbs. form the morning line favorite. With this being the 100th anniversary of the famous farm, Blame winning the Whitney would be very special for Claiborne. Theses two horses have distinctively different running styles, with Quality Road you get tactical speed, and with Blame, you get a horse that appears to like to have something to run at. He usually will lay off the pace and take off around the 3/8ths pole with a good long kick. But he has never faced a horse as good as Quality Road, so he will need to have his running shoes on.
On the West Coast, though it is still not certain, the Queen of racing will run in the Gr. I Clement L. Hirsch. If Zenyatta runs and wins, she will be the only horse to have won this prestigious race 3 times. Inaugurated in 1973, the race was named in honor of a horse owner and businessman who was responsible for the creation of the Oak Tree Racing Association. The inconsistant condition of the Del Mar racing surface (polytrack) would be the only reason the big mare would skip this race. She will also be attempting to keep her perfect win record unblemished, for an unprecedented 18 for 18. Yes, racing fans, we are in for a treat this weekend, with quality on both coasts... safe trips and good racing luck to all!
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