2023 Pucker Up Stakes & More Ellis Park Stakes Recap

Safeen was the chalk for the 2023 Pucker Up Stakes event and she came in having won her previous start at Ellis Park when taking a minor stakes race, but this was to be her first graded stakes success.

Pucker Up Stakes

Grade 3 – Purse $300,000 – 1 1/8 miles – Turf – 3-Year-Old Fillies

Safeen takes the shine off Bling.

This was her first attempt at graded stakes foes, and what a time to break the maiden tag. She had shown plenty in three previous attempts having hit the board each time, and this progressive filly went to post as the marginal favorite ahead of Bling and Frontal Attack.

The key to unlocking that extra improvement came with this stretch out in trip, and she was too powerful for her rivals in deep stretch.

It was Bling who made the pace but Luis Saez was never far away on the chalk, tracking his main rival in the two lane.

Pucker Up Stakes Race Video

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Safeen wins the 2023 Pucker Up Stakes

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Bling had got first run coming out of the backstretch and widened by a length and a half at the top of the stretch.

Saez did not panic, and when he asked his filly to go and get the leader, she did so with a sharp turn of speed at the sixteenth pole to quickly put the race to bed. Bling held well for second with Freydis The Red closing strongly for the third spot and Hang The Moon in fourth.

2023 Pucker Up Stakes Race Payouts

HorseWinPlaceShow
1. Safeen$4.54$3.22$2.42
2. Bling $3.86$2.72
3. Freydis The Red  $3.14

WINNING TIME: 1 min 46.83 secs

Turf Sprint Stakes

Stakes – Purse $200,000 – 5 ½ furlongs – Turf – 3-Year-Olds and Up

One Timer makes it five from seven on the class drop.

One Timer was expected to be the horse on the speed here but was beaten to the punch early by the longshot Just Might.

But that did not stop the speedster from registering his fifth win in seven starts and taking his career earnings to just under half a million dollars.

This was a big step down the class ladder for the Larry Rivelli four-year-old after he had finished third in his previous race, The 2023 Grade 2 Highlander Stakes at Woodbine in early July.

He was sent off as the 6/5 chalk but had to battle hard to see off the late rallies of both Let My People Go and Bad Beat Brian.

Turf Sprint Stakes Race Video

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One Timer dominates in the 2023 Turf Sprint Stakes

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In the race itself, he tracked the longshot Just Might and made his move at the top of the stretch where he quickly widened by a length.

However, Let My People Go challenged inside while Bad Beat Brian came on the outer with a sixteenth to go, but the chalk held well to win by a length from Let My People Go and Bad Beat Brian.

Oceanic closed very late for the fourth spot.

2023 Turf Sprint Stakes Race Payouts

HorseWinPlaceShow
1. One Timer$4.42$3.34$2.84
2. Let My People Go $5.72$3.62
3. Bad Beat Brian  $3.26

WINNING TIME: 1 min 00.67 secs

Ladies Turf Mile Stakes

Stakes – Purse $300,000 – 1 mile – Turf – 3-Year-Old and Up – Fillies and Mares

New Year’s Eve overcomes early traffic problems and bad race position.

The horse that was on everyone’s radar on Sunday at Ellis Park was the Brendan Walsh trained New Year’s Eve who was taking all the money on the boards.

This daughter of Kitten’s Joy was getting significant class relief here after being beaten five lengths by the top class In Italian in the 2023 Grade 1 Just A Game Stakes at Belmont in June.

Even though this was a minor stakes race, it attracted a strong field, and with New Year’s Eve posted wide in gate nine, it meant it would be no easy task for the Kittens Joy filly.

Ladies Turf Mile Stakes Race Video

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New Year’s Eve takes the 2023 Ladies Turf Mile Stakes

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The race itself was not without incident as she stepped slowly from the gates and was pushed wide at the clubhouse turn before having to be reined back as they went into the backstretch.

She looked beat around the far turn and had to spin six wide into the lane, but Saez got into the drive a furlong from the wire and she bravely took the lead fifty yards from the wire from For The Flag and Sinfiltre, with Querobin Dourada hanging tough for fourth spot.

2023 Ladies Turf Mile Stakes Race Payouts

HorseWinPlaceShow
1. New Years Eve$4.88$3.72$2.78
2. For The Flag $4.92$4.14
3. Sinfiltre  $4.62

WINNING TIME: 1 mins 33.30 secs

Turf Cup Stakes

Stakes – Purse $250,000 – 1 1/4 miles – Turf – 3-Year-Olds and Up

Me and Mr. C causes the shock of the meet.

The six-year-old gelding had come back from an 832 layoff last time to produce a miraculous win in the 2023 Jonathan B Schuster Memorial Stakes at Indiana Grand in early July.

That was a masterpiece of training by handler Michael Maker but the best was yet to come for this injury-prone son of Khozan.

Considering he is a six-year-old and this was just his seventh career start, shows how fragile he has been to train and get to the track.

Turf Cup Stakes Race Video

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Me and Mr. C claims the 2023 Turf Cup at Ellis Park

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This was his biggest payday, and shows that Maker and owners Paradise Farms Corp and David Staudacher have a serious racehorse on their hands if he can be kept fit.

In the race itself, it was Get Smokin who went to the speed as expected with the eventual winner two from the tail and twelve lengths off the speed.

He had plenty to do as they hit the stretch but a storming late close saw him lead under the wire from Cellist who had contested throughout, with Siege Of Boston third and the early pacesetter Get Smokin in fourth.

2023 Turf Cup Stakes Race Payouts

HorseWinPlaceShow
1. Me and Mr. C$34.00$13.92$9.04
2. Cellist $12.52$7.74
3. Siege Of Boston  $4.66

WINNING TIME: 1 min 57.94 secs

Stay Tuned for the latest 2023 Breeders’ Cup Odds. Check out the Breeders Cup Win and you’re in & Breeders Cup World Championships Races

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