Sunday stakes picks

The Hollywood Prevue

8th Hollywood

Distance: 7 furlongs

Purse: $100,000

For: 2-year-olds

Grade III

Our Shining Hour prompted a very fast pace in the Sunny Slopes
Stakes yet still managed to inch away late to a one-length score. Undefeated
in three starts, he seems to be improving and may not have shown his best
yet. Should get a good trip, stalking the speed from an outside post under
Kent Desormeaux. Yonaguska, a Grade I winner, has a class advantage
on this field and is the main danger. Facing far, far better in the Breeders' Cup
Juvenile, he finished up the track, but returns to a sprint and a goes
in an easier spot. Unless he was fried by his race in the Juvenile, he'll
be tough. Proud Tower exploded in the Cal Cup Juvenile, winning
by eight lengths in a fast time. Hard to know whether or not that race
was a fluke. Note he must return to a one-turn race, maybe a disadvantage.

Picks Summary: 1. Our Shining
Hour 2. Yonaguska 3. Proud Tower

The Bessarabian Handicap

8th Woodbine

Distance: 7 furlongs

Purse: $125,000

For: Fillies & mares, 3-year-olds
& upward

Grade III

Torrid Affair has posted back to back wins for trainer Roger
Attfield, including a handy score in the Ontario Fashion. She's 4-for-7
over this track, has won at the distance and has some nice, steady works
since her last start. Miss Inquisitive ran behind the top pick in
her last but could improve some since that was her first start off a brief
layoff. She gets a four-pound shift the in the weights with Torrid Affair.
Saoirse disappointed as the 4-5 favorite in the Ontario Fashion,
but she's better at seven furlongs than six and could turn things around
for a top trainer in Paul McGee. El Prado Essence ran a huge race in her
first start after a 13-month layoff, but we think she's going to bounce
and bounce hard.

Picks Summary: 1. Torrid
Affair 2. Miss Inquisitive 3. Saoirse

The Valley Stream

8th Aqueduct

Distance: 6 furlongs

Purse$ 75,000

For: 2-year-old fillies


It's a question of whether or not you believe in Astrapi. We
do. A New York bred who cost just $4,500 as a yearling, she debuted against
state breds with Diane Nelson aboard and won by 18 * lengths, earning a
huge Beyer figure of 97. Though she will face much better horses here,
that race was so good it suggests she can handle open company. Major
just missed against Xtra Heat in the Astarita. Clearly the horse
to beat. Carafe didn't get a particularly good figure in her maiden
win, but Shug McGaughey-trained horses often improve in their second career
starts. A well-bred filly who is by Devil's Bag, she was visually impressive
in that race and could be a threat.

Picks Summary: 1. Astrapi
2. Major Wager 3. Carafe