Breeders’ Cup Preps Highlight Weekend Racing

Sept. 27, 2013

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It’s going to be a busy weekend coast to coast for horses looking to secure their spots in the Breeders’ Cup Nov. 1 and 2 at Santa Anita, including several horses with Oaklawn connections. Belmont Park has its Super Saturday card featuring six stakes, while Santa Anita, the host site, will offer five stakes Saturday and all 11 races offer the winners a guaranteed spot in their respective Breeders’ Cup races. No automatic berth is at stake in Churchill Downs’ new $175,000 Homing Stakes, but the race did attract defending Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned, who earlier in the year ran in the Oaklawn Handicap, as he prepares to defend his title. 

The Belmont stakes action kicks off with the $400,000 Beldame Invitational Stakes, the fifth race at 2:09 p.m. CST, which will feature the showdown between champion and two-time Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Royal Delta and Kentucky Oaks winner and leading 3-year-old filly Princess of Sylmar. The card will culminate with the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup, the 10th race at 4:49 p.m., which could sew up champion 3-year-old honors for either Kentucky Derby winner Orb or Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice should they defeat the older horses in the field. Among the list of older horses they will face are 2012 Oaklawn Handicap runner-up Ron the Greek and 2009 Smarty Jones winner Flat Out, the two-time defending Jockey Club winner.

In between the Beldame and the Jockey Club Gold Cup are the $400,000 Kelso Stakes, featuring 2012 Oaklawn Handicap fourth-place finisher Hymn Book, the $400, 000 Vosburgh Invitational Stakes, featuring 2013 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap winner Justin Phillip, the $600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes and the $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational, which has defending Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Little Mike the field. Belmont will be offering a $500,000 guaranteed Pick 4 on races 7-10.

The Santa Anita stakes start with the fifth race at 5 p.m., which is the $250,000 Chandelier Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. The card also includes the $250,000 Rodeo Drive, the $250,000 Front Runner, the $250,000 Zenyatta and the $250,000 Awesome Again Stakes. Included in the eight-horse Zenyatta field is 2011 Honeybee and Fantasy Stakes winner Joyful Victory.

For Belmont entries, click here.

For Santa Anita entries click here.

For Churchill Downs, entries click here.