Stars Come Out for Breeders’ Cup Preview Day
With just a month to go before this year’s Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, most of the top horses in training will make their final start before the big show this Saturday.
There are ten Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races on tap on Saturday, six at Belmont Park and four at Santa Anita.
Among the stars in action include:
Have de Grace: The Larry Jones trained filly has a legitimate shot of taking down Horse of the Year honors with a win in Saturday’s $350,000 Beldame (G1) at Belmont Park followed by a win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. She is looking to become the third consecutive female to take down Horse of the Year honors, following Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. She is the 3/5 morning line favorite in the Beldame.
Stay Thirsty: Once the overlooked stablemate of 2010 champion two-year-old Uncle Mo, the son of Bernardini is now on top of the three-year-old division after running second in the Belmont Stakes (G1) followed by wins in the Jim Dandy (G2) and Travers (G1). The colt can wrap up three-year-old division honors and enter the Horse of the year picture by beating older in the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1).
Blind Luck: The only runner to beat Havre de Grace this year when she bested her arch rival by a nose in the Delaware Handicap (G2), she will tune up at Santa Anita in the $250,000 Lady’s Secret (G1). A victory will send her to the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic (G1) as the likely betting choice.
Big Drama: Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) winner will be making just his third start of 2011 when he takes on eight foes in the Vosburgh Invitational (G1) at Belmont Park going six furlongs. Since taking the Sprint, he has only started twice, taking the Mr. Prospector (G2) in January at Gulfstream Park, and then winning the Whippleton at Calder on Sept. 4. He is in tough facing a couple of talented sprinters in Jersey Town and Trappe Shot.
Cape Blanco: This colt makes his third trip to the U.S. this year, having won the Man O’ War (G1) and Arlington Million (G1) in his last two starts, beating Gio Ponti in both of those outings. The Aidan O’Brien trainee could end up a heavy favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) with a strong performance on Saturday. The U.S. turf division is weak this year, and the colt faces just five foes on Saturday and is the 4/5 morning line favorite.
Breeders’ Cup Challenge Races for Saturday Oct. 1 Television: ESPN Classic 4:30 ET to 7:30 ET Internet: ESPN2.com
The Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational (G1)
Flower Bowl Invitational (G1)
Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (G1)
Beldame Invitational (G1)
Vosburgh Invitational (G1)
Kelso Handicap (G2)
Goodwood Stakes (G1)
Lady's Secret Stakes (G1)
Norfolk Stakes (G1)
Yellow Ribbon Stakes (G1)