Belmont Hosts 4 Breeders’ Cup Prep Races Oct. 7 and 8
A big weekend of racing at Belmont Park features four ‘Win and You’re In‘ Breeders’ Cup prep races. You can watch the live coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series on NBC Sports from 5-6pm ET. If you’re not tuning in and want to get some handicapping insight and notes on some horses of interest while considering a wager to win, then follow along below.
Saturday’s key stakes races start with Race 8, the $500,000 Champagne Stakes. Many will be looking for experience to come into play with in this 12-horse field, but with 2-year olds it’s still a crap-shoot at times as you navigate their small sample sizes and performances. Trainer Chad Brown has the favorite in here with Good Magic (7-2), but we’ll try to beat him. A maiden is worth a win wager at a price here, as #7 Bahamian is sent East here and trainer Simon Gallaghan is a very realistic trainer. Last time out he was chasing Solomini, who returned off the win to run second last week to the favorite in the upcoming BC Juvenile in Bolt D’Oro, so we can certainly rationalize he’s been keeping solid company and likely will fit here just fine. Mario Gutierrez rides. Kentucky Derby-winning duo jockey John Velazquez and trainer Todd Pletcher team up again with #11 Hazit (4-1), who ran super on his winning debut, switching leads on cue, running hard to the wire while also galloping out well. He’ll try to break strong and get near the front early, and he has some of that experience under him. No. 10 Enticed (10-1) is bred to excel going longer and his debut was nice. But did he move forward over a muddy track, or did the muddy
track prohibit him from better? You might regret missing this Medaglia ‘d Oro colt at this price for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, who followed his win with a 4 furlong bullet on Sept 22; best of 33 runners.
The winner of the Champagne Stakes received an all-fees paid entry to the Breeders’ Cup $2 million Sentient Jet Juvenile Nov. 4 at Del Mar.
Race 9 is the Grade III $500,000 Hill Prince at 1 1/8 miles on the Turf. A field of 9 takes to the turf, and we like #4 Frostmourne (5-2), who really pointed himself out last time out, exploding in his first try going this long, and really working super pointed towards this race. No. 6 Bricks and Mortar (3-1) has been one we’ve ridden in his previous five starts, and he working super for his return to Belmont where he’s 2-for-2. Chad Brown trained and ridden by a strong, stretch-rider Joel Rosario.
The other Breeders’ Cup Prep race at Belmont Saturday is the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup, where 7 go to the gate looking to make a big score in prep for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Trainer Todd Pletcher has a trio in here, #5 Rally Cry (6-1), #6 Destin (12-1) and the favorite #7 Keen Ice (9-5). Were going to skip all three of them and focus on a big rising star and potential super star, #4 Pavel (5-2). He’s 2-for-3, but after breaking his maiden July 1 at Santa Anita, trainer Doug O’Neill sent him across the country to run in the Grade II Jim Dandy at 1 1/8 miles. What? He had a good effort and finished 4th, and then won his next race at Parx in the Grade III Smarty Jones Stakes. Now he’s back to New York to run a mile and a quarter. Watch and win with interest, as we look forward to seeing Pavel at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships next month at Del Mar.
|7-Oct||Champagne Stakes (G1)||Belmont||$500,000||8f||2yo||Sentient Jet Juvenile|
|7-Oct||Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1)||Belmont||$750,000||10f||3&up||Classic|
|8-Oct||Frizette Stakes (G1)||Belmont||$400,000||8f||2yo f||14 Hands Winery Juvenile Fillies|
|8-Oct||Flower Bowl Invitational (G1)*||Belmont||$500,000||10f||3yo&u||Filly & Mare Turf|