The biggest bay leading up to the Breeders’ Cup on Nov. 1-2 is coming up on Saturday, with a dozen Breeders’ Cup Challenge races on tap. The winner of each of the 12 races earns an all-expenses paid trip to racing’s championship two-day event.
Belmont Park’s card is dubbed “Super Saturday” with six “Win and You’re In” races on the card. There are five on the card at Santa Anita Park, and overseas the winner of the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (G1) at Newmarket will earn a starting spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).
The Bill Mott trained Flat Out will be seeking his third consecutive win in the $1 million Jockey Club Gold (G1) at Belmont Park, a key race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). The seven-year-old comes into the race off a solid runner up finish to Alpha in the Woodward (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 31. He was third in last year’s Classic and fifth in 2011.
A solid field is lining up for the Jockey Club Gold Cup including Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Orb and Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Palace Malice, who both will be facing older for the first time on Saturday.
Others expected to enter on Wednesday include Alpha, Last Gunfighter, Vitoria Olimpica, Cross Traffic and Ron the Greek.
The $400,000 Beldame (G1) will match up two-time defending Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (G1) (now called the Distaff) winner Royal Delta up against the brilliant three-year-old filly Princess of Sylmar, who has won the Kentucky Oaks (G1), Coaching Club of American Oaks (G1), and the Alabama (G1) in her last three starts. She is not expected to move forward to the Distaff.
The Lumber Guy is back to defend his title in the $400,000 Vosburgh (G1), a key prep for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1). The colt will be making just his second start in 2013. He was second in the Chowder’s First Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 23 off a six month layoff.
The colt came out of his Vosburgh win last year to run second in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint behind Trinniberg.
Among those pointed toward the Vosburgh are Justin Phillip, Bahamian Squall, Forty Tales, Palace, Private Zone, and Strapping Groom.
The top male turfers will go in the $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (G1) and the top female turf runners will go in the $600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational (G1).
There will be over $1 million in purses up for grabs at Santa Anita on Saturday, highlighted by the $250,000 Awesome Again Stakes (G1) for the handicap division with the winner earning a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Game On Dude is the top older horse in Southern California but will train up to the Classic, leaving the Awesome Again as a wide-open affair.
Mucho Macho Man, who ran second in the Classic last year behind Fort Larned is expected to enter. The Kathy Ritvo trainee is winless in three starts this year, last out running third in the Whitney Handicap (G1) at Saratoga.
Others expected to enter include Chief Havoc, Holy Lute, Liaison, Paynter, Soi Phet, Summer Hit, Take Control and You Know I Know.
The winner of the $250,000 Zenyatta (G1) will earn an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). Among those expected to compete are Authenticity, Joyful Victory, Beholder, Include Me Out and More Chocolate.
Turf ‘n’ Sport handicapper Michael Dempsey will have selections and analysis for all of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge races in his Best Plays Report on Saturday.
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