Historic Futurity Closes Out Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series

Futurity Belmont

The $100,000 Futurity (G3) at Belmont Park is the final Breeders’ Cup Challenge race of the year. (Photo credit: Bigstock.com)

Sunday’s $100,000 Futurity (G3) at Belmont Park will close out the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” series with a field of eight going postward.

Eleven were entered in the six-furlong sprint, the field reduced by two main track only entrants and Newbomb scratching, the colt running second in a maiden special weight race here on Saturday.

The winner earns a starting spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint in November at Keeneland. This will be the third year the Futurity has been contested on turf.

This is the 130th running of the race, which has been won by many all-time greats including Citation, Native Dancer, Bold Ruler, Nashua, Secretariat and Affirmed.

Trainer Wesley Ward will be represented by a trio of runners—After Five (3-1), Trade Deal (4-1) and Gypsy King (12-1).

Two of his runners were separated by a nose, Trade Deal getting the best of After Five on Sept. 10 at Kentucky Downs going 6 ½ furlongs.

“It’s always tough being a maiden down at Kentucky Downs with the course being big, and wide, and he was beaten by a nose by Trade Deal,” Ward said. “First-time starters are at a big disadvantage starting there as opposed to if he had a start. But he ran an incredible race and we’re looking forward to him moving on and getting better from here.”

Ward’s Gypsy King is the lone runner of the trio with stakes experience. The colt was fifth in the Juvenile at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 7 in his last start.

Christophe Clement sends out Momos (7-2) who makes his turf debut after running third in the Saratoga Special (G2) in his last outing on Aug. 7. He broke his maiden in his debut on July 18 by 6 ½ lengths.

“He’s been training well,” Clement said. “I trained him on the grass and thought he worked well over it. I know he can handle the firm turf, not sure about softer turf. He’s a fast horse. I could always bring him back on the main track.”

The Futurity goes off as the seventh race, one of two stakes on Sunday’s card. The co-feature is the $100,000 Matron (G3) for two-year-old fillies going six furlongs on the inner turf. Ward sends out the 9-5 morning line favorite Royal Approval.

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Let’s head out to Belmont Park for Sunday’s featured race of the day:

Belmont Park

Belmont Park Race 7 The Futurity G3 (4:12 ET)

#10 Trade Deal    4-1

#9 Momos    7-2

#2 After Five   3-1

#11 Gypsy King    12-1

Trade Deal

This colt is one of three in here sent out by the Ward barn. This colt prompted the early pace and finished gamely to break his maiden last out at Kentucky Downs going 6 1/2 furlongs, beating his stablemate After Five by a nose. Two back in his debut our top pick ran second to repeat winner Bear Can Man, who beat Alw-2L foes in his next outing at Indiana Grand on Sept. 30. A couple of good works at Keeneland since his last effort and he looks ready for his stakes debut in this spot.


He makes his first start on turf here in his third career outing. He broke his maiden in his debut at the Spa in a gate to wire score. last out in the Saratoga Special he chased the early pace and weakened to finish third behind Jackie’s Warrior, who came back to win the Hopeful (G1) in his next start and was ran second yesterday in the Champagne (G1). The $180,000 Ocala purchase has a decent enough turf pedigree, by Distorted Humor out of a Speightstown mare. The barn is 21% winners overall in turf sprints.


WIN: Trade Deal to win at 3-1 or better.

EXACTA: 10 / 2,9,11 and 9,10 / 2,9,10


NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll

No. Horse Points
1 Flightline 351
2 Life Is Good 306
3 Olympiad 292
4 Jackie's Warrior 282
5 Clairiere 142
5 Country Grammer 142
7 Epicenter 121
8 Regal Glory 89
9 Nest 87
10 Hot Rod Charlie 48
As of August 1, 2022

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