A field of eight will line up at Belmont Park on Saturday in the $350,000 Vosburgh (G1), with an expenses paid trip to the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) up for grabs.
The Vosburgh is one of two Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races carded on Saturday at Belmont Park.
A.P. Indian was installed as the even money morning line favorite, but is not certain to run. His trainer Arnaud Delacour is concerned about the rain in the forecast and may scratch and race the gelding at Keeneland next weekend.
Two of the major contenders in the race are coming back off layoffs. No Joking (8-1) was last seen winning the True North Handicap (G3) on June 10 over the Belmont Park main track and X Y Jet (7-2) makes his first start since running second in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) at Meydan in March.
The $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) is the first “Win and You’re In” race on the 11-race card. A field of four will go to the post led by Flintshire, who was installed as the 1-5 morning line favorite.
Since landing with Chad Brown the six-year-old is perfect in three starts, winning the Manhattan (G1), Bowling Green (G2) and Sword Dancer (G1).
There are five Breeders’ Cup Challenge races on tap at Santa Anita on Saturday afternoon. The highlights include California Chrome, making his final prep for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and Beholder and Stellar Wind renewing their rivalry in the $300,000 Zenyatta (G1).
I will be providing my full card reports for both Belmont Park and Santa Anita for Saturday.
Let’s head out to Belmont Park for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Belmont Park Race 9 The Vosburgh G1 (Post time 5:11 ET)
#3 Joking 8-1
#5 A.P. Indian 1-1
#6 X Y Jet 7-2
#2 Holy Boss 4-1
Analysis: Joking makes his first start since winning the True North (G2) over the main track back in June. The gelding has won five of his eight trips over the main track with three seconds. The gelding is also proven over a wet track, winning three of four with a second. He should get some pace to run at here and the 8-1 morning line looks generous. The Baker barn is 24% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180-day layoff and is coming off a big Spa meeting.
A.P. Indian has won all five of his starts this year, one via a DQ. His last pair where his best, winning the A.G. Vanderbilt (G1) and Forego (G1) at the Spa matching up career top speed figs. His trainer Delacour said he could scratch this guy if the track comes up sloppy, but he does have a win over an off track, breaking his maiden over a wet fast surface at Delaware Park way back in ’12. His other try on an off track was in the slop at Keeneland last fall where he was sixth in the Phoenix (G3), a race this year that could be an option if he scratches here. By Indian Charlie out of an A.P. Indy mare, her sure has a solid off track pedigree.
X Y Jet makes his first start since just missing in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) where he was beaten a neck. That snapped a five race winning streak, trouncing his competition in four starts in Florida. He has been prepping at Monmouth Park for the Navarro barn that is 48% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. He owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers and will be the one to catch in this spot.
WIN: #3 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 3,5 / 2,3,5,6
TRI: 3,5 / 2,3,5,6 / 2,3,5,6,7
Get Michael’s Best Plays Report each Saturday which will include all of the U.S. based Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races from now to Oct. 12 and Michael Dempsey’s 2-Day Breeders’ Cup Report.
Michael’s two day Breeders’ Cup Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for every race on the two-day championship event from Santa Anita on Nov. 4-5.