Royal Ascot is one of the greatest race meets in the world, and there is no race as historic or exciting during the meet than the Gold Cup (G1)! First run in 1807, it is one of the premier races for stayers in the world. The two-and-a-half-mile turf race offers a rich £500,000 purse, and it drew ten of the world’s best long-distance horses.
$500,000 Champagne Stakes Draws Field of Six
On Saturday at Belmont Park, some of the top two-year-olds will try to position themselves for a spot in the Breeders Cup Juvenile and potentially, next year, a bid at the Triple Crown. The Grade 1 Champagne Stakes, run at a mile on the main track, has drawn a field of six to compete for the winners share of $500,000.
Daredevil has been installed as the morning line favorite at odds of 2-1 and will break from the outside post for trainer Todd Pletcher. Purchased for $260,000 as a yearling, the chestnut son of More Than Ready won his debut effort over an off track at Belmont Park in September. Javier Castellano will be aboard, replacing John Velazquez who is in Keeneland to pilot Wise Dan.
El Kabeir training sharply for stakes debut
Second choice at morning line odds of 5-2 is El Kabeir for trainer John Terranova. Purchased for $250,000 by Zayat Stables, the gray son of Scat Daddy delivered impressively in his second career start after finishing third in his debut at Saratoga. Irad Ortiz, Jr., aboard for his maiden win, will be back in the irons and they will break from the rail. He has had consecutive bullet workouts since his last race.
New York bred Upstart taking on open company
Also in the field is Upstart, a New York-bred son of Flatter trained by Rick Violette. Tabbed at 7-2 on the morning line, the ridgling has won both career starts and earned his first stakes win last time out in the Funny Cide at Saratoga. Both victories have come against restricted state-bred company and he has been training at Aqueduct since his last race. Jose Ortiz will be back aboard from post position two.
The Prince of Wales’s Stakes is one of the most important races of the Royal Ascot meeting! With a £1 million purse, the race is one of the richest of the entire week, and it also offers its winner a guaranteed berth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
The 2022 Belmont Stakes, which will be run on Saturday, June 11, drew an exciting field of eight to compete for $1.5 million and a place in horse racing immortality. Several familiar New York horses will line up for the race, including Wood Memorial (G2) winner Mo Donegal and Peter Pan (G3) winner We the People.
The best horses in the older dirt male division line up for the $3 million Pegasus World Cup on Saturday, January 29 at Gulfstream Park! The race is at a mile and an eighth on the main track, an intermediate distance that draws both Classic runners and milers alike. Nine horses have passed the entry box, and are ready for a thrilling renewal of the winter’s biggest race!