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Besides the Belmont Stakes, there are five other Grade 1 races scheduled for Belmont Park on Saturday afternoon. All post times Eastern.
Kentucky Oaks winner Cathryn Sophia heads a short field with morning line odds of 6/5. Go Maggie Go (3/1) comes in off a win in the (G2) Black Eyed Susan Stakes. Off The Tracks (5/1) has three lifetime wins, and is from the same sire as Belmont favorite Exaggerator.
Perhaps the most evenly matched race of the day, where any one of four or five have a chance. Curalina (3/1) has been in the money in all 9 lifetime starts and comes in off a Grade 1 win. Stopchargingmaria (7/2) won last year's Breeders' Cup Distaff and makes her second start of 2016. Veteran Sheer Drama (5/1) has three Grade 1 wins, including as recently as two starts back.
Wide-open affair has drawn a field of 13 and should offer good value on several choices. Strike Charmer (8/1) drew the tough inside post but comes in off a solid graded-stakes win. Former Canadian Horse of the Year Lexie Lou (15-1) also comes in off a turf win at Woodbine and gets a cut back in distance at a big price. Irish-bred Faufiler (5-1) has made steady improvement in her second year on US soil.
Lots of big names in this one, including Frosted (7/2) who ran second to American Pharoah in the 2015 Belmont. Stanford (5/1) won the (G2) Charles Town last out and was second in two previous graded-stakes tries. Calculator (10/1) has been in the money in all of his last six graded-stakes starts.
This one features an international cast with a heavy 8/5 favorite in Flintshire, a world-traveller who has been 1st or 2nd in nine graded or group stakes lifetime. He'll be facing the top American turf runner in Big Blue Kitten (6-1) looking for the win in his second start of 2016. World Approval (10-1) goes for the red-hot Mark Casse barn, and has been knocking on the door recently in top-level stakes.
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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.