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.
Close Hatches and Princess of Sylmar Face Off in $500,000 Personal Ensign
On Friday at Saratoga, the Grade 1 Personal Ensign will feature a much anticipated rematch between Close Hatches and Princess of Sylmar. With a purse of $500,000, the mile and an eighth contest has drawn a field of seven of the best fillies and mares on the East Coast.
The morning line favorite at 8-5 is Close Hatches who will try to remain undefeated on the year. Trained by Bill Mott, the four-year-old daughter of First Defence will have Joel Rosario aboard carrying the colors of Juddmonte Farms. She defeated rival Princess of Sylmar by a head in the Ogden Phipps (G1) and has won three consecutive graded stakes this season. She will break from post position six as she goes for her ninth career win.
Princess of Sylmar gets blinkers on
Princess of Sylmar is the second choice at odds of 9-5 and will break from the outside post under Javier Castellano. The four-year-old daughter of Majestic Warrior will get the addition of blinkers for the first time following a pair of runner-up performances, most recently to Belle Gallantey in the Delaware Handicap (G1). Trained by Todd Pletcher, the chestnut filly has won nine of her fourteen career starts and is going for her fifth Grade 1.
Antipathy trying for two in a row
Also in the field is Antipathy, tabbed at 5-1 on the morning line for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. Irad Ortiz, Jr. will be in the irons for Godolphin Racing and the pair will break from the inside. A four-year-old daughter of A.P. Indy, Antipathy earned the first graded stakes victory of her career last time out in the Shuvee Handicap (G3) and was third in the Ogden Phipps (G1), beaten only a neck behind Close Hatches and Princess of Sylmar.
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!