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.
Effinex the High Weight in $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap
The featured race on Saturday at Churchill Downs is the $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap. Scheduled to be run at a mile and an eighth on the main track, the Grade 1 has drawn a field of seven colts.
Effinex has been installed as even-money favorite on the morning line and will carry a high weight of 122 pounds. A five-year-old son of Mineshaft, he is an eight-time winner and has one win from two starts this year. After a bad case of hives compromised his efforts in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and he finished third, he was back in the winner’s circle for the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) last time out. Gary Stevens has picked up the mount for trainer James Jerkens and they will break from post position three.
Majestic Harbor training strongly
Second choice at morning line odds of 5-1 is Majestic Harbor for trainer Paul McGee. An eight-year-old son of Rockport Harbor, the veteran competitor is a ten-time winner and has won two of his four starts this year. He was last seen winning the Alysheba Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs and has had a recent bullet workout. Corey Lanerie will be in the irons and they will break from post position four.
Eagle a consistent contender
Also in the field at morning line odds of 6-1 is Eagle for trainer Neil Howard. Bred and owned by W.S. Farish, the four-year-old colt is a son of Candy Ride (ARG) and has been on the board in twelve of his fourteen starts. He will be trying to earn his seventh career victory and was second behind Majestic Harbor last time out. Brian Hernandez, Jr. will be aboard and they will break from the outside post.
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!