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.
Las Virgenes is Songbird's to Lose
The Grade 2, $300,000 Las Virgenes February 6 at Santa Anita is all about Songbird relegating her six rivals to a more interesting and competitive contest for second.
Just how dominant is the three year-old Queen? In a four race tour de force in 2015, Songbird never trailed at any point, and no horse ever got closer than four and a quarter lengths of the superstar trained by Jerry Hollendorfer. The daughter of Medaglia d'Oro is already a three-time grade 1 winner with consecutive romps in the Del Mar Debutante, Chandelier, and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Each of those tallies came at different racetracks with Songbird earning progressively higher Beyer Speed Figures of 85,90 and 99. She has worked exceptionally well for her return including a six furlong move from the gate in 1:11 and change on January 20 at Santa Anita. Hollendorfer connects at a solid 15% clip with runners returning from 61-180 day layoffs. Regular rider Mike Smith will be in the irons breaking from post 5.
Street Fancy on the improve
Street Fancy (6/1) overcame early trouble December 12 to win the Grade 1 Starlet while making her first start around two turns. While she earned just a 74 Beyer Speed Figure for the triumph, Street Fancy is clearly improving and could take another step forward in her three year-old debut. Trainer Phil D'Amato hits at an impressive 20% with 31-60 day comebackers, and the filly's last two works indicate she's ready to fire.
Land Over Sea tries favorite again
Land Over Sea (8/1) has back class, but has lost to Songbird in each of her last three races, including a disappointing Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies where the Doug O'Neill trainee finished 13 1/2 lengths back of the winner while finishing seventh. Look for a better effort from Land Over Sea who is another logical candidate to hit the board.
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!