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.
Mr. Z and Far Right Rematch in Grade 3 $300,000 Southwest
With a field of eleven set to contest the $300,000 Grade 3 Southwest Stakes February 16 at Oaklawn Park, the race features a rematch between the top three finishers from the Smarty Jones Stakes as well as some new shooters.
Far Right (3/1) emerged from the Smarty Jones victorious and is the morning line favorite for trainer Ron Moquett. The son of Notional has won two of seven career starts and finished with authority in the January 19 Smarty Jones after a troubled trip likely cost the colt a better placing in the $1 million Delta Jackpot Stakes in November. Mike Smith, who was aboard for the Smarty Jones win, returns to Oaklawn for the mount.
Mr. Z (7/2) looked to be an easy winner in the Smarty Jones, but veered sharply to the right in the stretch. The D. Wayne Lukas trainee could do no better than third after losing significant ground, and will receive a new rider in the Southwest with Corey Nakatani replacing Jon Court. Mr. Z is multiple graded-stakes placed, but has just one win in nine career starts – a debut maiden victory in June at Churchill Downs.
War Story (4/1) figured to be a top contender in the Southwest, but the colt is expected to scratch after drawing post 11 with trainer Tom Amoss citing a “strong statistical negative” for that starting position at Oaklawn. JS Bach (4/1) has just a maiden victory to his credit, but looks live for trainer Todd Pletcher breaking from post one.
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!