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.
Three Top Fillies to Battle in The Grade I Ogden Phipps at Belmont
In what is perhaps the best rivalry in American horse racing, three champion fillies from 2013 will go to the gate together in one of the featured undercard races for the Belmont Stakes.
Almost overlooked amid the excitement of California Chrome’s bid for the Triple Crown on Saturday in the Belmont Stakes is the fact the afternoon will feature a great undercard of racing, with nine graded-stakes races, six of those of the Grade I variety. Outside of the Belmont, perhaps the most highly-anticipated race of the day will be the $1 million Grade I Ogden Phipps Stakes for fillies and mares aged four years and up going 1 1/16 miles on the dirt. The race features a rematch between Beholder and Close Hatches, the 1-2 finishers in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
Breeders' Cup champ Beholder riding a winning streak
As the 7-5 morning line favorite, Beholder comes in to the race off an easy 5 1/4 length win in the Santa Lucia Stakes at Santa Anita six weeks ago, her season bow following a long layoff after the Breeders’ Cup. In taking the Santa Lucia, Beholder racked up her fourth straight win after running a close second in the 2013 Kentucky Oaks last May. A Kentucky-bred daughter of Henny Hughes, Beholder finished fourth in her first career start back in 2012, but since then has been no worse than second in 13 career races, with nine wins, five in Grade I events.
Two others have impressive career stats as well
Equally impressive is the record of Close Hatches (5-2), whose only real career blemish is a puzzling seventh-place finish in the 2013 Oaks. Otherwise, she came to the track as a three-year-old last season and promptly ran off three straight wins, and has seven wins in 10 starts, with three of those in Grade I events. Most recently she took the Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn in April. Also in the field and listed as the 9-5 second choice is Princess of Sylmar, the 2013 Oaks winner, who ran a disappointing sixth in the BC Distaff, but who has already scored a win this year in the Cat Cay Stakes at Aqueduct .
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!