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.
Which Kentucky Derby Closer Will Be Closing Fastest?
Outside of a couple Kentucky Derby favorites, the 2016 Run for the Roses lacks for speed, but not closers. Which come-from-behind horse will get there first?
Typically, the Kentucky Derby doesn't set up well for horses that like to come from off-the-pace. In most years past, the winner has been a horse with early tactical speed, who sits just off the pace and then jumps on the leaders in the stretch to try and pull away. This year's edition of the Derby is a bit different, with only a few horses who naturally want to go to the front early, and lots of closers who will hope for a good late run.
Top three in Arkansas Derby all came running late
A recent case-in-point to illustrate this would be the Arkansas Derby, one of the final prep races before Kentucky. The first three finishers in that race are all in the Kentucky Derby field, and all three are known to come from the back of the pack. The Arkansas winner, Creator, was in 11th place after 3/4 mile in the 1 1/8 mile race, 10 lengths off the leader. Suddenbreakingnews was 10th at the same point, and got up for second, and Whitmore was 9th, getting the first jump on the leaders before being passed by the other two in the stretch. Lani, who made the Derby field off a win in the UAE Derby, was last early in that race, and Exaggerator, who does posses some tactical speed, spotted the field more than 10 lengths before roaring home to win the Santa Anita Derby.
Large Derby field is a big problem for closers
Of course, one big factor in this is that those races all had smaller fields than the 20 horses who will race Saturday under the Churchill Downs Twin Spires. With that much traffic in front, it's difficult for a horse to get a clean run late, another factor in why closers rarely win the Derby. The horse that manages to stay out of trouble early could be the one making an impact at the end.
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!