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.
Xcellence Tops the Field for $500,000 Sands Point
An international cast of some of the most promising three-year-old turf fillies in the country are set to face off in Saturdays featured race at Belmont Park, the 20th edition of the $500,000 Sands Point. The Grade 2 event will be run at a mile and an eighth over the inner turf course.
Tabbed as the morning line favorite at odds of 3-1 is Xcellence, one of two horses Chad Brown will saddle in the race. Bred in France, the sophomore daughter of Champs Elysees (GB) made her stateside debut with a fourth-place finish in the Belmont Oaks (G1) in July. She was third, beaten under a length, in the Lake Placid (G2) last time out. She has won two of her nine starts, including a Group 3 victory in her native France, and will break from the inside post under Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Daring Dancer a potential star on the rise
Second choice on the morning line at odds of 7-2 is Daring Dancer, aEhomebred for Sagamore Farm trained by Graham Motion. The lightly-raced daughter of Empire Maker earned the fourth win of her five-race career and her first against graded stakes competition last time out with a narrow win in the Lake Placid (G2). John Velazquez has picked up the mount for the first time and they will break from post eight. She has been training steadily at Fair Hill since that last race.
High-priced Miss Besilu going for first stakes win
Also in the field is the high-priced Miss Besilu for trainer Bill Mott. A $2.6 million purchase as a weanling, the bay daughter of Medaglia d’Oro is switching back to the turf after a third place finish in the Alabama (G1). Both of her career victories have come on the grass though she has yet to win against stakes competition. Jose Lezcano, her regular rider, will be back in the irons and the pair will break from post position three.
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!