Two of the most popular horse racing venues in the country are in action this Saturday with a full card of major graded stakes races. Just one month out from this year’s Breeders’ Cup in early November, some of this Saturdays results at both tracks will have an impact on the final fields for the biggest two-day horse betting event of the year.
Belmont Park Saturday, Oct. 5 Race Card
Belmont’s fall meet heats things up this Saturday with four graded events on the card. A few top three-year thoroughbreds and older will compete on the turf at Belmont in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic over a 1 ½ run as one of those features events.
Right now, Horse Racing Nation has six entries listed as probable for this race. Led by trainer Thomas Albertrani’s Sadler’s Joy with the highest rating on the board (7.96), this should be a deep field with five of the six horses carrying a HRN rating. Another horse to watch in this race is trainer Brad Cox’s Arklow as a good pick to finish in the money in this $500,000 graded event.
Along with the $150,000 Grade 3 Matron Stakes for promising two-year old fillies, the main event on Saturday’s card at Belmont is the Grade 1 $500,000 Champagne Stakes for juveniles looking to make an early mark on the 2020 Kentucky Derby Trail.
This race is expected to field seven contenders for the one mile run on dirt. Five of the seven probable entries are coming off a victory in their previous race. Keep an eye on Green Light Go if trainer James Jerkens does run this two-year old Kentucky-bred colt in this race. He won the Grade 2 Saratoga Special on Aug. 10 by covering 6 ½ furlongs on dirt in 1:15.68. This will be his first race at the longer one mile distance.
Another juvenile to keep in the mix would be trainer Todd Pletcher’s Alpha Sixty Six. This two-year old won a Maiden Special Weight race at Belmont on Sept. 7. He covered 6 ½ furlongs on dirt in 1:16.60.
Keeneland Racecourse , Saturday, Oct 5 Race Card
Keeneland gets the big race weekend started early with a pair of graded events on Friday’s card. Moving to Saturday’s lineup, there are five graded events on the card including the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile as the race with the highest total prize purse.
You also have the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes and Woodford Presented by Keeneland Select as two premier Grade 2 events. The highlight of the day should be the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity for two-year old thoroughbreds.
This 1 1/16 mile run on the dirt track at Keeneland offers a total prize purse of $500,000. This is also an automatic “win and you’re in’ qualifier for this year’s Breeders’ Cup TVG Juvenile on Friday, Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park.
HRN’s early field for this race has seven juveniles listed as probable. The class of this field would be Mark Casse’s Enforceable coming off a MSW win at Saratoga on Aug. 22. Casse also has Tap It To Win slated to run at Keeneland after winning a Saratoga MSW race on Aug. 24. Both of these two-year old colts are sires of Tapit.
Pletcher’s top entry for this year’s Breeders’ Futurity is Gouveneur Morris coming off a MSW race victory at Saratoga on Sept. 2.