The summer horse racing series for major graded events rolls into the second week of August with signature races at Del Mar and Saratoga. Monmouth Park also gets a mention this week with a graded event for three-year old fillies.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Racing Club’s Saturday Card
Del Mar’s summer season is highlighted by this Saturday’s $1 million TVG Pacific Classic. This is one of the biggest Grade 1 events of the summer for three-year thoroughbreds and older leading up to the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.
This 1 ¼-mile run on the dirt at Del Mar is a Grade 1 event featuring the likes of trainer Bob Baffert’s For The Top and trainer Doug O’Neill’s Pavel. The early listing at Horse Racing Nation points to 10 entries vying for this prestigious title.
Trainer Dallas Stewart is looking to run Seeking the Soul in the Pacific as the horse with the highest Horse Racing Nation rating in the projected field at 7.97. The six-year old Kentucky-bred horse won the Grade 2 Stephen Foster Stakes at Churchill Downs on June 15 at 1 1/8 miles on the dirt. This was his sixth run in the money over seven events dating back to September of last year.
One of the graded races leading up to the main event at Del Mar this Saturday is the Grade 3 Green Flash Handicap for three-year thoroughbreds and older. The total prize purse for this five-furlong sprint on the turf is $100,000.
When it comes to betting on a few of the top three-year old fillies in the nation, the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks is one of five graded events on Saturday’s card. This event offers a total prize purse of $300,000 and it will be contested on turf over an extended distance of 1 ½ miles.
The early field for this race features a pair of top-caliber contenders for trainer Chad Brown. He is expected to run both Dogtag and Cambier Parc in this race. Trainer Norm Casse could go with Hard Legacy. The sire of Hard Spun is coming off a recent victory in the Grade 3 Regret Stakes at Churchill Downs on June 15 at a distance of 1 1/8 miles.
The other two graded races at Del Mar this Saturday are the $250,000 Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap for three-year thoroughbreds and older along with the Grade 3 $100,000 Torrey Pines Stakes for three-year old fillies as well.
Saratoga Race Course’s Saturday Card
Saratoga’s highly popular summer racing season continues at this upstate New York racing town. This Saturday’s card is highlighted by a pair graded events for three-year old fillies. The Grade 1 Alabama Stakes has a total prize purse of $600,000 with an expected field of seven entries covering the 1 ¼ miles on dirt.
The Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes with a total of $200,000 up for grabs should have seven contenders battling it out of the turf track over a distance of 1 1/16 miles.
Monmouth Park’s Monmouth Oaks
This Saturday’s card at Monmouth Park in New Jersey features the running of this year’s Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks for three-year old fillies. The total prize purse is $150,000 for this 1 1/16-mile run on the dirt track. The actual field is still coming together in what should be the highlight of the day at this coastal New Jersey racing venue.