There are 10 more Grade 1 prep races this weekend at Belmont Park, Keeneland and Santa Anita. The five stakes at Keeneland offer full fields. But the four races at Belmont Park drew six horses each, and only five entered the Santa Anita Sprint Championship.
Over the next two weekends, most of the Breeders’ Cup probables will prep in a major stakes. On Saturday, Santa Anita will offer five Grade 1 preps and Belmont Park three.
Parx Racing offers the $1-million Cotillion and the $1.25-million Pennsylvania Derby on Saturday. A win would go far in deciding who the champion 3-year-olds are this season.
There is a new wave of French-born riders tearing up American racing: Florent Geroux, Julien Leparoux and Flavien Prat.
Horses go where the money is. The Kentucky Downs condition book is full of cash for horsemen. It includes purses of $130,000 for maiden special weights and $140,000 for first-level allowance horses.
As closing day approaches for the Del Mar and Saratoga meets Monday, we would be remiss to not highlight some tremendous performances.
There is no dominating horse heading into the $1.25 million Travers on Saturday at Saratoga. The Triple Crown races were won by three horses: Nyquist, Exaggerator and Creator.
The $1-million Pacific Classic has the best field of older horses you will see outside of the Breeders’ Cup Classic. California Chrome, Dortmund and the mare Beholder will duel at Del Mar on Saturday.
The Arlington Million is one of three Grade 1 stakes Saturday at Arlington Park. Its place in racing history was cemented in 1981 as the first million dollar horse race.
On Saturday, Saratoga will offer four stakes, including the Grade 1 Test and Whitney Handicap, and Mountaineer Park will card nine stakes, led by the West Virginia Derby.