Nominations have been released for the Oct. 7 program at Belmont Park, the biggest day of the Belmont Fall Championship Meet with five grade I races. The card is highlighted by the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup.
The war between Coolmore and the Maktoums that was evident at the recent Keeneland September yearling sale is expected to move north on Oct. 7 when Susan Magnier's Dylan Thomas squares off against Darley Stable's Bernardini and Shadwell Farm's Invasor in the $1-million Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I).
- By Steve Haskin
The main topic of conversation at Belmont Park these days is the much-awaited showdown between Bernardini and Invasor in the Oct. 7 Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I).
The main topic of conversation at Belmont Park these days is the much-awaited showdown between Bernardini and Invasor in the Oct. 7 Jockey Club Gold Cup. Both colts are doing extremely well, according to their connections, with Bernardini already on the muscle and itching for a fight. The winner likely will take on the role as favorite for the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
Saratoga's first three weeks were marked by muggy hot weather followed by splendid cool days and nights, a card cancellation, upsets, an onslaught of New York-bred races, declining attendance, numerous mishaps at the starting gate, and soap opera politics. Will the next 18 days be as rocky as the past 17 days?
Invasor, winner of Saturday's Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga in a thrilling stretch drive over Sun King, is likely to make his next start in the $500,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) on Sept. 2.
Whatever the reason, they missed the full effect of a perfectly delightful day. Racing doesn't get much better than the product put forth at Saratoga on Saturday.
Shadwell Stable's Invasor, nearly overtaken by the surging Sun King, dug in for the final furlong to emerge with a nose victory in $750,000 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course Saturday.
It's hard to imagine this year's Whitney Handicap (gr. I) could top the 2005 running when the speedy Commentator held off a surging future Horse of the Year in Saint Liam.
A double dose of "Road to the Breeders' Cup World Championships – Powered by Dodge" is on tap this weekend with live racing Saturday and Sunday on ESPN from 5-6 p.m. (EST).
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin had Shadwell Stable's Invasor and Zabeel Racing International's Henny Hughes on the Saratoga main track Friday morning for four-furlong workouts.
Making his second U.S. start, Shadwell Stable's favored Invasor left his six rivals in the dust when he galloped to an easy victory in the $400,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park Saturday.
Making his first start in North America, Shadwell Stable's Invasor pulled off a mild upset over favorite Wanderin Boy in the $500,000 Pimlico Special (gr. I) May 19 before 24,429 at Old Hilltop. Invasor got the 1 3/16 miles in 1:54.40.
Trainer Nick Zito shoots for an unprecedented third win in the reinstated $500,000 Pimlico Special (gr. I) when he saddles Wanderin Boy for the 40th running at Pimlico Race Course Friday.
Brass Hat tops the list of six South Florida-based runners bound for the March 25 Dubai World Cup program at Nad al Sheba Racecourse. The American runners are scheduled to depart from the Fort Lauderdale Airport Tuesday night, bound first for Europe before reaching Dubai.
Unbeaten Uruguayan Triple Crown winner Invasor has been purchased by Sheikh Hamdan's Shadwell and will be sent to the United States, according to a report in South America.
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