Each week BloodHorse.com looks forward to the weekend's biggest races. This week we have a full slate of stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, a Kentucky Oaks (G1) prep at Aqueduct Racetrack, and more.
Several contenders for the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) coming up Jan. 28 at Gulfstream Park worked Jan. 21 throughout South Florida, led by champion California Chrome in the final breeze of his career.
Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys' Gun Runner handily defeated older horses to earn his first grade I victory Nov. 25, turning back longshot Breaking Lucky for a gate-to-wire score in the $500,000 Clark Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
The Noble Bird who turns jockey Julien Leparoux into a happy passenger is the one his connections hope shows up Oct. 29, when he headlines a field of eight entered in the Hagyard Fayette Stakes (gr. II) on the final day of the Keeneland fall meet.
Runhappy makes his long awaited 2016 bow Oct. 1 in Churchill Downs' one-turn mile Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III). The race shares the bill with the $175,000 Lukas Classic featuring grade I winners Bradester and Noble Bird.
Joseph Sutton's Bradester, upset winner of the $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) in June, will be looking for another victory over the Churchill Downs main track when he makes his next start in the $175,000 Lukas Classic Oct. 1.
Effinex, who last year won the Clark Handicap presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, will look to add to his legacy there June 18 when he takes on six rivals in the $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I).
Grade I winner Majestic Harbor outdueled Eagle in the long Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots stretch to snap a seven-race losing streak and earn his first stakes win since 2014 Feb. 20 in the Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III).