Another big weekend with Breeders’ Cup implications is coming up at Belmont. On Saturday and Sunday, the track will host seven graded stakes, including the five final Breeders’ Cup Challenge races.
Here’s an early look at the races and their probable fields at this point.
Saturday, Oct. 10
Champagne, G1, $250,000, 2-year-olds, 1 mile, dirt
Jackie’s Warrior, undefeated in three tries for trainer Steve Asmussen, could earn a fees-paid berth in next month's Breeders' Cup Juvenile with a score in this "win-and-you're-in" race. He's likely to be the heavy favorite after an impressive win in the Grade 1 Hopeful on Sept. 7 at Saratoga.
Asmussen also could enter Midnight Bourbon, who broke his maiden on second try at Ellis Park in August and then finished second on Sept. 5 in the Iroquois (G3) at Churchill Downs.
And Chad Brown is expected to enter Reinvestment Risk, runner-up in the Hopeful after graduating on first try at Saratoga in August.
Flower Bowl Invitational, G1, $250,000, fillies and mares 3 up, 1 1/4 miles, turf
In this win-and-you're-in race for the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, defending Flower Bowl champion Sistercharlie will look for her first win in three tries since that race. The Myboycharlie mare has finished third in each of those races for trainer Chad Brown after six straight G1 wins.
Brown also is expected to enter Cambier Parc and Nay Lady Nay.
Shug McGaughey is expected to enter Civil Union, winner of three straight, including the Glens Falls (G2) at Saratoga last out.
Frizette, G1, $250,000, 2-year-old fillies, 1 mile, dirt
Vequist likely would be the favorite for this Breeders’ Cup win-and-you're-in In race after her 9 1/2-length win in the Spinaway Stakes (G1) last out for trainer Robert Reid Jr.
Dayoutoftheoffice is two-for two but hasn't raced since July, when she scored in the six-furlong Schuylerville Stakes (G3).
Cantata and Fifth Risk both graduated on first try in August, while Rockpaperscissors broke her maiden on second try on Sept. 19 at Churchill Downs.
Jockey Club Gold Cup, G1, $250,000, 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/4 miles, dirt
The winner of this race gets a free ticket to the Breeders' Cup Classic.
Trainer Bill Mott is expected to enter Tacitus after his runner-up effort in the Woodward (G1) in September and his score in the Suburban (G2) in July.
Mystic Guide, winner of the Jim Dandy (G2) last out in September also is expected after trainer Mike Stidham bypassed the Preakness Stakes.
Another last-out winner is Happy Saver, who scored in the Federico Tesio for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Sands Point, G2, $150,000, 3-year-old fillies, 1 mile, turf
Selflessly likely would be the favorite among the probables for this race after a score in the Lake George (G3) last out for Chad Brown. It was her first win since she graduated a year ago in the Miss Grillo Stakes at Belmont.
Brown is expected to enter Duopoly, winner of an allowance race at Saratoga last out on Aug. 21 after breaking her maiden at Monmouth on second try in July.
Sunday, Oct. 11
Futurity, G3, $100,000, 2-year-olds, 6 furlongs, turf
HRN lists only four probables for this Breeders’ Cup win-and-you're-in sprint, and two of them are trained by Wesley Ward. Royal Approval broke her maiden on third try at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 9, and After Five has yet to graduate after a runner-up finish in first try on Sept. 10 at Kentucky Downs.
Another probable is Christophe Clement's Momos, third in the Saratoga Special in August after graduating in July.
And Mark Casse is likely to enter Bright Devil, who broke his maiden then lost his next two, all in England.
Matron, G3, $100,000, 2-year-old fillies, 6 furlongs, turf
Todd Pletcher’s Union Gables could look to bounce back from a third-place finish in the P.G. Johnson stake at Saratoga last out, her only race since breaking her maiden on first try at Saratoga in August.
Royal Approval would look to build on her graduation at Kentucky Downs in a Sept. 9 maiden special weight sprint.
Magical Soul and Miss Nondescript also graduated in their last races, and Bravo Regina, the final probable for this race, is looking for her first score after three tries.