Next weekend's lineup of graded stakes races at Belmont Park include two Grade 1 tests — the Belmont Derby Invitational and the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic.
Here's an early look at the probable entries for next weekend's graded stakes at the New York track.
Saturday, Oct. 3
Belmont Derby Invitational
G1, $250,000, 3-year-olds, 1 1/4 miles on turf
In this Breeders' Cup Win & You're In race, Pixelate is expected to look for his first G1 win after scoring in the Del Mar Derby last out for trainer Michael Stidham. That was the first win for the City Zip colt since last December.
Also expected are the trifecta from the Aug. 15 Saratoga Derby: winner Domestic Spending, runner-up Gufo and third-place finisher No Word.
Farmington Road bounced back from his eight-place finish in the Belmont Stakes to win an allowance race at Colonial Downs last out on July 29.
Gallant Bloom Handicap
G2, $150,000, fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up, 6 1/2 furlongs
Belmont lists two probables for this race: Royal Charlotte, second in Monmouth Park's Regret Stakes last out, and Unique Factor, who finished fourth in the Rancho Bernardo Handicap (G3) last out at Del Mar.
Also possible is Linda Rice's Newly Minted, winner of the Union Avenue Handicap at Saratoga last out.
Joe Hirsch Turf Classic
G1, $250,000, 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/2 miles
Trainer Bill Mott looks for back-to-back G1 wins with Channel Maker after scoring in the Sword Dancer Stakes last out at Saratoga on Aug. 29. It was the first win for the gelded son of English Channel since he took the Man O'War (G1) at Belmont in May 2019. The closest he came to winning in that stretch was a runner-up finish in last year's edition of the Joe Hirsch, losing by a half-length to Arklow. Channel Maker won the Joe Hirsch in 2018.
Coming in third in last year's edition was Sadler's Joy, who is expected to return this year. The Thomas Albertrani trainee, a son of Kitten's Joy, will be look for his first win since the Red Smith Stakes (G3) last November.
G2, $150,000, 3-year-olds and up, 1 mile
Code of Honor is expected to chase his sixth graded-stakes win in the Kelso for trainer Shug McGaughey. Last out, the Noble Mission colt was fourth in the Whitney, and he finished third in the Met Mile in his preceding race.
Also expected are Chad Brown's Complexity, coming off a second-place finish in the Forego (G1), and Endorsed, who was second in the Alydar last out for trainer Bill Mott.
G2, $150,000, 2-year-olds, 1 1/16 miles on turf
Public Sector is expected to move to stakes company after breaking his maiden on first try for Chad Brown last out at Saratoga in August.
Others who graduated last out are Step Dancer, It's a Gamble, Tijuana Brass and Safe Conduct.
Sunday, Oct. 4
G2, $150,000, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/8 miles
Dunbar Road is two for two this year, winning the Delaware Handicap (G2) last out in July.
Also coming off a win is Letruska, who scored in the Shuvee Stakes (G3) at Saratoga on Aug. 30.
Point of Honor, on the other hand, hasn't won since the Black-Eyed Susan in May 2019, though she's been in the money in six tries since.
Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational
G3, $100,000, 3-year-olds and up, 6 furlongs on turf
Steve Asmussen is looking for the third win in a row for Archidust, who scored in Monmouth Park's Get Serious Stakes last out on Aug. 23.
Introduced has won three of his last for for trainer Jorge Duarte Jr., last taking the Smart N Fancy Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 27.
G2, $150,000, 2-year-old fillies, 1 1/16 miles on turf
Only four probables are listed for this race, including two from Chad Brown: Freedomofthepress, who was second in a maiden special weight in August in his only start, and Editor At Large, who graduated on first try at Saratoga on Sept. 7.