First Look: Weekend graded stakes at Belmont, Santa Anita

First Look: Weekend graded stakes at Belmont, Santa Anita
Photo: NYRA

Keep track of graded stakes on HRN:

Although the center of the graded-stakes universe will be Churchill Downs this weekend, Belmont Park, Santa Anita and Woodbine also will offer events of their own with Cezanne expected to debut for trainer Todd Pletcher in a matchup with Greatest Honour.

An early edition of First Look previewed the undercard fields for the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, all of which will be drawn Monday afternoon. And click on these links for previews of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks fields.

Meanwhile, here's what we know about the likely fields of other graded stakes this weekend.

Saturday

Fort Marcy (G2), Belmont, 1 1/8 miles (turf), 4-year-olds and up

Public Sector would make his first start of the year. After winning three graded stakes in a row from August to October, he was fourth last out in the Hollywood Derby (G1). City Man looks to return to graded-stakes company after winning a listed stakes at Aqueduct last month in his first start of the year.

2022 Fort Marcy (G2)

Sheepshead Bay (G2), Belmont, 1 3/8 miles (turf), fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up

Virginia's Joy raced in Germany before going 2-for-3 for Chad Brown last year. He won The Very One (G3) on March 5 in his first start since July. Luck Money would make his first start of the year after a winless 2021.

2022 Sheepshead Bay (G2)

Westchester (G3), Belmont, 1 mile, 4-year-olds and up

In two starts this year – the first since the 2021 Florida Derby (G1) – Greatest Honour has finished sixth in the Challenger (G3) and third in the Ghostzepper (G3). Cezanne would make his first start for Pletcher here after being switched from Bob Baffert. He's been in the money in all three starts this year, with a win in the San Carlos (G2).

2022 Westchester (G3)

Señorita (G3), Santa Anita, 1 mile (turf), 3-year-old fillies

Lucky Girl started the year with two wins at Santa Anita before finishing fifth in the Providencia (G3). Delmona raced in Europe before coming to Jeff Mullins' barn. In two Santa Anita allowance races she finished second and then first.

2022 Senorita Stakes (G3)

Sunday

Ruffian (G2), Belmont, 1 mile, fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up

Search Results came back from an eight-month break to finish third in the Distaff Handicap (G3). Last year, she won the Gazelle (G3) and Acorn (G1) and was runner-up in the Kentucky Oaks. Zaajel was fourth in the Distaff and is looking for her first win since the Mother Goose (G2) in July.

2022 Ruffian (G2)

Laz Barrera (G3), Santa Anita, 6 1/2 furlongs, 3-year-olds

With six nominations and three probables, don't be surprised if this race doesn't fill. Montebello and High Connection are transfers from the Baffert barn.

2022 Laz Barrera Stakes (G3)

*Rating is based on HRN fan votes, which rank the Top Active Horses in training.

Probables were not available for Woodbine's Whimisical (G3) on Sunday. The six-furlong sprint on synthetic is for fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up.

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