Seven Breeders’ Cup Prep Races in U.S. Sept. 30

Seven ‘Win and You’re In’ Breeders’ Cup Prep Races will Provide Potential Champions in November

A huge day of racing Saturday is highlighted by seven ‘Win and You’re InBreeders’ Cup prep races in the United States. That includes two at Belmont Park and five big Grade 1 races highlighting the 11-race card at Santa Anita. Many of these winners and others will be one’s to watch as potential champions at the Breeders’ Cup Nov. 3-4 at Del Mar.

Date Race Name Track Purse Distance Age/Sex Breeders’ Cup Division
30-Sep Vosburgh Invitational Belmont $350,000 6f 3&up TwinSpires Sprint
30-Sep Frontrunner Santa Anita $300,000 8.5f 2yr Sentient Jet Juvenile
30-Sep Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Belmont $500,000 12f 3&up Longines Turf
30-Sep Zenyatta Santa Anita $300,000 8.5f 3&up f/m Longines Distaff
30-Sep Chandelier Santa Anita $300,000 8.5f 2yo f 14 Hands Winery Juvenile Fillies
30-Sep Rodeo Drive (turf) Santa Anita $300,000 10f 3&up f/m Filly & Mare Turf
30-Sep Awesome Again Santa Anita $300,000 9f 3&up Classic

Race 5 Saturday at Santa Anita is the Zenyatta Stakes and features race favorite Paradise Woods (6-5), who won the Santa Anita Oaks in April for trainer Richard Mandella. She’s been running bullets in the mornings over the track in preparation for this race against five rivals, including key contender Faithfully (5-2) for trainer Bob Baffert. The winner qualifies for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

Race 7 is the Chadelier Stakes, and these 2-year-old fillies are ones to watch for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Moonshine Memories (2-1) is the race favorite for trainer Simon Callaghan, and she’s the leader of the California 2-year-old division after winning her two starts at Del Mar. That included the Del Mar Debutante (G1) Sept. 2 when she went wire-to-wire to win at 7 furlongs and upset three others in here. Now Piedi Bianchi (5-2), Dancing Belle (10-1) and Just a Smidge (7-2), who was the well-beaten race favorite that day, will try to turn the tables on Moonshine Memories.

Race 8 is the Frontrunner Stakes with nine 2-year-olds entered. The winner not only receives a fees-paid entry to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, but also picks up 10-points towards qualifying for the 2018 Kentucky Derby in the ‘Road to the Kentucky Derby‘ series. The top-two wagering choices on the morning line are Bolt ‘d Oro (2-1) and Zatter (5-2), who was beaten by less than one length by the former in the Del Mar Futurity Sept. 4. Zatter is trained by Bob Baffert, but his other horse in here is one I would include in the Pick 4, as Solomini (4-1) is a son of Curlin and should improve stretching out to two turns.

Race 9 is the Rodeo Drive Stakes, and Mandella-trained Avenge (3-1) will attempt to follow the same path she took last year, using the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive as a stepping-stone to the Breeders’ Cup. To get her invite to the Filly & Mare Turf, she’ll have to take down the favorite Goodyearforroses (5-2), who is an Irish-bred trained by Richard Baltas. Goodyearforroses is worthy of single inclusion in your Pick 4.

Race 10 is the final Breeders’ Cup prep race Saturday at Santa Anita and the winner receives an invite to the $6 million BC Classic. The Awesome Again Stakes lost some of its luster when Dortmund was scratched Thursday, but a pair of Bob Baffert entries look to figure prominently in the outcome. Cupid (2-1) breaks from the outside 8 post and Mubtaahij (4-1) will try to become the potential fourth BC Classic starter for Baffert, who has Arrogate, Collected and West Coast in his barn as top Classic contenders.  Mubtaahij has not raced since finishing 4th in the Dubai World Cup in March, but he or Cupid are the logical choices to win.

Santa Anita offers horse players a Pick 4 sequence over the final four races of the day. The minor Unzip Me Stakes concludes the big day or racing at “The Great Race Place”, and you will want to include a handful of winners in a wide-open finishing race.


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