Jefferson Cup Goes at Churchill
Category : News
Fri 27/09/2013 - 14:39 EDT
While most of the attention Saturday afternoon at Churchill will be on 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned and the inaugural running of the Homecoming Stakes, the Grade III Jefferson Cup Stakes that will immediately follow is shaping up to be a good race as well. A $100,000 one-mile turf event for three-year-olds and up, the race has drawn a solid field of nine runners, with General Election the early favorite at 3-1. After winning the Grade III Arlington Classic in May, he’s since come up with two also-ran efforts and is looking to get back on his winning form.
Question if Balino can get the full mile
His challenge will likely come from 4-1 Balino, who has been in the money in four straight in lower stakes races, and decisively won his latest, the Naked Greed Stakes at Calder, by six lengths. That was at 7 ½ furlongs, and it will be interesting to see how he does in the mile, as he has had trouble staying on when going around two turns. Miceli (5-1) did go a mile last time out at Saratoga in the Dance of Life Stakes, finishing a diminishing second over graded-stakes winner Winning Cause.
Tate’s Landing has overcome the odds before
An intriguing longshot at 12-1 in the morning line might be Tate’s Landing. Although he could do no better than fourth last time out in an allowance race at Kentucky Downs, the Jefferson will be his second start after a long layoff going back to last year, when he won the Laurel Futurity by 3 ¾ lengths at 23-1. With only five starts to his credit, Ray’s Away (15-1) has done most of his running at Woodbine, where he won the Victoria Stakes last year. The Jefferson will be his first attempt over six furlongs.
One of the most historic - and controversial - editions of the Kentucky Derby is in the books and the next leg of the US Triple Crown moves to Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course for the running of the Preakness Stakes. The 1 3/16 test over the Pimlico dirt track is drawing a wide-open field of three-year-old thoroughbreds gunning for the $1.5 million purse.
Led to the gate by pre-race morning line favorite Omaha Beach, a full field of 20 are set to line up for the 145th Kentucky Derby on late Saturday afternoon. They're running for a total purse of $3 million on the 1 1/4 mile Churchill dirt course and making their bid to follow 2018 winner Justify as Triple Crown champions.
The $100,000 Grade 3 Bashford Manor Stakes July 2 at Churchill Downs features a field of nine up-and-coming two year olds in a race that may be as confusing as it is competitive.
With the Grade 1, $500,000 Stephen Foster the centerpiece of a stellar Downs After Dark racing card June 18 at Churchill Downs, the expected field of seven older runners presents an interesting handicapping puzzle.