Imperial Hint Back for Vosburgh Stakes
Photo Copyright Eclipse Sportswire
Article Courtesy of Aaron Halterman of the Racing Dudes
A field of six is set to run in this Saturday’s $300,000 Vosburgh Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park on what should be a tremendous card featuring four major stakes races.
The Vosburgh will feature sprinting sensation Imperial Hint, who comes into the event off of an amazing victory last time out in the Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) at Saratoga. Going into the Vanderbilt, he had not been seen since finishing third in the Golden Shaheen (G1) last March at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. However, he clearly showed no rust in his Saratoga romp, defeating the highly-regarded Mitole while also setting a track record for 6 furlongs. Imperial Hint parlayed winning the Vanderbilt into success in this race last year, so he’ll look to make it back-to-back Vosburgh victories in his final preparations for the Breeders’ Cup.
The winner of the Vosburgh Stakes will receive an automatic position in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) this fall at Santa Anita Park. Pre-entry and entry fees will be paid and a nominator award of $10,000 will be given to the nominating person. Also, all Breeders’ Cup starters based outside of the state of California will receive a travel allowance of $10,000 if based in North America and $40,000 if based Internationally.
Here is a look at the full field:
#1 Call Paul – This 3-year-old will take on elders for the first time after most recently finishing sixth in the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes (G1) at Saratoga. Overall, he has won twice in six starts this season, including the Swale Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park and the Danzig Stakes at Penn National. It will be interesting to see how he matches up against the older sprinters.
#2 American Power – After rattling off three straight victories, it is time for American Power to try stakes company for the first time. The first of his three wins came at Parx against allowance foes, which led to another win at the Philadelphia track in an allowance/optional claiming race. That led to a Saratoga trip, where he once again defeated allowance/optional claiming company. A win at Saratoga gave his connections a strong level of confidence to try this tougher spot.
#3 Brown Buckeye – The Ohio-bred is coming east after winning the Honey Jay Stakes at Thistledown in his last start. That was his second win of the season, with his other victory coming at Belterra Park in an allowance/optional claiming race. He looked the part in both of those starts, but making his graded stakes debut on the NYRA circuit will be a major class test.
#4 Imperial Hint – The defending Vosburgh Stakes (G1) champion is back for more after winning his second straight Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) at Saratoga. His latter Vanderbilt victory was perhaps the most impressive of his career, as he set a Saratoga record for 6 furlongs while also beating the mighty Mitole in dominating fashion. Mitole won the Forego Stakes (G1) in his next start, adding to how impressively Imperial Hint ran last time out. If he brings that sort of race again here, then his foes have a major challenge ahead of them.
#5 Promises Fulfilled – The last time that Promises Fulfilled raced at Belmont Park, he won the John A. Nerud Stakes (G2) in dominating fashion to earn a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint gate. He followed that up with a non-effort last time out in the Forego, though, so he will be looking for some redemption in this spot. He was fourth in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint before running against the toughest sprint competition in the world for much of 2019. Aside from his last start, he has been a consistent runner, hitting the board in 10 of his 16 appearances.
#6 Firenze Fire – His resume at Belmont Park was flawless until he lost the Met Mile (G1) back in June. His other performances over this track have been amazing, having won the Runhappy Stakes at age 4, the Dwyer Stakes (G3) at 3, and the Champagne Stakes (G1) as a juvenile. Last time out, he was a solid second in the Forego behind Mitole, who is perhaps the best sprinter in the nation. Getting back to his “home” track makes him an interesting horse to watch here.
The Vosburgh Stakes serves as one of seven Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” events this weekend at Santa Anita Park and Belmont Park. Here is the full schedule for this coming weekend:
- Friday: The Chandelier Stakes (Juvenile Fillies) at Santa Anita Park
- Friday: The American Pharoah Stakes (TVG Juvenile) at Santa Anita Park
- Saturday: The Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (Longines Classic) at Belmont Park
- Saturday: The Vosburgh Stakes (Sprint) at Belmont Park
- Saturday: The Awesome Again Stakes (Longines Classic) at Santa Anita Park
- Saturday: The Rodeo Drive Stakes (Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf) at Santa Anita Park
- Sunday: The Zenyatta Stakes (Longines Distaff) at Santa Anita Park
The American-based Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” events continue next weekend with an eye-popping 16 events, starting Friday at Keeneland on the Lexington track’s opening day. The Action will continue throughout the country on Saturday and Sunday, with more races from Keeneland, Belmont Park, and Santa Anita Park.
For more coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, head over to racingdudes.com.
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