Mystic Guide Leads Saturday’s Suburban at Belmont Park Live on NBC and Firenze Fire Headlines Sunday’s John A. Nerud Stakes Live on NBCSN for Automatic Berths into Breeders’ Cup World Championships
NEW YORK (July 1, 2021) — The “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and Your In - presented by America’s Best Racing” returns to Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., with two programs of top flight Thoroughbred racing this weekend. On Saturday, July 3, at 5 p.m. ET, NBC will broadcast live the $400,000 Suburban (G2), led by Dubai World Cup winner Mystic Guide, with the race winner earning an automatic berth into the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). On Sunday, July 4, at 5 p.m. ET, multiple graded-stakes winning sprinter Firenze Fire headlines the $250,000 John A. Nerud Stakes (G2), which offers a “Win and You’re In” starting position into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).
The two weekend programs mark the second and third telecasts this year in the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – presented by America’s Best Racing” on NBC and NBCSN from some of North America’s most iconic racetracks. The series leads to the 38th Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California, to be held Nov. 5-6 on NBC and NBCSN. The complete series TV schedule can be accessed here.
NBC Sports’ coverage of both programs will feature commentary and discussion led by host Ahmed Fareed and analysts Randy Moss and Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, who won 15 Breeders’ Cup races, including five victories in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), from NBC Sports Group’s International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn. Reporters Britney Eurton and Matt Bernier will be on-site at Belmont Park.
In the 1 ¼-mile Suburban, Godolphin’s Mystic Guide, trained by Mike Stidham and ridden by Luis Saez, has won both his starts this year. A 4-year-old son of 2004 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Ghostzapper, Mystic Guide captured the Razorback Handicap (G3) at Oaklawn Park in March and then took the $12 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan in the United Arab Emirates on March 27, which was his most recent start.
Among the challengers facing Mystic Guide is the Todd-Pletcher trained 4-year-old Happy Saver, who is undefeated in five starts. A son of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, Happy Saver, ridden by Irad Oritz Jr., has won three races at Belmont, including last year’s 1 ¼-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1). Pletcher also has entered Repole Stable and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ 5-year-old Moretti, who finished second in last year's Suburban. Moretti finished third in the Brooklyn Stakes (G3) on June 5 in his first start of the year. Flavien Prat will ride Moretti.
Owner and trainer Uriah St. Lewis is starting the 4-year-old Informative, who came from last in a 10-horse field to win the Salvator Mile (G3) at 79-1 on June 12 at Monmouth Park. Manny Franco has the mount on Informative.
Mr. Amore Stable’s 6-year-old Firenze Fire tops Sunday’s John A. Nerud Stakes at 7 furlongs. Trained by Kelly Breen, Firenze Fire has won 14 races in 33 starts, and nine of those victories were in graded stakes. A son of Poseiden’s Warrior, Firenze has two wins at Belmont this year, taking the 6-furlong Runhappy Stakes on May 8 and the 6 ½-furlong True North Stakes (G2) on June 4.
Red Oak Stable and Madaket Stables’ 5-year-old Mind Control is seeking his first win this year for new trainer Todd Pletcher. A seven-time winner, Mind Control finished second in the 7-furlong Carter Handicap (G1) at Aqueduct on April 3 and seventh in the 7-furlong Churchill Downs Stakes on May 1.
The 6-year-old American Power, owned by Sanford Goldfarb, Irwin Goldfarb and the Estate of Ira Davis, finished third in the True North. Trained by Rob Atras, American Power has won two of four starts this year, both at 7 furlongs, taking the Toboggan Stakes (G3) on Jan. 30 at Aqueduct and the Caixa Electronica, also at Aqueduct, on March 27.
ABOUT BREEDERS’ CUP
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred horse racing’s year-end Championships, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The Breeders’ Cup is also a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, an organization composed of industry leaders committed to advancing safety measures in Thoroughbred racing and improving the well-being of equine and human athletes.
The 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Championship races, is scheduled to be held on November 5-6 at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California. The event will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media.
- September 25, 2021
Royal Patronage Scores in Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes and Earns Automatic Berth into Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf
Highclere Thoroughbred Racing’s Royal Patronage (FR) landed a thrilling Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (G2) at Newmarket, securing his guaranteed start in the US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
- September 24, 2021
This is the fourth of eight weekly news releases focusing on the horses and races leading to the 38th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 6 at Del Mar.
- September 24, 2021
Masekela Heads to Newmarket for Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes and Automatic Berth into Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf
Mick and Janice Mariscotti’s Masekela (IRE) heads a field of seven in Saturday’s Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (G2) at Newmarket.