Short Field for Belmont Oaks
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
The 2020 fall meet at Belmont Park opens this weekend, with the $250,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) headlining the Saturday card. It is slated as the fifth of a 10-race program with a local post time of 3:04pm Eastern.
Just five sophomore fillies have been entered in the 1 ¼ mile turf race, headed by Saratoga Oaks heroine Antoinette. The daughter of Hard Spun is out of $658,709-earner Shuruq, a multiple graded stakes winner in Dubai in her day. Antoinette has been switching effortlessly between dirt and turf, winning the Tepin Stakes in an off the turf race at Aqueduct in December, then running third in the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks. She was Grade 1 placed in the Coaching Club American Oaks on dirt before winning the Saratoga Oaks last out. Bill Mott trains the Godolphin runner, and regular pilot John Velazquez will be aboard.
Drawn just to her inside is California shipper Neige Blanche, who arrived from France over the summer and quickly made her American debut in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks. She finished fourth, beaten just 2 ½ lengths, and recovered quickly enough to contest this race. A Group 3 winner in her native country, added distance should be to her advantage and she gets Jose Lezcano for trainer Leonard Powell.
Third in the Saratoga Oaks at 28-1 was Key Biscayne. The daughter of Brethren has been top three in six of 10 lifetime starts, and finished fourth in the Grade 2 Lake Placid at Saratoga two back. She was beaten less than two lengths for the win at 22-1, so she tends to outrun her odds, and in May won two races in a row at Gulfstream Park. Juan Alvarado trains.
The second of the French imports is the English-bred Magic Attitude. Arnaud Delacour takes over the training on the daughter of Galileo (Ire), who was a Group 3 winner there in May then ran second in Group 1 company at Chantilly before shipping here. She adds Lasix and is dangerous in this spot.
Drawing the rail is Setting the Mood. Todd Pletcher trains the daughter of Lea, who is coming off a near miss by a head in an allowance at Saratoga over 1 3/8 miles. Luis Saez will ride the filly, who broke her maiden at Gulfstream Park in a May 21 off turf race over nine furlongs.
Kicking off the Belmont meeting on Friday is the $80,000 Miner’s Mark Stakes. $660,110-earner Rocketry is the 6-5 choice in the 1 ½ mile race for trainer Jimmy Jerkens. He has not won since taking the Grade 2 Marathon on the Breeders’ Cup undercard at Churchill Downs in 2018, but has been fourth or better in six of his eight starts since. Junior Alvarado will ride.
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- October 22, 2021
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Breeders' Cup Pre-Entry Announcement to be Televised Live on TVG and Streamed Live on Breederscup.com on Wednesday, October 27
Pre-entered fields for the 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be announced live on TVG along with the Breeders’ Cup website, Official Mobile App, and Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube channels on Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 8:30 a.m. PT/11:30 a.m. ET.