With Breeders' Cup fast approaching, the ten Grade 1 stakes races run between Belmont Park and Santa Anita Park made for an exciting weekend.
The "Win and You're In" races answered some questions of who is leading their divisions but left some questions of who was going where. Royal Delta, Game On Dude, Point of Entry and Executiveprivilege all put in great performances to lead the American-based runners. Since the turf was listed as yielding at Belmont (meaning that the grass was very soft from the rain), it leaves the picture a bit cloudy with respect to the form of the result of the Flower Bowl. Nahrain ran a gutty race in winning, as did Zagora in defeat. Point of Entry did not appear to like the soft going but won in spite of it. Flat Out duplicated his victory of last year in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, getting up in the last stride to defeat a tough Stay Thirsty.
Power Broker stamped himself as a major contender for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) with an impressive victory in the FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita. Marketing Mix won the Rodeo Drive there with a huge performance as well.
On Sunday, Kauai Katie won the Matron Stakes (G2) at Belmont in a romp, but no decision has been made if she will run in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Filllies (G1). Her trainer Todd Pletcher came right back and won the Futurity Stakes (G2) with a fast-finishing Overanalyze scoring a decisive victory.
As there are just four weeks remaining until Breedrs' Cup weekend there are still a handful of key prep races to give us a good idea of who will be major contenders in a number of divisions. Stay tuned for any developing news as it is crunch time and there is no room for any setbacks or mistakes.
I hope everyone enjoyed the weekend as much as I did.