The October 1 card at Santa Anita is full of Breeders' Cup previews, but the matchup between Beholder and Stellar Wind in the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes might be the most anticipated event of the weekend.
Easily the biggest race so far in 2016, the Grade 1 Pacific Classic August 20 at Del Mar features champions California Chrome and Beholder along with multiple grade 1 winner Dortmund in a thrilling matchup of older horses.
With a full field of 13 gathered for the 157th renewal of the $1 million Queen's Plate Sunday, July 3 at Woodbine, the once-beaten Amis Gizmo is tabbed as the one to to beat at odds of 3/1 despite drawing post 10 against a competitive group of three year-olds.
On Saturday at Santa Anita, the featured race is the $100,000 Affirmed Stakes. Restricted to three-year-olds, the Grade 3 contest will be held at a mile and a sixteenth on the main track and has drawn a field of five colts.
The field, along with morning line odds, has been set for the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 11 at Belmont Park. The mile and a half contest, known as the Grade 1 “Test of Champions”, has drawn a field of thirteen colts and geldings.
With improbable longshots like Sarava, Da’ Tara, Drosselmeyer, and Ruler on Ice winning the Belmont Stakes in the new millennium, it’s difficult to blame handicappers looking for a fat price in the 2016 renewal slated for June 11.
On Saturday at Santa Anita, the featured race is the $200,000 Snow Chief Stakes which will highlight the state’s successful breeding program. Limited to three-year-olds sired by a California-based stallion, the mile and an eighth turf contest has drawn a field of six colts and geldings.