It was a relatively quiet week of graded stakes action this week - anticipation of the Breeders' Cup in just a couple of weeks is reaching a fever pitch! The majority of the action took place at Keeneland in Lexington Kentucky with one race taking place at the site of this year's Breeders' Cup Santa Anita. Let's take a look.
While the older horses have taken turns beating each other throughout the year they represent a formidable and competitive group that should make the 1 1/4-mile Classic the signature event of the weekend.
The Mile, the penultimate race on the Saturday card, is set to mark the return of 2011 Kentucky Derby winner ANIMAL KINGDOM, who has not started since winning an optional claimer at Gulfstream February 18.
While the Classic is sure to bring a rousing end to the weekend, the most highly anticipated Breeders' Cup race could take place Friday with the $2 million Ladies' Classic. Run at 1 1/8 miles, the Ladies' Classic is shaping up as one of the best renewals ever, with a championship surely lying in the balance.
The $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf, run at 1 1/2 miles, is expected to lure POINT OF ENTRY, who has won five in a row and three straight grade 1's; the Man 'o War at Belmont in July, Sword Dancer (GI) at Saratoga in August and "Win and You're In" Turf Classic at Belmont September 29.
Each year the 2-year-olds bring a certain air of excitement to the Breeders' Cup, with the present meshing with thoughts of the future and this year should be no different as both the 1 1/16-mile Grey Goose Juvenile and Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies are loaded with untapped potential.
The Grade 2 Lexus Raven Run Stakes comes our way this Saturday, October 20 from Keeneland in Lexington Kentucky. Three year old fillies will be featured as they dash seven furlongs on Keeneland's main track in search of their portion of the $250,000 purse.
Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California will be the scene of the Grade 3 Senator Ken Maddy Stakes this Saturday, October 20. Fillies and mares three years old and upwards will be featured in this 6 1/2 furlong dash on Santa Anita's turf track as they chase their share of the $100,000 purse.