It has been an excellent year of horse racing action to start 2021, but that only promises to continue as the action on the flat continues up until the end of the year.
Many eyes will already be on the Breeders’ Cup, but there are huge races across the globe that will capture the imagination before the races at Del Mar take place in November.
One of the best races in the United States that will be taking place in July will be the Belmont Derby. The race is a Grade 1, as horses compete on the turf over a distance of 1 1/4 miles. It is a hugely lucrative race for connections, as the purse in 2019 was set at $1 million, and this year’s renewal looks set to be another eye-catching affair.
It is worth mentioning that official entries are yet to be made, but speculation has already begun surrounding the horses that we could see at Belmont in July. Preakness Stakes winner Rombauer could be one of the more interesting horses that could line up in the race for trainer Michael McCarthy.
The three-year-old has certainly been one of the horses that have caught the eye throughout the Triple Crown, as he finished third in the Belmont Stakes after winning at Pimlico.
Du Jour could also head to Belmont for trainer Bob Baffert after winning his last two. He won G2 American Turf Stakes on his last start in early May at Churchill Downs. Hard Love is another that could head to Belmont after recently winning an allowance at the same track in early June.
Learn your state law before betting on horse races in the US. For example, if you are from Michigan you should check if horse racing is legal in Michigan state, so you don’t get in any trouble.
King George Stakes
It isn’t just in the United States where there will be enthralling action on the track. Royal Ascot may have recently ended, but the prestigious King George Stakes takes place at Ascot in late July, with connections looking to book their spot in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
The race is run over one mile and three furlongs, and is often an indicator as to which horse could target a strong run in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
One of the standout performers from Royal Ascot is at the top of the betting for the race, as Aidan O’Brien-trained Love returned to the track with a stunning display.
It was a first run as a four-year-old last time out, and was her season reappearance after winning the Epsom Oaks and 1,000 Guineas in 2020. She was excellent when winning the G1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes, and is a short favourite for the King George.
There will be an awful lot of talent in this race, though. One contender could come in the form of Mishriff for trainers John & Thady Gosden.
The four-year-old has already won the Saudi Cup and G1 Sheema Classic this season. St Mark’s Basilica makes the race very interesting, as he could return to Britain after winning the G1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains and G1 Qatar Prix du Jockey Club in France this season.
Breeders’ Cup Classic
The meeting that will have the eyes of the world on it later in the year will be the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar. The featured race of the meeting will be the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and a number of Triple Crown contenders are likely to be involved.
Essential Quality, for trainer Brad Cox, has already won at the Breeders’ Cup in the past, as the three-year-old won the Juvenile in 2020. However, this year, his sights will be set on the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
After coming up short in the Kentucky Derby, he bounced back by winning the Belmont Stakes. On that form, he will be exceptionally hard to beat.
Hot Rod Charlie came up short in the Triple Crown race and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile against Essential Quality, but there is no denying that there is talent when it comes to this three-year-old.
Tacitus hasn’t run in the United States this season but could return for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He was last seen when finishing 15 and a half lengths behind Mishriff in the Saudi Cup.