Nine turf sprinters are set to go in this year’s running of the $400,000 Jaipur Invitational Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park in an important Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” event for the Turf Sprint.
The fast-closing Disco Partner headlines the field after having won this event two years in a row, including setting a world-record time of 1:05.67 for 6 furlongs on turf in 2017. However, he will face his biggest challenge yet this year, thanks to superstar sprinter World of Trouble also running. The Jason Servis-trained horse has rattled off three straight victories to start 2019 and is 8-for-12 lifetime. Who comes out on top will come down to a battle of contrasting styles, with World of Trouble likely to be in the front of the field and Disco Partner taking his place toward the rear.
The winner of the Jaipur Invitational Stakes will receive an automatic position in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint Stakes (G1) this fall at Santa Anita Park. Pre-entry and entry fees will be paid and a nominator award of $10,000 will be given to the nominating person. Also, all Breeders’ Cup starters based outside of the state of California will receive a travel allowance of $10,000 if based in North America and $40,000 if based Internationally.
Here is a look at the entire field:
#1 Undrafted – At the age of 9, this gelding still runs as well as ever for trainer Wesley Ward. He has won 9 of 40 starts during his prolonged career, compiling earnings of over $1.5 million. He has twice competed in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint and won the 2014 Jaipur. This year, he was fourth in his only start, the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G2) at Churchill Downs.
#2 Om – He is no stranger to the, finishing second in the 2016 Turf Sprint (G1) and eighth in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1). This will be his second start in 2019 after a fifth-place finish in the Opening Verse Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs.
#3 Dirty – After winning the King T. Leatherbury Stakes at Laurel Park, his connections will try him at the graded level for the first time here. His victory last time out was his first against stakes company and his fourth overall in 12 lifetime races. His come-from-behind running style is usually effective at Belmont Park when sprinting on the grass.
#4 Gidu – It’s always tough to make your seasonal debut in a Grade 1 event, but that is exactly what Gidu will do here. The Zayat Stables-owned colt is best when sprinting on the turf and likely needed some time off after making nine starts against stakes foes in 2018. When last seen, he was fifth in December’s Mathis Brothers Mile Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park.
#5 Diamond Oops – He will jump into the deep end of the pool after just one race under his belt in 2019. That race came in the Crystal River Stakes at Gulfstream Park, where he finished third. This lightly-raced horse has had some injury problems over the last few years, running just twice since December 9, 2017.
For Picks and Specific Plays for this race and more, check out our Inside Track to the Belmont Stakes!
#6 Disco Partner – The big gray horse needs no introduction after winning the last two editions of this race in impressive fashion. This New York-bred has amassed nearly $1.4 million in earnings, but he must bounce back from a poor effort last time out in the Shakertown Stakes (G2) at Keeneland, where he finished ninth.
#7 Belvoir Bay – This world-class 6-year-old mare has run in big races around the world. She started 2019 by winning the Wishing Well Stakes at her home track of Santa Anita Park before shipping to Dubai and finishing a solid second in the Al Quoz Sprint Stakes (G1). Most recently, she returned to Santa Anita Park and was a close second in an off-turf edition of the Monrovia Stakes (G3).
#8 World of Trouble – He has become a sprinting monster on both turf and dirt. His wins in the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint Stakes, the Carter Handicap (G1), and the Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes (G2) have been nothing short of impressive. Last year, he narrowly lost the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint to Stormy Liberal, who ended up winning that race for the second straight year. World of Trouble seems to be the early favorite for this year’s edition.
#9 Wild Shot – His connections will give the turf a try after a pair of lackluster efforts to begin 2019. Two races back, he was fourth in an allowance/optional claiming race at Keeneland, then ran a well-beaten 11th in the Churchill Downs Stakes (G1) on Kentucky Derby Day. That was one of the toughest dirt sprints of the year, though, so this race could be considered a slight class drop.
The Jaipur Invitational Stakes serves as one of 10 stakes races on the loaded Belmont Stakes Day card. The track will also host two other Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Win and You’re In events on the day: the Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap (Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile) and the Ogden Phipps Stakes (Longines Distaff). The American-based Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” events continue on June 15 at Churchill Downs with two challenge races: the Stephen Foster (Classic) and the Fleur de Lis (Longines Distaff).