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A field of seven is set to contest this year’s running of the Grade 1, $350,000 Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont Park. The race serves as a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” event for the TwinSpires Sprint on November 3 at Churchill Downs. Headlining the race is Imperial Hint, who finished second in last season’s Breeders’ Cup TwinSpires Sprint. This year, Imperial Hint has been solid once again and enters this race off of two straight solid victories. Two races back, he narrowly defeated Whitmore in the Grade 2 True North Stakes, and last time out was the best of his career when he turned the Grade 1 Vanderbilt Handicapinto a laughing stock. Javier Castellano has the mount once again on Imperial Hint, who has drawn post six.
“I was thinking that he was going to run a really good race, and I was hoping that he was going to win that race, but I never thought he was going to do it the way he did it,” Carvajal said. “It just amazed me the way he did it. I know he made it look easy. Javier said it made him look like a statue. That’s why I’m looking forward to Saturday; he’s training very, very well. He worked really good the other day, and hopefully he’ll perform the same way. He’s super. He’s doing great, and I’m looking forward to Saturday.”
The winner of the Vosburgh will receive an automatic position in the Breeders’ Cup TwinSpires Sprint this fall at Churchill Downs. Pre-entry and entry fees will be paid and a nominator award of $10,000 will be given to the person who nominated the foal or racehorse. Also, all Breeders’ Cup starters based outside of the state of Kentucky will receive a travel allowance of $10,000 if based in North America and $40,000 if based internationally.
The Grade 1 Vosburgh Stakesshares the Saturday card with three other stakes races, including two Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” events: The Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup (Classic) and the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (Longines Turf). The North American-based Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” events return on Friday, October 5 at Keeneland, and continue through the weekend at Keeneland, Belmont, and Santa Anita.
The full field from the rail out includes: Sightforsoreeyes, Maniacal, Forge, Mr. Crow, Silver Ride, Imperial Hint, and Still Krz.
#6 Imperial Hint – This horse ran too well to lose last year’s Breeders Cup TwinSpires Sprint but had to settle for second after being edged out late by Roy H. He has returned strong in 2018, winning three of his four starts, and his recent workouts suggest that he is ready to roll.
NONE – This is a one horse race. Imperial Hint is the most likely winner of the day.
#7 Still Krz – As mentioned earlier, a Grade 1 is a very tough spot to try graded stakes company for the first time, yet that is what Still Krz will do in his fifth overall start of the year. He has won two in a row, both in wire-to-wire fashion, but the bad news is that both of those efforts came against claiming company. He will go straight to the front with the goal of leading this field for as long as he can.
#4 Mr. Crow –The back-class on his resume could make him competitive in this tough spot, and he is no stranger to this sort of competition. Two races back, he competed in the Grade 1 Vanderbilt Handicap, finishing fourth to Imperial Hint by a little over 8 lengths. The horse has just one victory in five starts this season and is still searching for his first-ever stakes win.
NONE – It is hard to see anyone pulling the upset here. Imperial Hint looks way too good.
#5 Silver Ride – Last time out, this horse competed in his first-ever stakes race and ran well to finish a decent third in the $100,000 Tale of the Cat at Saratoga. The 6-year-old gelding seems to be running as well as ever, but he must step up his game even further here. While it’s a jump in class, this is not the toughest Grade 1 that you’ll ever see, which makes this a logical spot for him.
#3 Forge – There is no greater jump up in class than going from a claiming race to a Grade 1 event, but that is what Forge will do here after he finished fourth in a $50,000 claimer at Saratoga last time out. This will be his first start against stakes company as well, making this a really tough task. He got hot earlier in the year, reeling off three straight wins, but has since cooled off.
#2 Maniacal –Another horse that will be switching back to the dirt for this race after four straight starts on the lawn, the last time that he started on dirt was April 19 at Churchill Downs, where he defeated claiming company by 2 lengths. This will be his first-ever start in a Grade 1 event and just his second overall against graded company in his 16-race career.
#1 Sightforsoreeyes – Hemoves back to the dirt after running his last two races on turf. He makes his graded stakes debut in this spot, which is obviously not going to be easy, but owner Loooch Racing has never been afraid to take a shot. This horse has won four of 24 races lifetime, with his last victory coming at Prairie Meadows on June 13, 2017.
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