Fields Coming Together for Belmont Stakes Racing Festival

Fields Coming Together for Belmont Stakes Racing Festival

Divisidero and World Approval, the 1-2 finishers in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. I), will likely meet again in the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Stakes (gr. I) on June 11th at Belmont Park. Coady Photography

One of the biggest weeks of the year in Thoroughbred horse racing is Belmont Stakes (gr. I) week at Belmont Park, which has grown in size and prestige in recent years to become a three-day event known as the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival. On May 31st, the New York Racing Association released the early probable starters for several of the races, including the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) and the Manhattan Stakes (gr. I). From the NYRA, here are the early fields:

(Past performances for all of the nominees can be viewed on the Equibase website. Click on any race name below to view the past performances for that race.)

Friday, June 10

Grade 2, $500,000 New York, fillies & mares 4 years old and up, 1 ¼ miles, turf: Guapaza, Havana Moon, Photo Call, Sea Calisi, Songoficeandfire, Trophee.

Grade 2, $250,000 True North, 4-year-olds and up, 6 furlongs: Dads Caps, Holy Boss, Joking, Private Zone.

Saturday, June 11

Grade 2, $500,000 Woody Stephens, 3-year-olds, seven furlongs: Counterforce, Dig Deep, I Will Score, King Kranz, Mrazek, Tom’s Ready. Questionable: Quijote, Sharp Azteca.

Grade 1, $1.25 million Mohegan Sun Metropolitan Handicap, 3-year-olds and up, one mile: Anchor Down, Blofeld, Frosted, Marking, Mshawish, Noble Bird, Sloane Avenue, Tamarkuz, Upstart. Questionable: Ami’s Flatter.

Grade 1, $1 million Woodford Reserve Manhattan, 4-year-olds and up, 1 ¼ miles, turf: Divisidero, Grand Tito, Ironicus, Slumber, World Approval. Questionable: Oathkeeper.

Grade 1, $1 million Ogden Phipps, fillies and mares 4 years old and up, 1 1/16 miles: Carrumba, Cavorting, Curalina, Stopchargingmaria, Unbridled Forever. Questionable: By the Moon, Sheer Drama.

Grade 1, $700,000 Longines Just a Game, fillies and mares 4-years-old and up, one mile, turf: Celestine, Irish Rookie, Lexie Lou, Mrs McDougal, Rainha da Bateria, Recepta. Questionable: Maimara, Tapitry.

Grade 1, $700,000 Acorn, 3-year-old fillies, one mile: Carina Mia, Cathryn Sophia, Go Maggie Go, Paola Queen.

Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes, 3-year-olds, 1 ½ miles: Brody’s Cause, Cherry Wine, Creator, Exaggerator, Destin, Governor Malibu, Lani, Suddenbreakingnews. [Stradivari and Wild About Deb are also under consideration.]

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Follow J. Keeler Johnson ("Keelerman"):

J. Keeler Johnson is a writer, blogger, videographer, and all-around horse racing enthusiast who was drawn to the sport by Curlin's quest to become North America's richest racehorse. A great fan of racing history, he considers Dr. Fager to be the greatest racehorse ever produced in America, but counts Zenyatta as his all-time favorite. He lives in Wisconsin and also writes for the blog Unlocking Winners.

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