By Richard Rosenblatt
If you love betting on turf races, this is your weekend to excel, with the final day of the Royal Ascot meet, and no less than five graded stakes on the turf at Santa Anita, Monmouth Park and Belmont Park.
The fifth and final day at Royal Ascot kicks off Saturday’s racing coverage, with NBCSN once again broadcasting live from the racecourse in Berkshire, England.
The feature is the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes with a field of 14 going 6 furlongs over a course that could be soft due to a 50% chance of rain.
Starman is the 5-2 favorite with a 4-for-5 record including a win in the Group 2 Duke of York on May 12. The 4-year-old colt is trained by Ed Walker. Other top choices include Dream of Dreams and Nahaarr. Dream Of Dreams finished second by a head in each of the last two editions of the Diamond Jubilee.
Post time for the Diamon Jubilee is 11:20 a.m. ET.
Fox Sports’ FS2, America’s Day at the Races, will have live racing coverage all weekend, featuring Belmont and Churchill Downs, along with Canterbury Downs. TVG also has a weekend full of live racing.
FS2 has racing scheduled on Saturday from 12:30-6 p.m. and Sunday from 12:30-6 p.m.
The turf lineup includes:
On Saturday at Belmont, there’s the New York Stallion Stakes series featuring the $150,000 Spectacular Bid for 3-year-olds and the $150,000 Cupecoy’s Joy for 3-year-old fillies.
At Santa Anita, it’s the $100,000 San Juan Capistrano (G3) for 3-year-olds and up and the $150,000 Snow Chief for California breds.
On Sunday, it’s the $250,000 Poker Stakes (G3) at 1 mile at Belmont; the $150,000 Eatontown (G3) at 1 1/16 miles at Monmouth; and the $100,000 Wilshire (G3) at 1 mile for fillies & mares and the $100,000 American Stakes (G3) at 1 mile for 3-year-olds on closing day at Santa Anita.
A closer look
SANTA ANITA PARK
$100,000 San Juan Capistrano, 1 ¾ miles, turf, 3 and up
Post time: 9:29 p.m. (race 11)
The 81st edition of this turf marathon has a field of six led by 7-year-old Acclimate, second in the 1 ¼-mile Charles Whittingham (xx) last time out for trainer Phil D’Amato.
The race will be run on the second-to-last day of the meet rather than its traditional spot on closing day Sunday.
Also entered are fellow Cal-breds Ward ’n Jerry, recent winner of an allowance marathon on turf, and Red King, last year’s San Juan Capistrano winner.
$150,000 Snow Chief, 1 1/8 miles, turf, 3-year-olds
Post time: 8:23 p.m. (race 9)
None Above the Law is the 9-5 favorite in a field of nine Cal-breds. Trained by Peter Miller, the gray gelding is going for his third win in a row. Found My Ball is the second choice at 7-2 for trainer Doug O’Neill.
$100,000 Wilshire Stakes (G3), 1 mile, turf, 3 and up fillies & mares
Post time: 8 p.m. (race 9)
Warren’s Showtime, trained by Craig Lewis, looks to turn the tables on Leggs Galore in a field of eight even though she’s 0-for-5 at the current meet.
Leggs Galore beat Warren’s Showtime by three-quarters of a length in the Fran’s Valentine last time out.
Warren’s Showtime has been a model of consistency, though, with a record of 6-2-9 from 19 career starts. Leggs Galore has won six of nine starts.
$100,000 American Stakes (G3), 1 mile, turf, 3 and up
Post time: 7 p.m. (race 7)
Afield of six is entered with Neptune’s Storm returning to the races for the first time since September, when he finished fourth in the Tourist Mile Stakes at Turfway Park. Now trained by Peter Miller, the 5-year-old gelding brings a 19-6-3-6 record into the race, including a win in the San Francisco Mile (G3) last summer.
$150,000 NYSS Spectacular Bid, 7 furlongs, turf, 3-year-olds
Post time: 5:12 p.m. (race 9)
A field of 13 New York breds is led by 3-1 favorite Step Dancer, trained by Barclay Tagg. The colt was third in an allowance optional claimer last time out.
Dreamer’s Disease (6-1) returns to the turf for trainer Robertino Diodoro after five straight races on dirt, including a sixth in the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).
$150,000 NYSS Cupecoy’s Joy, 7 furlongs, turf, 3-year-old fillies
Post time: 3:34 p.m. (race 6)
Ava’s Grace is the 5-2 favorite in a field of 11 New York breds. Trained by Robertino Diodoro, the filly comes into the race off a runner-up finish to Pauline’s Pearl in the Fantasy Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park on April 3.
$250,000 Poker Stakes (G3), 1 mile, turf, 4 and up
Post time: 5:12 p.m. (race 9)
Raging Bull takes a drop in class after running in 12 straight Grade 1’s for trainer Chad Brown. The 6-year-old Raging Bull has a record of 7-3-3 from 18 career starts and earnings of nearly $1.5 million.
Raging Bull won the Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) at Keeneland on April 9 in his 2021 debut.
$150,000 Eatontown Stakes (G3), 1 1/16 miles, turf, 3 and up fillies & mares
Post time: 5:02 p.m. (race 11)
A huge field of 16 is entered in the Monmouth feature, including trainer Chad Brown’s Nay Lady Nay and Counterparty Risk.