Graded stakes races are always lacking the weekend after a Triple Crown event. On Saturday, June 5, Essential Quality won the 2021 Belmont Stakes, which is why only a single graded race happens this week, the Grade 3 Affirmed. Although the Affirmed stands alone as the graded event, there are decent lower-level stakes races happening.
Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds for the Top Stakes Races of the Week from Saturday, June 12th to Sunday, June 13th. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.
Horse Racing Odds & Picks June 7th Edition
Top Stakes Races for the Week
- When: Saturday, June 12 – Sunday, June 13
Gulfstream Park – Saturday, June 12
- Ginger Punch Stakes – 1 1/16 miles turf – $75,000
This will be the third running of the Ginger Punch Stakes. In 2019, Supercommittee beat Midnight Soiree and Passion Plus. Kelsey’s Cross beat Crown Sugar and Picara to win the 2020 version. The top filly and grass running mares in the nation won’t enter the Ginger Punch Stakes’ starting gate, but that’s okay. Often, when the best in the nation don’t run, it makes for a more competitive race.
Belmont Park – Saturday, June 12
- Dancin’ Renee Stakes – 6 furlongs dirt – $100,000
Belmont didn’t run the Dancin’ Renee in 2020. Pent up demand could lead to a full field. Don’t be surprised if 8 or more talented 4-year-old fillies and mares to head to this year’s Dancin’ Renee starting gate. The $100,000 purse will also help attract talent. Holiday Disguise won the 2019 race. The 7-year-old mare remains active. Her connections could enter her on Saturday to defend her title.
Santa Anita Park – Saturday, June 12
- Thor’s Echo Stakes – 6 furlongs dirt – $100,000
Tiger Dad, Principe Carlo, and Desert Law finished first, second, and third in the 2020 Thor’s Echo Stakes. Desert Law won the race in 2019. Expect Tiger, Principe, and Law to run in this year’s race. Desert Law and Tiger Dad are geldings. So there’s no reason to retire either one of those horses. Principe Carlo is 5-years-old and remains active.
Santa Anita Park – Sunday, June 13
- Possibly Perfect Stakes – 1 ¼ miles turf – $75,000
Richard Mandella trained Dogtag won the 2020 Possibly Perfect Stakes. Dogtag is 4-years-old this year. Mandella probably won’t enter the runner. Even without Dogtag, make sure to pay attention to the winner of the 2021 Possibly Perfect. Huge turf races for 3-year-old and 4-year-old fillies happen at Del Mar starting in July. More than a few trainers will use the Possibly Perfect as a prep for one of the graded races at Del Mar.
- Grade 3 Affirmed Stakes – 1 1/16 miles dirt – $100,000
The lone graded stakes race of the week happens on Sunday. Two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiznow began his journey to superstardom with an Affirmed Stakes victory in 2000. Mucho Gusto won the race last year. Paco Lopez trained Came Home won it in 2002. Affirmed himself won the 1979 Triple Crown.
So far, connections for the The Chosen Vron, Law Professor, Airman, Stalking Shadow, Hockey Dad, Defunded, Mr. Impossible, and Classier are pointing to the Affirmed Stakes. Trainer Bob Baffert could a couple more in addition to Defunded and Classier. Baffert can’t run horses at Churchill Downs or Belmont Park. He may want to prep one or two more of his 3-year-olds in this.