This weekend, graded Breeders’ Cup prep races happen at both Santa Anita Park and Belmont Park. At Santa Anita, the action starts on Friday with the Grade 1 American Pharoah Stakes. On Saturday, the Great Race Place runs grade one races the Rodeo Drive and the Awesome Again. Over at Belmont Park, the Grade 1 Champagne and Grade 1 Woodward happen on Saturday while the Grade 1 Frizette takes place on Sunday. Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds for the Top Stakes Races of the Week from Friday, October 1st to Sunday, October 3rd. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.
Horse Racing Odds & Picks September 27th Edition
Santa Anita Park – Friday, Oct. 1
- Grade 1 American Pharoah Stakes – 1 1/16 miles dirt – $300,000
Bob Baffert will enter three, Corniche, Rockefeller, and Pine Hurst. Although American Pharoah’s trainer will have three runners, Richard Mandella trained Forbidden Kingdom should go off the chalk. The American Pharoah sired runner easily disposed of his opponents in his first lifetime race. Among the Baffert runners, Medaglia D’Oro sired runner Rockefeller might be best.
Belmont Park – Saturday, Oct. 2
- Grade 1 Champagne Stakes – 1 mile dirt – $500,000
The top two finishers in the Grade 1 Hopeful resume their burgeoning rivalry in the Champagne Stakes. Steve Asmussen trained Gunite beat Wit from the Todd Pletcher barn to win the Hopeful. Into Mischief sired and Pletcher trained Mr. Prankster will also garner attention. As will Chad Brown trained Jack Cristopher.
- Grade 1 Woodward Stakes – 1 1/8 miles dirt – $500,000
Grade 1 Whitney second-place finisher Maxfield should go off the chalk to win the Woodward. Claude McGaughey puts the saddle on Code of Honor, the 2019 Travers Stakes winner. Both Forza Di Oro and Dr. Post disappointed in their last races. Don’t discount either runner’s chances, though. Forza Di Oro, especially, could have a bounce back performance.
Santa Anita Park – Saturday, Oct. 2
- Grade 1 Rodeo Drive Stakes – 1 ¼ miles turf – $300,000
Only three runners have so far confirmed for the Rodeo Drive. All three will have a shot. Richard Mandella puts the saddle on Dogtag. The War Front sired five-year-old mare finished second in both the Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon and Grade 2 John C. Mabee at Del Mar. Crystalle, trained by Peter Miller, will be looking for a bounce back performance after finishing fifth in the CTT and TOC Stakes in her last. Going to Vegas from the Richard Baltas barn should go off the favorite. Vegas won both the Yellow Ribbon and the John C. Mabee.
- Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes – 1 1/8 miles dirt – $300,000
Bob Baffert decided not to run Medina Spirit in the Pennsylvania Derby. Instead, Spirit will prep for the Classic in the Awesome Again Stakes. The 2021 Kentucky Derby winner should face Pacific Classic winner Tripoli, P. Classic runner-up Tizamagician, stablemate Laurel River, Express Train from the John Shirreff’s barn, and Idol.
Belmont Park – Sunday, Oct. 3
- Grade 1 Frizette Stakes – 1 mile dirt – $400,000
Connections for at least eight horses will enter their charges in the Grade 1 Frizette. Steve Asmussen trained and undefeated Grade 1 Spinaway winner Echo Zulu figures to go off the chalk. Todd Pletcher trained Jester Calls Nojoy should garner some backing. So will Juju’s Map from the Brad Cox barn.
Santa Anita Park – Sunday, Oct. 3
- Grade 2 Zenyatta Stakes – 1 1/16 miles dirt – $200,000
As of Sep. 27, only Peter Miller trained Samurai Charm and Bob Baffert three-year-old filly Private Mission are confirmed for the Zenyatta Stakes. Expect a full field to enter, though. The Zenyatta is one of the few remaining prep races for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.