Things are heating up for horseplayers as cooler temperatures roll in and leaves begin to change colors. We’re just three weeks away from the two day Breeders’ Cup Championships at Santa Anita and just one week away from the Maryland Million at Laurel Park. Don’t ignore this weekend though — Keeneland heads into its second weekend of fall action and the field of their featured Saturday stakes race includes a Virginia-bred!
Queen Caroline, winner of three consecutive stakes and four races overall, is entered in the Grade I, $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, scheduled for 5:30 PM as the 9th race on the card. Owner Amy Moore’s 3 year old Blame filly will face 8 other challengers in the 9 furlong stakes. Bred by Morgan’s Ford Farm, Queen Caroline broke her maiden May 21st at Pimlico then reeled off wins in the Nellie Mae Cox Stakes at Pimlico June 25th, the TaWee Stakes July 20th at Indiana Grand, and in the Indiana Grand Stakes September 7th. She enters Saturday’s race with $255,130 in earnings this year. The Michael Matz trainee is out of Queens Plaza by Forestry.
Belmont has a pair of $200,000 graded stakes this weekend for freshmen. The Futurity Stakes is Saturday at 2:01 PM (Race 3) and the Matron Stakes, for 2 year old fillies, is Sunday at 2:34 PM (Race 4). Belmont’s other stakes is the $200,000 Pebbles, which features a field of 14 going one mile on the grass at 4:46 PM (Race 8) Saturday.
Woodbine offers a pair of Grade I stakes on Sunday — the $1,000,000 Pattison Canadian International and the $500,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes. The former is for fillies and mares, 3 & up at 10 furlongs, and the latter is for 3 & up at 12 furlongs. Post times are 4:56 PM and 5:40 PM.
Harness fans have lots of action as well to wager on this weekend. The $1,000,000 Yonkers International Trot will be held Saturday afternoon at 3:30 PM as the 6th race on the Yonkers card. Their first race begins at 1:10 PM. Both 2 and 3 year old championships of the Ontario and Indiana Sire Stakes will be held at Mohawk and Hoosier respectively Saturday too. Each track will host 8 of those stakes for pacer and trotters of both sexes.
Virginia residents can wager all the action via one of three on line betting partner companies — TVG.com, XPressBet.com and TwinSpires.com. If you are new to racing, be sure to check out those three sites because most have great bonus offers tied into the upcoming Breeders’ Cup that are available to new customers.