LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 24, 2020) – Throughout the year, the NTRA will provide a guide to the best stakes races in North America and beyond. Races are listed in chronological order (all times Eastern). Full previews when available can be found through the link for each race.
TVG will be live on site at Del Mar covering a loaded weekend of racing featuring seven stakes races from Friday through Sunday including the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap, which will feature 2019 Eclipse Award winner Maximum Security in his first start since joining the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
On Saturday morning, international racing fans can also tune into TVG to watch champion Enable (GB) make a bid for a historic third win in the Group 1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes from Ascot. The race is scheduled for 10:35 a.m. ET. The King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes is part of the “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series and the winner will earn an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
TVG will also be broadcasting racing from Gulfstream Park, Laurel Park, Monmouth Park and more all weekend.
Saratoga Live, the critically-acclaimed and award-winning television program, will feature more than 210 hours of live programming from Saratoga, which runs through September 7. Saratoga Live will appear each racing day beginning at 1 p.m. ET on FOX Sports and MSG Networks and offer full-card coverage of a Saratoga meet offering. The daily schedule can be found at https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/tv-schedule.
Friday July 24
5:46 p.m.—$100,000 Grade 3 Quick Call Stakes at Saratoga Race Course on FS2
A field of eight sophomore colts will assemble for the 11th running of the Quick Call going 5 ½ furlongs over the Mellon turf. Trainer Doug O’Neill will send out three-time stakes winner Fore Left for as he searches for his first triumph on grass. The bay son of Twirling Candy last raced when finishing a distant ninth in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes to Tiz the Law, which came after a victory in the Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. Fore Left has recorded one start over grass, which came in the Grade 3 Cecil DeMille on December 1 at Del Mar at the distance of one mile.
Saturday July 25
2:03 p.m.—$125,000 Grade 3 Marine Stakes at Woodbine on TVG
A key prep on the road to this year’s Queen’s Plate, the 1 1/16-mile main track Marine has attracted some noteworthy Canadian-breds hoping for a spot in the Plate starting gate. John Oxley’s homebred Lucky Curlin chases his second straight win, this time in the Marine, after a sharp score on June 14 at Woodbine. The Mark Casse trainee, in his ninth career start and first test on the Toronto oval Tapeta, rallied from fifth at the stretch call of the seven-furlong race to win by a length under Kazushi Kimura.
2:18 p.m.—$200,000 Grade 2 Ballston Spa Stakes at Saratoga Race Course on FS2
Champion Sistercharlie (IRE) will kick off her 2020 campaign in the 32nd running of the Ballston Spa for older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles over the Mellon turf course. Trained by Chad Brown and owned by Peter Brant, Sistercharlie has put together a sensational record that includes seven Grade 1 triumphs while boasting $3,662,003 in lifetime earnings. In 2018, the daughter of Myboycharlie (IRE) earned the Eclipse Award for Champion Turf Female after winning all four of her Grade 1 efforts that year. She has not raced since November, finishing third to Iridessa (IRE) in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita.
4:53 p.m.—$125,000 Grade 3 Selene Stakes at Woodbine on TVG
Ten Broeck Farm’s Owlette, a bay daughter of Frac Daddy, goes after her fourth Woodbine stakes crown in the Selene. The Wesley Ward trainee took last year’s Shady Well and Victorian Queen, and then added another stakes title to her record with a win in this year’s Star Shoot on June 13. Owlette will be tested by six other rivals, including the Casse trio of American Tap, Diamond Sparkles, and Two Sixty.
6:16 p.m.—$250,000 Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga Race Course on FS1
Six-time graded stakes-winner Whitmore will return to historic Saratoga Race Course for the first time since winning the 2018 Grade 1 Forego when the veteran son of Pleasantly Perfect looks to notch his third consecutive victory in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt on Saturday. Whitmore enters the Vanderbilt off back-to-back wins in the Hot Springs – which he captured for the fourth consecutive time – and a three-quarter length score last out in the Grade 3 Count Fleet Sprint in April at Oaklawn Park. Among those he will face is Mr. Amore Stable’s Firenze Fire, who has four wins in his last five starts dating to November.
9 p.m.—$150,000 Grade 2 San Clemente Stakes at Del Mar on TVG
The likely favorite in the $150,000 San Clemente is Gary Barber’s Laura’s Light, a bay daughter of Constitution who has won four of her six lifetime starts and comes into the turf test off a tally in the Grade 3 Honeymoon Stakes at Santa Anita on May 30. Laura’s Light’s chief rivals appear to be a pair of stakes winners in Benjamin and Sally Warren’s Warren’s Showtime, who’ll be handled by regular rider Jorge Velez, and the Florida shipper Cheermeister, who is owned by Teresa and David Palmer and gets the saddle services of Victor Espinoza.
9:30 p.m.—$150,000 Grade 2 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on TVG
The presence of champion Maximum Security didn’t deter the connections of six other horses from entering for the 79th running of the 1 1/16-mile main track event that has often served as a stepping stone to the Grade 1 Pacific Classic. Maximum Security, a 4-year-old son of New Year’s Day, enters the race with eight wins in 10 starts and earnings of $11.8 million dollars. Last year the bay colt was first under the wire before becoming the first disqualification in Kentucky Derby history, but posted three subsequent wins to secure the Eclipse Award as 3-year-old champion. In his only 2020 start, Maximum Security won the inaugural $20 million Saudi Cup on February 29 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Sunday July 26
4:23 p.m.—$125,000 Grade 3 Seagram Cup Stakes at Woodbine on TVG
Grade 2 Eclipse Stakes winner Skywire, runner-up Avie’s Flatter, and third-place finisher Mr Ritz will reunite when they square off in Sunday’s Seagram Cup Stakes. Trainer Josie Carroll will look to win her second straight Seagram crown when she sends out a pair of multiple stakes winners in Avie’s Flatter and Mr Ritz, who took last year’s running of the 1 1/16-mile main track race for three-year-olds and upward. The graded stakes victors meet up again with four-year-old Skywire, the Mark Casse trainee who pulled off a 17-1 upset in the Eclipse on July 4 at Woodbine.
5:46 p.m.—$150,000 Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga Race Course on FS2
Harrell Ventures’ two-time stakes winner Halladay has done nothing but improve in his last two starts and will attempt to maintain his good form when taking on five others, including four stakes winners, in Sunday’s 61st running of the Bernard Baruch for 3-year-olds and upward over the inner turf. Trained by Todd Pletcher, who saddled Dominus to a Bernard Baruch score in 2012, Halladay arrives at Sunday’s test off a gate-to-wire triumph in the Sunshine Forever over a firm turf at Gulfstream Park, where he registered a career-best 103 Beyer Speed Figure over eventual Grade 1-winner Aquaphobia and stablemate Social Paranoia, who won the Grade 3 Poker at Belmont Park two starts later.
8:30 p.m.—$200,000 Grade 2 Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar on TVG
Multiple graded stakes winner United aims to keep his recent hot streak going when he heads up a field of seven entered in the Eddie Read Stakes going 1 1/8-miles on the turf. Trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, United is 2-for-2 thus far in 2020 having earned victories in the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes and the Grade 2 Charlie Whittingham Stakes. The Giant’s Causeway gelding has not been worse than third in his last seven starts and fell just a head short of eventual Horse of the Year Bricks and Mortar in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Turf.