LEXINGTON, Ky. (October 25, 2019) – Each week, 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.
Graded stakes action is light one week out from the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park November 1-2, but Saturday’s Belmont Park card offers a big name in the form of multiple Grade 1 winner Maximum Security. The son of New Year’s Day is set to make his first start since winning the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational Stakes when he faces older horses in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap. The Keeneland Fall Meet also comes a close on Saturday with a 10-race card highlighted by the Grade 2 Fayette Stakes.
Saturday October 26
4:40 p.m.—$200,000 Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont Park on FS2 and TVG
Gary and Mary West’s multiple Grade 1 winner Maximum Security will make his Belmont Park debut in the Bold Ruler, a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and upward. Trained by Jason Servis, the New Year’s Day colt has crossed the wire first in six of seven career starts, including Grade 1 scores in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park in March and the Haskell Invitational last out on July 20 at Monmouth Park. With victories ranging from six furlongs to 1 1/8-miles, the versatile Maximum Security returns to a sprint distance for the first time since an 18 ¼-length score in a seven-furlong optional-claimer at Gulfstream on February 20. The sophomore colt had to scratch from the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby due to a bout of colic.
5:30 p.m.—$200,000 Grade 2 Fayette Stakes at Keeneland on TVG
Gary Broad’s California-based Core Beliefs and Wayne T. Davis’ Louisiana-based Mocito Rojo are the 123-pound highweights for the Fayette Stakes on closing day of the Keeeland Fall Meet. Trained by Peter Eurton, Core Beliefs won the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap at Fair Grounds in March. In his past two starts, the 4-year-old Quality Road colt was sixth in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita and fourth in the Grade 2 San Diego. In those races, he faced the likes of Breeders’ Cup Classic pre-entrants Catalina Cruiser, Higher Power, Mongolian Groom and Vino Rosso.
6:45 p.m.—$100,000 Grade 3 Autumn Miss Stakes at Santa Anita Park on TVG
Hidden Message, Mucho Unusual, Giza Goddess and Solent head a deep and competitive field of 12 sophomore fillies going a flat mile on turf in the Autumn Miss Stakes at Santa Anita. With the three out of the top four fillies having last met in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks Aug. 17, the Simon Callaghan-trained Hidden Message, who rallied to be a close second in what was her U.S. debut, may rate top billing.
Sunday October 27
5:02 p.m.—$125,000 Grade 3 Grey Stakes at Woodbine on TVG
Nine 2-year-olds, including Torres Del Paine and Bel Bimbo, are set to go postward in the Grey Stakes, at Woodbine. Trained by Graham Motion, Torres Del Paine, will make his first start outside of the U.S. when he loads into the gate for the 1 1/16-mile main track Grey Stakes. The New York-bred Torres Del Paine, who has a record of 1-1-1 from four lifetime starts, heads into Sunday’s added-money affair off a narrow loss to Irish Mias, another Motion trainee, in the Laurel Futurity on September 21.