2020 Top Stakes Races for the Week – September 28th Edition

The Preakness Stakes, the final jewel of the Triple Crown, takes place on Saturday. But the Preakness isn’t the only huge race on Oct. 3. Belmont Park runs the Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational over the turf. Keeneland Racetrack in Lexington, Kentucky runs four Grade 1 races, including the Shadwell Turf Mile. Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds for the Top Stakes Races of the Week for Saturday, October 3. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.

Horse Racing Odds & Picks for Top Stakes Races of the Week ( Sept. 28th)

Top Stakes Races for the Week

  • When: Saturday, Oct. 3

Saturday, Oct. 3 Horse Races

Belmont Park

  • Grade 2 Kelso Handicap – 1 mile dirt – $150,000
  • Grade 2 Gallant Bloom – 6 ½ furlongs – $150,000
  • Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational – 1 ¼ miles turf – $250,000
  • Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic – 1 ½ miles turf – $250,000

Complexity and Code of Honor are signed on for the Kelso Handicap. Code of Honor won last year’s Travers Stakes. He’s shortening up from 1 1/8 miles. If he’s ready to go a mile, Code of Honor should be tough to beat.

Horseplayers are going to find it hard to find a winner in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom. Mia Mischief figures to go off the favorite. To win, Mischief must best Royal Charlotte, Newly Minted, Reagan’s Edge, Come Dancing, Unique Factor . . . you get the idea. 

Chad Brown trained Domestic Spending could go off the odds on favorite to win the Belmont Derby Invitational on Saturday. Grade 2 winner Pixelate will garner some play and so will Cristophe Clement runner Gufo. 

Sadler’s Joy, Highland Sky, Cross Border, and Channel Maker have fought each other all year long. The second-tier graded stakes turf runners go at each other again in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic. Don’t be surprised if Master Piece goes off the favorite, though. Chad Brown trains the newcomer to New York’s turf distance division.

Keeneland Racecourse

  • Grade 1 Thoroughbred Club of America – 6 furlongs dirt – $200,000
  • Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes – 1 mile turf – $750,000
  • Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity – 1 1/16 miles dirt – $400,000
  • Grade 1 First Lady – 1 mile turf – $350,000

If Mia Mischief doesn’t run in the Gallant Bloom, she figures to run in the Thoroughbred Club Of America. The Grade 1 race has a bigger purse. Spicedperfection, last year’s winner, could show up to defend her title. 

Grade 1 Fourstardave winner Halladay merits top billing to win the Shadwell Turf Mile. Todd Pletcher trains while Halladay has won 3 of his last 4. Although other trainers have yet to say if they will run in the Shadwell, expect plenty of competition to show up to challenge Halladay.

Sittin’ On Go should get plenty of attention to win the Breeders’ Futurity. The Dale Romans trained runner broke his maiden in the Grade 3 Iroquois. The highly regarded son of Brody’s Cause could prove something special if he wins a couple of graded races in his first two lifetime starts.

No word yet on which top filly and mare grass milers will contest the First Lady. Juliet Foxtrot, last year’s second-place finisher, figures to give it a shot. 6-year-old mare Uni, who beat the boys to win the Breeders’ Cup Mile last November, could show up to defend her title. 

Santa Anita Park

  • Grade 2 City of Hope – 1 mile turf – $200,000

Alert Bay, Vyjack, Sharp Samurai, and True Valor are the last 5 winners of the Grade 2 City of Hope at Santa Anita. Of the four, there’s a chance both Sharp Samurai and True Valor show up on Saturday to run in this year’s City of Hope. Both horses remain active. 

Pimlico Racecourse

  • Grade 1 Preakness Stakes – 1 3/16 miles dirt – $1.5 million

With Tiz the Law scratching, Authentic has become a +125 chalk to win the Preakness Stakes. Right now, the Derby winner looks unbeatable. Art Collector and Authentic’s stablemate, Thousand Words, will look to upset him. So will Swiss Skydiver, the second-place finisher in the Kentucky Oaks. We’ll have a full write up on the race later this week! 

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