This past Saturday on May 1, Churchill Downs ran the Kentucky Derby. As you might expect, tracks throughout the nation ran stakes races on Derby Day. But that doesn’t mean there’s no stakes action this Saturday on May 8. Belmont Park runs 5 graded stakes while Santa Anita Park runs the Grade 3 Santa Barbara Stakes.
Top Stakes Races for the Week: Belmont Has 5 Stakes Races on May 8
Belmont Park – Saturday, May 8
- Grade 3 Beaugay Stakes – 1 1/16 miles turf – $150,000
Some serious four-year-old fillies and mares will step onto Belmont’s grass for the Grade 3 Beaugay. Feel Glorious, Call Me Love, Nay Lady Nay, and Civil Union are all major players. The chalk could go off at 3-to-1 or 7-to-2, which tells us the Beaugay will be a competitive race.
- Grade 3 Runhappy Stakes – 6 furlongs dirt – $150,000
So far, connections for four horses have said they will contest the 6 furlong Runhappy Stakes on Saturday. Trainer John Terranova saddles Stan the Man, Kelly Breen will race Firenze Fire, David Duggan will run Drafted, and scorching Rob Atras, he was winning at 36% at Belmont as of May 1, plans on entering Chateau.
- Grade 3 Vagrancy Handicap – 6 ½ furlongs dirt – $150,000
The 6 ½ furlong Vagrancy Handicap is setting up as one of the most contentious stakes races on Belmont’s card. Even though Honor Way and Frank’s Rockette resume their rivalry, contenders aren’t shying away from the likely favorites. Shyza, Victim of Love, Sadie Lady, Piedi Bianchi, Kiss the Girl, and Pacific Gale will also run.
- Grade 3 Peter Pan Stakes – 1 1/8 miles dirt – $200,000
The top prep for the June 5 Belmont Stakes should attract a solid group. Risk Taking, Weyburn, Overtook, and Promise Keeper will garner the most action. Tom Albertrani may run Ghostzapper sired Wolfie’s Dynaghost. Expect other three-year-olds to show up, including, possibly, Bob Baffert trained Bezos
- Grade 1 Man O’ War Stakes – 1 3/8 miles turf – $700,000
The usual group of top-class grass runners will break from the starting gate in the first of this summer’s major turf races. The Man O’War should attract Brad Cox trained Arklow, consistent contender Sadler’s Joy, Channel Cat, Cristophe Clement trained Gufo, Sovereign, Moon Over Miami, and Ziyad among others.
Santa Anita Park – Saturday, May 8
- Grade 3 Santa Barbara Stakes – 1 ½ miles on turf – $100,000
Richard Baltas trained Going to Vegas could go off the chalk in the Grade 3 Santa Barbara Stakes. The Goldencents sired runner won the Grade 3 Santa Ana Stakes at 1 ¼ miles in her last. Mike McCarthy trained Go Big Blue Nation, Catch the Eye, and Carpe Vinum are other contenders.