Kaigun Goes Against Tough Company in Belmont Grade I Stakes
Category : News
Fri 06/06/2014 - 12:00 EDT
Ontario-bred Kaigun, a 2013 Queen's Plate runner, will take on some of the very best turf horses on the Belmont Stakes undercard.
Longshot Kaigun will be carrying the lone Ontario hopes on the Belmont Stakes undercard this Saturday, when he goes up against nine others in the $1 million Grade I Knob Creek Manhattan Stakes, for horses aged four and up going 1 1/4 miles on the Belmont turf course. A five-year-old gelding from Northern Afleet and trained by Mark Casse, Kaigun didn’t show much last year when finishing seventh in the Queen’s Plate Trial at Woodbine and following that up with a ninth spot in the Plate itself, both run on the polytrack.
Kaigun has almost beat the best since going to turf
Since switching to turf, however, he has had some promising results, including a close 3/4 length runner-up finish to two-time horse of the year Wise Dan in the Grade I Maker’s 46 Mile Stakes at Keeneland in April, where he went off at odds of 37-1. For the Knob Creek, he has been listed at 15-1 in the morning line, and will break from post #9 under jockey Alan Garcia. Breaking from the very inside post is lukewarm second ML choice Imagining (7-2), who comes into this off a win in the Grade I Man O’ War stakes run on Belmont’s inner turf course in May.
Wide open race offers some good betting possibilites
In what could be a very lucrative betting race, the favorite at 3-1 is Seek Again, winner of the very last Hollywood Derby in December, and most recently runner-up in the Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes at Churchill, where, like Kaigun, he came within a head of upsetting superstar Wise Dan. Co-third choice at 5-1 is the Irish-bred Grandeur, who has made a career of hopping back and forth across the pond to challenge top North American turfers in graded-stakes events. After running off a string of three wins in four UK starts, he came back to Belmont in May to run third in the Grade I Man O’ War behind Imagining and Real Solution, also 5-1 for the Knob Creek.
Players trying to look beyond prohibitive favorite Tepin in the September 17 Woodbine Mile will surely have their work cut out for them as the superstar mare tackles seven rivals on the grass.
The second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown goes Tuesday night from Fort Erie race track, where Sir Dudley Digges will try to take another step toward Canadian racing history.
On Sunday, Woodbine will host the $1 million Queen’s Plate Stakes, Canada’s most prestigious race. Restricted to horses foaled in Canada, the classic mile and a quarter contest has drawn a field of thirteen three-year-olds.
A spectacular card of graded stakes action has been assembled for Saturday at Belmont Park and the $1 million Ogden Phipps is shaping up to be one of the most competitive races of the day. The Grade 1 event for fillies and mares will be contested at a mile and a sixteenth.