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.
Mighty Heart will attempt to become the first Canadian Triple Crown winner since Wando in 2003 when he runs in the Breeders’ Stakes at Woodbine on October 24. The 1 1/2-mile race drew a field of 12.
Six group 1 races top a brilliant card at Longchamp in Paris, France on Sunday, October 4, headed of course by the 2020 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. The great mare Enable is seeking to win her third Arc, a feat which has never been accomplished, after she ran second last year.
Free expert picks for the 2020 Woodbine Mile at Woodbine Racetrack on September 19. Preakness winner War of Will takes on unbeaten Shirl’s Speight in the one-mile turf race worth $1 million.
The 161st Queen’s Plate will be run September 12, 2020, after originally being scheduled for June. Clayton and Curlin’s Voyage are the favorites in a 14-horse field set to go 1 1/4 miles for $1 million.