April 10 (UPI) – The 2020 international horse racing schedule continues to be highlighted by Coronavirus. The latest is a decision by British racing officials to postpone the uncertain dates of Investec Oaks and Derby and their main preliminaries, 2000 Guineas and 1000 Guineas.
The Oaks and Derby run on June 5 and 6; the Guineas, May 2 and 3. The English classics follow the Kentucky Derby line, have been rescheduled until September 5 from May 2.
Other races from the Triple Crown U.S. series, Preakness Stakes and Belmont bet, keep on air scheduling.
On a brighter note, Ascot Chief Executive Guy Henderson announced on Tuesday that he hopes Royal Ascot can run on June 16-20. But, even so, it will run without fans – maybe including His Majesty and other Royals.
A decision, said Henderson, would “depend on government and community health policies and the approval of [British Horseracing Authority] for us to start racing again. … Planning for this is now our full focus and we will update our progress when and when we can. “
Also this week, Churchill Downs announced it would delay the opening of backstretches for training. Churchill’s Arlington Park previously announced unlimited delays at the start of its race meeting starting on May 1.
With only a handful of world tracks still running, and those without fans in the stands, the weekend betting schedule looks back to thin.
On the U.S. front, the action is at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas, where Oaklawn Invitational on Saturday is an option for rescheduling (Arkansas finger!) Arkansas Arkansas reschedules. The Hot Springs Line also has a 1 mile event for old horses.
Australia and Japan shoulder the burden of Class 1 on the world.
Let’s enjoy what is offered:
Uncertainty about the Triple Crown race made everyone plan to air, but maybe no more than a five-time Kentucky Derby winner Bob Baffert.
With Blue Grass in Keeneland and Wood Memorial at Aqueduct both scratched and Santa Anita Derby only encouraging hope, Baffert has a warehouse full of Derby competitors and only limited opportunities to run it.
The $ 200,000 Oaklawn Invitational on Saturday is an option, while waiting for the Derby Derby, which has been suspended for May 2.
Even so, Baffert only has one of the 3-year-olds set for the Saturday race. Thousand Words, the pioneer of the Nile, started first outside California, where he lost his invincible status with a flat appearance, fourth place at San Felipe Level II in early March 7.
An early win at Class II Los Alamitos Futurity and Class III Robert B. Lewis was enough to make it a 5-2 favorite in the 13th field for Saturday’s slope.
Next in the oddsmaker estimation is Basin, a colt Liam’s Map trained by Steve Asmussen, who won the Class I Hope Stake at Saratoga last summer, took a long break and returned to finish third in the Class II Rebels in Oaklawn on March 14. The others seem to have a little more to prove.
Baffert told NBC Sports this week that two of his 3-year-old superstar ingredients, Nadal and Charlatan, could compete with the Arkansas Derby. The third Colt he gave the description, Authentic, was waiting for developments in California.
The $ 150,000 Oaklawn Mile on Saturday attracted 14 fields with Tom’s d’Etat, Improbable, and Mr. Money as a favorite morning-line.
Tom’s d’Etat, a 7-year-old boy from Smart Strike, ended his campaign in 2019 with a very high note, winning Grade II Fayette in Keeneland and Grade I Clark in Churchill Downs respectively. He only appeared as a betting runner at the age of 6 and just started his 17th career.
Who remembers that Improbable, colt City Zip, went to the post as a favorite at the Kentucky Derby last year? He finished fifth in the strange event, promoted to fourth with disqualification from Maximum Security.
He ended the year with a fifth place finish at the Breeders’ Cup Mile and made his debut in 2020, starting from the outside gate.
Mr. Money won the Derby Derby and West Virginia Derby last year, reportedly second in the Pennsylvania I Grade Derby and checked in seventh at the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Colt Goldencents also made his first start when he was 4 years old.
The Star Championship continues on Saturday night at Royal Randwick with four Group 1 events, which will run before the stands are empty.
The Longines Queen Elizabeth Bets at 2,000 meters attract not only many of Australia’s top names but also Danon Premium, one of the best in Japan. Danon Premium, a 5-year-old Deep Impact boy, has never raced since finishing second behind the Indy Champ at the Mile 1 Class Championship in Kyoto last November.
Last October, he came second after Almond Eye in Tenno Sho Class 1 (Autumn) and, overall, recorded six wins and two seconds from 10 matches started. James McDonald booked to ride for coach Mitsumasa Nakauchida.
The local contingent for the fearsome Queen Elizabeth, featuring people like the Lexus Cup winners Melbourne Vow and Declare, made the second start of the season; Several winners of Group 1 New Zealand and Te I Shark third from Cox Plate; Addeybb winners of Group 1 Ranvet recently; Tangred Group 1 Stake Winner Verry Elleegant; several winners of Group 1 Melody Belle; and 9-year-old winner, 12-time winner and former Winx Happy Clapper chaser.
Mustajeer is ranked 13th for the Schweppes Swiss Cup at an altitude of 3,200 meters. Medicean’s 7-year-old plot came out of second place on Tangred Stakes on March 28 behind only Verry Elleegant mentioned earlier.
The favorite possibility here, however, is Young Rascal, the first winner in the March 3 Group 3 event. Previously campaigning in England by coach William Haggas, he came to Australia after finishing ninth at the Hong Kong Group Longines Vas last December 1. The 5-year-old Intello heart is best remembered for winning Group 1 Chester Vase in 2018, the leading home of Dee Ex Bee and Hunting Horn.
Australian Oaks at an altitude of 2,400 meters features Shout the Bar and Probabeel, the first two finishes in Group 1 Vinery Stud on March 28. Probabeel also has a top level win over his credit. In Australia, “shouting at the bar” seems to mean “I pay for drinks for all.”
The Coolmore Legacy bet at 1,600 meters will have a complete starting gate. Noteworthy is Nettoyer, a 6-year-old Sebring horse who jumped a week ago to win Group 1 of The Star Doncaster Mile with a 41-1 chance for jockey James Innes Jr. and coach Wendy Roche.
Oka Sho Level 1 or 1000 Japanese Guineas on Sunday features a growing competition between Resistencia, the 2019 champion who is 2 years old, and Maltese Diosa.
Both finished first and second, in that order, in Grade 1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies last year. But Resistencia lost her invincible mark when she was third in Tulip Sho’s Class 1 on her 3-year-old debut – a race won by Maltese Diosa.
Resistencia by Daiwa Major. Maltese Diosa originates from the harvest of the first foal Kizuna, son of Deep Impact and the winner of the 2013 Tokyo Yushun or the Japanese Derby.
Cravache d’Or, a child of Cry’s Cryy, was the third in last year’s Hanshin Juvenile Fillies and the second between Maltese Diosa and Resistencia at Tulip Sho. He seems to be able to make this a three-way competition.
The race is 1,600 meters around the outer circle of the Hanshin grass course.