The last weekend of July graded stakes slate includes three “Win and You're In” events for the Breeders' Cup World Championships, Nov. 1 and 2 at Santa Anita Park, plus an important Grade 2 event for 3-year-olds.
The schedule kicks off Saturday morning at 10:40 ET with one of the biggest European races of the season so far, the Group 1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot. The race will provide an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Turf and in the field is last year's winner, Enable, who pulled off the first-ever Arc de Triomphe-BC Turf double. Saturday's race won't be handed to her, though. The 5-year-old mare faces a quintet of Group 1 winners that include Crystal Ocean, Anthony Van Dyck and Waldgeist.
Del Mar will host the other two Challenge races over the weekend, with the Grade 1 Bing Crosby on Saturday and the G1 Clement Hirsch on Sunday.
A field of eight is lined up for the Bing Crosby, a six-furlong event that's a Win and You're In for the Breeders' Cup Sprint. Air Strike and Cistron, the top two finishers of the Triple Bend at Santa Anita will square off against East Coast shipper Recruiting Ready among others.
In a field of seven, Paradise Woods will likely be favored in the Clement Hirsch as she seeks to go over $1 million in career earnings. The race is a qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Distaff, in which Paradise Woods finished third two years ago.
Meanwhile, Preakness winner War of Will, Belmont runner-up Tacitus and Peter Pan Stakes winner Global Campaign will face off in the G2 Jim Dandy Stakes Saturday at Saratoga. A field of six that also includes Wood Memorial runner-up Tax, is set to go to the post. The Grade 1 Vanderbilt on the same card features Mitole, winner of seven straight, taking on Imperial Hint, last year's Vanderbilt victor.
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