Belmont’s Stars and Stripes Festival Winners Highlight Breeders’ Cup Hopefuls
By Margaret Ransom
There are still four months to go before the 34th running of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, set to be held for the first time at the historic seaside oval of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, but that hasn’t stopped several horses from making their intentions for the first Friday and Saturday of November known.
Saturday’s rich Stars and Stripes Festival card at Belmont Park, which offered $3.7 million in stakes purses spread out over five graded events, provided racing fans with nothing but prospects for the biggest days in thoroughbred racing, including two Grade 1s for 3-year-olds worth at least $1 million each and preps for several other divisions, including a “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge event for sprinters.
Oscar Performance Wows in Belmont Derby
Under jockey Jose Ortiz, the Brian Lynch-trained son of Kittens Joy broke alertly and was hustled up to the front of the pack and led at every call through Amerman Racing’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (GIT) winner Oscar Performance put on a show worthy of a gold statue on Saturday, wiring the $1.2 million Belmont Derby (GI) and soundly defeating a field that included some of the best sophomore turf runners in the world.
Under jockey Jose Ortiz, the Brian Lynch-trained son of Kittens Joy broke alertly and was hustled up to the front of the pack and led at every call through… (more)