This could potentially be one of the most enthralling weekends of horse racing in some months, with a selection of Graded races around the United States this weekend. However, which races can bettors make wagers on with the leading horse racing sportsbooks in the US this weekend?
TVG Haskell Stakes (Grade 1)
The race that leaps off the page this weekend is the Haskell Stakes. This Grade 1 boasts an impressive $1 million purse, as some of the leading three-year-olds in the United States race across 1 1/8 miles on the dirt at Monmouth Park.
This could be a relatively straightforward race to call if the field turn up in their best condition. Hot Rod Charlie is a clear favorite in the betting, and for good reason. The three-year-old may have been beaten in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes this season, but he certainly looks like a Grade 1 winner in waiting. He was far from disgraced in the Belmont Stakes, as he finished second behind Essential Quality. His fractional times in that Triple Crown race were incredible, and his consistency means that he is the one to beat.
Midnight Bourbon was also a runner-up in a Triple Crown race, as he finished second in the Preakness Stakes. However, he will need yet another career-best run to win this race. Following Sea could be an interesting contender, as his form has progressed nicely since joining Todd Pletcher’s yard. He could be a graded winner in waiting, but it’s unlikely that his day will come on Saturday.
Pick: Hot Rod Charlie
United Nations Stakes (Grade 1)
The Graded action continues at Monmouth Park with the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes. This is run over 1 3/8 miles, and all the attention could be on Michael Maker. He has trained the winner of this race in two of the previous four renewals.
Tribhuvan will be a popular pick on the day, as his form this season has been very impressive. He picked up a win in the Fort Marcy Stakes earlier in the season, before he was beaten in the Manhattan Stakes on his last start. He is a strong front-runner, and the conditions will certainly suit his style this weekend.
However, we like a value selection in this race. Glynn County is a 20/1 chance for Maker, and given his excellent record in this race, he should have an excellent chance. Glynn County has progressed very nicely through allowances and optional claiming races, and this will be his first graded start. He could be anything, but with Tyler Gaffaloine on board, he has at least claims of a place finish in this race.
Pick: Glynn County (EW)
Diana Stakes (Grade 1)
The final race that we will look at this weekend is the Grade 1 Diana Stakes at Saratoga. This is a turf race for fillies and mares, and will cover 1 1/8 miles. Chad Brown’s record in this race is staggering, as he has won the previous five.
However, that record could come to an end this weekend, as Charlie Appleby brings a team of two that both look to be in impressive form. The preference of his raiders is for Summer Romance, who looks set to bounce back after being beaten by her stablemate Athiqa in the Just a Game Stakes. She has won previous graded runs in Ireland, and this will be her weekend to win a first American graded race.
Pick: Summer Romance