It has been an exciting season of horse racing action, but there are still more high-quality races yet to come.
The US and English Triple Crown races are now complete, and the attention will swiftly be turning towards the flat season’s closing show at the Breeders’ Cup.
Nonetheless, what are the biggest races that are yet to come during the closing months of 2021 on the flat?
The Woodward Stakes makes its return to Belmont Park in 2021, after being run at Saratoga for the past 15 years. This Grade 1 is one of the biggest races in the second half of the year, and boasts a purse of $500,000. A number of stars will be involved in this race on the dirt over 1 1/8 miles, which has been won in the past by horses such as Gun Runner, Ghostzapper, and Cigar.
Some of the brightest horses from this season could travel to Belmont to take part in this race, with star three-year-olds such as Essential Quality and Life Is Good among those. It will likely be the last big race for many involved before the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and will be unmissable for all racing fans.
Prix De l’Arc de Triomphe
The Arc is one of the biggest flat races of the season in Europe, and is also the second most lucrative race of the season, behind The Everest. Horses travel over one mile and three furlongs in this Group 1, which takes place annually at Longchamp, France. Legendary horses have won this in the past, including Enable, Sea the Stars, and Hurricane Run.
The race in 2021 is looking like it will be one of the most memorable in recent years, with a number of leading contenders set to go to post. Tarnawa and Adayar are the two leading contenders according to the ante-post markets, with the latter having previously won the Epsom Derby and King George & Queen Elizabeth Stakes this year.
Snowfall is still in the mix despite a shock defeat in Paris recently, while Hurricane Lane could be primed for a strong run in this, having recently won the final English Classic of the season in the St Leger. St Mark’s Basilica could also head to France after beating Tarnawa in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.
Breeders’ Cup Classic
The flat season comes to an end in the United States for the biggest stars on the dirt in November, as Del Mar hosts the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
The biggest stars in America compete in this race over 1 ¼ miles, and there will be a wide selection of leading contenders that could be best placed to follow in the footsteps of Curlin, American Pharoah, and Gun Runner that have won this famous Grade 1 in the past.
Essential Quality has enjoyed a 2021 season to remember, with victories in the Travers and Belmont Stakes, while Medina Spirit could return in the Classic for trainer Bob Baffert after previously winning the Kentucky Derby.
Aside from the three-year-olds that could line up, Knicks Go, Maxfield, and Swiss Skydiver could also challenge for favoritism. Malathaat could be the eye-catching entrant if Todd Pletcher decides to take on the boys for the first time.
Globe-trotting Mishriff is also an interesting contender, having already won Group 1s in Meydan and England this season, and shouldn’t be overlooked.
The Classic looks to be the star attraction at the Breeders’ Cup, and cases can be easily made for all of the horses towards the topping of the betting for the race at Del Mar. Bet the Breeders’ Cup online with TwinSpires here.