Tuesday, February 27, 2024
HomeFootball NewsAstronaut Might Show Powerful to Catch in Joe Hirsch Turf Basic

Astronaut Might Show Powerful to Catch in Joe Hirsch Turf Basic



9 marathon turf horses line up for the $500,000, Grade 1Joe Hirsch Turf Basic Stakes on Saturday at Belmont on the Massive A, with the winner more likely to return in 5 weeks to compete within the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf. Final yr’s 2022 Joe Hirsch Turf Basic winner Warfare Like Goddess defends her title, having completed third within the 2022 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf. Insurgent’s Romance makes an attempt to get again into the shape proven successful final yr’s Breeders’ Cup Turf with a prime exhibiting right here, having not completed when final seen in July within the Grade 2 Bowling Inexperienced Stakes as he misplaced his jockey after clipping heels.

Stone Age was second behind Insurgent’s Romance in final yr’s Breeders’ Cup Turf however is one other who hasn’t run effectively since then, with fifth-, Twelfth- and fifth-place efforts. Astronaut received the Grade 2 Pink Smith Stakes final fall at a 1 3/8-mile distance however completed tenth in March in his solely begin this yr and hopes to get well earlier prime kind on the degree. Pioneering Spirit enters the race off a win within the Bernard Baruch Stakes earlier this month, with a third-place effort within the Grade 1 Resorts World On line casino Sword Dancer Stakes previous to that.  Grand Sonata received the Grade 3 2022 Kitten’s Pleasure Stakes as a 3-year-old however has received simply certainly one of 10 races since then. So Excessive seems overmatched, with seventh- and eighth-place finishes in three graded stakes this yr. Soldier Rising has been aggressive on the degree, ending second within the Grade 1 Resorts World On line casino Manhattan Stakes in June then second once more within the Sword Dancer final month. Equally, Adhamo received the Grade 1 2022 United Nations Stakes and is making solely his second begin of 2023, with a third-place end within the Grade 1 Arlington Million final month to presumably enhance upon.  

High Contenders:

Astronaut could be very fascinating on this yr’s Joe Hirsch, significantly when you think about not one of the different eight horses within the subject have proven a lot curiosity in main within the early phases of their races. Channel Maker, who received this race in 2018 and 2020 and who was second by a half-length in 2019, had the identical operating fashion and used it to nice benefit, and I anticipate the identical from Astronaut. In his ultimate begin of 2022, Astronaut led from begin to end in the same Pink Smith Stakes, run at 11 furlongs on the Aqueduct turf. He beat 11 different horses in that race, incomes a career-best 111 Equibase Velocity Determine, and by no means gave any an opportunity to run as he opened up by a few lengths within the stretch earlier than coasting house. Jockey Kendrick Carmouche was aboard that day, as he can be for this race. Astronaut began only one time this yr again in March within the Mac Diarmida Stakes, the place he didn’t lead early and light to tenth of 12 after stalking the pacesetter in second. There’s little question Astronaut can run this 1 ½-mile journey, as he completed second within the 1 ¾-mile 2021 San Juan Capistrano Stakes. Significantly contemplating there’s more likely to be quite a lot of rain falling in New York within the days previous this yr’s Joe Hirsch Turf Basic, it is likely to be very tough for any horse to get agency footing and cease a simple early chief like Astronaut.

Adhamo, like Astronaut, has confirmed kind at this degree, which could be an essential separating issue when handicapping prime races. Adhamo has received simply certainly one of seven races within the U.S. since importing from Europe in late 2021, touchdown within the prime barn of Chad Brown (who additionally saddles Stone Age). In his U.S. debut, Adhamo rallied furiously from final of 11 to simply miss by a head within the 2022 Honest Grounds Stakes, incomes a career-best 110 Equibase determine within the course of. Three races later, Adhamo received the 2022 United Nations Stakes at 11 furlongs with a 104 determine. Following a sixth-of-seven end in final yr’s Joe Hirsch Turf Basic, Adhamo took eight months off, returning to rally from tenth to 3rd within the Arlington Million at 1 ¼ miles final month, with a 109 pace determine. He’s seemingly to enhance properly second off the layoff, and with Flavien Prat staying aboard (he rode the horse to victory within the United Nations final yr), Adhamo could have the most effective probability to shut and win if Astronaut can not lead from begin to end.

Warfare Like Goddess, a mare, was racing towards males for the primary time in her profession on this race final yr and received simply by almost three lengths with a 102 determine. She adopted that up 4 weeks later when not disgraced a bit as she completed third (rallying from eleventh) within the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf, bettering to a profession finest 124 determine. Returning to the races this spring, Warfare Like Goddess received the Bewitch Stakes (104 determine) then regressed to complete sixth within the New York Stakes. She then rebounded with a prime effort, although crushed a neck, within the Glens Falls Stakes final month, on the 1 ½-mile distance of the Joe Hirsch. As such, Warfare Like Goddess seems able to operating as effectively on this race as she did final yr and rounds out the principle group of win contenders.

About a number of the relaxation:

Lots of eyes, and betting {dollars}, will seemingly be on Insurgent’s Romance and Stone Age, the one-two finishers in final yr’s Breeders’ Cup Turf. Though they earned subject excessive figures of 127 and 125, respectively, with these efforts, there are issues about their present kind. It is because Insurgent’s Romance completed seventh in his first begin of 2023 within the Dubai Sheema Basic in March, then didn’t get a lot out of his effort within the Bowling Inexperienced Stakes in late July when, sadly, he clipped one other horse’s heels and misplaced his jockey. Moreover, Insurgent’s Romance has by no means proven an affinity for less-than-firm turf and could also be at a drawback on a course more likely to be labeled yielding or smooth. Equally, Stone Age completed final of 12 in his 2023 debut in February in Qatar, then light to fifth and was badly crushed by 11 1/2 lengths final month within the Sword Dancer Stakes on a yielding course.

The remainder of the sector, with their finest Equibase Velocity Figures, is Grand Sonata (108), Pioneering Spirit (101), So Excessive (111) and Soldier Rising (112).

High Win Contenders:

Astronaut

Adhamo

Warfare Like Goddess


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