At 1 3/16 miles, the Saratoga Derby, the turf counterpart to the Preakness, serves as the series' middle jewel and the only race in the series not contested at Belmont Park.
The Turf Triple Series will showcase the best 3-year-old turf runners in the country. The inaugural Turf Triple Series took place in 2019 at Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course.
The edition for three-year-olds kicked off with the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Derby Invitational, contested at 1 1/4-miles on the Belmont turf. The second leg, the $1 million Saratoga Derby, will be raced over 1 3/16-miles on the Saratoga green. The series concludes at Belmont Park with the $1 million Jockey Club Derby.
The Belmont Derby was won by Bolshoi Ballet , over from Europe and capturing the $1 million Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes for Coolmore. Yet another Grade 1 triumph for the progeny of Galileo, Coolmore's superstar stallion, who died in July aged 23.
The Whitney is one of the highest rated stakes races in US thoroughbred racing; this will be 94th renewal, and a key preparation race for the Breeders' Cup.
The Whitney Stakes is a Breeders' Cup Challenge Series Presented by America's Best Racing "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Nov. 6 Classic, with the Whitney winner earning an expenses-paid spot in the starting gate.
The 38th Breeders' Cup World Championships will be held for the second time at Del Mar on Nov. 5-6, 2021.
Abel Cedillo Joins the Team
1/ST and XB Net announce a new brand ambassador - leading jockey Abel Cedillo, who will be involved in promotional and advertising campaigns, and wear 1/ST BET apparel while riding in races throughout Southern California.
Cedillo, the leading rider during Del Mar's 2019 and 2020 Fall Meets, has won more than 1,400 races during his career and is a popular figure on the Southern California circuit. The multiple Grade 1 winning jockey enjoyed a breakout season in 2020, winning a dozen stakes races, including the G1 Pacific Classic, G1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile and G1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes.
XB Net Ambassador Umberto Rispoli will be resident at Del Mar racetrack for its 2021 season, from mid July.
Keen Rispoli watchers will have noticed how good was his pre-race preview of the Bing Crosby Classic at Del Mar, spotting the potential of eventual winner Dr Shivel
"Dr Schivel – Flavien Prat is a top-quality jockey who lets his riding to the talking, but he might as well have given us a strong recommendation himself, after jumping off Collusion Illusion in favour of Dr Schivel here. It's a tip in itself, as I thought the former horse was not without a chance. Dr Schivel has won his last three starts and is clearly thriving around our fair local circuits at Del Mar and Santa Anita. Naturally, this represents his biggest Grade 1 task to date, and his rapid progression might be halted here. However, with Mr Prat in the plate, I expect him to be there or thereabouts at the wire."
Umberto will return with his blog next month, ahead of another big La Jolla double-bill in
the form of the Pacific Classic and Del Mar Oaks – August 21, Del Mar. For the full lowdown, subscribe to Umberto Rispoli's exclusive blog for XB Net here