The five-day Royal Ascot meet showcased Thoroughbred racing on an international stage and produced plenty of standout performances from established and rising stars.
With luck a few of the big-name runners will make their way to Santa Anita Park in November for the Breeders’ Cup. Who could we see make the trip? Here are four Royal Ascot competitors who seem possible to target the greatest two days in American racing.
The 3-year-old Bangkok ran a gallant race in the 1 1/2-mile King Edward VII Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot, where he battled on to finish second, and trainer Andrew Balding said a trip to the U.S. could be in Bangkok’s future. “We will look at all our options, but we might look at the American turf races,” Balding told Ascot publicity. “They have a new series there, which might suit.”
The new series he referenced is the Turf Trinity in New York—the July 6 Belmont Derby (G1), Aug. 4 Saratoga Derby, and Sept. 7 Jockey Club Derby. Should Bangkok perform well, these three rich races could serve as logical steppingstones toward the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1).
Crystal Ocean was pre-entered for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Turf, but missed the race because of a training setback. Fortunately the 5-year-old son of Sea the Stars has come back strong in 2019 and secured his first group 1 win and defeated 2018 Breeders’ Cup Turf runner-up Magical in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot. Should trainer Michael Stoute once again point Crystal Ocean toward the Breeders’ Cup, he’ll do so with all expenses paid—the Prince of Wales’s awarded Crystal Ocean a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Turf.
Wesley Ward’s Kimari ran too good to lose in the five-furlong Queen Mary Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot, where she came in second by a head in a race with 25 starters. Kimari broken her maiden by 15 lengths on debut at Keeneland, and while additional international starts could be in her immediate future, she figures to return to the U.S. for a run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2).
By virtue of winning the one-mile Queen Anne Stakes (G1) on opening day, Lord Glitters earned a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), and it would come as no surprise to see his connections accept the invitation. In recent years trainer David O’Meara has won grade 1 races in North America, with Mondialiste and Suedois (both Breeders’ Cup starters), and he sent Lord Glitters to compete in the 2018 Woodbine Mile (G1).