There, Derby winner Adayar takes on the likes of Love, Lone Eagle and Mishriff, and the Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga with undefeated Kentucky Oaks winner Malathaat.
Turf specialist trainer Chad Brown has entries all over the East Coast with some spillover to a nice race on the dirt.
Del Mar's weekend program features the Grade II Eddie Read on the seaside grass.
We'll not let any grass grow under our feet. Let's go.
Undefeated Kentucky Oaks winner Malathaat makes her return in Saturday's $500,000 Grade I Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga and only three other fillies dared to take on the challenge -- or hope for place money.
Malathaat, a Curlin filly, has blitzed through six races and won the Louisville race by a neck after being bumped around at the start. She prepped for that with an even narrower win in the Central Bank Ashland at Keeneland and trainer Todd Pletcher no doubt would like a little less drama at the Spa.
"She's a very gifted filly," Pletcher said. "She's just been perfect so far and she's a pleasure to train, and just does everything right. When you have one that's undefeated, you just want to keep that intact and hope that everything goes smoothly and that she's able to show her capabilities once more."
The others in the CCAA are Claireire, fourth in the Kentucky Oaks and third in the Grade 2 Mother Goose at Belmont in her last start; Maracuja, seventh in the Kentucky Oaks; and Rockpaperscissors, last seen winning an allowance event at Indiana Grand.
Chad Brown will be all over the "Turf" section shortly but he's not one-dimensional, as evinced by his three entries for Sunday's $200,000 Grade III Shuvee on the Saratoga dirt course.
One of those, Royal Flag, was second in this race last year and last seen finishing second in the Grade II Doubledogdare at Keenland in April. Gold Spirit was a Group 1 winner in her native Chile and makes her first U.S. start and Dunbar Road rounds out the trio.
Among the others, Horologist and Antoinette are graded stakes winners. Liberty M D, a 4-year-old Constitution mare, made her career debut in May and already is 2-for-2 but this is a gigantic step up.
Smooth Like Strait, United and Say the Word headline a seven-horse field for Saturday's $250,000 Grade II Eddie Read Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on the Del Mar turf.
Smooth Like Strait, a 4-year-old Midnight Lute colt, comes off a win in the Grade I Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita but in the past has found that extra furlong past a mile to be too much of a challenge.
United, a 6-year-old gelding by Giant's Causeway, won't have any trouble with the distance, having won the 1 1/2-miles San Luis Rey two starts back. He also won last year's Eddie Read. Say the Word, oddly, was second in both the San Luis Rey and the Shoemaker Mile. Go figure.
Saturday's $100,000 Bald Eagle Derby at Pimlico has a nice field of six with Wootton Asset, Indian Lake and Experienced all looking capable of leading them home. With little to go on, we'll just note Wootton Asset is a cleverly named colt by Wootton Bassett and Experienced, making just his second start, is the least experienced in the field.
Belichick, runner-up in the 2020 Queen's Plate and winner of the Breeders' Stakes, is in a big field contesting Sunday's $100,000 (Canadian) Niagara at Woodbine. Also of note, March to the Arch, Admiralty Pier and Sir Sahib.
Filly & Mare Turf
It's no surprise trainer Chad Brown has four of the likely ones among 10 3-year-old fillies set for Friday's $150,000 Grade III Lake George at Saratoga. The turf wizard saddles Technical Analysis, Amy C, Minaun and Fluffy Socks.
The 7-2 favorite on the morning line, tough, is Jouster, a Noble Mission filly trained by Todd Pletcher who won the Grade II Appalachian at Keeneland in April.
A full field of 3-year-old fillies takes on a mile on the lawn in Saturday's $200,000 Grade II San Clemente at Del Mar.
The oddsmaker has Going Global as the 4-5 favorite on the morning line and no wonder as the Mehmas filly rides a five-race win streak dating back to her final race in Ireland last November at Dundalk. Three of her four U.S. wins have come in graded stakes and she has won both on the lead and coming from the clouds. Tough to go against the Irish-bred miss here.
Brown had one left over from the Lake George so he sends Counterparty Risk to Saturday's $100,000 Big Dreyfus Stakes at Pimlico. Of course, the 4-year-old Australia filly is the morning line favorite at 6-5 against five rivals. She hasn't won in her last three starts but this looks like a much more favorable setting.
Saturday's $75,000 Monroe Stakes at Gulfstream Park has a full field and four "main track only" also-eligibles. The morning line tabs Shifty She as the favorite off back-to-back wins in the Powder Break Stakes and Ginger Punch Stakes over the course.
As the Tokyo Olympics hit what will pass for full swing, Jolie Olimpica is the morning-line favorite among a dozen entered for Saturday's $175,000 (Canadian) Grade II Nassau at Woodbine.
The Brazil-bred Drosselmeyer mare, a Group 1 winner in her homeland, has not missed a top-three finish in six tries in the United States, mostly in California for trainer Richard Mandella. She now answers to Josie Carroll in her first start north of the border.
Field Pass, Pixelate and Ramsey Solution all vie for consideration among six in Saturday's $200,000 Grade III BWI International Turf Cup at Pimlico.
Field Pass, a 4-year-old Lemon Drop Kid colt, is the narrow favorite while stepping back a notch from a series of decent efforts in Grade I and Grade II affairs.
Ramsey Solution, a 5-year-old Real Solution gelding out of the Dynaformer mare Dynarhythm, trained by Wesley Ward, won last year's $300,000 Tapit Stakes in course-record time at Kentucky Downs and seems headed back to that green pasture.
Six fillies and mares signed up for Saturday's $200,000 Grade III Caress Stakes at Saratoga. Two of them, Caravel and Robin Sparkles, are riding two-race winning streaks. Robin Sparkles' overall record sparkles a bit brighter -- six wins and three seconds from her last eight starts. They're all stepping up in class.
Saturday's $100,000 Sensible Lady Turf Dash for fillies and mares at Pimlico is a real program-stabber with seven entries all pretty much bunched on the morning line. The nominal favorite at 3-1 is So Gracious.
Wednesday at Saratoga, New York-bred 2-year-olds were on display in the $100,000 Rick Violette Stakes. Only four contested the 6-furlongs heat with Run Curtis Run living up to his name.
The Summer Front colt sped to the front for jockey Jose Ortiz, increased his lead at every pole and won by 3 3/4 lengths. Ready A.P., Coinage and Surprise Boss completed the order of finish as Run Curtis Run finished in 1:12.48, improving to 2-for-2.
Around the world, around the clock:
Saturday's Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes at Ascot, a "Win and You're In" for the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf, looks to be one to remember.
Mishriff and Love represent the older generation while Cazoo Derby winner Adayar and Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby runner-up Lone Eagle, both by Galileo, try to restore some luster to the sagging record of 3-year-olds in this race.
There's no doubt Love, another by Galileo, is a deserving favorite with six straight wins to her credit including the Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out. But, my goodness! Odds of 9-1 on Mishriff -- the winner of both the $20 million Saudi Cup and the Group 1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic?
Adayar showed a surprising turn of foot for trainer Charlie Appleby in winning the Derby. Appleby had him pegged more a St Leger-type 3-year-old, but now is waiting to see which way the Frankel colt wants to go.
"Like everybody else, we've got a huge watching brief on this," said Appleby, who reports Adayar entering the race in tip-top shape.
"Everybody's wanting to know how good the three-year-olds are, particularly at a mile and a half. We would like to see what we are dealing with and I think the King George will provide the answers."
Long odds are available on the other two -- multiple Group 1-winning 4-year-old filly Wonderful Tonight and recent Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud winner Broome, a 5-year-old by Australia. Either would be an odds-on favorite in most other settings.
Although 3-year-olds get an 11-pound weight break in the King George, no Derby winner has won the race since 2001 when Galileo himself scored the double. The only 3-year-old winners since then were Alamshar in 2003, Nathaniel in 2011, Taghrooda in 2014 and Enable in 2017.
Sunday's Group 1 Grosser Dallmayr-Preis Bayerisches Zuchtrennen at Munich also is for 3-and-up, weight-for-age and has six acceptances.
The oldest of the lot, 6-year-old Skalleti, arrives on the back of three straight wins, most recently in the Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp and looks like a tough strudel in this spot.
A couple of the others have been shuttling back and forth to Italy and one, Lord Charming, enters still a maiden despite a respectable fourth-place finish in the Group 1 Deutsches Derby July 4.
Meanwhile, back in the States:
Four grassy stakes for state-breds, each with a $100,000 purse, graced the Virginia track's opening program Monday. The going was firm, fields were large and many payoffs were generous.
Tasting the Stars posted a stretch-running win in the Nellie Mae Cox Stakes. The 5-year-old Bodemeister mare got home 2 1/4 lengths to the good of Fionnbharr with the odds-on favorite, Urban Fairytale, third. Tasting the Stars, with Feargal Lynch at the controls, ran 1 mile on firm going in 1:35.40.
Passion Play led at every station in the Bert Allen Stakes, winning by 2 lengths from Forloveofcountry. It was another 6 lengths to Point of Grace in third. Passion Play, a 5-year-old Hold Me Back gelding, got 1 1/16 miles on the firm turf in 1:41.73 under Horacio Karamanos.
Grateful Bred stalked the pace in the 5 1/2-furlongs Meadow Stable Stakes, responded when jockey Jevian Toledo asked for run and went on to win by 2 1/4 lengths. Sky's Not Falling was second-best, 1 1/2 lengths in front of Flank Speed. Grateful Bred, a 5-year-old Great Notion gelding, reported in 1:02.45.
Puppymonkeybaby (really!) rallied from far back to win the M. Tyson Gilpin Stakes for filly and mare sprinters by 3/4 length from fellow long shot Envied. An even longer chance, Door Buster, finished third, boosting the payoff for a winning 50-cent trifecta ticket to $6,003.40.
Okay, we can live with Puppymonkeybaby for that kind of return. The 3-year-old daughter of Hit It a Bomb finished in 1:02.81 with Toledo up.
Americanrevolution romped in Monday's $150,000 New York Derby, chasing down pacesetting Purple Hearted at the top of the stretch and rolling home first by 7 1/4 lengths over that rival. Lobsta was third, another 5 3/4 lengths back.
Americanrevolution, a Constitution colt trained by Todd Pletcher for WinStar Farm, ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:45.19 with Luis Saez up. He failed to fire in his only start in 2020 but got on the board at first asking this year in a June 20 maiden affair at Belmont Park.
Presque Isle Downs
Just One Time saved ground early in Monday's $100,000 Malvern Rose Stakes for Pennsylvania-bred 3-year-old fillies, moved up between horses to take the lead and won by 4 1/4 lengths, going away. Maldives Model was second with Tactical Pajamas third.
Just One Time, a Not This Time filly, finished 6 1/2 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:17.42 with Angel Rodriguez riding.
Mundaye Call pressed the pace set by Euphoric in Wednesday's $65,000 Clarksville Stakes for fillies and mares, ran by that one when roused to the task and won by 3/4 length It was another 5 3/4 lengths to She Can't Sing in third.
Mundaye Call, a 4-year-old Into Mischief filly, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:09.40 with Florent Geroux in the irons.
Mojo Man rallied around rivals into the stretch in Wednesday's $65,000 Send It In Amy Stakes and drew off to win by 2 1/4 lengths over Double Tuff.
Mojo Man, a 6-year-old Stay Thirsty gelding, ran 6 furlongs in 1:09.35 for jockey Orlando Mojica.