January 28, 2023

Juddmonte International one of three Breeders’ Cup WAYI races during York’s Ebor Festival

Poet's Word upstaged Cracksman in the Prince of Wales's at Royal Ascot (c) Frank Sorge/Horsephotos.com

This week’s Ebor Festival at York features a trio of “Win and You’re In” events for the Breeders’ Cup, beginning with the about 10 1/2-furlong Juddmonte International (G1) on Wednesday’s opener.

Poet’s Word, already in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) twice over through victories in the Prince of Wales’s (G1) at Royal Ascot and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth (G1), is favored to complete a summer triple of Turf “Win and You’re In” races. A field of eight is set to contest the Juddmonte International, including six fellow Group 1 winners –sophomores Roaring Lion, Saxon Warrior, Without Parole, and Latrobe, and the Godolphin pair of Benbatl and Thunder Snow, who’s limbering up for the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).

The Juddmonte International is set to go off as the 4TH race at 10:35 a.m. (EDT). Also on the Wednesday card are the Acomb (G3) for juveniles and the Great Voltigeur (G2) led by Kew Gardens and Cross Counter.

Thursday’s feature, the 1 1/2-mile Yorkshire Oaks (G1), offers a free berth to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1). Pending Tuesday’s final declarations, a summit of Oaks winners is in the offing with Sea of Class, Forever Together, and Laurens all prominent in the antepost market. The day kicks off with juvenile fillies in the Lowther (G2).

In Friday’s Nunthorpe (G1), a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1), Battaash is odds-on to succeed where he flopped last summer. His upsetter in the King’s Stand (G1) at Royal Ascot, Blue Point, tries again but over a less demanding course. Earlier, star stayer Stradivarius is heavily favored to pocket a £1 million bonus by adding the Lonsdale Cup (G2) to his scores in the Yorkshire Cup (G2), Gold Cup (G1) at Royal Ascot, and Goodwood Cup (G1), and the two-year-olds take the stage in the Gimcrack (G2).

Aside from the eponymous Ebor H. on Saturday, the festival finale includes a pair of Group 3s in the Strensall (G3) and City of York (G3).

Post time for the Ebor is 10:40 a.m. (EDT), while the Yorkshire Oaks and Nunthorpe share the Juddmonte post time of 10:35 on their respective days. Tune in to TwinSpires.com to watch and wager on the Ebor Festival, and check out the free Brisnet international PPs.