Flintshire towers over Bowling Green foes; Vanderbilt, Amsterdam showcase sprinters
A Group/Grade 1 winner on three continents and twice runner-up in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1), Flintshire has been in complete command in his last two U.S. appearances. Hero of last year's Sword Dancer, the six-year-old looked similarly impressive taking the Manhattan (G1) on Belmont Stakes Day, which served as his season debut and his first start for trainer Chad Brown.
The long-term goal is the Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) at Santa Anita, where Flintshire claimed the place honors behind Main Sequence two years ago.
The six-furlong Vanderbilt has attracted a field of eight, three of which are trained by Jorge Navarro. Catalina Red scored a notable upset for the conditioner on Kentucky Derby Day, capturing the Churchill Downs (G2) at 14-1, but retreated to fourth last out in the True North (G2).
Delta Bluesman has crossed the wire first in his last four, including a 3 3/4-length romp in the Smile Sprint (G2). Chublicious is two-for-two since joining the Navarro barn, but takes a big jump up in class following the $95,000 Mr. Prospector at Monmouth.
Anchor Down figures to be one of the favorites despite possessing a stronger resume going farther. The Todd Pletcher charge romped in the Westchester (G3) over a mile early in the Belmont meet, and was second best to Frosted in that rival's other-worldly exhibition in the Metropolitan H. (G1).
Holy Boss and Requite, one-two in last year's Amsterdam, both enter in solid form. Though winless since that event, Holy Boss was a close third in the True North and adds blinkers for the Vanderbilt. Requite, meanwhile, has made just one interim start, taking the $75,000 Parrot Key at Gulfstream by 3 1/2 lengths in early June.
A. P. Indian is riding a three-race win streak into the Vanderbilt, highlighted by a head victory in the Belmont Sprint Championship (G3).
The 6 1/2-furlong Amsterdam, the traditional prep for the seven-furlong King's Bishop, appears wide open. Stakes winner Counterforce looks to rebound from a modest showing in the Woody Stephens (G2) on Belmont Day, while stakes veterans King Kranz and Quijote look capable with their best.
The Todd Pletcher-trained allowance scorer Ready Dancer has a win over the track, 2015 Sanford (G3) winner Uncle Vinny shortens up, and stakes newbie Maniacal goes for his third straight victory.