What to know about the 2022 Royal Ascot

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The Royal Ascot, England’s most elite week of flat Thoroughbred racing, takes on an even more festive air this year, with the meet beginning just days after Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations and more fans in attendance after a very reduced capacity in 2021 and empty grandstands in 2020.

Catch all the action from Tuesday, June 14 to Saturday, June 18 on Peacock every day. Coverage of the final day will also be available on NBC, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

What is the Royal Ascot?

The Royal Ascot is one of the most well-known horse racing meets in the world. It’s held at one of the top flat racecourses in the United Kingdom and hosts horses from across the globe in 35 races, including eight Group 1 races, over the span of five days.

Racing at Ascot began in 1711 when Queen Anne declared her love for horse racing. The first race was the Her Majesty’s Plate with a seven-horse field. Over a century later, King George IV held the first royal carriage procession on the track to signal the start of the event. The traditions of the royal family, high fashion and elite horse racing have continued ever since.

When and where is the 2022 Royal Ascot?

This year, the Royal Ascot will take place from Tuesday, June 14 to Saturday, June 18 at Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire, England. It’s just minutes away from Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth’s primary residence.

Unlike tracks in America, Ascot Racecourse is shaped like a rounded triangle with two straightaway spokes and includes uphill and downhill stretches.

Ascot is located in the British Summer Time Zone, which is five hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone in the U.S.

How can I watch the 2022 Royal Ascot?

NBC is home to the 2022 Royal Ascot, providing comprehensive race coverage and analysis live on Peacock before, during and after each race. The final day of the meet will also be available on NBC, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. Stream the Royal Ascot here.

2022 Royal Ascot Broadcast Schedule (all times EST)

  • Tuesday, June 14 — 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Peacock)
  • Wednesday, June 15 — 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Peacock)
  • Thursday, June 16 — 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Peacock)
  • Friday, June 17 — 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Peacock)
  • Saturday, June 18 — 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Peacock)
    9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (NBC, NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app)

Will the Queen be at Royal Ascot this year?

Traditionally, the Queen, a lifelong equestrian and racehorse owner herself, makes a daily entrance in a horse-drawn carriage as part of the royal procession. The Queen didn’t attend in 2020, but she made an appearance the following year. After her limited attendance at Platinum Jubilee, it wouldn’t be shocking for her to miss this year as well. Other members of the royal family are also avid racing fans and could attend as well.

Is Royal Ascot doing anything special for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee?

This year, the previously named Diamond Jubilee Stakes becomes the Platinum Jubilee Stakes. It is set to run on the final day of the meet, Saturday, June 18 with an approximate post time of 11:20 a.m. ET. The six-furlong race boasts a £1 million purse and is for horses aged four and up.

It originated as the All-Ages Stakes in 1868 and became the Cork and Orrery Stakes in 1926. For the last two decades, the race has been named in honor of Queen Elizabeth II, first as the Golden Jubilee starting in 2002, and then as the Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

The Queen also had 70 oak trees, in honor of her 70 years in power, planted along the processional route the royal family traditionally takes from Windsor Castle to Ascot.

What are traditions at the Royal Ascot?

While there will still be plenty of fans in the stands at Royal Ascot this year, the meet will still have a reduced number of fans. Attendance in several enclosures (ticketed areas) will be capped, and a new area called the Royal Enclosure Gardens will allow racegoers to spread out even more.

Royal Ascot boasts its own spread of famous, traditional foods. In 2019, the last year the meet ran with a full grandstand of spectators, there were approximately 110,000 cups of tea served, 120,000 buttermilk scones eaten and nearly 350 chefs serving food. Luckily, such delicacies can be prepared at home in the kitchen, as many fans will watch the races from their living rooms.

The Royal Ascot’s longest-running race, The Gold Cup, takes place on Thursday of the week’s schedule (June 16, approx. 11:20 a.m. ET). It’s a marathon of a race at 2 miles and 4 furlongs, and the Queen typically presents the trophies to the winning jockey and owner.

What do you wear to Royal Ascot?

The Royal Ascot is as much a social event as it is a sporting event, so it’s no surprise that high fashion is one of its most defining features. There are two enclosures for spectators at Ascot, and all guests must adhere to that enclosure’s dress codes.

Men’s attire traditionally requires a top hat and a waistcoat with a tie (except for jockeys). Women should dress formally and must always wear a hat, headpiece or fascinator (except in the Royal Enclosure, which permits hats and headpieces with a solid four-inch base but does not allow fascinators). Strapless clothing and sheer fabrics are not allowed, and dresses have to be just above the knee or longer.

In 2020, top hats and coattails weren’t required as the track ran a barebones meet due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Is the Royal Ascot part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series?

Four Royal Ascot races this year are part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.

On Tuesday, June 14, the Queen Anne Stakes (G1) at approximately 9:30 a.m. ET offers a spot in the Mile. Later that day, the King’s Stand Stakes (G1) will give horses a chance at the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at 10:40 a.m. ET. June 15’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1) breaks from the gate at around 10:40 a.m. ET and is a qualifier for the Turf. Finally, the Norfolk Stakes (G2) on Thursday, June 16 at 9:30 a.m. ET is in the Juvenile Turf Sprint division. See the full race schedule below.

Winners of Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races will receive automatic entry into the corresponding Breeders’ Cup race this November at Keeneland, and all entry fees will be paid for.

Full Royal Ascot race schedule:

Tuesday, June 14

  • 9:30 a.m. ET — The Queen Anne Stakes (G1) — Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series (Mile)
  • 10:05 a.m. ET — The Coventry Stakes (G2)
  • 10:40 a.m. ET — The King’s Stand Stakes (G1) — Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series (Turf Sprint)
  • 11:20 a.m. ET — The St James’s Palace Stakes (G1)
  • 12:00 p.m. ET — The Ascot Stakes (Handicap)
  • 12:35 p.m. ET — The Wolferton Stakes (Listed)
  • 1:10 p.m. ET — The Copper Horse Stakes (Handicap)

Wednesday, June 15

  • 9:30 a.m. ET — The Queen Mary Stakes (G2)
  • 10:05 a.m. ET — The Queen’s Vase (G2)
  • 10:40 a.m. ET — The Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1) — Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series (Turf)
  • 11:20 a.m. ET — The Duke of Cambridge Stakes (G2)
  • 12:00 p.m. ET — The Royal Hunt Cup (Heritage Handicap)
  • 12:35 p.m. ET — The Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed)
  • 1:10 p.m. ET — The Kensington Palace Stakes (Handicap)

Thursday, June 16

  • 9:30 a.m. ET — The Norfolk Stakes (G2) — Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series (Juvenile Turf Sprint)
  • 10:05 a.m. ET — The King George V Stakes (Handicap)
  • 10:40 a.m. ET — The Ribblesdale Stakes (G2)
  • 11:20 a.m. ET — The Gold Cup (G1)
  • 12:00 p.m. ET — The Britannia Stakes (Heritage Handicap)
  • 12:35 p.m. ET — The Hampton Court Stakes (G3)
  • 1:10 p.m. ET — The Buckingham Palace Stakes (Handicap)

Friday, June 17

  • 9:30 a.m. ET — The Albany Stakes (G3)
  • 10:05 a.m. ET — The Commonwealth Cup (G1)
  • 10:40 a.m. ET — The Duke of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap)
  • 11:20 a.m. ET — The Coronation Stakes (G1)
  • 12:00 p.m. ET — The Sandringham Stakes (Handicap)
  • 12:35 p.m. ET — The King Edward VII Stakes (G2)
  • 1:10 p.m. ET — The Palace Of Holyroodhouse Stakes (Handicap)

Saturday, June 18

  • 9:30 a.m. ET — The Chesham Stakes (Listed)
  • 10:05 a.m. ET — The Jersey Stakes (G3)
  • 10:40 a.m. ET — The Hardwicke Stakes (G2)
  • 11:20 a.m. ET — The Platinum Jubilee Stakes (G1)
  • 12:00 p.m. ET — The Wokingham Stakes (Heritage Handicap)
  • 12:35 p.m. ET — The Golden Gates Stakes (Handicap)
  • 1:10 p.m. ET — The Queen Alexandra Stakes (Conditions)

Watch the Royal Ascot from Tuesday, June 14 to Saturday, June 18 on Peacock every day. Coverage of the final day will also be available on NBC, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Pegasus races planned for Gulfstream and Santa Anita in 2024

Horse racing on Opening day of the winter-spring meet at Santa Anita Park.
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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – After seven Pegasus World Cup events, it’s evidently time for change.

1/ST Racing, which has hosted the entirety of the Pegasus series to this point at Gulfstream Park, is planning for two Pegasus days in 2024 – one at Gulfstream and the other at Santa Anita. Details aren’t finalized and it’s unclear how it would fit in the racing calendar, but 1/ST is planning for both dirt and turf Pegasus races as part of the Santa Anita program.

Gulfstream played host to the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational on the dirt Saturday, along with the $1 million Pegasus Turf and the $500,000 Pegasus Filly and Mare Turf.

“I’d really love to see that we bring it to the West Coast,” 1/ST President and CEO Belinda Stronach said. “That will probably happen in 2024. What we did this year for 2023 was said, `OK, we have a number of great race days, let’s coordinate those better and call it the 1/ST Racing Tour and recognize great achievements within our own footprint.”

Saturday marked the first stop on that new 1/ST Racing Tour. Along with some of the biggest race days at 1/ST tracks – like Florida Derby day at Gulfstream on April 1, Santa Anita Derby day on April 8 and the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 20 – there are a pair of days where the tour will be running simultaneously.

This coming Saturday, Gulfstream will play host to the Holy Bull while Santa Anita has the Robert B. Lewis – both of them Kentucky Derby prep races.

And on March 4, Gulfstream has the Fountain of Youth, another major Derby prep, while San Anita has the Big Cap. Plans call for coordinated post times at those two tracks on those days to provide the best racing action every 20 minutes, as well as some unique betting options.

“We can never rest on our laurels,” Stronach said. “We have to keep moving forward. We have a great team that’s really committed.”

The main Pegasus race is one of the biggest-paying races in North America. Art Collector claimed about $1.8 million from a $3 million purse with his win on Saturday. In 2022, only the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic and $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf featured bigger prizes among U.S. races, and the $3 million Pegasus purse is equal to the one offered last year at the Kentucky Derby.

Regardless of what happens with the Santa Anita plan for future Pegasus events, Stronach insisted Gulfstream will continue having Pegasus days. There has even been talk about Gulfstream playing host to Breeders’ Cup races again, something that hasn’t happened since 1999.

“This is staying here in Miami,” Stronach said. “Pegasus has a home here in Miami. We can’t move Pegasus from Miami. We have great partners here and it’s more than just a day now. We have deep roots here in Miami.”

Arabian Knight earns Baffert record 6th win in Southwest

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HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Arabian Knight won the $750,000 Southwest Stakes by 5 1/2 lengths at Oaklawn, giving Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his record sixth victory in the race.

The colt came into the Kentucky Derby prep as one of the most highly touted 3-year-olds in the country. Arabian Knight, who was purchased for $2.3 million as a 2-year-old, was making his second career start and first on a sloppy track in front of 27,000 fans in Arkansas.

“These good horses are hard to come by,” said Baffert, who was on hand in Hot Springs. “We’ve had a lot of luck here at Oaklawn, so it was nice to have a horse like this.”

However, Arabian Knight was ineligible to earn the Kentucky Derby qualifying points awarded to the winner because Baffert has been suspended for two years by Churchill Downs Inc. The penalty, which ends shortly after this year’s Derby on May 6, stems from Medina Spirit’s medication violation after the colt won the 2021 Derby and was later disqualified. Baffert is challenging the ban in court.

Ridden by John Velazquez, Arabian Knight ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:43.50 and paid $2.80 to win. He is 2-0 and has career earnings of $544,275.

“He ran 1:43 and change, that’s racehorse time and he did it without taking a deep breath,” Baffert said. “This was a big effort.”

Red Route One closed from last to finish second, and Frosted Departure was third. Sun Thunder was fourth, followed by Jace’s Road, Corona Bolt, El Tomate and Western Ghent.

At Gulfstream in Florida, Baffert’s entry Defunded finished second in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup, beaten by 4 1/2 lengths by Art Collector on Saturday.