Following a review, the American Graded Stakes Committee has decided to reinstate the grade III status of the W. L. McKnight Stakes, contested at Calder Casino & Race Course Dec. 28.
Turf or dirt, it made little difference to odds-on favorite Twilight Eclipse, who rolled to a front-running repeat victory in the $125,000 W. L. McKnight Handicap Dec. 28 at Calder Casino & Race Course.
The Claiming Crown comes to Gulfstream Park for the south Florida oval's season opener Dec. 1, and local horsemen have responded enthusiastically with 97 entrants in the seven-race series worth a total of $850,000 in purses.
Local favorite Cash Rules was a popular winner of the $100,000 Spend a Buck Handicap (gr. III) Oct. 13, his seventh lifetime victory at Calder Casino & Race Course and first in a graded stakes event.
While lightly raced this year, four-time grade I winner Winchester has by far the most decorated career heading into the Nov. 26 W.L. McKnight Handicap (gr. IIT) at Calder Casino & Race Course.
Mambo Meister, who got upended two races back in the Woodward Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga, will try for his third stakes win this year at Calder Race Course when he takes on seven rivals in the Fred W. Hooper Handicap.
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