We understand the reasoning behind the bundling of "big days." Tracks can charge a premium for their simulcast signal on those days while increasing handle: That's the main driver--but has the pendulum swung too far?
Each week BloodHorse.com looks forward to the weekend's biggest races. Consider this your weekly guide to the best stakes races in North America. This week Tampa Bay Downs gets the spotlight with three graded stakes Saturday.
- By Alicia Wincze Hughes
- Thoroughbred Racing, Triple Crown, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, Kentucky
As the regular rider for McCraken, the 2-1 morning-line favorite for Saturday's Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3), jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. could find his current groundswell of momentum dwarfed by what could come his way should his mount prevail.
Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs each card three graded stakes and Santa Anita Park puts on a pair of Grade 2 events.
When trainer Arnaud Delacour saddles No Dozing for the $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) Feb. 11 at Tampa Bay Downs, it could mark an early step toward the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1).
The first sophomore step for McCraken will come when he makes his seasonal bow in the 1 1/16-mile Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs Feb. 11, trainer Ian Wilkes said after the colt worked five furlongs in 1:00.45 Jan. 25.
The grade III race is a key Tampa Bay Derby prep
Destin surged to the lead off the far turn and then turned back a stretch challenge from Rafting to win the $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) Saturday, Feb. 13 at Tampa Bay Downs.
Whatawonderflworld hasn't raced on the dirt, but trainer Mark Casse is hopeful the Tiz Wonderful gelding puts in a good showing in the Feb. 13 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Tampa Bay Downs.
Rafting will try to open his 3-year-old season in similar fashion against an expected six other sophomores in the $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) Saturday, Feb. 13 at Tampa Bay Downs.
Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner Tepin returned to the worktab Jan. 8 for the first time since her Oct. 31 victory over the boys, clocking a half-mile in an easy :52 under regular rider Julien Leparoux at Palm Meadows.
Joe and Helen Barbazon's Pleasant Acres will inaugurate its new stallion facility in Morriston, Fla., with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and gala from 6-10 p.m. (ET) Jan. 16.
Erik and Pavla Nygaard, breeders of the brilliant Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) winner Ocean Knight, are doing things the right way.
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra preview the Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn Park, and the Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) at Tampa Bay Downs. Watch Video
Claire Novak and Tom LaMarra preview the Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn Park, and the Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) at Tampa Bay Downs. Download Brisnet Past Performances for the Martha Washington.
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III). read blog
Stonestreet Stables' Ocean Knight, winner of his only start in solid fashion, and record-setting Florida horse Catalina Red head a group of 12 entered for the $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 31 at Tampa Bay Downs.
A two-time stakes winner this year, Page McKenney will try for the day's top prize in the $200,000 Jewel Stakes Dec. 6 at Gulfstream Park, one of eight races in the $1 million Claiming Crown.
The 35th renewal of the $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) for 3-year-olds highlights a 2014-2015 Tampa Bay Downs stakes schedule offering $2.66 million in purse money.
Having already won the Forego (gr. I) and the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (gr. I) this year, Palace could cement his status as the favorite for the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) with a victory in the Sept. 27 Vosburgh (gr. I).
Brethren, a half brother to Kentucky Derby winner and leading freshman sire Super Saver, is moving from Journeyman Stud near Ocala, Fla., to Pleasant Acres, near Morriston, Fla., for the 2015 breeding season.
Popular gelding Ribo Bobo continued his remarkable rise from the claiming ranks May 10 in capturing the $79,000 Decathlon Stakes, Monmouth Park's opening-day feature, by a comfortable 1 1/2 lengths.
WinStar Farm and Twin Creeks Racing, owners of Sam F. Davis (gr. III) winner Vinceremos, will donate a portion of the colt's earnings to the Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center.
Ribo Bobo got to the finish line first yet again March 2, winning his 12th race from his last 13 starts and his third straight in a stakes during the Gulfstream Park meet.
Multiple grade I winner Jackson Bend heads a field of 11 as part of a one-two punch for trainer Stanley Gold in the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint (gr. III); Gold also has 2013 winner Fort Loudon in the Feb. 8 race.
|Horse||Trainer||Breeder / Owner|
|Adulare||Steven M. Asmussen||
|Beamer||Carl A. Nafzger||
|Brethren||Steven M. Asmussen||
|Litigate||David P. Duggan||
|Monzon||Ignacio Correas, IV||
|Reprized Halo||Manuel J. Azpurua||
|Ribo Bobo||Jason Servis||
|Too Experience||Mark Passley||
|Washington's Rules||David Jacobson||
|Watch Me Go||Justin R. Evans||
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