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.
- By Ron Mitchell
Average of €70,912 ($77,900) represents 14.7% gain
The grade III race is a key Tampa Bay Derby prep
- By Ron Mitchell
The only Mineshaft yearling in the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s August yearling sale is among the horses to watch during the Aug. 25 final session of the two-day open sale in Ocala, Fla.
Shaman Ghost bided his time down on the inside and then easily flew past frontrunners Doyouknowsomething and Waymond Boyd to take the Brooklyn Invitational June 11 at Belmont Park.
Vina Del Mar Thoroughbreds and Black Swan Stable's Kid Cruz will look to win his third straight stakes June 11 in the $400,000 Brooklyn Invitational (gr. II).
W. S. Farish's homebred Eagle broke through for his first graded stakes win April 16 and kept an unbeaten record at Keeneland intact in the $200,000 Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III).
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.
WinStar Farm's Commissioner went out on a high note Nov. 28, ending his career with a victory in the $250,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Hawthorne Race Course.
Multiple graded stakes winner Commissioner headlines a field of eight for the 79th running of the $250,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) Nov. 28 at Hawthorne Racecourse.
With a patient ride and a sweeping move on the final turn, Bailoutbobby took the 1 3/4-mile $200,000 Marathon Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland by 5 1/4 lengths.
Neck 'n Neck and Majestic Harbor head the Oct. 30 Marathon Stakes (gr. II) at 1 3/4 miles, the longest race that will be run over Breeders' Cup weekend at Keeneland.
Ted Mitzlaff's Neck 'n Neck just got up in the final strides to take the $200,000 Greenwood Cup (gr. III) from Parx Racing on Monday afternoon.
A Shamardal colt sold for the highest price of 720,000 euros (U.S. $799,919) at the opening session of the Arqana Deauville yearling sale, launching Europe's yearling auction season Aug. 15.
Godolphin Racing's Bay of Plenty, beaten 24 lengths by the victorious Honor Code in the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I), rebounded nicely with a wire-to-wire win in the $100,000 Alydar Stakes Aug. 9 at Saratoga.
Tri-Bone Stables' Effinex went eye-to-eye with two-time grade I winner Tonalist in the stretch and won the $500,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. II) by a head bob July 4 at Belmont Park.
Tonalist will find himself in easier company July 4 than he did last time out, with only five to tackle and not another grade I winner in the bunch in the $500,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park.
|Horse||Trainer||Breeder / Owner|
|Abuela||Victoria H. Oliver||
|Battle Hardened||Kelli Martinez||
|Blue Angel Express||Butch Silva||
|Burning Time||David Fawkes||
|Crying Lightening (IRE)||James J. Toner||
|Dundalk Dust||Chris M. Block||
|Ecabroni||Wesley A. Ward||
|Exclusive Love||Mark E. Casse||
|Fox Rules||David A. Cannizzo||
|Holy Highway||Kerry Zavash||
|Jenny's So Great||Jason Servis||
|Keertana||Thomas F. Proctor||
|Martita Sangrita||Leigh Delacour||
|Master Shade (ITY)||H. Graham Motion||
|Moroccan Brew||Hugh H. Robertson||
|Neck 'n Neck||Ian R. Wilkes||
|Prospective||Mark E. Casse||
|Ravelo's Boy||Manuel J. Azpurua||
|Reveron||Agustin C. Bezara||
|State of Play||Richard C. Mettee||
|Zagora (FR)||Chad C. Brown||
More Race Results
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Upcoming Stakes Entries
|Downthedustyroad Breeders' S.||OP|
|Colonel Power Overnight S.||FG|
|Daisy Devine S.||FG|
|Mineshaft H. (G3)||FG|