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.
Crossed Sabres Farm's Valid gamely put away an onslaught of closers to win the $75,000 Groomstick Stakes Sept. 26 at Gulfstream Park.
Private Zone went out to the lead unchallenged in the seven-furlong Forego Stakes (gr. I) and remained there throughout to win by open lengths Aug. 29 at Saratoga Race Course.
The Big Beast won't have to contend with Rock Fall, who beat him by a nose last time out in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (gr. I). But the seven-furlong Forego came up a tough race nonetheless, with a slew of new sprinters.
Rebounding from an eighth-place finish in the Smile Sprint (gr. II), Newtown Anner Stud and Joseph Bulger's Falling Sky captured the $75,000 Trinniberg Stakes at Gulfstream Park Aug. 1.
The Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association has named its champions and leaders for 2014, with Real Solution and Divine Fortune topping the list.
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.
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.
Belmont Park's TVG Super Saturday card Sept. 27 looks to be shaping up as a stellar day of racing with a number of elite runners listed as likely to compete in six graded stakes worth combined purses of $3.4 million.
Belmont Sprint (gr. III) stakes winner Clearly Now takes on nine opponents as he attempts to duplicate his Herculean performance in the $500,000 Forego Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 30 at Saratoga Race Course.
New York-bred Palace, formerly a $20,000 claimer, earned his first grade I victory for owner Antonino Miuccio and trainer Linda Rice in the $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt (gr. I) Aug. 2 at Saratoga Race Course.
|Horse||Trainer||Breeder / Owner|
|Divine Ambition||Darrin Miller||
|Falling Sky||Martin D. Wolfson||
|Lightning Stone||William F. Allyn||
|Midnite Poppa||Greg Tracy||
|My Name Is Michael||Rachel Halden||
|Northern Lion||Mark E. Casse||
|Silver Day||Aubrey A. Maragh||
|Speak Logistics||Gary C. Contessa||
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