It's opening weekend at Del Mar and Saratoga Race Course, which is sort of like midsummer Christmas for anyone who follows Thoroughbred racing.
The fourth edition of the Stars And Stripes Racing Festival is on tap at Belmont Park July 8, with five graded stakes worth a collective $3.7 million to be contested.
The grade 1 action is at The Great Race Place on Saturday, May 27 of Memorial Day weekend, as the $300,000 Gamely Stakes and $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita Stakes share top billing.
With rain in the forecast, handicapper Dave Litfin sizes up Saturday's top stakes.
Handicapper Dave Litfin sizes up the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby.
Handicapper Dave Litfin sizes up the weekend's top stakes races.
At this point, handicappers can be excused for being a trifle gun-shy when it comes to evaluating this crop of 3-year-olds, simply because the most consistent thing about them has been their inconsistency.
- By Dave Litfin
- Thoroughbred Racing, Handicapping, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, West Region, Kentucky
Horse players will need three sets of eyes to keep track of this week's action, as Aqueduct Racetrack, Keeneland, and Santa Anita Park all run 170-point qualifiers to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1).
As was the case last Saturday, the graded-stakes action is on either side of the Divided States of America, at Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park.
For horse players, the best holiday gift comes the day after Christmas, which is the traditional opening day of the winter meet at Santa Anita Park.
Handicapper Dave LItfin's analysis of the 2016 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita
Managing the sloppy conditions expected for five graded stakes Oct. 1 at Belmont Park.
Analysis of the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) and Cotillion (gr. I) card.
The spotlight is on our neighbors to the North this Saturday as Tepin returns in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile (Can-IT). The undisputed "Queen of the Turf" takes on seven older males in the Sept. 17 event, the last of four graded stakes on a 12-race card.
Everyone is going through Saratoga Race Course withdrawal, but thankfully there is the wonderful spectacle of Kentucky Downs to ease the transition from summer to fall.
After a parade of dangerous storms tore through town and put a damper on everyone's best laid plans last Saturday, the silver lining is a grade I doubleheader of the Alabama Stakes and a redrawn Fourstardave Handicap Aug. 20 at Saratoga Race Course.
Saratoga's 2016 meet will begin by featuring 2-year-olds and turf races.
The Stars and Stripes Festival, part of the July 9 Belmont Park card, features two grade I turf races and three other graded stakes races, and is expected to feature Effinex and Catch a Glimpse.
Veteran handicapper Dave Litfin dives into the July 2 Mother Goose (gr. I) at Belmont Park; his selections include Rachel's Valentina and Off the Tracks.
The National Museum of Racing's 9th annual Countdown to the Triple Crown program will take place at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 24.
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