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.
Live Oak Plantation's Florida Won returned to his winning form with a fast-closing victory in the $150,000 Seagram Cup Stakes (Can-III) Aug. 2 at Woodbine.
Wicked Strong, winner of last year's TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial (gr. I) and Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II), tries to get back on a winning track April 25 as he takes on seven opponents in the $200,000 Excelsior Stakes (gr. III).
Gulfstream Park will open its 2015 spring/summer racing season April 8 with an eight-race card topped by a $46,000 allowance optional claimer that includes the Todd Pletcher-trained stakes runner Vinceremos.
Chilean-bred Turco Bravo landed his first North American win in the $100,000 Stymie Stakes March 22 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
A compact but experienced field will go out March 22 in the $100,000 Stymie Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack, as Evening Attire Stakes winner North Slope looks to fend off Micromanage and Vyjack.
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.
Traffic trouble may have kept Ami's Holiday from victory in the Queen's Plate, and now the runner-up in the first jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown will take a try at the second leg, the July 29 Prince of Wales.
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Tonalist and fourth-place finisher Wicked Strong share a highweight assignment of 123 pounds for the $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga on July 26.
Stakes winners Favorite Tale and Choctaw Chuck are the 121-pound co-highweights among seven 3-year-olds entered for the $100,000 Quick Call Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.
|Horse||Trainer||Breeder / Owner|
|Asserting Bear||Reade Baker||
|Cousin Stephen||Jamie Ness||
|Imaginethatmom||Cam M. Gambolati||
|Matador||Mark E. Casse||
|Noble Cornerstone||Thomas Morley||
|School On a Hill||Wayne M. Catalano||
|Vinceremos||Todd A. Pletcher||
Upcoming Stakes Entries
|O.D. McDonald S.||ALB|
|Wild Applause S.||BEL|
|Chicago H. (G3)||CD|
|River Rock Casino H.||HST|
|Edward Evans S.||LRL|