Horse Racing News – Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018
Here we are at the last weekend of 2018. The Gulfstream Park racing will really be heating up the next few weeks. One of the first major prep races for the Kentucky Derby will be coming up in February at Gulfstream Park with the Holy Bull Stakes on February 2nd, the Fountain of Youth on March 2nd and the Florida Derby on March 30th (worth 100 qualifying points for winner towards the Derby).
Oaklawn Park will be opening soon they have several major prep races as well; Smarty Jones Stakes on January 25th, the Southwest Stakes on February 18, the Rebel Stakes on March 16th and the biggest prep race in the Arkansas Derby on April 13th (worth 100 qualifying points for the winner towards the Derby).
Santa Anita started their winter meet on December 26 and the also will have several major prep races including the Sham Stakes on January 5th, Robert Lewis Stakes on February 2nd, the San Felipe Stakes on March 9th and the Santa Anita Derby on April 6th (worth 100 qualifying points for the winner towards the Derby).
Aqueduct is also on the calendar starting on January 1st with the Jerome Stakes, the Withers on February 2nd, the Gotham Stakes on March 9th and of course the Wood Memorial on April 6th (worth 100 qualifying points for the winner towards the Derby).
Several other tracks including European courses as well as Keeneland (one of my favorites), Tampa Bay, Turfway Park, Fairgrounds and Sunland will have some qualifying race for the Kentucky Derby as well.
We still have a ways to go and some cold months to get through, but the days are getting longer and the smell of the Kentucky Derby Roses will be around soon enough. There are plenty of exciting times ahead including the Pegasus Cup at Gulfstream Park in January, the world’s biggest paying race.
This summer there is the possible extension of the Saratoga racing season. There will still be 40 days of racing, but dark days will be on Monday and Tuesday rather than just Tuesday. The track will open second week of July as opposed the third week and extend until Labor Day Monday. This needs to be voted upon and approved by the New York Racing Association. Nothing is final yet.
Happy New Year to all and thanks again for horseracing with Dietz!