The 2016 Triple Crown Series may be over and it’s still a week until the new Mid-Atlantic Day racing event at Pimlico makes its debut (featuring three $60,000 Virginia-bred stakes and a pair of Maryland-bred stakes), but Father’s Day weekend offers horseplayers plenty of races to wager including a Grade I thoroughbred stakes at Churchill and a $1,000,000 harness race in Canada.
Saturday (June 18) features five graded stakes at Churchill Downs including the Grade I, $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap. Also on the program are a pair of Grade 2 stakes — the $200,000 Wise Dan and $200,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap — and a pair of Grade 3’s — the $100,000 Matt Win and $100,000 Regret. Santa Anita offers up the $200,000 Summertime Oaks (Gr. 2) and Belmont chips in with the $300,000 Poker Handicap (Gr. 3).
Harness racing fans get a unique chance to bet a $1,000,000 race Saturday night — the North American Cup for 3 year old open pacers at Canada’s Mohawk Raceway. They have a stellar under card that includes the $480,000 Fan Hanover 3 year old filly pace, $350,000 Roses Are Red Pace and $275,000 Armbro Flight among others.
On Father’s Day Sunday, featured stakes are the $200,000 Honeymoon Stakes (Gr. 2) at Santa Anita, the $150,000 Pegasus Stakes (Gr. 3) at Monmouth and the $100,000 Satin and Lace Stakes at Presque Isle in which Virginia-bred Once More For Love is competing.
Virginia residents can watch and wager all the action via one of three partner on line betting companies — TVG.com, XPressBet.com and TwinSpires.com. Simply visit one of these three sites, sign up for an account, fund your account, then begin playing — and winning!
For updates on the national weekend stakes and on Virginia horse racing, listen to “Off To The Races” this Saturday from 9:30 – 11 AM on ESPN 950AM and 100.5 FM in the Richmond/Central Virginia market. Host Nick Hahn and guests “Derby” Bill Watson and Frank Vespe (from “The Racing Biz”) always provide great and entertaining insight. Not in the Richmond area? Listen in via streaming at www.espn950am.com.