Labor Day weekend offers another great slate of stakes races from around the country, especially at Saratoga and Del Mar. Virginia residents can wager all the action via one of three partner on line betting sites — TVG.com, XPressbet.com and TwinSpires.com.
Saratoga’s Saturday (Sept. 3) card features four graded stakes including the $600,000 Grade I Woodward, 10th race on the program at 5:46 PM. Another Grade I stake, the $350,000 Spinaway, is the 9th race at 5:11 PM. Completing the four-pack are the $300,000, Grade 2 Saranac Stakes (Race 5 at 2:45 PM) and the $200,000, Grade 3 Glens Falls Handicap (Race 11 at 6:21 PM).
A pair of Virginia-bred 3 year olds will compete in separate $83,000 maiden special weight races Saturday at Saratoga as well. Lenstar, bred by the Lazy Lane Farms, is in the colt division. The Nick Zito trainee, a son of Shackleford, finished fourth in his lifetime bow August 4th and will look to improve on that in the 4th race. He sold for $130,000 at the 2015 Keeneland yearling sale. Rollover Risk, a daughter of First Samurai, will make her debut in the 8th race. Bred by Mr. & Mrs. Oliver Iselin III, she sold for $125,000 at that same sale.
Del Mar features two year old fillies in their feature on Saturday — the $300,000 Grade I Debutante Stakes (Race 8 at 8:30 PM). Finally, Kentucky Downs only races five times a year but one of those cards is Saturday and they offer all grass racing with full fields. They have four stakes carded, each with a purse of $350,000.
Saturday night’s harness stakes menu is full of enticing action. Yonkers hosts the $500,000 Messenger Pace (3 year old open pace) and $500,000 Yonkers Trot (3 year old open trot), while Mohawk Raceway has a dynamite stakes filled card co-headlined by the $685,000 Metro Pace (2 year old open pace) and the $685,000 Canadian Pacing Derby (3 year old & up open pace). Northfield Park also hosts Ohio Sire Stake finals with a series of $250,000 races.
On Sunday, 16 horses entered the Grade 2, $250,000 Del Mar Derby. The under card feature is the Grade 2, $200,000 John C. Mabee Stakes. Saratoga’s Sunday highlight is the Grade 2, $300,000 Prioress Stakes.
On Holiday Monday, a pair of Grade I stakes for 2 year olds take center stage. The $350,000 Hopeful is at Saratoga and the $300,000 Del Mar Futurity is on the west coast. Parx also has a showcase card that day — a trio of graded stakes including the $300,000 Smarty Jones Stakes (Gr. 3), $200,000 Greenwood Cup (Gr. 3) and $300,000 Turf Monster (Gr. 3).
Happy holiday weekend. Enjoy the races!