It’s the best time of year for horseplayers, or even brand new fans to horse racing for that matter. The Kentucky Derby is slated for Saturday May 6th this year, and most every weekend moving forward features prep races for 3 year old horses — the ones that seek one of 20 spots in the starting gate at Churchill Downs on Derby Day.
Here is a list of the top weekend prep races. Start following these 3 year olds now and make your Derby Day experience even better and potentially more lucrative. You can watch & wager all the action at two Richmond area Off Track Betting Centers — Breakers Sports Grille at 9127 W. Broad St. in the west end, and Ponies & Pints at 110 N. 18th Street downtown in the Shockoe Bottom neighborhood. Bet on line at one of four partner sites — TVG.com, XPressBet.com, TwinSpires.con and NYRABets.com.
Saturday Feb. 4 – $250,000 Withers Stakes (Gr. 3) at Aqueduct; $350,000 Holy Bull Stakes (Gr. 2) at Gulfstream; $200,000 Swale Stakes (Gr. 2) at Gulfstream; $150,000 Robert Lewis Stakes (Gr. 3) at Santa Anita
Saturday Feb. 11 – $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (Gr. 3) at Tampa Bay Downs
Sunday Feb. 12 – $200,000 San Vincente Stakes (Gr. 2) at Santa Anita
Saturday Feb. 18 – $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (Gr. 3) at Golden Gate Fields; $500,000 Southwest Stakes (Gr. 3) at Oaklawn
Saturday Feb. 25 – $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (Gr. 2) at Fair Grounds
Saturday March 4 – $300,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. 3) at Aqueduct; $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (Gr. 2) at Gulfstream; $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway Park
Saturday March 11 – $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby (Gr. 2) at Tampa Bay Downs; $400,000 San Felipe Stakes (Gr. 1) at Santa Anita
Saturday March 18 – $900,000 Rebel Stakes (Gr. 2) at Oaklawn
Saturday March 25 – $500,000 Spiral Stakes (gr. 3) at Turfway Park
Sunday March 26 – $800,000 Sunland Derby (Gr. 3) at Sunland Park
Saturday April 1 – $1 Million Louisiana Derby (Gr. 2) at Fair Grounds; $1 Million Florida Derby (Gr. I) at Gulfstream;
Saturday April 8 – $1 Million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Gr. 2) at Keeneland; $1,000,000 Wood Memorial Stakes (Gr. 1) at Aqueduct; $1 Million Santa Anita Derby (Gr. I) at Santa Anita
Saturday April 15 – $1 Million Arkansas Derby (Gr. I) at Oaklawn; $200,000 Lexington Stakes (Gr. 3) at Keeneland