Kentucky Derby Prep Races For 3 Year Olds Begin In January

The months of January through April are the most intriguing ones of the year for horseplayers.  Three year old horses battle in a series of prep races at tracks around the country for a chance to be in the starting gate on Kentucky Derby Day, May 5th at Churchill Downs.

Most of the prep races are held on weekend afternoons beginning in early January. You can follow and wager the action at a Virginia Bets OTB — in Richmond at Breakers Sports Grille or Ponies & Pints, and in Chesapeake at  Buckets Bar & Grill. And coming soon to Collinsville (near Martinsville) and Hampton. Virginia residents can also wager on line via four partner companies —,, and

Crowds packed Ponies & Pints on Kentucky Derby Day to wager action from Churchill Downs all afternoon.

Kentucky Derby Prep Races For 3 Year Old Horses In January

Monday Jan. 1 – $150,000 Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct

Saturday Jan. 6  – $100,000 Sham Stakes (Gr. 3) at Santa Anita
$100,000 Kitten’s Joy Stakes at Gulfstream
$100,000 Mucho Macho Man Stakes at Gulfstream

Saturday Jan. 13 – $200,000 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds

Monday Jan. 15 – $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn

Saturday Jan. 20 – $125,000 Pasco Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs
$100,000 California Derby at Golden Gate

Sunday Jan. 28 – $100,000 Riley Allison Derby at Sunland

Saturday Feb. 3 – $250,000 Withers Stakes (Gr. 3) at Aqueduct
$350,000 Holy Bull Stakes (Gr. 2) at Gulfstream
$200,000 Swale Stakes (Gr. 3) at Gulfstream
$150,000 Robert Lewis Stakes (Gr. 3) at Santa Anita

Kentucky Derby Day is Saturday May 5th!