The Kentucky Derby prep race season is officially in full swing! Three year old horses will battle most every weekend in February, March and April as they seek one of the 20 coveted spots in the starting gate Saturday May 5th at Churchill Downs.
This past Saturday (February 3rd), a trio of key prep races were held. Audible won the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream, Lombo captured the Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita and Avery Island scored in the Wither Stakes at Aqueduct.
This coming Saturday, February 10th, Tampa Bay plays host to a stakes filled card including a Derby prep race — the $250,000 Sam Davis Stakes (Gr. 3). Under card events include the $175,000 Tampa By Stakes (Gr. 3), $175,000 Lambholm South Endeavour Stakes (Gr. 3) and $150,000 Suncoast Stakes.
Santa Anita will present the $200,000 San Vincente Stakes (Gr. 2) for three year olds in addition to the $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes (Gr. 2) and $100,000 Thunder Road Stakes (Gr. 3). Aqueduct will host Saturday’s third event for sophomore horses — the $150,000 Jimmy Winkfield Stakes. Gulfstream has a Grade I on its Saturday lineup — the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap — along with the $150,000 Suwanee River Stakes. Saturday evening, Delta Downs will card ten races for Louisiana-breds worth a combined $900,000.
And speaking of the Derby, the official Kentucky Derby Future Wager will be available to play this weekend from Friday thru Sunday. It’s a chance to wager on your favorite contenders at better odds than you might get on Derby Day itself.
This Saturday (Feb. 10), the Chesapeake OTB at Buckets Bar & Grill will host a free handicapping contest with $500 in cash prizes up for grabs. Fill out an entry before 2 PM — a list of contest races will be announced at virginiahorseracing.com on Wednesday Feb. 7th.