Derby Prep Races Set To Begin; $9 Million Pegasus World Cup Up Next

Things are beginning to heat up in the horse racing world as equine action head into mid-January. This Saturday (Jan. 19), Gulfstream hosts its annual Sunshine Millions card while Fair Grounds plays host to a 14 race program featuring  the Lecomte Stakes — the first key Derby prep of 2019!

The following Saturday (Jan. 26) is the biggest racing event of the winter — $9 Million Pegasus World Cup Day at Gulfstream. The under card is highlighted by a $7 million stakes race — the Pegasus World  Cup Turf. Seven other stakes will be part of the under card and four of them are graded.

Two of the Virginia Bets Off Track Betting (OTB) Centers will have special promotions the next couple weekends to further enhance the strong simulcast offerings.

Ponies & Pints is a spacious restaurant that can handle large crowds on big race days. The OTB has 40 TVs and over 40 craft beers on tap.

The Ponies & Pints OTB, located in downtown Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom neighborhood, will have its second anniversary celebration on Friday January 18 and Saturday January 19. Friday will feature a free appetizer buffet from 4-7 PM, $50 betting voucher prize drawings hourly from 1-10 PM, and free simulcast race programs all day and evening. On Saturday, fans can participate in a free handicapping contest with $1,000 in cash prizes up for grabs. In order to play, simply fill put an entry between 11 AM – 3 PM that day and pick a winning horse in eight different contest races.

The Windmill OTB is located inside the Dutch Inn hotel in Collinsville.

The following weekend, an identical event will be held at The Windmill OTB Sports Grill in Collinsville/Martinsville. Their Customer Appreciation Weekend will include the same free buffet, prize drawings and free programs on Friday January 25th followed by a $1,000 handicapping contest on Pegasus World Cup Day, Saturday January 26th. For customer comfort, the hotel’s first floor Ballroom will be open with self betting terminals, tables, chairs and three large screen televisions.

Looking ahead to February, key Derby prep races appear on the schedule every Saturday. The Withers (Gr. 3), Holy Bull (Gr. 2) and Robert Lewis Stakes (Gr. 3) all happen on February 2nd at Aqueduct, Gulfstream and Santa Anita respectively. The following Saturday, Tampa Bay Downs hosts the Sam Davis Stakes (Gr. 3). And it rolls on from there all the way to Churchill Downs on May 4th for the Kentucky Derby!