Upcoming Major Stakes Races to Watch & Wager Including the Preakness & Belmont

Late spring and early summer offer great racing opportunities for horseplayers including the final two legs of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown Series — the Preakness and Belmont Stakes — along with the opening of Colonial Downs’ 9-week summer season and the high- profile Saratoga summer meet.

Fans can wager the action a number of different ways — at VA-Horseplay Off Track Betting Centers in Henrico (Breakers Sports Grille) and Chesapeake (Buckets Bar & Grill), at any Rosie’s Gaming Emporium in Richmond, New Kent, Vinton, Collinsville, Hampton and Dumfries, and online via TVG.com, Xpressbet.com, Twinspires.com and NYRABets.com.

Triple Crown winner Justify and jockey MIke Smith are shown parading after winning the 150th Belmont Stakes in 2018. Photo from AP.

Here’s the enticing lineup. Enjoy!

Preakness Stakes Weekend – 15 stakes over 2 days!

Friday May 20 – $250,000 Black Eyed Susan Stakes (Gr. 2); $300,000 Pimlico Special (Gr. 3), $150,000 Miss Preakness Stakes (Gr. 3) & 3 others.

Saturday May 21 – $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (Gr. 1); $250,000 Dinner Party Stakes (Gr. 2); $200,000 Chick Lang Stakes (Gr. 2); $150,000 Gallorette Stakes (Gr. 3); $150,000 Maryland Sprint Stakes (Gr. 3)

The OTB at Buckets Bar & Grill in Chesapeake features three different rooms/areas where you can wager.

Memorial Day (Mon. May 30) – Santa Anita hosts a trio of Grade 1 Stakes! $500,000 Shoemaker Mile, $400,000 Gamely, $400,000 Hollywood Gold Cup 

Belmont Stakes Weekend – 14 graded stakes over 2 days!

*Friday June 10 – $750,000 New York Stakes (Gr. I), $400,000 Bed ‘o Roses (Gr. 2), $300,000 True North (Gr. 2) plus 2 others

*Saturday June 11 – $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (Gr.1) plus 7 other Grade 1 stakes:- $1 million Metropolitan Handicap, $750,000 Manhattan, $500,000 Ogden Phipps, $500,000 Acorn, $400,000 Jaipur, $400,000 Woody Stephens, $500,000 Just a Game

Breakers has smoking and non-smoking sections and an outdoor patio.

Saturday July 2 – Holiday Weekend KickoffAt Churchill: $750,000 Stephen Foster (Gr. 2), $300,000 Wise Dan (Gr. 2), $350,000 Fleur de Lis (Gr. 2); At Delaware Park: $300,000 Delaware Oaks (Gr. 3), $200,000 Kent Stakes (Gr. 3); At Woodbine – 4 graded stakes including the $200,000 Highlander (Gr. 2), $175,000 Nassau Stakes (Gr. 2)  

Saturday July 9 – Belmont hosts a pair of Grade 1’s on turf – $1 million Caesars Belmont Derby Invitational, $750,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational; Plus, wager the $500,000 Delaware Handicap (Gr. 2 at Delaware Park), $300,000 Indiana Derby (Gr. 3 at Indiana Grand) & $250,000 Iowa Derby (at Prarie Meadows) that day!

Each Rosie’s has an OTB area which features live simulcasting from up to 20 tracks on a daily basis.

Monday July 11 – Colonial Downs presented by Woodford Reserve opens its “More Racing, More Fun” 9-week race season in New Kent! Opening day card includes four $125,000 Virginia-bred stakes: the Brookmeade, M. Tyson Gilpin, Edward P. Evans & Punch Line. The season continues every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday thru Sept. 7. Daily post time is 1:45 PM.

Thursday July 14 – Opening day of Saratoga’s prestigious summer race season!  Season continues every Wednesday thru Sunday until September 5.