A quick reference tool meant to help the newer fan (like me!)
NOTE: AFTER A RACE HAS BEEN RUN, you can return here, click on the CARD to view the Results and watch a REPLAY.
|Front page of the DRF at the 1980 Kentucky Derby|
Genuine Risk, the filly, won!
With so many races each week, it is sometimes hard to figure out what is important to watch, where is the most "action", and basically, is there an "order" to things in the sport. Here is my take on how things "work" in horse racing, this time of year anyway. (This discussion does not deal with "handicapping" the races.)
In the "stakes" category of races (there are graded and ungraded stakes races), there are basically two groups racing this time of year: the young 3 year olds on the "Derby Trail" or Road to the Triple Crown"; and, the 4 year olds and up in the "older" or "handicap" group. Within those groups, you will have sprinters, middle-distance runners, and longer races of 1 mile or more typically called the "route" races. There are also races restricted to fillies and there are races open to both sexes. You may have 3 year olds that start out in the sprint group and wind up in the route race group, as this time of year, the object is to find out where your three year old fits best. To be able to run in the three Triple Crown races, you have to be able to run in the route races: The Kentucky Derby is 1 1/4 mi (10 furlongs), the Preakness is 1 3/16 mi (9.5 furlongs), and the Belmont at 1 1/2 mile (12 furlongs).
The industry has unoffficially dubbed certain races the "Derby Preps", although there are other avenues to the Kentucky Derby and to the Triple Crown that a 3 year old might travel. Most of these are "graded" stakes. Derby Prep Races
From the list, first up this weekend is the Lecomte Stakes at the Fairgrounds in New Orleans on Saturday. Other races for 3 year olds today include: the Silverbulletday at The Fairgrounds for fillies, Kittens Joy at Gulfstream; the California Oaks at Golden Gate Fields for 3 yo fillies. On Sunday, the Sweetest Chant for fillies at Gulfstream, and the San Pedro at Santa Anita.
The Grade 3 Lecomte at New Orleans’ Fairgrounds is 1 mile 70 yards, around two turns. Two of the entries in this race already have a graded stakes win under their belts: SHARED PROPERTY, and EXFACTOR, although neither has run around "two turns", which the Lecomte will test for today.
Others of note are TED'S FOLLY, riding a 6-race win streak; and MR BOWLING, each of whom has won a non-graded stakes race. Mr. Bowling hasn’t raced since October, when he finished third as the 7-5 favorite in the Iroquois Stakes. His Jan. 9 workout in 58.80 seconds is among the fastest five-furlong works at this meet. His connections think he prefers two-turn races (the Iroquois was a one-turn event). Mr. Bowling won the Dover Stakes at Delaware, his only two-turn race, by more than seven lengths, and trainer Larry Jones thinks the Iroquois’s one-turn mile didn’t suit his horse.
Ted’s Folly, an Oklahoma-bred, doesn’t seem to care about the number of turns. He won five sprints in a row before capturing the $315,000 Springboard Mile, his route debut, with a strong late rally. Springboard Mile Race Result and Video Replay
The more important races this weekend are listed below, including those for older horses (4 yo and up).
WATCH RACING ONLINE!
Note: There are free sites to watch online: check out http://www.ntra.com/ or NTRA Live Stream or http://www.tvgfree.net/ or sign up for a free trial account at http://www.twinspires.com/content/video You can also catch the replays right after the big races at http://www.raceday360.com/ Calracing has live coverage of races - Will need to register