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Another week of graded stakes action is in the books and as always, there was some terrific action all over the country. Two tracks hosted important graded stakes races this weekend - both Gulfstream and Santa Anita each hosted a Grade 3 race Saturday and a Grade 2 race Sunday. Let's take a look at what went down in Florida and California this past weekend starting with the Saturday action.
Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California will host the Grade 3 San Gabriel Stakes this Sunday, January 13. Four year olds will be featured as they go 1 1/8 miles on Santa Anita's turf track in search of their share of the $150,000 purse.
The Grade 3 Hal's Hope Stakes comes our way from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach Florida this Sunday, January 13. Four year olds will be after the winner's share of the $100,000 purse when they go one mile on Gulfstream's dirt track.
Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida will be the scene of the Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale Stakes this Saturday, January 12. Horses four years old and upward will be featured as they go 1 1/16 miles on Gulfstream's turf track in search of their share of the $150,000 purse.
The Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes comes our way from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California this Saturday, January 12. It is the second leg of Santa Anita's Strub Series culminating in the $200,000 Strub Stakes February 2. Four year olds will be after the winner's share of the $150,000 purse when they go 1 1/16 miles on Santa Anita's main track.
The Carnival commences on January 10 with a first post of 10:05 a.m. EST for a six-race program featuring the $250,000 Al Maktoum Challenge Round I (G2) over 1,600 meters (about one mile) on the all-weather track at Meydan Racecourse.
After more than seven years away from racing and a gig as an analyst on HRTV and NBC Sports, Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens confirmed in an interview with HRTV January 3 that he would indeed return to the saddle beginning Jan. 6 in a $50,000 claiming race on the turf at Santa Anita Park aboard R and R Warren's Jebrica, a 5-year-old Washington-bred gelding.
The Road to the Kentucky Derby is in full swing - victories by Overanalyze in the Remsen and Uncaptured in the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs way back on Nov. 24 propelled the 2-year-olds into the numbers four and five positions, respectively, in the standings. The standings have fluctuated mightily since the Kentucky Jockey Club and some newly minted three year olds have emerged as contenders for the Run For the Roses in May.
Another weekend has passed - that can only mean one thing - the world of graded stakes thoroughbred action has some new victors, some repeat winners and some unexpected standout performances. This week there were five big stakes races around the country with three at Santa Anita Park, one at Gulfstream and one at Aqueduct. The highlight was the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita - a Kentucky Derby points race. Let's break down all the action starting with the Sham.
Santa Anita Park in beautiful Arcadia, California will be the scene of the Grade 2 Monrovia Stakes this Sunday, January 6. Fillies and mare four years old and upward will be featured as they go six and a half furlongs on Santa Anita's downhill turf course for a purse of $150,000.
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