Tequilita tops the Royal Delta at Gulfstream
Now 5 years old, Tequilita closed out her 4-year old season with a convincing win in the Rampart (G3) here at Gulfstream back in December. Back for her 2019 bow, she tops the Grade 3 Royal Delta Stakes
Triple Crown hopefuls and veterans abound at Fair Grounds
Later on the card, the 3-year olds will compete for Derby points, but a pair of Triple Crown veterans will first square off in the Grade 3
Speaking of last year’s Triple Crown runners, Combatant continues to try to find a new home on the turf in the Grade 3
Grade 1 winner and half-sister to Triple Crown champion American Pharoah Chasing Yesterday would have topped the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes. But she won't make the trip to Louisiana, leaving Silverbulletday winner Needs Supervision, Tempted (G3) hero Oxy Lady, Golden Rod (G2) winner Liora and Demoiselle (G2) winner Positive Spirit to battle it out. Many in this field are making their seasonal debuts, and you can't forget about the potential brought by Serengeti Empress, a Grade 2 winner by open lengths last fall.
War of Will has to overcome an outside post in order to complete the Lecomte-Risen Star Stakes double. The race drew an overflow field with also-eligible Gun It drawing in thanks to the defection of Kingly. My Head to Head handicapping feature includes a more in-depth analysis of the field which, as with its female counterpart a race earlier, pays out points toward a bigger prize this year at Churchill Downs.
G3 Mineshaft 5:25 p.m.
G3 Fair Grounds Handicap 5:57 p.m.
G2 Rachel Alexandra 6:29 p.m.
G2 Risen Star 7:02 p.m.
Easier Derby points available at Golden Gate
The El Camino Real Derby has retained its status as an official Kentucky Derby prep race despite having little impact on the field lately. This year's even, however, does also award a "Win and You're In" spot to the Preakness Stakes. Trainer Bob Baffert sends out Kingly, a full brother to Grade 2 winner Mohaymen, in hopes that he will take to Golden Gate’s Tapeta surface. On the morning line, he is narrowly favored over local runner Anothertwistafate, who is perfect in two starts at Golden Gate. Nine furlongs will determine the winner. Post time is 6:54 p.m.
Santa Monica comes up loaded
The Grade 2 Santa Monica Stakes could easily be one of the best races of the year so far. In posts one through four, bettors can choose in order from the rail out, dual Grade 1 einner Paradise Woods, last year’s Santa Monica winner Selcourt, Grade 1-winning sprinter Marley’s Freedom and Grade 1 winner Dream Tree. All four like to run on or near the lead, leading me to believe that this seven-furlong affair could get heated from the start. Post time is 7:09 p.m.