The Memorial Day weekend might be a chance to pause between the final two Triple Crown races, but it also features six graded stakes at Santa Anita, including the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup. Four graded events will run at other North American tracks.
Here is an early look at the likely fields.
Triple Bend (G2), Santa Anita, seven furlongs, 4-year-olds and up
Brickyard Ride's win in the Kona Gold (G3) was his fourth consecutive victory. American Theorem has finished no better than sixth in three starts since winning a Santa Anita allowance in January. Elector has raced only three times, winning his last two starts.
Honeymoon (G3), Santa Anita, 1 1/8 miles (turf), 3-year-old fillies
Cairo Memories won the Providencia last out by 4 1/2 lengths, with Sterling Crest and Gold Dragon Queen – both expected here – finishing second and third. Helens Well has had a victory in five starts since breaking her maiden last August.
Daytona (G3), Santa Anita, 6 1/2 furlongs (turf), 4-year-olds and up
Gregorian Chant came off a seven-month layoff to win a Santa Anita allowance before finishing third in the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G2) at Churchill Downs. Get Her Number also was off for seven months, returning to win an allowance and then finishing 13th in the San Francisco Mile (G3).
Soaring Softly (G3), Belmont Park, seven furlongs, 3-year-old fillies
Derrynane's loss by a neck in the Limestone Stakes last month was her first start since finishing fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint for Christophe Clement. Clement is also the new trainer for Breeze Easy, who would make her first U.S. start after going 8: 1-1-1 in England and Ireland. Skims has a 4: 2-0-1 record after finishing third in the Appalachian (G3) last out.
Probables were not available for the Eclipse (G2) at Woodbine, for 4-year-olds and up going 1 1/16 miles on the synthetic surface.
Hollywood Gold Cup (G1), Santa Anita, 1 1/4 miles, 3-year-olds and up
Stilleto Boy led the Californian (G2) gate to wire to win by 1 1/4 lengths over Express Train, with Spielberg a very distant third. Before Proxy's third-place finish in the Ben Ali (G3), he was second in the New Orleans Classic (G2). Royal Ship came off a seven-month layoff to win the John Shear Mile here last out.
Gamely (G1), Santa Anita, 1 1/8 miles (turf), fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up
Going Global has won eight of her last 10 starts, with one of the losses a half-length loss in the San Clemente (G2), and six of the wins in graded stakes. The top four finishers from the Wilshire Stakes (G3) could return here, and Going to Vegas finished second in her two starts this year: the Santa Ana (G3) and the Buena Vista (G2).
Shoemaker Mile (G1), Santa Anita, 1 mile (turf), 3-year-olds and up
Smooth Like Straight has finished in the money in 17 of his 20 career starts, but he does not have a win in five attempts since winning this race last year. The top four finishers from the Charles Whittingham (G2) could return here; Beyond Brilliant won that race by 1 1/2 lengths. Count Again started the year with wins in the Thunder Road (G3) and the Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1) before finishing sixth in the Maker's Mark Mile (G1).
Winning Colors (G3), Churchill Downs, six furlongs, fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up
Sconsin will make her first start since September, when she won the Open Mind Stakes at this track. She also won last year's edition of this race. Li'l Tootsie returns to graded-stakes company, looking for her first win in three tries since December. Acting Out came off a seven-month layoff to go 2-for-2 at Oaklawn, including an upset win over Frank's Rockette in the listed Carousel Stakes.
Steve Sexton Mile (G3), Lone Star Park, one mile, 3-year-olds and up
After a four-month break, Rated R Superstar has raced once each month at Oaklawn in 2022, winning the Essex (G3) and the listed Fifth Season. Three Technique's win in the Knicks Go Overnight on the Kentucky Derby undercard was his first score in his last 11 starts.