The action begins right here at Aqueduct with a card featuring the Grade 3, $250,000 Gotham Stakes for three-year-olds at a mile and sixteenth on the inner dirt track. The Gotham is an important race on the road to the May 2 Kentucky Derby and is the main local prep for the biggest race of the Aqueduct meet – the Grade 1, $750,000 Wood Memorial for three-year-olds at nine furlongs on Saturday, April 4.
After Aqueduct’s races are concluded, the action shifts to the left coast, where Santa Anita will host three Grade 1 stakes races – the Santa Anita Handicap, the Santa Anita Oaks and the Frank E. Kilroe Mile. The Big ‘Cap will have an approximate post time of 8:02 p.m. Eastern.
Aqueduct will remain open to simulcast the Big ‘Cap in the regular bridge area and NYRA Rewards players club.
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Grand Champion and Saint Daimon, two players in Saturday’s Toboggan, blew out three furlongs this morning on Belmont Park’s fast training track.
Hobeau Farm’s Saint Daimon, a 6-year-old Saint Ballado gelding, was clocked in 36.45, breezing. Trained by Steve Jerkens, he has a 5-1-2 record from 12 starts at six furlongs. Jockey Jean-Luc Samyn has the mount on Saturday from post 7.
Susan Moore and M and M Thoroughbred Partners’ Grand Champion went in 37.11, breezing.
Trained by Mike Hushion, the 6-year-old son of Two Punch has not started since finishing fourth in the Fall Highweight Handicap back in November.
Eibar Coa, up from Florida, will ride Grand Champion, who drew post 8 in the nine-horse field.
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A reminder to turn clocks one hour ahead on Saturday night as Daylight Savings Time begins.
Sunday is the final day of the first-race post time of 12:30 p.m. for the season. On Wednesday, March 11, first race post returns to 1 p.m.