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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

ROAD TO KENTUCKY DERBY HEATS UP IN FLORIDA AND CALIFORNIA

By HRI Foreign Staff — As January takes away the novelty of the new year and the cold of winter, things start to get familiar, and the races are becoming a blissful routine once again. The last week of January promises some exciting action in the US, with a couple of great racecourses active to usher in the new month. While some of the horses will make a trip across the sea to find glory in Cheltenham, some will remain and provide much-needed diversity of entertainment. Punters will want to keep up with all the latest developments and active racecourses by constantly checking the racebook and staying in the loop because the action is coming thick and fast. On January 30th, Santa Anita Park and Gulfstream Park’s racecourses will both be active, alongside Aqueduct, to entertain some pretty memorable events.

Gulfstream Park

Gulfstream Park, Florida, is far from being just another racecourse; it is a go-to place for entertainment and mega fun, with the racing still a focal point in all that happens there. The last Saturday of the month will be a very active one as the left-handed track welcomes two historic races. First up is the Road to Kentucky Derby event, the HOLY BULL STAKES. Just like races that make the Road to Cheltenham, the Holy Bull Stakes is one to watch out for before the prestigious Kentucky Derby. The race has always produced horses that impress in the Derby, including Go For Win and Barbaro.

Recently degraded to Grade 3, the event will be looking to recapture all the flashing lights that made it a must-see. The distance to be run is one and one-sixteenth of a mile for a purse of $200,000. The FORWARD GAL STAKES will also be on the card, a seven-furlong run on a dirt track, for $100,000. Open to three-year-old fillies, the race is part of the Road to Kentucky Oaks qualifiers. The Kitten’s Joy stakes, Swale stakes, and Sweetest Chant stakes will make up the rest of the action-packed Grade 3 card for Gulfstream.

Santa Anita Park

The Robert B. Lewis stakes immediately jumps out of the card as the race to keep an eye on, as it counts for points towards the Road to Kentucky Derby. The race is a Grade 3 flat run of one and one-sixteenth of a mile, open to thoroughbreds aged three years old, and has a purse of $100,000. The San Pasquale stakes will also be on show, a Grade 2 run with a purse of $200,000. The weight allowance should make for an exciting run, as the race scraps its handicap style. The distance to be run is one and one-eighth of a mile, on the left-handed dirt track, and is open to horses four years and above.

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