Saturday is a big day of racing across the globe. The Dubai World Cup starts at 7:45 am eastern. There are nine races with prize money of at least $1,000,000, culminating with the main event, the $12,000,000 Dubai World Cup.
There is plenty of US representation in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with names like COAL FRONT, STORMY LIBERAL, ROY H, X Y JET, THUNDER SNOW, and AUDIBLE chasing the big bucks in the Persian Gulf city.
Of course, we have the Dubai World Cup covered, and you can get our picks by clicking here.
On this side of the planet, Santa Anita, Gulfstream Park and Oaklawn Park host stakes races with at least $100,000 on the line.
Oaklawn Park Race 9 - $150,000 PURPLE MARTIN STAKES
Santa Anita Race 5 - $400,000 FRANK E. KILROE MILE STAKES GRADE I
Santa Anita Race 6 - $200,000 SAN CARLOS STAKES GRADE II
Santa Anita Race 7 - $100,000 SANTA ANA STAKES GRADE III
Santa Anita Race 9 - $400,000 BEHOLDER MILES STAKES GRADE I
The biggest card of the day is in south Florida. Gulfstream Park features seven stakes races, punctuated with the Florida Derby. Our Florida Derby Wager Guide has analysis of all the top contenders, value picks and longshots; pace analysis; The Play commentary; distance and surface biases; picks and suggested wagers for Gulfstream's seven stakes races.
Gulfstream Park Race 4 - $300,000 GULFSTREAM PARK MILE STAKES GRADE II
Gulfstream Park Race 5 - $125,000 CUTLER BAY STAKES
Gulfstream Park Race 6 - $125,000 SANIBEL ISLAND STAKES
Gulfstream Park Race 8 - $250,000 GULFSTREAM PARK OAKS GRADE II
Gulfstream Park Race 10 - $100,000 SAND SPRINGS STAKES
Gulfstream Park Race 13 - $250,000 PAN AMERICAN STAKES GRADE II
Gulfstream Park Race 14 - $1,000,000 FLORIDA DERBY GRADE I
Beyond the million-dollar bankroll, the winner of the Florida Derby will be awarded 100 qualifying points for the 2019 Kentucky Derby, more than enough to run for the roses. Second place earns 40 points (probably enough points to punch their KD ticket too), 20 points for third, and 10 points to close out the superfecta.
The Florida Derby is the 14th race on the card and scheduled to leave the gates at 6:36 pm eastern. Eleven three-year-olds will race 1 1/8th miles on Gulfstream dirt for their share of the million and entry into the Kentucky Derby.
Odd-makers see it as an open race with HIDDEN SCROLL (PP: 1) getting tepid morning-line support as the 5/2 favorite. BOURBON WAR (PP: 4) and CODE OF HONOR (PP: 9) are right behind at morning-line odds of 7/2 and 3-1, respectively. Gulfstream's Holy Bull Stakes winner, HARVEY WALLBANGER (PP: 3) looks like a live longshot at pre-race odds of 15-1. He's the Rodney Dangerfield of horses. "No respect I tell ya."
Here is The Play for the Florida Derby in our Wagering Guide.
"CODE OF HONOR is coming off a win in his first start off the bench. He tied his best speed figure in round one and he should be at his best in round two. MAXIMUM SECURITY won his last race by 18 lengths. In fact, no horse has been closer than 6 1/2 lengths at the wire in his three career starts. HARVEY WALLBANGER looks mispriced at morning-line 15-1 considering he's never finished worse than second and is on a two-race win streak. HIDDEN SCROLL is the morning-line favorite after finishing fourth as the favorite in his last race but had problems early. Trainer William Mott wins at 21% with beaten favs."
With decent sized fields, the return to racing at Santa Anita, big name horses and high stakes racing from morning to night, Saturday shapes up as a great betting day for horseplayers. Wagering pools should be big, and if recent history in Kentucky Derby Prep races are any indication, plenty of longshots should find their way into-the-money.