This week's Road to the Kentucky Derby features a stakes tripleheader on Saturday. Originally, four races were scheduled but the San Felipe (Grade II) has been tabled while Santa Anita's track undergoes additional extensive testing.
The $300,000 Gotham (GIII) at one mile begins Saturday's stakes procession at 5:09 p.m. (all times Eastern) and is followed by the $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby (GII) at 1 1/16 miles at 5:25 p.m. and the $200,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (GIII) over 1 1/8 miles on Polytrack at 6:37 p.m.
Aqueduct's Gotham features the much-anticipated return of California-based Instagrand, who won his two juvenile sprints last summer by a combined 20 lengths.
The Tampa Bay Derby is headlined by impressive Pasco winner Win Win Win, Sam F. Davis (GIII) hero Well Defined and runaway Fair Grounds allowance winner Dream Maker.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (GI) third and John Battaglia Memorial winner Somelikeithotbrown is the horse to beat in the Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park.
Each lucrative race will help determine the lineup for this year's $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I). A total of 85 points will be awarded to the top four finishers in the Gotham and Tampa Bay Derby: 50 to first, 20 to second, 10 to third and 5 to fourth. The Jeff Ruby Steaks point scale is 20-8-4-2.
Total points accrued by 3-year-old Thoroughbreds in Road to the Kentucky Derby races will ultimately determine the preference list for the 1 ¼-mile classic at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 4.
Also thrown into Saturday's mix are a trio of Road to the Kentucky Oaks points-scoring races for 3-year-old fillies: the $250,000 Busher over one mile at Aqueduct at 5:40 p.m.; the $100,000 Bourbonette Oaks over one mile on Polytrack at Turfway Park at 5:51 p.m.; and the $200,000 Honeybee (GIII) over 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn Park at 6:09 p.m.
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