A full day of racing from Dubai to Florida to New Orleans, to Santa Anita.
Two Kentucky Derby preps and two Kentucky Oaks preps in the U.S., and a Derby Prep in Dubai will provide enough points for the top three finishers to likely make it to the starting gate. In New Orleans, the LOUISIANA DERBY will see INTERNATONAL STAR, MR. Z and WAR STORY try for 100-40-20-10 points to the top four finishers. A third or 4th place finish likely would provide the points for Mr. Z to get in the gate.
In Dubai, the only two in the UAE DERBY, a Derby prep, nominated for the Triple Crown are MUBTAAHIJ and MAFTOOL, and a first or second for either horse will likely bring both horses to the U.S. for the Kentucky Derby. You can see the race replays and the rivalry between these two which took place in the World Cup Carnival from January to March 7 at the Dubai World Cup Day blog - click here.
In Florida, UPSTART, MATERIALITY, ITSAKNOCKOUT will duke it out and only Materiality needs points to ensure entry, with at least a second needed. Upstart and Itsaknockout with 50 and 36 points respectively have already stamped their tickets, so the race is likely a sharpening and learning experience. Kentucky Derby Leaderboard - click here
In the Kentucky Oaks division, things are a little more wide open, with the top three finishers of the Gulfstream Oaks and the Fair Grounds Oaks likely garnering enough points for entry to that division on May 1 Only BIRDATTHEWIRE (Gulfstream Oaks) and I'MACHATTERBOX (Fair Grounds Oaks) have their spots secured. A first or second will ensure those runners gate entry, with Eskenformoney (Gulfstream Oaks) possibly only needing a third to secure her spot. Kentucky Oaks Leaderboard - click here
Streaking Phaeton heads Gulfstream Oaks
Imachatterbox the talk of the Fair Grounds Oaks
3-26 from BloodHorse: With Main Sequence racing halfway around the world, Twilight Eclipse will be the one to beat in the $150,000 Pan American Stakes (IIIT) at Gulfstream Park March 28.
The 6-year-old Purim gelding took the 2013 Pan American, where he set the world record, covering 1 1/2 miles in a blistering 2:22.63.
In his last five starts, however, Twilight Eclipse had the misfortune of racing against Main Sequence, the 2014 Eclipse Award champion turf horse and champion older male, hitting the board in each start, but failing to cash in on the top prize.
Twilight Eclipse was only beaten a combined four lengths in those five starts by Main Sequence, who is racing in Saturday's Sheema Classic (UAE-IT) in Dubai instead. Read more at source
TWILIGHT ECLIPSE looks to have the stage all to himself on Saturday at Gulfstream in the Pan American, while earlier in the day, his nemesis, MAIN SEQUENCE, will be battling it out with DESIGNS ON ROME, FLINTSHIRE, and HARP STAR in the $6 Million Sheema Classic in Dubai.
For more on the Derby Trail and undercard action in the U.S. on Saturday, check in at Jeremy Plonk's Countdown to the Crown for March 28, which will be posted Friday.
Coalport seeks fifth straight in Marvin Muniz Handicap
Moreno makes Fair Grounds debut in New Orleans Handicap
For fans of route races of at least 1 1/2 miles or longer, three races look to provide some degree of satisfaction that for now anyway, these types of races are alive and well in the U.S. The PAN AMERICAN and the ORCHID at Gulfstream, both on the turf, and the TOKYO CITY CUP at Santa Anita on the main track, are each 12 furlongs or about 1 1/2 miles. As pointed out above, TWILIGHT ECLIPSE in the absence of his rival all of last year, Main Sequence, should be able to add to his trophy case in the Pan American at Gulfstream.
Bronzo (Fusaichi Pegasus) vying for first U.S. win in the Tokyo City at Santa Anita
Handicapping the Louisiana Derby - HRN
Louisiana Derby Preview - HRN
Handicapping the Florida Derby - HRN
Triple Crown - Kentucky Derby
James Scully's Kentucky Derby Report 3-25-15
Derby Prep Alert
Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen - Mar 24
Jay Privman - Sunland Derby analysis - Firing Line
Matt Berneir and Dan Illman profile Dortmund - video
Take Charge Brandi out of Rebel and off Trail
Jeremy Plonk's Countdown to the Crown - March 28
ESPN Bill Finley: How is it that American Pharoah is not No. 1
ESPN Derby Rankings - 3-21-15 - It's a tie!
Courier-Journal's national media Kentucky Derby poll
Kentucky Derby.com - Updated points posted to Oaks and Derby qualif. races
DRF Road to the Derby - Preps, winners, replays
Derby Watch Mike Watchmaker & Jay Privman keep a weekly tally on what's happening with their Top 20 Derby horses
BloodHorse KY Derby coverage
KY Derby Report - Mar 18 - James Scully - Brisnet
Avalyn Hunter profiles Upstart pedigree
International - Dubai
World Cup Day blog - for in-depth coverage, click here
First stakes race begins at 8:40 a.m. EDT
Note: Times shown below are EDT - ATR card gives London time. Use the times in the left column for New York (EDT).
FREE PPs for Dubai runners
ALL RACE CARDS ON ONE PAGE - click here
First race is at 8:00 a.m. EDT
8:00 EDT $250,000 Kahayla Classic (G1) – Dirt1 1/4 mi R1 - non wagering
8:40 EDT $1,000,000 Godolphin Mile (G2) 1,600 metres – Dirt - 1 mi R2 CARD
9:15 EDT $1,000,000 Gold Cup (G2) 3,200 metres – Turf - 2 mi R3 CARD
9:55 EDT $2,000,000 UAE Derby (G2) 1,900 metres – Dirt - R4 CARD
10:30 EDT $1,000,000 Al Quoz Sprint (G1) 1,000 metres – Turf R5 CARD
11:05 EDT $2,000,000 Golden Shaheen (G1) 1,200 metres – Dirt R6 CARD
11:40 EDT $6,000,000 Duty Free (G1) 1,800 metres – Turf R7 CARD
1:00 EDT $10,000,000 World Cup (G1) 2,000 metres – Dirt R9 CARD
1:11 ET Pan American S G2 GP $150,000 4+ 12f T R13 CARD
1:50 ET Skip Away S G3 GP $150,000 4+ 9.5f R5 CARD
2:20 ET Appleton S G3 GP $150,000 4+ 1 mi T R 6 CARD
3:21 ET Sir Shackleton S GP $100,000 4+ 7f R8 CARD
4:26 ET Honey Fox S G2 GP $300,000 4+ f/m 8f T R10 CARD
5:25 ET Fair Grounds Oaks G2 FG $400,000 3yo f 8.5f # R9 CARD
5:35 ET Gulfstream Oaks G2 GP $250,000 3yo f 8.5f # R12 CARD
5:54 ET New Orleans Handicap G2 FG $400,000 4+ 9f R10 CARD
6:24 ET Louisiana Derby G2 FG $750,000 3yo 9f * R11 CARD
6:48 ET Florida Derby G1 GP $1,000,000 3yo 9f * R14 CARD
8:00 ET Tokyo City Cup G3 SA $100,000 4+ 12f R8 CARD
* or # KY Derby or KY Oaks preps = 100-40-20-10 points
More on today's races
Riposte primed for big effort in Orchid
War Correspondent, Lochte head Appleton
Commissioner eyes easier Skip Away prize
Shared Belief heded for Charles Town Classic
2015 Flat Season: 3-Year-Old Colts Preview: James Willoughby provides an update on the top European Classic prospects for 2015
California Chrome and Able Friend on Royal Ascot's wish list
Training legend Billy Turner shares his thoughts on training