Post positions have been drawn, and the oddsmakers have instilled Omaha Beach as the morning line favorite for the running of the 145th Kentucky Derby. The race goes Saturday, May 4th, with 20 runners set to battle 1 1/4 miles on the Churchill Downs dirt track, chasing a purse of $3 million and the first leg of the US Triple Crown.
On Saturday at Churchill Downs, the track will host the $200,000 Wise Dan Stakes. The Grade 2 event was formerly known as the Firecracker Stakes and was won by the two-time Horse of the Year in both 2011 and 2013. The mile and a sixteenth turf race has drawn a field of eleven.
While the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) is the highlight of the day on Saturday, June 11, there will be no shortage of star quality in the undercard races. The track is scheduled to card a total of seven graded stakes races with over $6.6 million in purses.
The 2016 Belmont won’t feature the Kentucky Derby winner and no Triple Crown is on the line, but from a handicapping standpoint the test of champions promises to be a far better betting race than the Preakness.
The featured race on Saturday at Arlington Park is the $100,000 Arlington Classic. Scheduled to be run at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf, the Grade 3 event has drawn a field of twelve three-year-old colts and geldings.
The field is set for the $100,000 Arlington Matron Stakes from Arlington Park. The Grade 3 event will be contested at a mile and an eighth on the synthetic main track and has drawn a field of eleven fillies and mares.