Super Saturday in Dubai, Gold Cup in Bardados, Gotham in New York, three stakes in Florida and what could be a public workout for champion Songbird in California highlight a huge day of action covered in this week's Saturday Special presented by Pin Oak Stud, home of Alternation, Broken Vow and Cowboy Cal.
The day starts early with the card at Meydan Racecourse, with Keen Ice, Golden Soul and Mubtaahib meeting in the day's feature, and it goes all the way into the evening and even the wee hours of Sunday morning if you're so inclined. Songbird is the clear headliner and she goes for win No. 6 in the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel.
We've got your Saturday rundown right here, all 1437 words of it. Enjoy.
Meydan. Race 1. 7:00 a.m. Break your maiden at Monmouth Park. Wind up in Dubai. Market Rally is 2/5 in the opener.
Meydan. Race 3. 8:10. The ever-present Sole Power stays busy. The 9-year-old owns 12 wins and has traveled the world - UAE, IRE, ENG, FR, HK appear on his form.
Meydan. Race 4. 8:45. Long River, by A.P. Indy out of Round Pond, used to run here in races like the Woodward, Jockey Club Gold Cup and Stephen Foster. Now, he tries to break a long losing streak. He's one of six American-bred runners in the Grade 3 stakes.
Stratford. Race 1. 9:20. David Loder, once a flat trainer, unveils Recently Acquired over hurdles. Love his pedigree.
Meydan. Race 6. 9:55. Is there life after chasing American Pharoah? Mubtaahij hasn't won since dominating the UAE Derby last year and trying two legs of the U.S. Triple Crown. Is there life after beating American Pharoah? Keen Ice meets the greatest jockey in the world, Ryan Moore, for his Dubai World Cup prep. Hell, is there life after chasing Orb? Golden Soul has won once since finishing second to Orb in the 2013 Kentucky Derby, he's spent the winter in Dubai for his owner/breeder Chuck Fipke.
Newbury. Race 4. 10:25. The Stanjames.com Gold Cup. Shutthefrontdoor couldn't deliver the perfect sendoff to A.P. McCoy's career, finishing fifth in last year's Grand National. He could still bolster Barry Geraghty's career, though.
Doncaster. Race 4. 10:45. The Grimthorpe Chase. The Druids Nephew tries to right the ship, he's been dull in two starts since tipping up while cruising in last year's Grand National. The Last Samuri and others try to their book tickets to Aintree.
Gowran Park. Race 4. 10:55. Rubi Light seeks his 10th career win in this handicap chase.
Lingfield. Race 5. 11:15. Listed stakes attracts Abe Lincoln. Really.
Las Piedras. Race 2. Noon. Cool to see horses by Fernando Po, A Little Warm and Holzmeister. They say Uruguay is nice this time of year...
Aqueduct. Race 1. 12:50 p.m. Linda Rice doubles up with firsters City Traveler and Joy Drive for 6-furlong maiden to open the Gotham Stakes card.
Gulfstream Park. Race 5. 1:56. Where else but racing can there be stakes races by the same name run at two tracks at distances of 5 furlongs on the grass and 1 3/16 miles on the grass. The first 2016 edition of The Very One Stakes, the longer, looks like the Chad Brown show. He's got three of the six entered, including Chilean imports Guapaza and Dacita. By the way, the other The Very One (love the The) is usually on the Preakness undercard at Pimlico.
Gulfstream. Race 6. 2:25. Kiaran McLaughlin is on fire so far in 2016. He's got Travis County, first-time starter by Tapit who cost $850,000 as a yearling in 2014, entered in his 7-furlong maiden for 3-year-olds.
Parx Racing. Race 5. 2:43. Alto Belle dominated a maiden field in November at Aqueduct then flopped after a bad start in the Busanda in late January. Trappe Shot filly tries to get back on track in 1-mile allowance.
Gulfstream. Race 7. 2:55. What do you think old sport? Jay Gatsby might be worth a look in deep allowance-optional on the grass.
Santa Anita. Race 1. 3:30. Bred and owned by Wertheimer & Frere, Atypique makes his debut. He's by Tapit out of Halfcause, a daughter of champion Halfbridled.
Tampa Bay Downs. Race 7. 3:44. A decent starter allowance on the turf. Powerofone, a two-time winner over jumps and a maiden on the flat, tries winners over 11 furlongs on the turf.
Aqueduct. Race 7. 3:50. Third edition of the Heavenly Prize Invitational lures House Rules, Include Betty and Cali Star up from Florida.
Garrison Savannah. 3:55. The Barbados Gold Cup. HRRN coverage kicks off at 3:00 on Sirius 108/XM 202 and streaming worldwide on www.horseracingradio.net
Parx. Race 8. 4:04. Donegal Moon shares the van ride with Alto Belle and tries to bounce back from three straight defeats - once when he lost the rider - in 1-mile allowance for 3-year-olds. He's nominated to the spring classics, as are Hard Hitter for Linda Rice and Snow Fighter for Chuck Lawrence.
Sunland Park. Race 3. 4:20. Amazing where they wind up. Maiden fillies bred by Winchell Thoroughbreds, Hill 'n' Dale, Brereton Jones...and New Mexico State University.
Gulfstream. Race 10. 4:27. Nearly all the usual suspects with entries in two turn maiden on the grass for 3-year-olds.
Oaklawn Park. Race 6. 4:39. The indomitable Regally Ready seeks his 20th career victory in a deep allowance worth $75,000.
Aqueduct. Race 9. 4:50. Plenty of Kentucky Derby points on the line - 85 in fact, with 50 to the winner - and $400,000 for the Grade 3 Gotham. Interesting cast for this year's renewal, with Withers winner Sunny Ridge, unbeaten Shagaf, a couple Uncle Mo colts in Rally Cry and Mo Power and even a maiden in Laoban.
Gulfstream. Race 11. 4:58. Stanford and Grande Shores, second and third from the Grade 3 Fred Hooper; take on Valid and Itsaknockout, second and fourth from the Grade 1 Donn, in good renewal of Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap.
Gulfstream. Race 12. 5:30. Almost three years removed from setting a world record in South Florida and Twilight Eclipse is still going strong. Venerable gelding makes 2016 and 7-year-old debut in Grade 2 Mac Diarmida going 1 3/8 miles.
Oaklawn Park. Race 8. 5:38. Twelve-time winner Ivan Fallunlovalot looked like the star of the Hot Springs Stakes. A quarter crack will keep him out, but his connections hope to make the Count Fleet later in in the meet.
Santa Anita Park. Race 5. 5:45. And this makes six. Undefeated Songbird goes for another afternoon jaunt to the orchard for pick-your-own. She faces nine rivals in the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel, well, she faces them in the paddock but doubt she'll see them on the track.
Fair Grounds. Race 9. 6:21. The $50,000 Allen 'Black Cat' Lacombe Memorial for 3-year-old fillies on the grass looks like good spot for Sapphire Kitten to get first stakes win after banging heads in graded company for three of her last four starts.
Fonner Park. Race 9. 6:22. Remember Tim Tebow? How about Tebow Time? He's a Florida-bred 7-year-old by City Place and he's 3-1 on the morning line for the $10,000 Grasmick.
Golden Gate Fields. Race 7. 6:45. Bronze Star, a 4-year-old by Tapit who cost $500,000 as a yearling, ships north for Fox Hill Farm and Jerry Hollendorfer for 6-furlong allowance.
Santa Anita. Race 7. 6:48. Tough allowance race going two turns on the turf. Ohio, winner of four of seven in South America, makes his American debut and attracts Hall of Famer Gary Stevens. Royal Albert Hall regroups in his first allowance try since May. He's tried seven consecutive stakes.
Fair Grounds. Race 10. 6:50. Two-turn maiden for 3-year-olds attracts big field, including eight Triple Crown nominees.
Santa Anita. Race 8. 7:20. Interesting to see Bodhisattva making his first start for owner/trainer Doug O'Neill. Son of Student Council won the Federico Tesio last year. Seattle Serenade aims to make it 3-for-3 for the Songbird team of Hollendorfer and Smith.
Penn National. Race 4. 7:22. A Triple Crown nominee and seven others sprint 6 furlongs in this maiden affair.
Sam Houston. Race 9. 11:05. OK, if you're still clicking “bet,” this is the nadir of your betting life. The Grade 1 HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup. A good horse is a good horse. Paddy's Day seeks his 12th victory in his 15th start.
Canberra (Australia). Race 7C. 1:13 a.m. Still going strong? Make a frozen pizza and catch the Mercedes-Benz Black Opal Stakes. Two-year-old sons of More Than Ready, Uncle Mo, Ready's Image and Congrats clash in the Group 3. If we're lucky, perhaps, they'll pipe in music from Big Boss Groove, Guitar Cases or DJ Felix from Canberra's premier day of racing.