Saturday Special – May 7

- -

Yes, there are other races than the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May. Start early, go around the world, end late. Here’s your Saturday Special.

Haydock. Race 2. 8:40. Eclectic card of flat and jump races at Haydock. The Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle offers a Grade 3 tag and $88,000. Beltor lined up as a 7-1 shot in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham last year, he’s only run once since. Bet Gwafa.

Ascot. Race 2. 9:30. Lael Stable has had a long history with sons and daughters of Dynaformer. Here’s a daughter, Forever Popular. She takes on geldings, fillies and jumpers in this handicap.

Haydock. Race 3. 9:45. Kelinni finished seventh in the Shadwell Mile last year. Irish-bred son of Refuse To Bend won his prep for this listed stakes.

Lingfield. Race 3. 9:50. Light Music seeks her third straight for The Queen in the Group 3 Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes.

Ascot. Race 3. 10:05. Oriental Fox traveled the globe last year from England to France to Italy. The German-bred makes his 8-year-old debut in the Buckhounds Stakes.

Churchill Downs. Race 1. 10:30. Churchill Downs. The 14-race, 9-hour, 35-minute Derby Day extravaganza begins here.

Nottingham. Race 4. 10:50. Is Great Page rounding back into form? Maybe, bet a little, just in case.

Lingfield. Race 5. 11:00. The Kentucky Derby is supposed to be long at a mile and a quarter. The Betfred Derby Trial Stakes stretches a mile and seven sixteenths. Qatar, Coolmore and Godolphin are represented.

Ascot. Race 5. 11:15. Strong card at Ascot, highlighted by the Victoria Cup, a class 2 handicap going 7 furlongs. It attracts 29.

Belmont Park. Race 4. 2:20. Wow, it’s been a dull two years for Samraat since he finished a game fifth in the Kentucky Derby. He continues to try to get back on track with a try in the Grade 3 Westchester. Heck, it’s been an interesting three years since Mylute took a crack at the Derby, he’s in here too.

Parx. Race 5. 2:43. Hey, it’s Derby Day at Parx, too. Abiding Star aims at his fifth straight win, he looks strong in the Parx Derby

Santa Anita. Race 1. 3:00. Enola Gray won her debut by 16 ¼ lengths. She comes back for her second start, she’s 2/5 against winners.

Parx. Race 8. 4:04. Eighth Wonder puts her undefeated record on the line in the Parx Oaks.

Parx. Race 9. 4:31. John Servis claimed Four Inch Heals for $25,000 in September, she seeks her fifth win for the Parx-based conditioner in the My Juliet

Gulfstream Park. Race 8. 4:46. Wonder how the turf is playing at Gulfstream? The Honey Ryder offers a black-type opportunity for the well-bred Winged Fury.

Woodbine. Race 8. 4:46. Well, hello again. Black Hornet won the Vigil Stakes in 2015. He returns to defend his title. What’s he done in between? He’s been away from the races for a year.

Belterra Park. Race 7. 4:55. Culture shock? Ossetra leaves Bob Baffert’s barn at Santa Anita and makes her debut for Billy Cowans in the Tall Stack.

Sam Houston. Race 8. 5:18. Nothing like Quarter Horse Racing. Get ready for the Governor’s Cup Marathon. It stretches their starch to 870 yards.

Belmont Park. Race 10. 5:44. The return of Messi. The return of Ironicus. The Fort Marcy looks strong.

Gulfstream Park. Race 10. 5:52. In a year when English Channel didn’t make the cut for the Hall of Fame, here’s the third running of the stakes named for the Breeders’ Cup Turf winner. Christophe Clement looks strong with Noble Quality.

Belmont Park. Race 11. 7:00.  Turn off the Derby press conference and watch the Sheepshead Bay. Carla Bianca and Sea Calisi make American debuts.

Hastings Park. Race 7. 8:02. Modern and Hollywood Angel put their rivalry on the line in the George Royal.

Santa Anita. Race 9. 8:22. Be Mine broke her maiden for a $32,000 tag in February. She could become a stakes winner in the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes.

Evangeline Downs. Race 8. 9:59. Still parlaying your Derby superfecta money? Roll it over here in another Derby. Couche Couche should make it three in a row in the Equine Sales Derby.