by Dustin Fabian
December 5, 2019
The stars are out this Saturday and Sunday at tracks around the country, with names like Maximum Security, Whitmore, Spun to Run, Shekky Shebaz, Anneau d’Or and Bast running on Saturday and one of horse racing’s most colorful and enjoyable events, the Caribbean Classic, taking place Sunday at Gulfstream Park.
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But hey, enough commercials. Let’s get into some previews.
Saturday, December 7 – Gulfstream Park
Saturday is Claiming Crown Day at Gulfstream Park. That’s the day on the calendar where current and former claimers step up into restricted stakes company and compete for more than $1.1 Million in purses across nine stellar races. This year’s entrants include Claiming Crown Canterbury runner SHEKKY SHEBAZ, third-place finisher in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, and 16-time winner SPRING UP in the Claiming Crown Emerald. Racing at Gulfstream on Saturday has a special first post of 11:50AM ET and their wager menu includes all of your favorites, including the Rainbow 6, a pair of Pick 5’s and multiple Pick 4’s.
Saturday, December 7 – Aqueduct
Cigar Mile Day at Aqueduct is always a winner and this year is definitely no exception. The field for the Grade 1 ‘Mile includes Haskell and Xpressbet Florida Derby victor (and Kentucky Derby first place finisher) MAXIMUM SECURITY, Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner SPUN TO RUN and Breeders’ Cup Sprint third-place finishers WHITMORE, along with last year’s Cigar Mile runner-up TRUE TIMBER and a duo of Chad Brown horses, LOOKING AT BIKINIS and NETWORK EFFECT. The card also includes the Grade 2 Remsen, starring Todd Pletcher’s ALPHA SIXTY SIX, Shug McGaughey’s AMENDS and Kiaran McLaughlin’s AJAAWEED. The Grade 2 Demoiselle, also on the docket, attracted a field of 12, headlined by 12-length maiden winner LAKE AVENUE and stakes winner CRITICAL VALUE. First post at Aqueduct on Saturday is 11:30AM ET, so be sure to get up early and be ready to fire!
Saturday, December 7 – Los Alamitos (TB)
Saturday’s big races continue in California as Los Alamitos (TB) gets underway at 3:30PM ET and features the Grade 1 Starlet and Grade 2 Futurity for two-year-olds. The Starlet attracted the 2nd and 3rd place finishers from the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, DONNA VELOCE and BAST, while the Futurity nabbed the Juvenile 2nd and 3rd place runners, ANNEAU D’OR and WRECKING CREW, as well as Bob Baffert’s highly-regarded maiden winner THOUSAND WORDS and G3 Bob Hope winner HIGH VELOCITY.
Saturday, December 7 – Sha Tin (HK)
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Saturday night is the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s prestigious Hong Kong International Races, with four major events for some of the top horses in the world. Horses scheduled to compete are Hong Kong’s reigning Horse of the Year, BEAUTY GENERATION, in the Hong Kong Mile, while a strong international contingent, including MAGIC WAND (Ireland), ANTHONY VAN DYCK (Ireland), DEIRDRE (Japan), PRINCE OF ARRAN (Great Britian) and ADMIRE MARS (Japan) offer a stiff challenge to the ‘home team.’ Racing from Sha Tin gets underway at 11:00PM ET on Saturday night with the International Races going as Race 4 (Vase), Race 5 (Sprint), Race 7 (Mile) and Race 8 (Cup).
Sunday, December 8 – Gulfstream Park
The biggest racing event in the Caribbean, the Caribbean Classic, brings its act to Gulfstream Park for the third straight year! This is always an event that showcases plenty of passion, as fans cheer on horses from Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Jamaica and more. First post at Gulfstream Park on Sunday is 11:40AM ET.