OZONE PARK, N.Y. — America’s Day at the Races, the acclaimed national telecast produced by the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) in partnership with FOX Sports, will air eight total hours of live racing coverage this weekend encompassing action from Aqueduct Racetrack, Oaklawn Park and Gulfstream Park.
Presented by America’s Best Racing and Claiborne Farm, America’s Day at the Races will broadcast 2-7 p.m. Eastern on Saturday on FS2, while Sunday will feature coverage on FS2 from 4-5 p.m. with FS1 airing the program from 5-7 p.m.
Stakes action abounds on Saturday’s slate, including a pair of prep races for the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby. The Grade 2, $300,000 Fountain of Youth, carded as Race 14 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida, will offer 50-20-10-5 Derby qualifying points to the top-four finishers. The 1 1/16-mile contest, set to go off at 6:10 p.m., will feature 10 contenders, including 9-5 morning-line favorite Greatest Honour for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey. A 5 3/4-length winner of the Grade 3 Holy Bull last month over the same track, Greatest Honour will face a talented field that includes 7-2 selection Fire At Will, with the Mike Maker trainee returning to dirt in his 3-year-old debut following a win in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf in November at Keeneland. Big A leading rider Kendrick Carmouche will travel to Florida for the call on Fire At Will.
Other graded stakes action at Gulfstream that will air on America’s Day at the Races includes the Grade 2, $200,000 Gulfstream Park Mile for 4-year-olds and up in Race 9 at 3:27 p.m., and the Grade 3, $200,000 Davona Dale for 3-year-old fillies in Race 12 at 5:04 p.m. The Davona Dale, contested at one mile, offers 50-20-10-5 points to the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks.
At Oaklawn, another qualifier for the “Run for the Roses” will be on tap, as a seven-horse field competes in the Grade 3, $750,000 Southwest with 10-4-2-1 points up for grabs. Slated as Race 10 with a 5:58 p.m. post, the Hot Springs, Arkansas-based track will see Eclipse Award-winning Essential Quality make his sophomore bow after going 3-for-3 as a juvenile, including wins at Keeneland in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity and the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile to become a champion for trainer Brad Cox.
The 3-2 favorite will face an ambitious field that includes Jackie’s Warrior [8-5] for Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen. Jackie’s Warrior, who captured the Grade 1 Runhappy Hopeful at Saratoga and Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont last season, will look to turn the tables on Essential Quality after finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile as the odds-on favorite.
Oaklawn will also showcase the Grade 3, $600,000 Razorback for 4-year-olds and up led by 2020 Grade 2 Jim Dandy-winner Mystic Guide in Race 7 at 4:20 pm. as well as the $200,000 Spring Fever in Race 8 at 4:52 p.m.
Aqueduct will get in on the stakes action with the $125,000 Stymie for 4-year-olds and up going a one-turn mile in Race 3 at 2:03 p.m. Eastern. Chester and Mary Broman’s New York-bred legend Mr. Buff, trained by John Kimmel, will go for his 11th career stakes win in headlining a five-horse field, listed as the 3-5 favorite with Musical Heart the second choice at 2-1.
Sunday’s racing action from Oaklawn will feature the return of Monomoy Girl, the reigning champion Older Dirt Female, in the Grade 3, $250,000 Bayakoa, a 1 1/16-mile test for older fillies and mares. The 6-year-old Tapizar chestnut, who sports a record of 13 wins and two seconds from 15 starts, boasts purse earnings in excess of $4.4 million. Florent Geroux will pilot the Cox trainee from the outside post in a field of six. The Bayakoa is slated as Race 9 on Sunday at 6:11 p.m.
NYRA paddock analyst Maggie Wolfendale will be reporting live on-site from Oaklawn all weekend, while Paul Lo Duca will be stationed at Gulfstream for Sunday’s broadcast.
America’s Day at the Races is also broadcast on NYRA’s YouTube channel which boasts more than 64,000 subscribers. Fans can subscribe to NYRA’s channel and set a reminder to watch the show on YouTube Live. NYRA’s YouTube channel also hosts a plethora of race replays, special features, America’s Day at the Races replays and more.
Free Equibase-provided past performances are available for races that are part of the America’s Day at the Races broadcast and can be accessed at https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/tv-schedule.
NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Aqueduct Racetrack, and the best way to bet every race of the winter meet. Available to horseplayers nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.