LEXINGTON, Ky. (February 21, 2020) – Each week, the NTRA will provide a guide to the best stakes races in North America and beyond. Races are listed in chronological order (all times Eastern). Full previews when available can be found through the link for each race.
This weekend is a rare quiet one at this point in the calendar with only a couple of graded stakes slated in the World of Trouble Sprint at Gulfstream Park and the Buena Vista Stakes at Santa Anita Park. There will be no such pause next weekend as the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes will be one of nine graded stakes on the February 29 card at Gulfstream and is set to serve as the seasonal bow for Dennis’ Moment, the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile who stumbled badly at the start of that race.
America’s Day at the Races, the acclaimed national racing broadcast on FS2, will broadcast Saturday from 3-6:30 p.m., showing action from Aqueduct Racetrack, Oaklawn Park Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park.
Airing on FS2, and produced by NYRA, America’s Day at the Races is presented by America’s Best Racing, Runhappy and Claiborne Farm. Saturday’s stakes coverage kicks off with World of Trouble and will ultimately shift to the West Cost for the Buena Vista, where Jolie Olimpica will look to sustain her perfect 4-for-4 record and build off her North American debut.
Saturday February 22
4:04 p.m.—$100,000 Grade 3 World of Trouble Sprint Stakes at Gulfstream Park on FS2 and TVG
Chiefswood Stables Limited’s Yorkton will enter Saturday’s World of Trouble Sprint at Gulfstream Park as the only multiple graded-stakes winner in a field of eight older horses. The 6-year-old son of Speightstown, however, will be on a quest to win his first graded stakes on dirt in the six-furlong sprint. Yorkton, whose greatest successes have come over Woodbine’s synthetic surface, has run only four times outside of Canada, twice at Gulfstream Park in 2017. The Ontario-bred homebred raced on dirt for the first and only time February 12, 2017, when he hit the gate at the start and lost all chance. He finished off-the-board in a 7 ½-furlong turf race in his next start at Gulfstream.
5:29 p.m.—$200,000 Grade 2 Buena Vista Stakes at Santa Anita Park on FS2 and TVG
Ultra impressive in her U.S. debut, Jolie Olimpica (BRZ) seeks to remain unbeaten as she heads a field of 12 older fillies and mares going one mile on turf in the Buena Vista Stakes at Santa Anita. Recent Grade 1 winner Lady Prancealot (IRE), graded stakes winner Carressa, and recent graded stakes-placed fillies La Sardane and Mucho Unusual all lend depth to what figures to be an enticing race. A Group 1 winner going one mile on turf in her final Brazilian start on June 9, 2019, Jolie Olimpica was off as the 6-5 favorite in the Grade 3 Las Cienegas Stakes at 5 ½ furlongs on turf January 11 and despite bobbling at the break, sat a close second to the far turn and won easily, prevailing by 1 ¼ lengths under Mike Smith.