Monday’s Memorial Day horse racing card is a big one at Belmont Park and Santa Anita. Six stakes races at Belmont are part of the May 29 Big Apple Showcase that includes a pair of $200,000 races for New York-bred horses. Later in the day at Santa Anita outside Los Angeles, three Grade 1 races headline the card at “The Great Race Place” including the Shoemaker Mile – a “Win and You’re In” qualifying race for the FanDuel Mile Nov. 4 at Santa Anita for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
Belmont Park Memorial Day Stakes
The Big Apple Showcase Day card for New York-breds has six stakes starting with the 7 furlong Bouwerie Stakes for 3-year-old fillies in Race 1 at 1:00 p.m. ET. The Big Apple Showcase is one of three special programs of the year for state-bred horses.
Race 3 – $200,000 Critical Eye Stakes for fillies & maresat 1 1/16 miles
Race 9 – $200,000 Commentator Stakes at 1 1/16 miles
“Big Apple Showcase Day is not only a celebration of the New York-bred program but also a culmination of the achievements of New York breeders who continue to raise the bar in the quality of racehorses foaled in New York State each year,” said New York Thoroughbred Breeders Executive Director Najja Thompson, who partners with the New York Racing Association (NYRA) in highlighting each of the three annual Showcase Days.
And with less than two weeks until the 2023 Belmont Stakes, the NYRA and Belmont Park is gearing up for the 50th anniversary of Secretariat’s historic Triple Crown run.
Santa Anita Memorial Day Stakes
Race 5 and the Gamely Stakes has a post time of 6:12 p.m. ET, and 3:12 p.m. local Pacific time. All three races are Grade 1 stakes.
Race 5 – $400,000 Gamely Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on the turf
Race 7 – $500,000 Shoemaker Mile at 1-mile on the turf
Race 9 – $400,000 Hollywood Gold Cup at 1 1/4 miles
In addition, FanDuel TV will televise many races from Belmont Park and Santa Anita Park, along with action from many other U.S. tracks as part of its usual coverage providing expert insight and analysis on the horses and races.
Racing fans from across the country can watch and wager on the races and enjoy mobile betting through FanDuel Racing.
Memorial Day Expert Picks
FanDuel Racing provides promotions, tips and added content for horse racing and the biggest stakes to help guide you to the winners circle. I also turned to the horse racing experts at Daily Racing Form and Southern California-based handicapper Brad Free for some insight and picks into the big stakes races on Memorial Day.
The mandatory payout in the 20-cent Pick-6 begins with the Gamely Stakes in Race 5 and an estimated pool of $3 million.
Top Win Contenders
Gamely Stakes (Race 5)
#3 Queen Goddess (9/5)
#5 Viareggio (5/2)
#1 School Dance (6/1)
#2 Hong Kong Harry (7/2)
#11 Salesman (8/1)
#1 Gold Phoenix (4/1)
Hollywood Gold Cup
#4 Defunded (4/5)
#1 Country Grammer (8/5)
#2 Senor Buscador (5/1)
The Shoemaker Mile is a “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series qualifying race to the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile at the 2023 Breeders’ Cup World Championships Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita.
There are no clear favorites in the wide open Shoemaker Mile, but some top jockeys are flying in for the big race day at Santa Anita. Leading contenders include Hong Kong Harry (7/2) with Flavien Prat riding, Gold Phoenix (4/1), De Jour (6/1) with Luis Saez riding for trainer Bob Baffert, Balnikov (5/1) with top turf rider Umberto Rispoli up and Exaulted (5/1) with Santa Anita meet’s top jockey Juan Hernandez riding.
Brad Free notes that the 6-year-old Irish-bred gelding Hong Kong Harry is a multiple graded stakes winner, along with trainer Phil D’Amoto’s other two runners Gold Phoenix and Balnikhov. Hong Kong Harry has won 3-of-4 over the Santa Anita turf, and “his top performance is faster than the other horses,” says Free. Hong Kong Harry finished runner-up behind the favorite in a Grade 1 race three weeks ago at Churchill Downs going 1 1/8 miles, and returns to a preferred 1-mile distance.
Hong Kong Harry also finished fourth as the favorite at Santa Anita in March; 1-length behind winner Gold Phoenix and runner-up Du Jour in another Grade 1 race.
Plenty of opportunities to cash in on the races with the added mandatory payout bonus giving racing fans some extra incentive to watch and wager on horse racing Memorial Day.