The Kentucky Oaks on Friday and the Kentucky Derby on Saturday are this weekend’s two signature races. But those two events aren’t the only graded races on April 30 and May 1. Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds for the Top Stakes Races of the Week from Friday, April 30th to Saturday, May 1st. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.
Top Stakes Races for the Week – Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby on April 30 and May 1
Churchill Downs – Friday, April 30
- Grade 1 La Troienne – 1 1/16 miles on dirt – $500,000
Brad Cox trained Shedaresthedevil and Chad Brown runner Dunbar Road headline the field in the Grade 1 La Troienne. Finite, from the Steve Asmussen barn, Sanenus, Paris Light, and Kenny McPeek trained Envoutante should also run.
- Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks – 1 1/8 miles on dirt – $1,250,000
14 three-year-old fillies should enter the starting gate for the over $1 million Kentucky Oaks on Friday. Brad Cox trained Travel Column and Malathaat from the Todd Pletcher barn should battle for favoritism. Expect Clairiere to get some looks while Millefeulle and Crazy Beautiful will attract plenty of action.
Churchill Downs – Saturday, May 1
- Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile – 1 mile over turf – $500,000
Only three horses are confirmed for the Distaff Turf Mile on Saturday, Abscond, Blowout, and Got Stormy. Because the purse is for $500,000, we should expect plenty of other runners to join the three in the starting gate.
- Grade II American Turf – 1 1/16 miles over turf – $500,000
Winfromwithin, Palazzi, Lucky Law, Holy Vow, and Fire At Will should all enter the starting gate for the American Turf. At least four to five more horses figure to join the five. Todd Pletcher trained Winfromwithin has won two straight and should go off one of the chalks.
- Grade II Pat Day Mile – 1 mile over dirt – $500,000
Four horses that were on the Kentucky Derby Trail in January and February will now run in the Pat Day Mile. Jackie’s Warrior, Prevalence, Gretzky the Great and Dream Shake were all contenders for the roses. All failed to stay on the Derby path. The Pat Day Mile is a nice consolation. But as good as those horses have looked, Chad Brown trained Excellent Timing my go off the chalk.
- Grade 1 Derby City Distaff – 7 furlongs on dirt – $500,000
Bob Baffert trained Gamine will go off less than even money to win the Derby City Distaff. She won the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint last year and took the Grade 3 Las Flores in her only race in 2021. Right now, Gamine may be the most talented sprinter in the world.
- Grade 1 Turf Classic – 1 1/8 miles turf – $1,000,000
Chad Brown will saddle two in the Turf Classic, Flavius and Digital Age. Todd Pletcher trained Colonel Liam won the Grade 2 Muniz Memorial Classic in the last. Masteroffoxhounds, Ivar, and Spooky Channels are three longshots worth taking a closer look.
- Grade 1 Kentucky Derby – 1 ¼ mile on dirt – $3,000,000
Essential Quality and Rock Your World should go off first and second followed by Highly Motivated, Hot Rod Charlie, and Known Agenda. Top longshots include Midnight Bourbon and Dynamic One. Which horse will run to Derby glory and which horses will run up the track? Tune into the 2021 Kentucky Derby to find out.