2022 Top Stakes to Bet On: Kentucky Derby Prep Race & 3 Other Great Races

2022 Top Stakes to Bet On: Kentucky Derby Prep Race & 3 Other Great Races

One of the year’s major Kentucky Derby prep races happens on Saturday when 3 year olds step onto the dirt at Oaklawn Park for the Grade 3 Rebel. The purse for the Rebel is $1,000,000, which is why so many top sophomores will attend. Also on Saturday is the Grade 1 Saudi Cup at King Abdulaziz – KSA. 

Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds for the Top Stakes Races of the Week from Saturday, Feb. 26th. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.

Horse Racing Odds & Picks February 21st Edition

King Abdulaziz – KSA – Saturday, Feb. 26

  • Grade 1 Saudi Cup – 1 1/8 miles dirt – 4 year olds & up

The Grade 1 Saudi Cup is one of the most prestigious races of the year. It’s leapfrogged the Dubai World Cup to become the richest dirt race in the world. 

The purse is a staggering $20 million, which is why such horses like newly crowned 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Mandaloun, the Kentucky Racing Board officially disqualified Medina Spirit on Monday, Midnight Bourbon, Art Collector, and Hollywood Gold Cup winner Country Grammer will attend. 

So will Todd Pletcher trained Happy Saver and last year’s winner, Mishriff. A couple of under the radar contenders include Aero Team and Emblem Road. Shanghai Bobby sired Aero Team. Emblem Road calls Quality Road his sire. Emblem Road’s dam, Venturini, is from Bernardini, so the horse is bred to relish the dirt.   

Gulfstream Park – Saturday, Feb. 26

  • Grade 3 Royal Delta Stakes – 1 1/6 miles dirt – 4 year olds & up

Letruska returns to the track to contest the 1 1/16 miles Royal Delta Stakes. No doubt, the Royal Delta is a warm up to much bigger prizes later this year. Letruska failed to hit the board in her last race in 2021, the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff. If she’s right, she’ll romp.

If she’s not geared up for this, though, Kenny McPeek trained Crazy Beautiful and All Worthy from the Saffie Joseph Jr. barn look best. Also take a look at longshot Into Vanishing. The Jonathan Thomas runner was terrible in the Bourbonette Oaks, but she goes artificial to dirt and had won 2 straight before bombing in the Bourbonette. 

Oaklawn Park – Saturday, Feb. 26

  • Grade 3 Honeybee Stakes – 1 1/16 miles dirt – 4 year olds & up

As of Monday, Feb. 21, just 4 runners are confirmed for the Grade 3 Honeybee. The four runners are Steve Asmussen trained and likely favorite Optionality, Free Like A Girl from the Corey Pomier barn, Martha Washington Stakes winner and D. Wayne Lukas trained Secret Oath, and Grade 2 Golden Rod second-place finisher from the Rodolphe Brisset barn, Yuugiri.   

  • Grade 2 Rebel Stakes – 1 1/16 miles dirt – 3 year olds 

Bob Baffert trained Newgrange hopes to make it two in a row at Oaklawn Park when the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes winner hits the track for the Rebel Stakes. No doubt, Newgrange will go off the chalk. 

One horse that could push Newgrange is the Steve Asmussen trained Chasing Time. The Not This Time sired colt is taking a big step up in class. If Chasing Time can handle the class hike, watch out. 

Other entrants include Un Ojo, Rich Strike, Barber Road, Dash Attack, Ben Diesel, and Texas Red Hot. Ethereal Road goes from maiden victory to Grade 2 for hall of fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Take a long look at the D.Wayne runner because the maiden score impressed. 


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