While there are no Kentucky Derby prep races scheduled for this week, Canterbury’s Road to Kentucky Handicapping Contest continues nonetheless, awarding cash weekly to the top five entrants as well as entry for the top three to an exclusive National Horseplayers Championship qualifier with a grand prize valued at $10,000.
The featured track Feb. 20 is Gulfstream Park with 12 races including the G3 Royal Delta Stakes. With no prep race there are no double-point bonus races. Congratulations to last week’s winner Craig Johnson as well as second and third-place finishers Greg Budnik and Tom Fozo. Gulfstream first post and contest entry deadline is 11:10 AM.
Canterbury’s Racebook opens well before that at 7 AM to offer wagering and viewing of the Saudi Cup races which includes the headliner $20m Saudi Cup, the world’s most valuable race. Charlaton, Knicks Go and Sleepy Eyes Todd are three of the 14 entered in the field. For more information about the race day check out the Saudi Cup website.
Thorough analysis is provided around the web. The USRacing website has excellent profiles of the competitors for those looking for a deeper dive.
Fonner Park in Grand Island, Nebraska begins its spring meet Friday and will run Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through May 1. Canterbury live meet players will find some horses and trainers at Fonner familiar to them. Last year when the pandemic was raging and tracks were shut down across the country, Fonner ran week days and capitalized on the lack of content, boosting handle to record levels and introducing gamblers to the wonders of a bull ring.
Star of the North, winner of the 2020 Northern Lights Debutante at Canterbury, recently won a stallion stakes at Sam Houston and is entered again to race in the next leg of that stallion series, a $75,000 sprint, on Saturday night in Houston. Ry Eiklebery rides the Minnesota bred filly owned and bred by Michael Grossman and trained by Francisco Bravo.