Louisiana Derby, Santa Anita Derby and the Wood Memorial: A look at the tracks

As we get to within seven weeks of the running of the Kentucky Derby, the races increase in point value and return to some of the most storied venues in the sport.

With the 100-40-20-10 point contests beginning with the Louisiana Derby on March 20, we pause to take a look at that and the rest of the tracks set to host the remaining prep races.

Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas, which opened in 1905, has been home to the Arkansas Derby since 1936. The prep races run at the one-mile track carry some of the richest purses outside of the Triple Crown series.

The Rebel Stakes

The Rebel Stakes coming up on March 13 and the Arkansas Derby scheduled for April 10 are both offering $1million in prize money. The top jockey at Oaklawn this session is Ricardo Santana, Jr., with 24 wins in 121 starts.

Racing at The Fair Grounds in New Orleans, site of the Louisiana Derby on March 20, dates back to 1838.

It's the home to the aforementioned Louisiana Derby, which this year promises to be a rematch of the previously-run Lecomte Stakes and Risen Star Stakes won by Midnight Bourbon and Mandaloun.

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James Graham leads the current meet with 77 victories in 396 races.

Gulfstream Park, Keeneland and Santa Anita

South Florida's Gulfstream Park has been operating since 1944 and has hosted the Florida Derby since 1952. This year, it will be run on March 27.

The Holy Bull Stakes and Fountain of Youth Stakes are previous Kentucky Derby qualifying races to be run at Gulfstream. Greatest Honour clinched a berth in the Triple Crown opener with a victory at the Fountain of Youth.

With a 27% win rate, jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. leads the rider race by a large margin. Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, conducts live race meets in April and October.

It was opened in 1936 and is home to four Kentucky Derby prep races, including the Blue Grass Stakes that will be held this year on April 1.

John Velazquez led the fall meeting with $4.7million in winnings. Irad Ortiz, Jr. also had an impressive month with three wins in 17 starts.

The lone West Coast track to host a 100-40-20-10 points race is Santa Anita Park, located in the Los Angeles area. It opened in 1934, shut down briefly during World War II and has been operating continuously since 1945.

Four Kentucky Derby prep races take place at Santa Anita, including the upcoming Santa Anita Derby on April 3. The top jockey in the meet that began the day after Christmas is Flavien Prat, with 50 victories in 198 races.


Aqueduct is the only racetrack in the city of New York. The track dates back to 1894 and has been in operation since being rebuilt between 1956 and 1959.

It was the site of the biggest Kentucky Derby prep upset of the year when 46/1 longshot Weyburn shocked the field in the Gotham Stakes on March 6.

The final prep race of the season at Aqueduct will be the Wood Memorial on April 3, which was first run in 1925. Jockey Kendrick Carmouche is leading the current meet, winning 25% of his 261 races.