By Noel Michaels
The table is set for a high-quality fall season finale beginning with the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Some top tracks will be serving up extra helpings of great racing, including Aqueduct, Churchill Downs and Del Mar.
These three tracks will keep running through early December, which makes it easier for horseplayers to narrow their focus to these three simulcast signals. Of course, there are other tracks you may have a personal preference for as Tampa Bay Downs at the Fair Grounds are opening their winter meets, and Gulfstream Park begins its championship season on Dec. 4, with the Claiming Crown.
The upcoming headline races include the Cigar Mile (G1) on Dec. 4 at the Big A and the Clark (G1) at Churchill on Nov. 26.
Aqueduct remains open all winter, but the fall meet (along with turf racing in all likelihood) will end on Dec. 5 with NYRA’s final graded stakes of 2021 to be run on Dec. 4.
Here’s a list of late fall’s top stakes races:
Thursday, Nov. 25
Churchill: Falls City Handicap (G2), 1 1/8 miles, 3 and up
Del Mar: Red Carpet Stakes (G3), 1 3/8 miles, turf, 3 and up fillies and mares
Friday, Nov. 26
Aqueduct: Comely Stakes (G3), 1 1/8 miles, 3-year-old fillies
Churchill: Clark (G1), 1 1/8 miles, 3 and up
Del Mar: Hollywood Turf Cup (G2), 1 ½ miles, turf, 3 and up
Saturday, Nov. 27
Churchill: Kentucky Jockey Club (G2), 1 1/16 miles, 2-year-olds
Churchill: Golden Rod (G2), 1 1/16 miles, 2-year-old fillies
Aqueduct: Discovery Stakes, 1 1/8 miles, 3-year-olds
Aqueduct: Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship, 6 furlongs, turf, 3 and up
Aqueduct: Long Island Stakes (G3), 1 3/8 miles, turf, 3 and up fillies and mares
Del Mar: Hollywood Derby (G1), 1 1/8 miles, turf, 3-year-olds
Del Mar: Seabiscuit Handicap (G2), 1 1/16 miles, turf, 3 and up
Del Mar: Jimmy Durante Stakes (G3), 1 mile, turf, 2-year-olds
Sunday, Nov. 28
Aqueduct: Fall Highweight Handicap (G3), 6 furlongs, 3 and up
Del Mar: Matriarch Stakes (G1), 1 mile, turf, 3 d up fillies and mares
Del Mar: Cecil B. DeMille Stakes (G3), 1 mile, turf, 2-year-olds
Saturday, Dec. 4
Aqueduct: Cigar Mile (G1), 1 mile, 3 and up
Aqueduct: Remsen Stakes (G2), 1 1/8 miles, 2-year-olds
Aqueduct: Demoiselle Stakes (G2), 1 1/8 miles, 2-year-old fillies
Aqueduct: Go For Wand Handicap (G3), 1 mile, 3 and up fillies and mares