Weekend Lineup: Flying South

With a winter freeze taking over most of the northeast this weekend, horseplayers will focus their attention on racing in those warm, sunshine-filled climates of Florida and Southern California.

Saturday’s card at Gulfstream Park features five listed stakes races, three with $100,000 purses and two for $75,000. Tampa Bay Downs will offer a 10-race card on both Saturday and Sunday, and the Fair Grounds has 10 races Saturday and nine on Sunday.

Santa Anita Park offers the only graded stakes action this weekend. On Saturday, the Road to the Kentucky Derby continues in the G3 Sham Stakes, in which undefeated Bob Baffert trainee McKinzie will kick off his 3-year-old season. Later that day, the G2 San Gabriel Stakes features a well-matched field of 10 over nine furlongs on the grass.

Sunday’s G2 Santa Ynez offers points to the Kentucky Oaks for newly-turned 3-year-old fillies. Mark Casse trainee Win the War, a daughter of War Front, is the morning-line favorite in the seven-furlong affair.

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