The road to the Kentucky Derby runs through New York and the Gotham Stakes is part of a series of prep races that lead up to the Run for the Roses. As part of the Kentucky Derby points system, the Gotham Stakes offers 50 points to the winner and is the final prep race before the $1 million Wood Memorial, the major spring race in New York for three-year-olds. The Gotham Stakes was inaugurated in 1953, and while the distance has varied over the years, it is currently contested at a mile and a sixteenth with a purse of $400,000 and Grade 3 status.
Gotham Stakes Betting Lines
Even if you cannot make it to Aqueduct to wager on the Gotham Stakes and glimpse a potential future Kentucky Derby winner, betting on the Gotham Stakes is easy and secure with one of these recommended racebooks.
Gotham Stakes Racing Tips
The Gotham Stakes has routinely attracted some of the best horses, jockeys and trainers in the country. Five riders – Jorge Velasquez, Angel Cordero, Jr., Jacinto Vasquez, Richard Migliore and Mike Smith – have all won the race three times. Of those five men, only Smith is still actively competing. Trainer Claude “Shug” McGaughey, III has saddled three winners of the Gotham Stakes – Easy Goer (1989), Lure (1992) and Survivalist (2005).
Winners of the Gotham Stakes have gone on to great success later in their careers. Some of the more noteworthy winners include Triple Crown champion Secretariat (1973), multiple Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Lure (1992) and Belmont Stakes winner Easy Goer (1989).
In 2016, Shagaf stamped his ticket to the Kentucky Derby with an impressive victory as the favorite in the Gotham Stakes. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr., the bay son of Bernardini went into the race undefeated from two starts and was making his graded stakes debut. Following his victory in the Gotham Stakes, he went on to finish fifth in the Wood Memorial and did not finish the Kentucky Derby. He was injured in that race and is still on the sidelines preparing for a return.
Gotham Stakes Schedule
The Gotham Stakes is scheduled to be run on Saturday, March 4, 2017.