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Weekend Stakes Action: Louisiana & Florida Derby Edition

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It's the beginning of the homestretch for horses dreaming of a spot in the 2013 Kentucky Derby. On tap this weekend: the Louisiana Derby, Florida Derby and UAE Derby, along with the world's richest race: the Dubai World Cup.

Photo: Matt Gardner

Greetings from the Fair Grounds! It's Louisiana Derby day here in the Crescent City and you couldn't ask for a more beautiful day. The track is "Fast", the turf course is very, very "Firm". In fact, take a look at the picture above and focus on lanes three and four on the turf course - the grass is nearly gone, leaving a very firm, almost dirt-like portion of the turf course. Keep that in mind for today's turf races as yesterday it appeared some horses that got caught running in that path really struggled with the footing.

Below is the schedule for this weekend's stakes action in North America. This is your weekend open thread.

Date Track Race Gr. Age Sex Dist. Surf.
29-Mar OP Rainbow Miss Stakes 3yo f 6.0 Dirt
30-Mar GP Florida Derby 1 3yo 9.0 Dirt
30-Mar GP Gulfstream Park Oaks 2 3yo f 9.0 Dirt
30-Mar FG Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Mem. Hcp. 2 4up 9.0 Turf
30-Mar FG New Orleans Handicap 2 4up 9.0 Dirt
30-Mar FG Fair Grounds Oaks 2 3yo f 8.5 Dirt
30-Mar FG Louisiana Derby 2 3yo 9.0 Dirt
30-Mar GP Skip Away 3 4up 9.5 Dirt
30-Mar GP Appleton 3 4up 8.0 Turf
30-Mar GP Rampart 3 4up f&m 9.0 Dirt
30-Mar GP Orchid 3 4up f&m 12.0 Turf
30-Mar SA Echo Eddie Stakes CA 3yo 6.5 Dirt
30-Mar SA Evening Jewel Stakes CA 3yo f 6.5 Dirt
30-Mar FG Costa Rising Stakes LA 4up 8.5 Dirt
30-Mar FG Crescent City Oaks LA 3yo f 8+70 Dirt
30-Mar FG Crescent City Derby LA 3yo 8.5 Dirt
30-Mar GP Sir Shackleton 4up 6.5 Dirt
30-Mar OP Rainbow Stakes 3yo c&g 6.0 Dirt
30-Mar AQU Broadway 3up f&m 6.0 Dirt
31-Mar FG Bayou St. John Stakes LA 4up 5.5 Turf