When the horses go to the gate on Saturday afternoon for this weekend’s lone Kentucky Derby prep, the Gotham Stakes in South Ozone Park, Queens, the temperature will be hovering around 40 degrees. The hardy patrons at Aqueduct Racetrack will be in parkas and scarves to fend off the chilly breeze coming off of nearby Jamaica Bay, but with 85 Kentucky Derby qualifying points on the line, it would take a lot more than cold weather to deter owners, trainers, and jockeys with dreams of Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May from New York winter racing.
Two thousand miles to the south, in Garrison Savannah, Barbados, the stakes are a lot lower, but the temperature is a lot higher, with a high of sunny 85 expected for the Caribbean island’s biggest day of racing, featuring the $200,000 Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup.
“It’s the first Saturday in March, and Barbados is the place to be,” said Mohammed Mohamad, liaison officer for the Barbados Turf Club.
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