02/12/2010 6:19PM

Makeup Weekend


With several stakes being rescheduled due to recent rain and snow, this holiday weekend features 14 graded stakes around the country and a third try at launching the twice-cancelled Magna 5:

The Las Virgenes, Lewis and Strub were all rescheduled for Saturday after Santa Anita scrapped its Feb. 6 card due to ongoing drainage problems with its Pro-Ride track. Laurel moved the Fritchie from Saturday to Monday as it continues to dig out from this past week's snowstorms.

Laurel is still planning to run Saturday, and if it does we'll finally have a Magna 5, which was called off both Jan. 30 and Feb. 6 due to Laurel and Santa Anita cancellations. The five-race $1 bet includes two graded stakes, and four of the five races are for 3-year-old fillies, ranging from a Grade 1 stakes to a turf sprint and a maiden-claimer:


Closer to home, Aqueduct has no graded stakes until the G3 Gotham and G3 Toboggan March 6, but will again offer a $250,000 guaranteed pick-4 on Saturday's card. You wouldn't know there are any stakes races at all in New York these days if you look for them in the feature-race spot, because it has become standard operating procedure to bury the stakes races early on the card even when they're not four-horse affairs with an odds-on favorite.

Saturday's Busher drew a field of eight but is still being run as the 4th instead of the 9th in the mistaken belief that pick-4 players require three rather than two full fields of cheap claimers in the sequence. Sunday's Dearly Precious is also being run as the 4th despite having a field of seven.