03/31/2012 8:43AM

Timetable for a Busy Saturday


Wake up, international racing fans. I know it's not even 7 a.m. in California, but they've already started the World Cup card over in Dubai. You didn't miss any life-changing opportunities -- African Story, owned by Godolphin, won the Godolphin Mile, paying $3.20 to win in the U.S. betting pools.

The eight races at Meydan (worth $27 million) are part of a rich and busy Saturday of racing on two continents. Of probably greater interest to U.S. racing fans is the season's first Grade 1 race for classic candidates, the $1 million Florida Derby, the second and final prep for current Kentucky Derby favorite Union Rags. There are seven other graded stakes around the country today, including three Oaks races for 3-year-old fillies -- the G2 Fair Grounds Oaks, G2 Gulfstream Park Oaks and G1 Santa Anita Oaks.

I had to make myself a little timetable to keep it all straight:

If you do your betting in New York either at the track or through a NYRA or OTB offtrack account, remember that there will be no racing or wagering tomorrow due to the antiquated prohibition against such activity on Palm Sunday. (Of course the casino at Aqueduct and the state lottery will both be open.) So if you wanted to bet the second round of Derby Futures, you'll have to do so by the end of today and without the benefit of seeing tomorrow's Louisiana Derby.