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If you are a casual fan of horse racing, you will know the first Saturday in May is for the Kentucky Derby.

But that is just the culmination of months worth of qualifying to get into the main race, let alone all the other races on Kentucky Oaks and derby day.

That is where we are at now: the beginning of March is when the qualifiers truly start to ramp up, before a crazy April of stakes races as well. That month has the Florida Derby and Arkansas Derby on April 2, and the Bluegrass Stakes, Wood Memorial Stakes, Santa Anita Derby, Ashland Stakes, and Carter Handicap on a chaotic April 9.

That is for next month, though: right now, we are focused on March.

Here is a list of some big races around the world in March, with one of the richest races in the calendar (Dubai World Cup, with a total purse of over $30 million for 2022) set to go at the end of the month.

Race Track Conditions

Gotham Stakes Aqueduct 3yo colts, 1 mile, Grade III

Frank E. Kilroe Mile Santa Anita 4yo+, 1m (turf), Grade I

San Felipe Stakes Santa Anita 3yo, 1 1/16 miles, Grade II

Tampa Bay Derby Tampa Bay Downs 3yo, 1 1/16 miles, Grade II

Beholder Mile Stakes Santa Anita 3yo+ fillies, 1 mile, Grade I

Dubai World Cup Meydan 4yo+, 1¼ miles, Grade I

Dubai Sheema Classic Meydan 3yo+, 1½ miles (turf), Grade I

With all of the above to watch in March, it is going to be a fun month for handicappers and bettors, as they try to win some money, and formulate strategies for the upcoming months.

“There are some massive races coming up in March, as we get closer to May and the Kentucky Derby,” a spokesman said. “When you start looking at some of these races, there are a few things I like about them.

“Firstly, there is so much value in the odds at some of them. In Dubai, for the Dubai World Cup, for example, you are getting so many good horses running because of the massive purses. And at the races on the way to the Kentucky Derby, you always get some upsets along the way, so there are some big chances for bettors to win money.

“Secondly, there are some big days with multiple stakes races in March and April. Just look at March 5, for example: you have the Gotham Stakes, Kilroe Mile, San Felipe Stakes, and Beholder Mile, all going back to back. It is a great day to watch them on TV, and obviously to handicap and bet on the various tracks.

“Finally, you can feel the weather starting to change when the March races ramp up. Spring is around the corner, which means warmth, and then the stakes races in May. That means another summer spent at the track, which people have missed due to the pandemic. For horse racing fans and bettors, this is a great time of year.”

Which race are you most looking forward to in March?

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