The show continues to go on across the pond with no fewer than seven meetings taking place behind closed doors across the United States on Friday.
Tampa Bay, Gulfstream, Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita are among those you’ll be able to watch live on Sky Sports Racing. And our trader in the know has had a look at the action from each of the four main tracks.
Gulfstream hosts an 11-race card in preparation for Saturday’s Florida Derby, and there are a couple of excellent contests which could provide strong form in the future.
There’s only one trainer you need to know here and that’s Todd Pletcher. A winner of the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer seven times, he’s won a record five Florida Derbies, including four of the last six.
He’ll be sending our Gouverneur Morris and Candy Tycoon to try and claim another on Saturday night but he’ll no doubt be looking to mop up some of the prize money on offer on this card too.
In the first race at 5:00, he’ll team up with his main raider and dual champion jockey John Velazquez with Gimme Some Mo, who looks like he might pose a real challenge to likely favourite, Counterstrike.
The 9:12 is one of the better renewals on the card, and Peltcher has live chances with Money Moves and Silver Ratio. In an interesting twist, Velazquez goes against his boss and will partner Sprawl for rival trainer William Mott. It’s a fascinating race in prospect.
Top jockeys Samy Camacho and Antonio Gallardo are both in action and considering they both average a strike-rate of 20% or better at Tampa Bay they’re certainly worth following.
In the last race of the evening at 8:26, Parish Poet has his first run in the US for Christophe Clement. Despite not achieving a great deal in the UK when trained by Paul Cole, this promising four-year-old is a potential improver. He’s definitely one to keep an eye on under top rider Camacho.
Samy Camacho booked rides: Sonoma Storm (5.15), Natoma (5.48), G Friday (6.19), R Sweet Exchange (6.50), Malio’s (7.55), Parish Poet (8.26)
Antonio Gallardo booked rides: Billysbirthdaygirl (4.45), Imaginary Friend (5.48), I Ain’t Telling (6.19), J P’s Gia (6.50), Sudden Light (7.21), Dox Folly (7.55)
There’s one jockey head and shoulders above the rest at Golden Gate and that’s Juan J. Hernandez. The Mexican-born maestro has a strike-rate of over 30% this season and has a solid book of rides for the evening.
He will be hoping his mount in the last – Cakewalk – lives up to its name and finishes off his night in style.
Juan J. Hernandez booked rides: Run Like Rhett (8.15), Uber Star (9.22), Zinzan (9.53), La Guapa Velos (10.24), Willing To Burn (10.54) Friend Of Autism (11.24), Cakewalk (11.54)
Arguably one of the best races of the whole evening might be a little late for some of us in the UK at 11:09, however, it could be worth waiting up for as it features some familiar silks.
The orange and blue Ballydoyle colours of Tabor, Magnier and Smith will be carried by As Time Goes By – a newcomer trained by US racing legend Bob Baffert and a daughter of triple crown-winning American Pharoah.
She should be tuned up and ready for her first outing on a racecourse and could be something special. The biggest danger comes from her stablemate and Baffert’s other runner in the race, Merneith.
Another filly sired by the Pharoah, she has had two goes already and only missed out by a nose last time. With her course experience, Merneith will no doubt be favourite in what promises to be an intriguing match-up.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication