Sunshine Forever Stakes Shining Headliner Of May 9-10 TVG Horse Racing Weekend

Posted on May 8, 2020

This weekend may not be part of a usual buildup to the Kentucky Derby but for fans of horse racing coverage, it shouldn’t disappoint regardless. Among 12 hours of action on TVG will be the Sunshine Forever Stakes from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, FL.

The 1 1/16-mile turf race will see the return of the 2019 Preakness Stakes champion War of Will should be the highlight of the weekend. There are other reasons to tune in, however.

A full weekend of horse racing coverage on TVG

For the seventh consecutive weekend, NBC Sports Network will simulcast TVG’s programming. This will include 12 total hours of horse racing action starting Friday, May 8.

Each day through Sunday, May 10, NBCSN viewers can take in the programming from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET. TVG will have live action from not only Gulfstream Park, where War of Will should run, but Remington Park and the Tampa Bay Downs as well.

TVG will feature special Trackside Live programming on Saturday morning in advance of the Sunshine Forever Stakes. That begins at 10 a.m. ET on May 9 with highlights from the 2004 Breeders’ Cup.

At 11 a.m. Saturday morning, TVG will replay the entire 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic, which horse racing fans will remember for its showdown between Arrogate and California Chrome. The lookbacks at both the 2004 and 2016 Breeders’ Cups will replay on Saturday at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET, respectively, on TVG.

Naturally, the most anticipated coverage on TVG will be War of Will’s four-year-old debut. If War of Will claims a victory at Gulfstream Park, it will be a first for the biggest name in the field.

Sizing up the field for the Sunshine Forever Stakes

War of Will has never won a turf race, coming up empty in four attempts. That may have played a significant role in the opening line of 10/1, which, in and of itself, is a bad omen.

War of Will ran at double-digit odds twice last year and came up empty both times. The fields in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup and Kentucky Derby were deeper in quality, however.

Also working against War of Will is the fact that he hasn’t run at all in over 180 days. There is speculation that his trainer, Mark Casse, might simply be using the Sunshine Stakes to build him back up and won’t let him really go full throttle on Saturday.

For those reasons, War of Will might represent the horse to bet against in this field. As of Friday morning, War of Will sat 5/2 from the No. 12 position to claim this victory. The rest of the field, listed by position, currently sits at:

  1. Just Whistle 5/1
  2. Sand Dancer 30/1
  3. El Tormenta 15/1
  4. Aquaphobia 8/1
  5. Cullum Road 15/1
  6. Halladay 4/1
  7. Hawkish 15/1
  8. Regally Irish 30/1
  9. Social Paranoia 7/2
  10. Highland Sky 15/1
  11. Admission Office 6/1

War of Will’s fate in this race seems to be more about the will of his handlers than talent, so expect the pole to be a close finish regardless of which horse wins. For racing fans, that’s a treat even if their horse doesn’t claim the win. TVG is working again this weekend to make sure bettors and fans don’t miss a second of the action.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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