The first weekend in May provides a bumper crop of races to wager on and watch.

From the Kentucky Derby to ungraded stakes for the thoroughbreds and from Grade A to maiden greyhound races, there was no end to top-tier events.

This weekend feels a bit empty, in a sense. The Derby is done and the Preakness is a week away.

However, what the weekend lacks in stakes it makes up for in volume as tracks across the country stay active.

It is highlighted by Iowa Greyhound Park’s pair of cards. It’s early in the season, but it seems Saturday evening’s races need a different handicapping strategy than Sunday’s.

On Saturday (5:30 p.m. post), the entrants seem to have a bit more experience. On Sunday (1 p.m. post), there have been more lower grade races. There’s not a lot of form to go by in the program, so those often offer a chance at better return on a bet.

However, that will change as the season progresses and the dogs gain experience. Take a close look at the programs to fine-tune wager selections.

New tracks

The simulcast lineup continues to grow at IGP.

Last weekend, Thistledown joined the list.

This weekend, Sam Houston’s quarter horse meet is available.

IGP carryovers

Twin tri: $2,728.

Twin super: $1,468.

IGP Thursday schoolers

Fastest time: BGR The Drifter, Boeckenstedt Kennel, 32.49.

STAKES

Thoroughbreds

Belmont: Saturday: Beaugay, Man O’War, Peter Pan, Runhappy, Vagrancy. Sunday: Gold Fever.

Charles Town: Coin Collector.

Churchill Downs: Saturday: Mamzelle.

Gulfstream: Saturday: English Channel.

Santa Anita: Saturday: Santa Barbara. Sunday: Fran’s Valentine.

Standardbreds

Pocono: Saturday: PA All-stars.

Yonkers: Tonight: Reynolds pace for colts and fillies.

CARRYOVERS ($10,000 minimum)

Greyhounds

Tri State: Tri super, $11,905.

Thoroughbreds

Golden Gate: Pick 6 jackpot, $32,755.

Gulfstream: Pick 6 jackpot, $371,294.

Indiana Grand: Pick 6 jackpot, $27,715.

Lone Star: Pick 6 jackpot, $54,842.

Pimlico: Pick 6 jackpot, $14,941.

Santa Anita: Pick 6 jackpot, $314,701.

Standardbreds

Pocono: Pick 5, $42,404.

Woodbine: Jackpot high 5, $25,300 (COVID-19 hiatus).

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