Betting Against the Proven Class in the Santa Margarita Stakes

Santa Anita - © Breeders' Cup/Todd Buchanan 2014 There might be a couple of established grade 1 performers entered in Saturday’s $200,000 Santa Margarita Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park, but for various reasons I’m inclined to oppose both in this 1 1/8-mile test. #8 Paradise Woods is by far the most accomplished mare in this eight-horse field, but the two-time grade 1 winner hasn’t won a race since September 2017, and she seems to have lost the [...]

Betting a Cold Double on Churchill Downs’ Opening Night

Bulletin winning the 2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint - © Eric Patterson/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM /Breeders' Cup You won’t need a news bulletin to know #1 Bulletin will be an overwhelming favorite in the $125,000 William Walker Stakes at Churchill Downs on April 27. The eighth and featured race on opening night of the spring meet, the William Walker is a five-furlong turf sprint for 3-year-olds, and sprinting on grass is what Bulletin does best. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the [...]

Pick 4 Plays for Charles Town Classic Day

Lake Ponchatrain winning the Pink Ribbon Stakes at Charles Town - Coady Photography If you’re planning to watch and wager on the $1 million Charles Town Classic (G2) Saturday at Charles Town, I strongly recommend you tune in early to catch the numerous stakes races earlier on the card. Eight stakes races (the first at 2:17 p.m. ET) are scheduled for the afternoon, and they’re arranged in consecutively, without a single allowance or claiming race stuck in between. The [...]

How to Bet the 2019 Charles Town Classic

War Story - Photo by Scott Serio/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup) The $1 million Charles Town Classic (G2) at Charles Town will be contested for the 11th time Saturday, and the previous ten renewals have produced some clear-cut clues to help us identify the most likely winner. Favorites have not been very successful in the Charles Town Classic, probably because the 1 1/8-mile race features three turns over a six-furlong bullring racetrack, which tends to produce a wild race from [...]

Mike Maker-Trained Runners Loom Large in Elkhorn Stakes

Zulu Alpha winning the Sycamore Stakes (G3) - Keeneland Photo Is it possible trainer Mike Maker could sweep the trifecta in Saturday’s $250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes (G2) going 1 1/2 miles at Keeneland? I don’t think it’s a far-fetched notion. Certainly a victory would come as no surprise. Maker’s former claimer #10 Zulu Alpha seems to have forgotten how to lose, with four wins from his last five starts, including graded stakes triumphs in the Sycamore Stakes (G3), [...]

How to Bet Keeneland’s Lexington Day All-Stakes Pick 4

Rushing Fall winning the Jessamine Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland. Photo: Keeneland/Coady Photography The second Saturday of the 2019 Keeneland spring meet features another action-packed afternoon of high-class racing, including the Jenny Wiley Stakes (G1) and the Lexington Stakes (G3). Those much-anticipated events comprise the last two legs of an all-stakes Pick 4 that has the potential to yield a nice payoff, but only if you can identify the winners of the Ben Ali Stakes (G3) and the [...]

Will Escape Clause Upset the Apple Blossom Handicap?

Midnight Bisou (far right) edging Elate (far left) in the Azeri Stakes - Coady Phototgraphy There are only six fillies and mares entered in Sunday’s $750,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) at Oaklawn Park, but I’d argue that you won’t find a higher-quality field anywhere in the country this weekend. Five graded stakes winners, two grade 1 winners, and a two-time Canadian classic winner are among the entrants, which is why—despite what the tote board might try to tell [...]

Picks and Plays for Dubai World Cup Night

Almond Eye winning the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) - Photo courtesy of the Japan Racing Association By far the best race card in the world this Saturday will take place at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, where the eight Thoroughbred races on Dubai World Cup Night will pit high-class runners from around the world against each other in a series of rich stakes events. I’ve gone through the card and have put together a list of horses that interest me [...]

Why I’m Betting Capezzano in the Dubai World Cup

Thunder Snow winning the 2018 Dubai World Cup - Coady Photography Historically speaking, American runners have fared extremely well in the $12 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. For the majority of its history, the race has been conducted over 1 ¼ miles on dirt, and the result from 23 renewals has been 11 victories for horses based in North America. Excluding five years when the race was conducted on a synthetic Tapeta track, [...]

Spot Plays for 2019 Louisiana Derby Day

Bricks and Mortar winning the Pegasus World Cup Turf (gr. I) - Photo by Ashley Blum/Adam Coglianese Photography A marathon day of racing is scheduled for Saturday, March 23 at Fair Grounds. Thirteen races are on the card, including the $1 million Louisiana Derby (gr. II), a prominent steppingstone toward the 2019 Kentucky Derby. That race is unquestionably the main highlight, but the undercard includes several other interesting stakes races that could offer opportunities to make nice wagering [...]