East or West, who holds the stronger Kentucky Derby hand?

It’s a light week ahead on the Road to the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve, so now’s a good time to take stock of the division following the first 50- points-to-the winner-prep race. With less than seventy-five days until the first Saturday of May racing fans are continuing to formulate opinions on the crop of 2018. With that comes the discussion of whether an East or West Coast based horse is likeliest to find the winners’ circle at this [...]

An Early Preview of Next Month’s San Felipe Stakes

Solomini (outside) rallies past McKinzie (inside) and Instilled Regard (middle) in the Los Alamitos Futurity(©Benoit Photo) The San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park is not until March 10th, but the two-turn event for three-year-olds is shaping up to be the race of the winter in Southern California. The mile and a sixteenth affair conducted over the main track appears likely to attract three of the top five colts on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” leaderboard as [...]

Big challenge for Stormy Liberal in Hong Kong Sprint

Stormy Liberal wins the 2017 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. Pic: Breeders' Cup Ltd. Californian speedster Stormy Liberal pulled off a major upset when he left Marsha and Lady Aurelia, both group one winners in Britain, in his wake in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1). But he faces just as tough a task if he is to travel across the Pacific and beat the locals in the $US2.35 million Hong Kong International Sprint (G1) over six furlongs at [...]

Breeders’ Cup Turf rematch set for Hong Kong Vase

Talismanic beats Highland Reel to win the 2017 Breeders' Cup Turf. Pic: Breeders' Cup Ltd. European runners have dominated the $2.3 million Hong Kong International Vase (G1) since the 1 ½-mile race was first run in 1994, and with Talismanic and Highland Reel in this year’s contest they may well do so again. The pair fought out the finish of the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) over the same trip at Del Mar, with Talismanic taking advantage of a [...]

Champagne Room favored in Bayakoa Handicap

Champagne Room wins the 2016 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Pic: Skip Dickstein. Sixth in a high-quality edition of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), Champagne Room is seeking some compensation in the 1 1/16-mile Bayakoa Handicap (G2) at Los Alamitos Dec. 3. Champagne Room won the Eclipse Award for champion 2-year-old filly last year after taking the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), but she has had an abbreviated 2017. Third in the Las Virgenes Stakes (G2) behind Unique Bella [...]

Demoiselle runner-up returns in Go For Wand Handicap

Highway Star (right) scores a narrow victory in the 2016 Go For Wand Handicap. Pic: Coglianese Photos/Joe Labozzetta. After an abbreviated 2017 campaign, Jamyson ‘n Ginger is out to score her first graded stakes win in the one-mile Go For Wand Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct Dec. 2. Jamyson ‘n Ginger was one of the better 2-year-old fillies last year, finishing fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and then finishing runner-up in the Demoiselle Stakes (G2) 12 [...]

Practical Joke out to extend one-turn record in Cigar Mile

Practical Joke wins the 2017 H. Allan Jerkens Stakes at Saratoga. Pic: Coglianese Photos/Chelsea Durand. With stallion duty at Ashford Stud looming next year, leading 3-year-old Practical Joke aims to end his career unbeaten around one turn in the Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct. Practical Joke has run well without winning in two-turn races all year, his efforts including a third-place finish in the Haskell Invitational (G1) and finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) Nov. [...]

Cambodia seeks first grade one in Matriarch

Cambodia wins the 2017 Yellow Ribbon Handicap at Del Mar. Pic: Benoit Photo. Third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, leading mare Cambodia is out for her first grade one victory in the Matriarch Stakes (G1) at Del Mar Nov. 26. Cambodia has improved throughout her 5-year-old season, winning the Gallorette Stakes (G3), finishing third in the Dr. James Penny Memorial Stakes (G3), and then coming out on top in the Yellow Ribbon Handicap (G2) and [...]

Strong undercards at Del Mar Thanksgiving weekend

Mubtaahij wins the 2017 Awesome Again Stakes. Pic: Benoit Photo. The Hollywood Derby and the Matriarch Stakes are the big races at Del Mar this Thanksgiving weekend, but there’s also four other graded stakes for punters to have a serious look at. The Native Diver Stakes (G2) sees the return of Mubtaahij to the track. Winner of the Awesome Again Stakes (G1) Sept. 30, he found Gun Runner and company too difficult in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) [...]

Lessons from tough Breeders’ Cup for punters

World Approval was one of just two favorites to win at the Breeders' Cup. Pic: Coglianese Photos/Susie Raisher. OK, hands up – who out there thought Mor Spirit, Moonshine Memories, Unique Bella, Lady Aurelia, Lady Eli, Drefong, and Bolt d’Oro would all be beaten at the Breeders’ Cup? It’s not often that only two one of the 13 Breeders’ Cup favorites win, as happened at Del Mar this year. But in an unpredictable year, only World Approval and [...]