Royal Ascot: Three spot plays for opening day

Imprimis winning the Shakertown Stakes (G2) at Keeneland - Keeneland Photo On Tuesday racing fans around the globe will turn their attention to Ascot Racecourse in England, where the five-day Royal Ascot race meet will take place June 18-22. The prestigious and much-anticipated meet will feature high-class horses from around the world in 30 races, including 19 group stakes. The opening-day card is particularly deep, with three group 1 races on the agenda. Want to get in on [...]

Elate rebounds in Fleur de Lis Handicap

Elate winning the Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2) - Coady Photography Very good horses are able to overcome adversity to win major races, and it’s safe to say Elate is a very good horse. The 5-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro had every excuse to lose the $250,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2) on June 15 at Churchill Downs. She broke sluggishly from the gate, then wound up boxed in behind horses, unable to shift out for a clear run [...]

Seeking the Soul rallies late to win Stephen Foster Handicap

Seeking the Soul winning the Stephen Foster Handicap (G2) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Some horses bring their "A" game regardless of where they’re running. Others show a distinct preference for certain racetracks. It’s seems clear at this point Seeking the Soul has a special fondness for Churchill Downs, where he scored a gallant victory in the $600,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (G2) on June 15. All three of Seeking the Soul’s graded stakes wins have come at [...]

Can Japan challenge in the Belmont Derby and Belmont Oaks?

Master Fencer galloping at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography The New York Racing Association announced Wednesday the Japan-based 3-year-olds Master Fencer and Jodie will compete in the $1 million Belmont Derby (G1) and the $750,000 Belmont Oaks (G1), respectively. The Derby and the Oaks, a pair of 1 1/4-mile turf tests scheduled for July 6 at Belmont Park, have quickly risen in prominence since their creation in 2014. The races have attracted high-quality challengers from Europe, but Master [...]

Pegasus Stakes kicks off summer campaign for Maximum Security

Maximum Security wins Florida Derby (Coglianese Photos) With the disappointment of his Kentucky Derby (G1) disqualification still looming large, Maximum Security will aim to start the summer of his 3-year-old campaign on a bright note when he contests the June 16 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park. Gary and Mary West’s star colt is one of six runners entered in the 1 1/16-mile event, which serves as a local springboard to the July 20 Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth. [...]

How to play the Stephen Foster Day all-stakes Pick 4

Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Six weeks after the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs will return to the spotlight with a terrific evening of racing Saturday. The 11-race card features five consecutive graded stakes races, so fans of multi-race wagers will have plenty of all-stakes options to choose from. My personal focus will be on the Pick 4, which kicks off in the sixth race. I’ve previewed each race separately for BetAmerica, but since intra-race and multi-race wagers require [...]

Exacta box of the week: Churchill Downs race 6 for Saturday, June 15

Churchill Downs Racing (Horsephotos) Exacta Box of the day for Churchill Downs Stephen Foster Day at Churchill Downs on Saturday, June 15 is the headline event of the latter half Churchill's spring meet. The Saturday race card features five graded stakes.  Of course the feature race is the Stephen Foster H. (G2) and if you want to make a serious play on the Stephen Foster, race 8, perhaps it would help to build bankroll with a nice exacta [...]

Why I’m betting Tom’s d’Etat in the 2019 Stephen Foster Handicap

Tom's d'Etat winning an allowance race at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography There will be no shortage of quality horses for handicappers to choose from in Saturday’s $600,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (G2) at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/8-mile event is the highlight of the racing weekend in North America, offering a hefty purse and a “Win and You’re In” berth to the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). On five occasions, the Stephen Foster winner has gone on to [...]

Varenka looks promising in 2019 Regret Stakes

Varenka training in the rain at Churchill Downs - © Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM /Breeders Cup A quick glance at the field for Saturday’s $150,000 Regret Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs is enough to make your head spin. The 11 sophomore fillies going 1 1/8 miles on turf all have similar form lines and speed figures, and there doesn’t appear to be a clear standout. Dig a little deeper and #4 Varenka just might have an advantage in this competitive [...]

Why I’m betting Admission Office in the Wise Dan Stakes

Admission Office winning a Keeneland allowance race - Keeneland Photo A wide post draw in a large field is less than ideal, but when 14 horses assemble for Saturday’s $250,000 Wise Dan Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs, my money will be on #12 Admission Office. This lightly raced 4-year-old son of Point of Entry has never missed the exacta in six starts, and he’s shown particular promise this year. In his 2019 debut—his first run for current trainer [...]