Jockey Profile: Jersey Joe Bravo

Horseplayers on the west coast might not know the name of one of the top jockeys in the United States, Joe Bravo. Bravo owns Monmouth Park, winning 13 riding titles. He's known as having great success on front runners, but riding early types isn't Joe's only skill. Since 1988, Bravo's won aboard low-level claimers and Grade 1 runners. He's won races on the dirt and turf. The New Jersey legend doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon. His [...]

By |December 27th, 2018|Categories: Horses, Jockeys|

The Great Gary Stevens Hangs Up His Tack

On Dec. 26, 2018 some of the best jockeys in the world took a leg up on some of the top horses in North America at the Great Race Place, Santa Anita Park. One jockey that didn't take a leg up was the great Gary Stevens. Stevens, George Woolf to those who have seen the movie Seabiscuit, had his final ride on a horse named Northwestern in a maiden special weight race at Del Mar on Nov. 17. Stevens has never [...]

By |December 27th, 2018|Categories: Horses, Jockeys|

2019 Racing Preview: Who Will Get Hot, Who Will Get Cold?

Jockey Drayden Van Dyke - Keeneland Photo A new year of racing is on the horizon, and in preparation, it can be a useful exercise for handicappers to project which jockeys, trainers, and horses are poised for banner years or quiet years compared to 2018. Having an idea of what to expect during 2019 can help us formulate more effective wagering strategies and maybe even zero in on where the most promising Kentucky Derby contenders will come from. [...]

Year in Review: Who Was the Top Jockey in 2018?

Jockey Mike Smith aboard Kentucky Derby winner Justify - Coady Photography It seems like a simple question: Who was the top jockey in North America in 2018? By basic metrics such as overall wins and earnings, the answer is similarly simple: Irad Ortiz, Jr. As of December 17th, the 26-year-old rider leads all jockeys by wins (336) and by purse earnings ($27,291,607), making him the favorite to be awarded the 2018 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey. However, looking [...]

Thursday Afternoon Spot Plays at Belmont Park

Thursday afternoon starts the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival in Elmont, New York. The New York Racing Association has a massive three days of thoroughbred racing in store headlined by Justify’s attempt at history in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. With a plethora of opportunities to score out over the weekend let’s try to get things started on Thursday with a few bankroll building spot plays during the solid 9-race card. Race 3 #3 Mybigitalianfriend is one of seven first-time starters [...]

Justify: The Latest Success Story for Baffert and Smith

Jockey Mike Smith aboard Kentucky Derby winner Justify - Coady Photography Question: What do Justify, Arrogate, Abel Tasman, West Coast, Drefong, McKinzie, Mastery, and Mor Spirit all have in common? Answer: They all won Grade 1 races for trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Mike Smith, arguably the most powerful trainer/jockey duo in U.S. racing over the last two years. Baffert and Smith have been in the headlines as of late thanks to their success with the unbeaten Kentucky [...]

2018 Preakness Stakes Jockey Facts and Trends

Jockey Mike Smith aboard Kentucky Derby winner Justify - Coady Photography Every year, bettors handicapping the Kentucky Derby study a huge number of factors and trends that could affect the outcome of the race, placing greater emphasis than usual on things like history, pedigrees, and jockey assignments. In contrast, the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Racecourse never seems to receive the same level of attention from a handicapping perspective, but that doesn’t mean that the second leg [...]

2018 Kentucky Derby Jockey Facts and Trends

Jockey John Velazquez guides Always Dreaming to victory in the 2017 Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography It was the most improbable of victories—an unknown longshot named Mine That Bird surging past his more heralded rivals to win the 2009 Kentucky Derby at the stunning odds of 50-1. While Mine That Bird deserves much of the credit for his unforgettable triumph on the first Saturday in May—you don’t win the Derby without talent!—there’s no doubt that jockey Calvin Borel [...]

Early Pick 5 Analysis for Florida Derby Day at Gulfstream Park

Gulfstream Park (Coglianese Photos) The Gulfstream Park racing office has put together quite a card on Saturday afternoon headlined by the Grade 1 Florida Derby. The 14-race extravaganza offers horseplayers several opportunities at massive pools with none bigger than the mandatory payout in the Rainbow 6 commencing in Race 9. Before that six-race sequence there is a Pick 5 that we can use to hopefully build our bankroll for the rest of the card. Here are my thoughts [...]

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 [...]