Can Enable be defeated in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes?

Magical (purple cap) battles with Enable (pink cap) in the 2018 Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) - © Casey Phillips/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM /Breeders Cup When the two-time Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) winner Enable makes her much-anticipated 2019 debut in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes (G1) at Sandown Park Racecourse in England, she might not be a shoo-in to prevail. Racing for the powerful team of trainer John Gosden and jockey Frankie Dettori, #6 Enable will be favored to defeat seven rivals [...]

Breeders’ Cup Turf top 5: An American at the top

Bricks and Mortar winning the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) - Photo by Ashley Blum/Adam Coglianese Photography European shippers have dominated the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), so much so that 17 of the last 20 winners were trained overseas. But once in a while a high-class U.S. runner comes along and successfully defends their home turf. Could we see an American winner in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Turf? The field remains very much in flux with [...]

Royal Ascot: Spot plays for Day 4

Racing at Royal Ascot - Photo by Horsephotos.com The penultimate day of racing at the 2019 Royal Ascot meet features four more group stakes races, including a high-quality renewal of the Coronation Stakes (G1). Favorites have struggled during the first three days of the meet, perhaps in part because of the soft ground, but with the course drying out, the action might be a bit more predictable Friday. Let’s dig in and come up with a few spot [...]

Royal Ascot: Spot plays for Gold Cup day

Horses and jockeys during the 2017 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot - Photo by Horsephotos.com The highlight of the racing action on Day 3 of the 2019 Royal Ascot meeting is the Gold Cup (G1), a 2 1/2-mile test of stamina that ranks among my favorite races anywhere in the world. I’m also intrigued by the much shorter Norfolk Stakes (G2) for 2-year-olds, so let’s come up with a few plays for these two competitive events. Race [...]

Royal Ascot spot plays for a magical day of racing Wednesday

Magical (purple cap) battles with Enable (pink cap) in the 2018 Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) - © Casey Phillips/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM /Breeders Cup The second day of racing at Royal Ascot brings the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1), arguably the most anticipated race of the meet, thanks to its high-quality international field. Three other group stakes races support the Prince of Wales’s, with the Duke of Cambridge Stakes (G2) for fillies and mares my main interest from a handicapping [...]

Looking for longshots in the 2019 Epsom Derby

They call it the Derby for a reason—it’s the father of all Derbys, the race that started it all way back in 1780. Officially called the Investec Derby (G1) and held over 1 1/2 miles at Epsom, the great race has been dominated in recent years by Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien, who has conditioned six winners since 2001. In his quest to secure a record-equaling seventh win in the Derby, Aidan O’Brien will send out seven of the 13 entrants [...]

Top Milers Prep for Royal Ascot in Lockinge Stakes

Horses and jockeys during the 2017 Queen Mary Stakes, Royal Ascot - Photo by Horsephotos.com The 2019 British flat racing season is well underway, and preparations are heating up for the prestigious five-day Royal Ascot meet in mid-June. The annual opening race at Royal Ascot is the Queen Anne Stakes (G1), a one-mile test that pits some of the best older milers in Europe—both male and female—against each other in a straight run down the long chute and [...]

European Representation Seems Unlikely in 2019 Kentucky Derby

When clear favorite U S S Michigan flattened out in the homestretch of the Cardinal Conditions Stakes at Chelmsford City Racecourse in England, the chance of having a European representative in the 2019 Kentucky Derby weakened considerably. The one-mile Polytrack race was the final stop on the European Road to the Kentucky Derby, a series designed to offer a spot in the Derby starting gate to the horse that accumulated the most points in seven qualifying races. But the first six [...]

U S S Michigan Seeks Kentucky Derby Berth in Cardinal Conditions Stakes

Churchill Downs - Coady Photography The European Road to the Kentucky Derby will conclude on Thursday with the running of the Cardinal Conditions Stakes at Chelmsford City in England, and I’d advise everyone to keep a close eye on what transpires in this one-mile race. Held over a Polytrack course similar in size and shape to Churchill Downs, the Cardinal Conditions Stakes has attracted nine starters, and while only two have been nominated to the Triple Crown, one of [...]

Jahbath, Playa Del Puente Prevail in European Derby Preps

The European Road to the Kentucky Derby took a couple of significant turns on March 6, as one noteworthy name lived up to expectations and another fell short in his first start of the season. Jahbath was a clear favorite to win the one-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes over the all-weather track at Kempton in England, which was hardly a surprise since he’d won his last three starts (including two course-and-distance victories) in decisive fashion. Securing a [...]