Should You Bet Deep Closers in the Pegasus World Cup?

Question: Will deep closers who rally from the back of the pack have any chance to contend for a significant piece of the purse in the 2019 Pegasus World Cup (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park? It seems like nine-furlong races at Gulfstream Park often receive special scrutiny since they start so close to the first turn and there’s always concern about horses drawn outside getting hung wide and losing all chance. But might the running style of each individual horse [...]

Accelerate Fits Profile of Past Pegasus World Cup Winners

Accelerate winning the Pacific Classic (gr. I) - © Benoit Photo The Pegasus World Cup Invitational (gr. I) will be held for the third time on January 26th, and while two previous renewals isn’t much of a sample size for identifying race trends, already we’re seeing that it takes a special kind of horse to win North America’s richest horse race. One trend is already obvious. The first two winners of the Pegasus World Cup were Arrogate and [...]

Using Trainer Angles in Handicapping, Part 3: Blinkers

Bob Baffert at Saratoga - Photo by Courtney Heeney/Coglianese Photography Question: What do American Pharoah, Justify, Arrogate, Bayern, Dortmund, West Coast, Mastery, and Dream Tree all have in common? Answer: They all won Grade 1 races for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, and furthermore, they all won their second career starts while racing without blinkers for the first time. Handicapping races using trainer angles has become increasingly popular in recent years thanks to online tools such as [...]

How Fast Finishes Can Identify Future Stars

Arrogate setting a track record in the Travers Stakes (gr. I) - Susie Raisher/Coglianese Photography How can you tell when a young, lightly-raced horse has the talent to step up in class and become a winner at the highest levels of the sport? There are many ways to judge the merits of a young racehorse, but one factor I’ve routinely found valuable is finishing speed—how fast a horse runs the last two or three furlongs going a mile [...]

2017: A Year in Reflection

Gun Runner after winning the 2017 Breeders' Cup Classic (Photo by Kazushi Ishida/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup) With only a few days remaining in 2017, now seems like a great time to look back at a memorable year of racing from coast to coast and throughout the world. From best bets to favorite races, here are some of my most memorable moments from 2017…. Best Bet of the Year When I look back at 2017, I think my best bet [...]

2017 Year in Review: 10 Best Horses

  Everyone who follows racing will have their ideas about who the best horses in the world are. No two lists will be alike. Ignoring my unfortunate black spot regarding horses in South America and South Africa, these are my top 10 for the year.   Gun Runner topped off a wonderfully consistent season with a Breeders' Cup Classic triumph. (Photo by Steve Dalmado/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images) Arrogate It’s a shame Arrogate ended 2017 so badly. He lost a [...]

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 [...]

Questions of track bias raised by Breeders’ Cup

Del Mar's surface became a major talking point after the 2017 Breeders' Cup. Photo: Benoit Photo. Del Mar’s first Breeders’ Cup proved notable for its multiple shocks as well as for its great performances. When results like these happen, questions invariably get asked about whether there was any kind of track bias. The only favorites to win were both on turf: World Approval (5-2) in the Mile on Saturday, and Mendelssohn in the Juvenile Turf – and at [...]

Arrogate seeks redemption, second Breeders’ Cup Classic

Arrogate has disappointed at his two Del Mar starts but has the class to win a second Classic at his best. Photo: Coglianese Photos Six months ago, the Breeders’ Cup Classic seemed like it was Arrogate’s to lose. If he repeats his 2017 Del Mar form on Saturday, he will lose. Deemed a superhorse after his victories in the Travers Stakes, Breeders’ Cup Classic, Pegasus World Cup, and Dubai World Cup, there didn’t seem much chance of anything [...]

Quality horses to contest Fayette Stakes

  Neolithic wins an allowance race at Saratoga. Courtesy NYRA. Multiple stakes winners, a former Kentucky Derby favorite, and grade one placegetters descend on Keeneland Oct. 28 for the 1 1/8-mile Fayette Stakes (G2). With a lineup featuring many horses that have been chasing Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) contenders like Arrogate, Gun Runner, and West Coast this year, this is a chance for many of them to get a welcome stakes win. Favoritism may be contested between Honorable [...]