Why I’m Betting Nero in the Malibu Stakes

McKinzie winning the Sham Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita © Benoit Photo Get ready, everyone! Racing in North America will be taking a one-day hiatus on December 25th to celebrate Christmas, but we’ll be right back in the thick of things on December 26th when the annual winter/spring meet at Santa Anita kicks off with a stakes-packed afternoon of racing. Among the highlights is the $300,000 Malibu Stakes (gr. I), a seven-furlong sprint for three-year-olds that has attracted [...]

Baffert, Smith Team Up With Ax Man in Matt Winn Stakes

In the winner's circle after the 2018 Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography Just how many graded stakes races will trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Mike Smith team up to win this year? One week after sweeping the Triple Crown with Justify and winning the Ogden Phipps Stakes (gr. I) with Abel Tasman, Baffert and Smith will seek another big win together with Ax Man in Saturday’s $100,000 Matt Winn Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs. As is the [...]

How to Bet the San Vicente Stakes

Saturday’s action at Santa Anita Park features three graded stakes events starting in Race 4 with the Grade 2 Santa Maria featuring Unique Bella and concluding in Race 6 with the Grade 2 San Vicente for three-year-olds. The San Vicente does not reward the top finishers with qualifying points on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” leaderboard, but has been used as a springboard onto bigger and better things by the likes of 1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner [...]

Keying Three Stakes Race Favorites at Santa Anita

Unique Bella winning the Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II) - Benoit Photo Three graded stakes races are scheduled to be run on Saturday at Santa Anita, and at first glance, making a decent wagering score could be challenging. After all, each race features a standout runner that figures to be favored at a short price, so finding value in any one race won’t be easy. But since the three races are being run consecutively, there might be an [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10 – 1/2/18

Principe Guilherme winning an allowance race at Fair Grounds (Hodges Photography) Well, 2018 has arrived, the juvenile stars of last year are officially three years old, and it’s time for things to get serious on the road to the 2018 Kentucky Derby. Actually, the road would already be underway if cold weather hadn’t led to the cancellation of the Jerome Stakes (gr. III) on New Year’s Day at Aqueduct. The race is expected to be rescheduled and held [...]

A Look Ahead at the 2018 Triple Crown

Good Magic winning the 2017 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Photo by Carson Denis/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup) Happy New Year! The arrival of 2018 means the arrival of a fresh year filled with opportunity and potential, and for fans of Thoroughbred horse racing, it also means a new Kentucky Derby prep season is underway with a chance at seeing a future Triple Crown winner in action. Let’s kick off the year with a list of four things to look forward to [...]