Betting Longshot Beautiful Shot in the Arkansas Derby

Beautiful Shot galloping at Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography To me, Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park presents an interesting handicapping quandary. On paper, the nine-furlong Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race looks simple enough to handicap. The favorite is the unbeaten #6 Magnum Moon, who won the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn last month by an authoritative 3 ½ lengths, earning a 100 BRIS speed figure. A repeat of that effort [...]

Analyzing a Competitive Renewal of the Gotham Stakes

Firenze Fire winning the Jerome Stakes (NYRA/Coglianese Photography/Chelsea Durand When handicapping Kentucky Derby prep races, it’s usually simple to narrow down the field to a couple of main contenders. But that isn’t the case in Saturday’s $300,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct, a race in which nearly half the entrants boast impressive credentials. Leading the way are the Grade 1 winners #5 Firenze Fire and #6 Free Drop Billy, who also strike me as the most likely [...]

Run Away faces talented rivals in Bob Hope Stakes

Best Pal Stakes winner Run Away goes for five wins from six starts in the Bob Hope Stakes at Del Mar. Pic: Benoit Photo. With four victories and a grade one third-place finish behind Bolt d’Oro, Run Away is clearly the form horse going into the seven-furlong Bob Hope Stakes (G3) at Del Mar Nov. 11. Whether he can concede between four and six pounds to his five promising rivals and still come out on top is another [...]