Halfway through Saratoga, which trainers are excelling?

As we enter the fifth week of racing, now seems like the perfect time to review Statsmaster’s trainer statistics for the Saratoga meet and determine which trainers are excelling in certain conditions.

Trainers to watch (and wager on) at Saratoga

Bob Baffert at Saratoga - Photo by Courtney Heeney/Coglianese Photography With the 2019 Saratoga summer meet opening July 11, it’s time to formulate our plan of attack for handicapping the multitude of high-quality races. Determining which trainers to bet under which circumstances is a good place to start. After analyzing five years of Saratoga trainer statistics available through StatsMaster, I’ve compiled a list of trainers to watch (and wager on) during the Saratoga meet. With a bit of [...]

How to bet the 2019 Belmont Derby

Digital Age winning the American Turf Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography How should we go about narrowing down the main contenders in Saturday’s $1 million Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park? Fifteen horses (one an also-eligible) have been entered in the 1 1/4-mile turf race for 3-year-olds, and you can make a case for pretty much any of them. Determining which horses warrant inclusion in deep exotic wagers like the trifecta or superfecta [...]

Elate rebounds in Fleur de Lis Handicap

Elate winning the Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2) - Coady Photography Very good horses are able to overcome adversity to win major races, and it’s safe to say Elate is a very good horse. The 5-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro had every excuse to lose the $250,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2) on June 15 at Churchill Downs. She broke sluggishly from the gate, then wound up boxed in behind horses, unable to shift out for a clear run [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby: Trainers, Facts and Trends

Bode Baffert (and Mike Smith) holds up the Derby trophy as his father, trainer Bob Baffert (second from left), enjoys the moment after Justify won the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs (Skip Dickstein/Times Union) Some of the best-known trainers in North American horse racing will be represented by major contenders in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, but as usual, the “Run for the Roses” will make room for a few newcomers as well. Sixteen different [...]

Kentucky Derby Make the Case: Improbable and Tacitus

Improbable wins Street Sense S. (Coady Photo/Churchill) The Kentucky Derby on May 4 figures to be one of the most difficult to handicap in years. The 2019 Derby is incredibly deep. There won’t be a clear-cut favorite like Justify last year. That’s why it’s important to think about the pros and cons of each entrant. In this blog, I provide a Derby case for and against both Improbable and Tacitus. The Bob Baffert trained Improbable could go off [...]

Tacitus Prevails in Roughly-Run Wood Memorial

Tacitus winning the Wood Memorial (gr. II) at Aqueduct - © NYRA/Coglianese Photography In one of the roughest races seen on the Road to the Kentucky Derby this winter, favored Tacitus emerged from a battle-weary field to win the $750,000 Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct in hard-fought fashion. Chaos reigned during the run to the first turn, and even Tacitus did not emerge unscathed. A generally ragged start was made worse when Tax, breaking from the rail, [...]

Tacitus Breaks Through in Tampa Bay Derby

Tacitus winning the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) - Photo by SV Photography Early speed, middle moves, late rallies, a wild finish with a half-dozen horses in the hunt—from start to finish, the $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) at Tampa Bay Downs had it all. Ultimately, it was Bill Mott’s lightly-raced Tacitus who emerged from the fray victorious in the Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race, which was no small feat considering that Tacitus was racing [...]

Why I’m Betting Hidden Scroll in the Fountain of Youth

I don’t think anyone will deny that #5 Vekoma and #6 Signalman are the most accomplished runners heading into Saturday’s $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, a major stop on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. In a field of eleven three-year-olds, they’re the only proven graded stakes winners. Last year, Vekoma went 2-for-2 and defeated high-class rivals like Epic Dreamer, Mihos, Network Effect, and Call Paul in a maiden race and the Nashua Stakes (gr. [...]