How to bet the 2019 Iowa Derby

Night Ops breaking his maiden at Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography Although the $250,000 Iowa Derby lost its graded stakes status a couple years ago, that hasn’t prevented the 2019 edition from attracting a large and competitive field. A dozen 3-year-olds will battle over 1 1/16 miles in the Friday test at Prairie Meadows, including four proven stakes winners and just as many who have placed at the stakes level. After reviewing the field, I believe #7 Visitant [...]

Saturday Spot Plays for Churchill Downs and Arlington Park

Classy Act winning an allowance race at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography With 25 stakes races scheduled to be run from coast to coast, Saturday will be a busy day for racing in North America. Churchill Downs and Arlington Park have both put together appealing cards, with Churchill offering two stakes races and Arlington providing a couple of quality allowance events. Why don’t we dig through the action and come up with a few spot plays? Churchill Downs [...]

Preakness Stakes Make the Case – Anothertwistafate & Owendale

The Preakness Stakes takes place this Saturday on May 18. Although neither Country House nor Maximum Security will run in the race, the field should be deep. That means a horse offering overlay odds could take it. Two possible overlay odds horses could be Anothertwistafate and Owendale. Keep reading for the case for and the case against both. Preakness Stakes Case For & Against Anothertwistafate & Owendale Preakness Case for and against Anothertwistafate After his impressive win in [...]

Potential Derby Contenders Line Up March 2 at Fair Grounds

Racing at Fair Grounds - Photo by Hodges Photography Most handicappers this weekend will understandably be turning their attention to the stakes-packed Saturday card at Gulfstream Park, but players on the lookout for up-and-coming Kentucky Derby contenders are advised to check out the action at Fair Grounds as well. The nine-race Saturday card includes a trio of intriguing races for three-year-olds. The action kicks off with the $75,000 Black Gold Stakes, a one-mile turf event scheduled as the [...]

Is War of Will Vulnerable in the Risen Star?

War of Will winning the Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds - Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir If horses always ran to form and everyone always received a perfect trip, handicapping races would be easy. Certainly handicapping Saturday’s $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) at Fair Grounds would offer no meaningful challenge. After all, doesn’t #14 War of Will loom as a standout on paper? The son of War Front is 2-for-2 on dirt and was [...]

Eight Fillies Seek Graded Victory in Comely Stakes

Blamed galloping at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Calling all three-year-old fillies! Friday’s $200,000 Comely Stakes (gr. III) might not be the most anticipated race on Thanksgiving week, but the nine-furlong event at Aqueduct does represent the penultimate opportunity for sophomore fillies to seek a graded stakes victory on dirt this year. Suffice to say, someone is definitely going to benefit from this opportunity, because none of the eight entrants in the Comely have previously won at the [...]

Why I’m Betting Mr. Misunderstood in the River City Handicap

Mr. Misunderstood winning the Commonwealth Turf Stakes (gr. III) - Coady Photography He’s arguably the fastest horse on paper, he has a perfect record over the local turf course, and he’s dropping in class out of a Grade 1 race. What’s not to like about #3 Mr. Misunderstood in Saturday’s $100,000 River City Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs? I certainly don’t see any convincing reasons to oppose him. Trained by Brad Cox, the four-year-old son of Archarcharch [...]

Monomoy Girl Keeps On Winning in Breeders’ Cup Distaff

Monomoy Girl winning the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) - Coady Photography Just how good is the three-year-old filly Monomoy Girl? Well, between February and November, she crossed the wire first in seven straight graded stakes races, including six Grade 1 events, and she proved her mettle against older mare by winning the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I) on November 3rd at Churchill Downs in professional fashion. That’s pretty remarkable, no? On several occasions, Monomoy Girl has [...]

How to Bet the Hagyard Fayette Stakes

Hofburg training at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography When seven accomplished runners line up to contest the $200,000 Hagyard Fayette Stakes (gr. II) on Saturday at Keeneland, the feature race on the last day of the meet, most eyes will be focused on the lone three-year-old in the field, #6 Hofburg. That’s certainly understandable, since the Bill Mott-trained son of Tapit has compiled a promising record this year, most notably finishing second in the Florida Derby (gr. I) [...]