Spot plays for opening day at Del Mar

Summer has officially arrived at Del Mar, “Where the Turf Meets the Surf.” Del Mar’s anticipated summer race meet gets underway Wednesday with a 10-race card. It’s a can’t-miss event on the racing calendar, so even if you can’t make it out to California to attend in person, we can still take ~$50 and celebrate opening day with a couple of spot plays: Race 7: maiden special weight Call it a hunch, but I’m siding with the 12-1 first-time starter [...]

Breeders’ Cup Mile top 5: International flair

One Master training at Churchill Downs - © John Voorhees/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM /Breeders Cup The Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) annually ranks among the most competitive races at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The one-mile grass event typically attracts a strong field of North American representatives and a high-class contingent of international challengers. The 2019 Mile figures to be no exception, and in attempting to compile a ranking of the top five contenders, I’ve scoured the globe in search of [...]

Which Royal Ascot runners could compete in the Breeders’ Cup?

Royal Ascot - Photo by Horsephotos.com The five-day Royal Ascot meet showcased Thoroughbred racing on an international stage and produced plenty of standout performances from established and rising stars. With luck a few of the big-name runners will make their way to Santa Anita Park in November for the Breeders’ Cup. Who could we see make the trip? Here are four Royal Ascot competitors who seem possible to target the greatest two days in American racing. Bangkok The 3-year-old [...]

Royal Ascot: Spot plays for Day 4

Racing at Royal Ascot - Photo by Horsephotos.com The penultimate day of racing at the 2019 Royal Ascot meet features four more group stakes races, including a high-quality renewal of the Coronation Stakes (G1). Favorites have struggled during the first three days of the meet, perhaps in part because of the soft ground, but with the course drying out, the action might be a bit more predictable Friday. Let’s dig in and come up with a few spot [...]

Royal Ascot spot plays for a magical day of racing Wednesday

Magical (purple cap) battles with Enable (pink cap) in the 2018 Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) - © Casey Phillips/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM /Breeders Cup The second day of racing at Royal Ascot brings the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1), arguably the most anticipated race of the meet, thanks to its high-quality international field. Three other group stakes races support the Prince of Wales’s, with the Duke of Cambridge Stakes (G2) for fillies and mares my main interest from a handicapping [...]

Royal Ascot: Three spot plays for opening day

Imprimis winning the Shakertown Stakes (G2) at Keeneland - Keeneland Photo On Tuesday racing fans around the globe will turn their attention to Ascot Racecourse in England, where the five-day Royal Ascot race meet will take place June 18-22. The prestigious and much-anticipated meet will feature high-class horses from around the world in 30 races, including 19 group stakes. The opening-day card is particularly deep, with three group 1 races on the agenda. Want to get in on [...]

Why I’m betting Admission Office in the Wise Dan Stakes

Admission Office winning a Keeneland allowance race - Keeneland Photo A wide post draw in a large field is less than ideal, but when 14 horses assemble for Saturday’s $250,000 Wise Dan Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs, my money will be on #12 Admission Office. This lightly raced 4-year-old son of Point of Entry has never missed the exacta in six starts, and he’s shown particular promise this year. In his 2019 debut—his first run for current trainer [...]

How to bet the 2019 Manhattan Stakes

Bricks and Mortar winning the Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) - Coady Photography Trainer Chad Brown seems to be throwing the kitchen sink at Saturday’s $1 million Manhattan Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park, where he's entered four graded stakes winners in a quest to extend his domination of the 1 1/4-mile race. The Manhattan is one of eight grade 1 races scheduled to be run at Belmont on Belmont Stakes Day, and Brown will be tough to beat. [...]

Chad Brown brings two for Pennine Ridge Stakes

Demarchelier winning an allowance race - Keeneland Photo The $200,000 Pennine Ridge Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park is a young race, with its inaugural run in 2014, but already has found a productive place on the racing calendar. The 1 1/8-mile event, scheduled for June 1 this year, was created to serve as an annual springboard to the $1 million Belmont Derby Invitational (G1) in July at Belmont Park and has lived up to expectations. The last two [...]

How to bet the 2019 Connaught Cup Stakes

Shakhimat winning the 2017 Tropical Turf Stakes - © Lauren King/Adam Coglianese Photography #1 Shakhimat might not be the most consistent horse in training, but when he starts in Saturday’s $175,000 Connaught Cup Stakes (G2) at Woodbine, I think he’ll be sitting on a winning performance. The 6-year-old son of Lonhro has long been a classy stakes competitor and has even nabbed a couple of high-profile victories at the graded stakes level, including the 2017 Tropical Turf Stakes [...]