Picks and Plays for the Tropical Turf and Marshua’s River Stakes

Heart to Heart winning the Gulfstream Park Turf Stakes (gr. I) - Photo by Leslie Martin/Adam Coglianese Photography Gulfstream Park is doing their best to keep us entertained while we wait for the eagerly-anticipated Pegasus World Cup (gr. I) and Pegasus World Cup Turf (gr. I) on January 26th. The Florida racetrack has packed their upcoming weekend stakes slates with high-class events, including the Tropical Turf Stakes (gr. III) and the Marshua’s River Stakes (gr. III) on Saturday, [...]

2019 Racing Preview: 5 Horses I Can’t Wait to Watch

Almond Eye winning the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) - Photo courtesy of the Japan Racing Association Triple Crown winner Justify might be retired, with his Horse of the Year challenger Accelerate slated to follow suit in January, but that doesn’t mean the sport of racing will be lacking star power in 2019. To the contrary, there are so many talented horses set to compete around the world next year that narrowing down the list to a handful of my [...]

Why I’m Keying the Favorites in the Hollywood Derby

River Boyne - © Benoit Photo With relatively few opportunities remaining for horses to compete against Grade 1 company before the end of 2018, fourteen three-year-olds have turned out to contest Saturday’s $300,000 Hollywood Derby (gr. I) at Del Mar. But while the huge field size suggests that the race should be wide-open in nature, I’m strongly drawn toward the two favorites #4 River Boyne and #6 Raging Bull, in part because I believe their most recent efforts [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Saturday Spot Plays

Divisidero winning the 2016 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. I) - Coady Photography As usual, the Breeders’ Cup Saturday card is packed with large fields, competitive races, and exciting wagering opportunities. When you pit this many talented horses against each other, you’re bound to find an abundance of live contenders offering appealing odds. With this in mind, I’ve gone through the Saturday card gathering up a few “spot plays.” Basically, I’m just looking for non-favorites and longshots that [...]

Eight Europeans Face Six Americans in 2018 Breeders’ Cup Mile

Oscar Performance winning the Woodbine Mile (gr. I) (Michael Burns Photo) It’s looking like a classic North America vs. Europe showdown in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. I) on November 3rd at Churchill Downs, and while the raiders hold a slight advantage in numbers, the Americans appear far from being overmatched. Fourteen horses plus two also-eligibles have been entered in this competitive one-mile turf race, which is arguably the most wide-open of any Breeders’ Cup race this [...]

2018 Breeders’ Cup Race Order, Post Times, and Wagering Menu

On the same day that pre-entries for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships were released, the Breeders' Cup also revealed the official schedule of races and wagering opportunities for the two-day event. The action will kick off on Friday, November 2nd at 12:55 p.m. Eastern, with five Breeders’ Cup races among the ten events on the Churchill Downs card. The following day, a twelve-race card featuring nine Breeders’ Cup races will get underway at 10:45 a.m. Eastern. $2 WPS, $1 exactas, [...]

Back for More: Eight Breeders’ Cup Champs Could Seek Repeat Wins

Mendelssohn winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (Photo by Ting Shen/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup) As the fields for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup races continue to take shape, it’s becoming increasingly clear that we could see an impressive number of past winners return with an eye on adding additional Breeders’ Cup titles to their records. All told, eight previous Breeders’ Cup winners—six from 2017 and two from 2016—could see action at Churchill Downs four weeks from now. Some will be attempting [...]

Why I’m Betting Analyze It in the Shadwell Turf Mile

Analyze It winning the Transylvania Stakes (gr. III) - Keeneland Photo Generally speaking, large fields with a half-dozen or more viable win contenders are the best betting events in the sport of horse racing, and if you cash an exotic wager like the trifecta or superfecta in such a competitive race, your reward will be a very large payoff. But of course, before you can cash, you have to identify the right horses. And some races—such as Saturday’s [...]

Oscar Performances Out-Sprints Rivals in Woodbine Mile

Oscar Performance winning the Woodbine Mile (gr. I) (Michael Burns Photo) Things certainly can change fast in the sport of horse racing. One month ago, Oscar Performance was pulled up as the favorite prior to finishing the Arlington Million (gr. I), but on Saturday, he shrugged off that disappointing run to score a terrific victory in the $800,000 Ricoh Woodbine Mile (gr. I) at Woodbine in Canada. Yes, you can argue that Oscar Performance received a dream setup [...]

Laurens Upsets Huge Favorite Alpha Centauri in Matron Stakes

It’s a fact that when a heavy favorite is upset in a major sporting competition, more attention is typically focused on the performance of the loser than the winner, and this is especially so when extenuating circumstances surround the defeat of the favorite. As an unfortunate side effect, the victorious effort of the underdog is frequently overlooked, which has been precisely the case in the aftermath of Saturday’s one-mile Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes (Ire-I) at Leopardstown in Ireland. From [...]