How to Bet the 2019 Louisville Handicap

Vettori Kin winning the Louisville Handicap (G3) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography A year ago a Brazilian-bred Group 1 winner by the name of Vettori Kin scored his first and so far only victory in North America, rallying to a decisive 2 1/2-length victory in the 1 1/2-mile Louisville Handicap (G3) at Churchill Downs. On May 18 #6 Vettori Kin will seek to defend his title in the Louisville Handicap, and although he’s riding a five-race losing streak, there [...]

4 Racing Storylines to Follow in Summer 2019

Newspaperofrecord winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) - Coady Photography With the Kentucky Derby complete and the spring racing season well underway, I’m already looking ahead to some of the great racing action we can expect to see this summer. The 13 graded stakes races held at Churchill Downs on Derby week produced some interesting storylines to keep an eye on during the second half of the year. Here are just a few of my main [...]

Why I’m Betting Channel Maker in the Man o’ War Stakes

Channel Maker (outside) finishes in a dead-heat with Glorious Empire (inside) in the Bowling Green Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park - Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography Three straight defeats have befallen #8 Channel Maker since he won the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) in gate-to-wire fashion at Belmont Park last fall.  But perhaps a return to Belmont for Saturday’s $700,000 Man o’ War Stakes (G1) will trigger a rebound. An honest pace could enhance Channel Maker’s chances in [...]

Bricks and Mortar: A Horse of the Year Candidate?

Bricks and Mortar winning the Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) - Coady Photography In a year when several prominent racing divisions lack standout leaders, the older turf horse Bricks and Mortar has thrown his hat in the ring for Horse of the Year consideration. The talented 5-year-old enhanced his budding reputation with a powerful late-running triumph in the $1 million Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs. The victory brought Bricks and Mortar’s [...]

How to Bet the 2019 Old Forester Turf Classic

Bricks and Mortar winning the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) - Photo by Ashley Blum/Adam Coglianese Photography Three-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown has won dozens of major turf races across the country, but the $1 million Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs has so far proven elusive. That figures to change Saturday, when Brown sends out morning-line favorite #12 Bricks and Mortar to contest the 1 1/8-mile race, which immediately precedes the Kentucky Derby and [...]

Why I’m Betting Longshot Kulin Rock in the Mac Diarmida

Zulu Alpha winning the Sycamore Stakes (gr. III) - Keeneland Photo Sometimes, it seems like trainer Mike Maker is able to work miracles with little-known grass runners, turning them into graded stakes winners seemingly overnight. His strategy tends to be simple, at least to the casual observer. It goes something like this—find a nice, solid competitor, stretch him or her out in distance, and see what happens. That exactly what Maker will do with #9 Kulin Rock in [...]

Bricks and Mortar Crushes Rivals in Pegasus World Cup Turf

Bricks and Mortar winning the Pegasus World Cup Turf (gr. I) - Photo by Ashley Blum/Adam Coglianese Photography A yielding turf course, a huge jump in class, and a significant stretch-out in distance were among the obstacles facing Bricks and Mortar in Saturday’s inaugural running of the $7,000,000 Pegasus World Cup Turf (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park. But in the manner of a budding star, Bricks and Mortar shrugged off the challenges to decisively defeat a strong field. [...]

How to Bet the Pegasus World Cup Turf

Gulfstream Park (Coglianese Photos) The inaugural running of North America’s richest turf race—the $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (gr. I)—didn’t attract as deep a field as one might have hoped given the size of the purse, but you certainly can’t knock the race from a betting perspective. Ten starters have turned out to contest the 1 3/16-mile race at Gulfstream Park, and a case can be made for just about all of them to win or hit [...]

Grass Championships Wide-Open at the 2018 Eclipse Awards

Enable winning the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I) - Coady Photography When Eclipse Award voters fill out their ballots at the end of the year, they will be faced with several challenging decisions, and while the battle for Horse of the Year is receiving most of the attention, the showdowns to determine the 2018 champion turf horses figure to be just as contested. There certainly won’t be a unanimous choice for Champion Grass Male or Champion Grass Female, [...]

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 [...]