Spot Plays for 2019 Louisiana Derby Day

Bricks and Mortar winning the Pegasus World Cup Turf (gr. I) - Photo by Ashley Blum/Adam Coglianese Photography A marathon day of racing is scheduled for Saturday, March 23 at Fair Grounds. Thirteen races are on the card, including the $1 million Louisiana Derby (gr. II), a prominent steppingstone toward the 2019 Kentucky Derby. That race is unquestionably the main highlight, but the undercard includes several other interesting stakes races that could offer opportunities to make nice wagering [...]

How to Bet Saturday’s All-Stakes Pick 4 at Oaklawn Park

Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography Thanks to the split of the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) into two divisions, Oaklawn Park will be able to offer an exciting all-stakes Pick 4 on March 16 that includes both halves of the much-anticipated Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race. I’ve put together a Pick 4 play that includes a strategy I rarely utilize—using “ALL” in the most competitive leg. The rest of the sequence looks predictable enough that spreading deep [...]

Precieuse Gives Brown Strong Hand in Honey Fox Stakes

Gulfstream Park (Coglianese Photos) Trainer Chad Brown is renowned for his success training top-class turf horses, especially those formerly based in Europe—think Sistercharlie, Zagora, Flintshire, Real Solution, etc. It appears Brown could be poised to unleash another such star in Saturday’s $150,000 Honey Fox Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park, a one-mile turf race for fillies and mares that will mark the seasonal debut of #1 Precieuse, an Irish-bred filly owned by Peter Brant. When based in France [...]

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 [...]

Why I’m Betting Copper Town in the Hal’s Hope Stakes

Gulfstream Park (Coglianese Photos) An unusual blend of horses is set to contest Saturday’s $100,000 Hal’s Hope Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park, and in my opinion, demanding a bit of a price in the wagering could be a wise idea. Three of the nine entrants in this one-mile test are running for the first time since late spring 2018, including the stakes-winning pair of #5 Quip and #9 Prince Lucky, who will be making their first starts [...]

Betting the Exacta in the Buena Vista Stakes

Vasilika winning the John C. Mabee Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © Benoit Photo From claim to fame—that’s been the story for #9 Vasilika, who will start as the favorite in Saturday’s $200,000 Buena Vista Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita. Claimed by Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer just over one year ago, the five-year-old daughter of Skipshot has been almost unstoppable since then. All told, she’s won 11 of her last 13 starts, a [...]

Spot Plays for Southwest Stakes Day at Oaklawn Park

Jack Van Berg breaking his maiden at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography High-class Monday racing action isn’t common, but Oaklawn Park is making an exception by scheduling three graded stakes races for February 18, Presidents’ Day. It’s a fun card with a lot of options, so let’s go through the fields and look for some spot plays…. Race 3: Maiden Special Weight There are some promising first-time starters in this race, including #1 Good as Money (a Calumet [...]

Spot Plays for Risen Star Day at Fair Grounds

Synchrony winning the 2018 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. III) - Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges, Jr. Planning to watch and wager on the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) this Saturday at Fair Grounds? Don’t forget to check out the other appealing races on the card! I’ve already shared my thoughts on the Risen Star, but that’s just one of the dozen races on the agenda. After going over the rest of the card, I’ve found four other spot plays throughout [...]

Derby, Oaks Contenders Face Off on Saturday at Fair Grounds

Serengeti Empress winning the Pocahontas Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders will shine at Fair Grounds on February 16, a busy day of racing that includes four graded stakes races at the New Orleans racetrack. The highlight of the day is unquestionably the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. II), which offers 50 Kentucky Derby qualification points to the winner as part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby Championship [...]

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. [...]