Picks and Plays for Saturday Stakes Races at Fair Grounds

Great Wide Open winning the Buddy Diliberto Memorial at Fair Grounds - Photo by Hodges Photography Fair Grounds racetrack in New Orleans certainly knows how to put together a fun day of racing! The upcoming Saturday card features six stakes races worth a combined $700,000, and the best part is that they’re arranged in consecutive fashion without any maiden, allowance, or claiming races to interrupt the action. That makes the card very appealing from the standpoint of multi-race [...]

Picks and Plays for Sunshine Millions Day

X Y Jet winning the Smile Sprint Stakes (gr. II) - Photo by Coglianese Photos/Kenny Martin The annual Sunshine Millions program at Gulfstream Park might not be quite what it was a decade or so ago, when there were more races and bigger purses, but the four races scheduled for Saturday are shaping up to be competitive events with some high-quality participants. I’ve gone through the card and come up with a few spot plays totaling $100. Feel [...]

Should You Bet Deep Closers in the Pegasus World Cup?

Question: Will deep closers who rally from the back of the pack have any chance to contend for a significant piece of the purse in the 2019 Pegasus World Cup (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park? It seems like nine-furlong races at Gulfstream Park often receive special scrutiny since they start so close to the first turn and there’s always concern about horses drawn outside getting hung wide and losing all chance. But might the running style of each individual horse [...]

Picks and Plays for Saturday Stakes at Laurel Park

Late Night Pow Wow winning the Charles Town Oaks (gr. III) - Coady Photography The fields might be a bit on the small side, but four interesting stakes races are among the highlights of an action-packed day of racing scheduled for January 12th at Laurel Park. The card kicks off at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, with the first stakes race following an hour later. I’ve handicapped the four main attractions, and while finding value in small fields is challenging, [...]

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, [...]

Picks and Plays for the Las Cienegas and La Canada Stakes

Santa Anita - Photo by © Breeders' Cup/Todd Buchanan 2014 Although most of the attention at Santa Anita this time of year is focused on three-year-olds and Kentucky Derby prep races, the upcoming Saturday card is a bit different, aimed at showcasing older mares on both dirt and turf. The 6.5-furlong $100,000 Las Cienegas Stakes (gr. III) over the unique downhill turf course is first on the agenda, and will be followed two hours later by the 8.5-furlong [...]

Accelerate Fits Profile of Past Pegasus World Cup Winners

Accelerate winning the Pacific Classic (gr. I) - © Benoit Photo The Pegasus World Cup Invitational (gr. I) will be held for the third time on January 26th, and while two previous renewals isn’t much of a sample size for identifying race trends, already we’re seeing that it takes a special kind of horse to win North America’s richest horse race. One trend is already obvious. The first two winners of the Pegasus World Cup were Arrogate and [...]

Breeders’ Cup Depth Runs Deep in Third Pegasus World Cup

Accelerate winning the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) - Coady Photography For the third straight year, the top two finishers from the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) are set to contest the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park, but this time around the Breeders’ Cup representation will extend well beyond just the Classic. Accelerate and Gunnevera were the gallant 1-2 finishers in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs, and that would [...]

Analyzing the Strength of the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Field

Game Winner winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) - Coady Photography Just over two months have elapsed since thirteen young Kentucky Derby contenders vied for supremacy in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, giving us time to formulate clearer opinions on the overall strength of the Juvenile field. https://youtu.be/czkxQKL7gI8 So far, eight of the thirteen Juvenile starters have come back to run again, with a mixture of success and disappointment. Let’s take a [...]

2019 Racing Preview: 5 Wishes for the New Year

Le Vent Se Leve winning the Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun at Kawasaki Racecourse (Photo courtesy Akihiro Takeda/Churchill Downs) Happy New Year, racing fans! Maybe my greeting is a tad premature—2019 is still a few hours away—but I can’t help myself. I’m already thinking ahead to the new year and pondering an interesting question: If I could make five racing-related wishes, all guaranteed to come true in 2019, what would they be? Well, first I decided to put some limitations [...]