Saturday spot plays for Churchill Downs

Bobby's Wicked One turns for home in command of the Commonwealth Stakes (G3) - Keeneland Photo Proving once again that there’s more to racing at Churchill Downs than the first Saturday in May, the Louisville racetrack has put together a solid evening of competitive events for Saturday. The 11-race card kicks off at 6 p.m. ET and includes two stakes races, the $125,000 Aristides Stakes and the $120,000 Mighty Beau Stakes. Let’s go through the action and look [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby: Trainers, Facts and Trends

Bode Baffert (and Mike Smith) holds up the Derby trophy as his father, trainer Bob Baffert (second from left), enjoys the moment after Justify won the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs (Skip Dickstein/Times Union) Some of the best-known trainers in North American horse racing will be represented by major contenders in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, but as usual, the “Run for the Roses” will make room for a few newcomers as well. Sixteen different [...]

Kentucky Derby Make the Case: Omaha Beach and By My Standards

Omaha Beach winning the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) - Coady Photography The 2019 Kentucky Derby is so deep it only makes sense to discuss the chances of the likely favorite winning in the same blog about the chances of one of the longest shots on the board. Omaha Beach should enter the Kentucky Derby as either the first, co-first, or second choice. Omaha Beach has beaten Game Winner and Improbable in his last couple of races. He looks [...]

By My Standards Upsets the Louisiana Derby

By My Standards winning the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) - © Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges, Jr. The trend of upset victories in Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races continued on Saturday when By My Standards produced a big rally up the inside to post a 22-1 upset victory in the $1 million Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds. At the start of the race, all eyes were won the 4-5 favorite War of Will, who was expected [...]

How to Bet the Ballerina Stakes

Finley'sluckycharm winning the Chicago Handicap (gr. III) - Coady Photography There certainly aren’t many speed horses entered in the $500,000 Ballerina Stakes (gr. I) on Saturday at Saratoga, which means that the pace of the seven-furlong race could be on the slow side. It might not be as slow as last year, when By the Moon got away with turtle-like fractions of :24.05 and :47.81 on her way to a gate-to-wire victory, but with #5 Finley’sluckycharm looming as the [...]

How to Bet the Bashford Manor Stakes

Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Want to get an early start looking for 2019 Kentucky Derby contenders? Then you won’t want to miss Saturday’s $100,000 Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs! The six-furlong spring is the first graded stakes race of the year for two-year-olds, and in 2016 the race was won by future juvenile champion and Preakness Stakes runner-up Classic Empire, so there’s always a chance that the Bashford Manor could produce a future star. [...]

Keying Restless Rider in the Debutante Stakes

Shanghai Rain (outside) winning her debut at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography You have to admire any horse that overcomes adversity to win a race. And when the horse in question is an unraced two-year-old filly making her debut, you have to wonder if you’re looking at an above-average runner. In handicapping Saturday’s $100,000 Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs, a six-furlong sprint for juvenile fillies, I’m drawn to the chances of #5 Restless Rider. Why? Well, just read [...]