2019 Kentucky Derby: Eight Unraced Nominees to Remember

Justify winning the Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography It seems hard to believe, but last year at this time, Triple Crown winner Justify was still a week away from his career debut. Perhaps emboldened by the extraordinary success of the colt who shattered the “Apollo Curse,” seventy unraced horses have been nominated to the 2019 Triple Crown, including three who haven’t even been named yet. If you’re in the mood to look for the second coming of Justify [...]

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. [...]

Variety of Distances On Tap for Saturday Stakes Races at Gulfstream

Gulfstream Park Scenic Turf Gate (Coglianese Photos) Whether you’re a fan of dirt racing or grass racing, there are plenty of quality betting options available on the final weekend of racing in 2018. In terms of listed stakes races (of which there are many on the agenda), Laurel Park has the dirt racing covered with an impressive Saturday card featuring six stakes races. Meanwhile, Gulfstream Park will cover the other end of the equation with six turf races [...]

Handicapping the Gulfstream Park All-Stakes Pick 4

Hi Happy winning the Pan American Stakes (gr. II) - Photo by Lauren King/Adam Coglianese Photography With 43 horses spread across four races, the all-stakes Pick 4 on Saturday at Gulfstream Park is shaping up to be a great sequence with lots of options for handicappers to consider. One of the challenges of playing sequences like this is keeping ticket costs reasonable—with so many horses to consider playing, it’s easy to wind up spending more than is logical [...]

Tips and Trends for Handicapping Marathons

Turf racing at Belmont Park - Photo by Coglianese Photography Marathon horse races held over 1 ¾ miles or farther aren’t all that common in North America, and when they are on the agenda, some handicappers find themselves puzzled by the unusual challenge of handicapping such long-distance races. What do you even look for when handicapping marathons? Obviously, horses with proven form running long distances are ideal, but in the absence of such horses, I’ve found that three [...]

Six Juvenile Stakes Races Scheduled for December 8th at Gulfstream Park

Gulfstream Park (Coglianese Photos) As part of an action-packed afternoon of racing on December 8th, Gulfstream Park will host not only the Clasico Internacional del Caribe series (showcasing some of the best horses from Latin America and the Caribbean), but also a half-dozen stakes races for two-year-olds. Those juvenile races comprise the first six events on the massive card, which kicks off at 11:50 p.m. Eastern. And since you never know where the next Kentucky Derby (gr. I) [...]

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 [...]

How to Bet the Exotics in the Remsen Stakes

Network Effect winning his debut at Saratoga - Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography If you’re among the many handicappers who figure to place their betting dollars on #5 Network Effect in Saturday’s $250,000 Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct, I certainly can’t blame you. What’s not to like? He’s got the powerful team of trainer Chad Brown and jockey Javier Castellano in his corner, and he’s done little wrong in two starts to date. After breaking his maiden by [...]

Stella di Camelot Stands Out in Mrs. Revere Stakes

Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Technically speaking, Friday’s $200,000 Mrs. Revere Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs is a Grade 2 event, and understandably so. The 8.5-furlong turf race for three-year-old fillies has been won by some very good horses over the last decade or so, including the Grade 1 winners Acoma, Aruna, Marketing Mix, and Centre Court. Perhaps one of the dozen fillies entered in the 2018 renewal will go on to achieve similar success, though at [...]

How to Bet the Red Smith Stakes

Zulu Alpha winning the Sycamore Stakes (gr. III) - Keeneland Photo Just how many times has trainer Mike Maker claimed turf horses, stretched them out in distance, and turned them into graded stakes winners? The list goes on and on—I even wrote a whole article about it earlier this year—and the latest example is #3 Zulu Alpha, who runs in Saturday’s $200,000 Red Smith Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct. Prior to being claimed by Maker, Zulu Alpha was [...]