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 [...]

Betting Races on Soft Turf, Part 1: Why Europeans Can Have an Edge

Turf racing at Belmont Park - Photo by Coglianese Photography Relatively speaking, racehorses in North America don’t get many opportunities to run on truly soft, rain-inundated turf courses. When heavy rains strike, turf races are frequently transferred to the dirt track in order to preserve the grass. But in Europe, where the vast majority of racecourses offer only one racing surface (grass), horses compete on yielding, soft, and heavy turf courses all the time. This can give them [...]

Top 10 Highlights of the 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships

Enable winning the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I) - Coady Photography No matter how you slice it, the 2018 Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs was a clear-cut success. Total wagering may have been down slightly from 2017, but the figures were still strong overall, and the racing was nothing less than top-notch. A decision to move all of the juvenile races to Friday (while transferring the historic Distaff back to Saturday) was an inspired idea, giving the two-year-olds [...]

Eight Europeans Face Six Americans in 2018 Breeders’ Cup Mile

Oscar Performance winning the Woodbine Mile (gr. I) (Michael Burns Photo) It’s looking like a classic North America vs. Europe showdown in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. I) on November 3rd at Churchill Downs, and while the raiders hold a slight advantage in numbers, the Americans appear far from being overmatched. Fourteen horses plus two also-eligibles have been entered in this competitive one-mile turf race, which is arguably the most wide-open of any Breeders’ Cup race this [...]

Why I’m Betting Santa Monica in the E.P. Taylor Stakes

Santa Monica winning the Dance Smartly Stakes (gr. II) at Woodbine (Michael Burns Photo) There’s seemingly something for everyone in Saturday’s $500,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes (gr. I) at Woodbine, a 1 ¼-mile turf event that is shaping up to be one of the best betting races of the weekend. There are several European shippers… a talented local runner... a couple of three-year-olds… and three contenders trained by Chad Brown, who has surprisingly never won the E.P. Taylor Stakes. [...]

How to Bet the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes

Rushing Fall winning the Jessamine Stakes (gr. III). Photo: Keeneland/Coady Photography This is hardly a creative opinion, but on paper it’s hard to make much of a case against #8 Rushing Fall in Saturday’s $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland. Need convincing? Let me give you a few reasons why Rushing Fall should not lose this race: She’s undefeated in two starts over the Keeneland turf course, winning the 2017 Jessamine Stakes (gr. [...]