Rating the First Round of 2019 Kentucky Derby Preps

Game Winner winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) - Coady Photography With the running of Sunday's Remington Springboard Mile, the last North American Kentucky Derby prep race of the year entered the history books, bringing to a close the first stage of qualification for the 2019 “Run for the Roses.” From September through December, nine Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races were conducted across the country, and while the majority offered the same number of qualification [...]

Complexity Uses His Speed to Dominate Champagne Stakes

Complexity winning the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) - Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography Pure speed is one of the greatest tactical advantages a racehorse can possess, and based on the results of Saturday’s $500,000 Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park, there’s no doubt that Complexity has more than his fair share of pure speed. How can you beat a horse who can sprint you off your feet and just keep going? It isn’t easy, as Complexity’s nine [...]

Endorsed, Trophy Chaser Look Live in Deep Champagne Stakes

Belmont Park - Chelsea Durand/Coglianese Photography Some of the most promising two-year-olds on the East Coast are set to face off in Saturday’s $500,000 Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park, a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) that also figures to toss up a few early contenders for the 2019 Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Nine of the ten starters enter the Champagne off of victories, so it’s hard to knock [...]

How Knowing a Horse’s Family History Can Lead to Winning Bets

Greenpointcrusader winning the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) - Photo by NYRA/Coglianese Photography When handicapping horse races, it can be a subtle but significant advantage to know the history of a given horse’s close relatives and the circumstances under which they excelled on the track. One of my favorite examples involves a broodmare named Ava Knowsthecode. Born in 1994, Ava Knowsthecode didn’t exactly light up the sport with her own racing exploits, but she was reasonably talented, winning three [...]

Bolt d’Oro seeks third grade I in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

Bolt d'Oro dominates the field for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Photo: Benoit Photos. There’s one major question heading into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Saturday: is Bolt d’Oro for real? The son of Medaglia d’Oro has swept all before him in three starts in California. He won his maiden well, rallied from well back to win the Del Mar Futurity (G1), and produced an outstanding effort to rout his opposition in the FrontRunner Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita. [...]

Champagne Stakes an Intriguing Puzzle for Punters

The Champagne Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park is one of the best juvenile races in the country, and its winner earns direct entry into the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and points in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series. But trying to select a winner when there is so little exposed form can be a difficult task. Despite its grade one status, only Firenze Fire among the 12 Champagne Stakes entries has run in a graded stakes race, winning the Sanford [...]