Trainers to watch (and wager on) at Saratoga

Bob Baffert at Saratoga - Photo by Courtney Heeney/Coglianese Photography With the 2019 Saratoga summer meet opening July 11, it’s time to formulate our plan of attack for handicapping the multitude of high-quality races. Determining which trainers to bet under which circumstances is a good place to start. After analyzing five years of Saratoga trainer statistics available through StatsMaster, I’ve compiled a list of trainers to watch (and wager on) during the Saratoga meet. With a bit of [...]

Saratoga 2yos Analysis: Chad Brown On the Rise

The fourth weekend of the Saratoga meet featured a couple more graded stakes races for juveniles, including one that was essentially the definition of a closer-favoring race. The action kicked off on Saturday with the $200,000 Adirondack Stakes (gr. II), a 6 ½-furlong sprint for fillies contested over a drying-out main track labeled “good.” The track was a bit tiresome as a result, so you can imagine what happened when race favorite Lyrical Lady and longshot Mucho Amor wound up [...]

Saratoga 2yos Analysis: Bill Mott Gets Hot

Two weekends ago, the juvenile races at Saratoga were dominated by trainer Steve Asmussen. Last weekend, it was Bill Mott’s turn to take the spotlight. The Hall of Fame trainer, best known as the conditioner of two-time Horse of the Year Cigar, has been enjoying a strong Saratoga meet with nine wins from his first 42 starters. Two of those victories came on Saturday, courtesy of the two-year-olds Casa Creed and Mucho. Both ran very well in their respective races, [...]

Good Magic Rebounds to Win Haskell Invitational

Good Magic at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography It’s hard to keep a champion down. Good Magic may have been overshadowed by Triple Crown winner Justify during the first half of the season, but with Justify now retired, Good Magic is already doing his best to work some magic and reenter the spotlight. Just look at the impression that last year's champion two-year-old male made while winning Sunday’s $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park with [...]

Saratoga 2yos Analysis: Pletcher Off to Fast Start, Loaded for Week Two

Saratoga certainly knows how to open with a bang! For racing fans and bettors, one of the main highlights of Saratoga is the numerous races for two-year-olds held throughout the summer, so it was delightful to see a large number of these races contested during the first few days of the meet. In terms of class, the $150,000 Schuylerville Stakes (gr. III) on Friday and the $150,000 Sanford Stakes (gr. III) on Saturday were the best juvenile races on opening [...]

Shapiro’s Final Verdict: Kentucky Derby 2018

Audible winning the Florida Derby (gr. I) - Photo by Adam Coglianese Photography We are just a few days out from the world-famous Kentucky Derby set to go to post at 6:50 local time on Saturday evening. The first leg of the Triple Crown has been as enjoyable as ever to analyze starting months ago given the talented crop set to break from the gates in the twelfth race on Saturday’s 14-race card at Churchill Downs. So without [...]

How Grass Pedigrees Can Provide Value in Turf Races

Tampa Bay Downs Scenic (SV Photography) It’s easy to assume that once a horse has started its racing career and run in a few races, its pedigree is no longer an important factor to consider in handicapping. While this might be true in some cases, there are still many instances when pedigrees can be a relevant handicapping factor even for horses with lots of experience. This can be especially true when a horse is trying a different racing [...]

Bravazo Finishes Fast in Risen Star Upset

Bravazo winning the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) at Fair Grounds - Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir Let’s face it—it’s just doesn’t feel like Kentucky Derby prep season if the Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas doesn’t have a horse in the mix, which is why you have to be pleased by the results of Saturday’s $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) at Fair Grounds. The 8.5-furlong race offered 50 Kentucky Derby qualification points to the [...]

Good Magic Tops 360 Nominees for the 2018 Triple Crown

Good Magic winning the 2017 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Photo by Carson Denis/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup) Good Magic, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and the Eclipse Award champion two-year-old male of 2017, is among the talented young horses that have been nominated to compete in the 2018 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes, the three races that comprise the historic Triple Crown. All told, 360 three-year-olds were made eligible for the Triple Crown at the first [...]