Playing Against the Favorites in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes

Knicks Go winning the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) - Keeneland Photo Full field? Check. Competitive betting race? Check. Official Kentucky Derby prep race? Check again. The 2018-19 Road to the Kentucky Derby will resume on Saturday with the $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs, and from a handicapping perspective, there’s nothing not to like about this 1 1/16-mile event. I find the race particularly exciting because I’m not convinced that the expected favorites [...]

How to Bet the Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens Stakes

Promises Fulfilled winning the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) - Photo by Leslie Martin/Coglianese Photography The first graded stakes race on the Travers Day card is the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes (G1.) The event formerly known as the King’s Bishop Stakes is contested at seven furlongs over the main track. The field is led by the impressive winner of the Dwyer Stakes (G3) #8 Firenze Fire. The son of Poseidon’s Warrior had a strong two-year-old campaign capturing [...]

Shapiro’s Thoughts and Suggested Wager for Friday’s Pick 5 Carryover at Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs - Coady Photography I failed to take advantage of the six-figure Pick 6 carryover with a mandatory payout yesterday at Churchill Downs, but hopefully I can make up for my subpar handicapping on Thursday evening with a strong effort in the late Pick 5 on Friday. No one hit the early Pick 5 yesterday in Louisville, so that means there is a $35,689 carryover in the sequence that commences in Race 5 and ends in Race [...]

An Early Preview of the Blue Grass Stakes

With the Grade 1 Florida Derby in the rearview mirror it is time to start looking ahead to the trio of Triple Crown prep races next weekend. The Santa Anita Derby should be great, but took a potential hit with McKinzie opting to skip the race due to an issue with one of his hind legs. The Wood Memorial in New York has not been the most productive event of late, but should be a solid race this year with [...]

How to Bet the Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs

Tampa Bay Downs Scenic (SV Photography) After a busy week with the Robert B. Lewis, the Withers and the Holy Bull, things are quiet on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” this weekend outside of the Grade 2 Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs. The Sam F. Davis Stakes, a prep for next month’s Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, drew a compact, yet solid group of three-year-olds with ten qualifying points going to the victor of the [...]