Why I’m Betting Anothertwistafate in the Lexington Stakes

Anothertwistafate winning the El Camino Real Derby - © Vassar Photography/Shane Micheli When ten horses line up to contest Saturday’s $200,000 Lexington Stakes (G3) at Keeneland, the one sure bet is that I’ll be all-in with my support of #4 Anothertwistafate. The 1 1/16-mile race serves as a final, desperate qualifier for the 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1), and offers 20 qualifications points to the winner. Those points alone are unlikely to yield a spot in the starting gate, but [...]

U S S Michigan Seeks Kentucky Derby Berth in Cardinal Conditions Stakes

Churchill Downs - Coady Photography The European Road to the Kentucky Derby will conclude on Thursday with the running of the Cardinal Conditions Stakes at Chelmsford City in England, and I’d advise everyone to keep a close eye on what transpires in this one-mile race. Held over a Polytrack course similar in size and shape to Churchill Downs, the Cardinal Conditions Stakes has attracted nine starters, and while only two have been nominated to the Triple Crown, one of [...]

How to Bet the 2019 Wood Memorial

Tacitus winning the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) - Photo by SV Photography There are plenty of promising and accomplished runners to consider in Saturday’s $750,000 Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct, 1 1/8-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race that has attracted eleven entrants. I’ve taken a look at the five morning line favorites and have divided them into two categories—“For,” containing the horses that I like best, and “Against,” featuring the short-priced runners that [...]

Why I’m Betting Signalman in the Blue Grass Stakes

Signalman winning the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) - Coady Photography To be honest, you could pick a name out of a hat and probably have as good a chance at picking the winner of Saturday’s $1 million Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland as any handicapper employing a more analytical approach. That’s because this 1 1/8-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race has attracted a full field of fourteen starters without any particular standouts. [...]

Spot Plays for 2019 Louisiana Derby Day

Bricks and Mortar winning the Pegasus World Cup Turf (gr. I) - Photo by Ashley Blum/Adam Coglianese Photography A marathon day of racing is scheduled for Saturday, March 23 at Fair Grounds. Thirteen races are on the card, including the $1 million Louisiana Derby (gr. II), a prominent steppingstone toward the 2019 Kentucky Derby. That race is unquestionably the main highlight, but the undercard includes several other interesting stakes races that could offer opportunities to make nice wagering [...]

Why I’m Betting Haikal in the Gotham Stakes

Instagrand winning the Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © BENOIT PHOTO There is an abundance of early speed entered in Saturday’s $300,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct, so it’s hard not to envision the one-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race unfolding at a rapid pace. For example, #6 Instagrand led gate-to-wire in his two impressive victories last year. #7 Not That Brady has set the pace in his last four starts. [...]

How to Bet the 2019 Tampa Bay Derby

Win Win Win winning the Pasco Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs - Photo by SV Photography I don’t know if he’s the most likely winner—that’s a tough call—but I do believe that #7 Win Win Win has the most raw talent of any horse entered in the March 9, $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) at Tampa Bay Downs. The obstacles facing this son of Hat Trick are formidable. Primarily, he’s never run farther than seven furlongs, and [...]

An Unusual Betting Strategy for the Jeff Ruby Steaks

Somelikeithotbrown (far right) vying for victory in the 2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. I) - Photo by Carolyn Simancik/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM /Breeders' Cup Because it is held over the synthetic Polytrack surface at Turfway Park, the $200,000 Jeff Ruby Steakes (gr. III) tends to attract an unusual blend of horses. Synthetic specialists stepping up in class, proven dirt and turf runners trying a different surface, clear-cut Kentucky Derby contenders, and horses who weren’t even nominated to the Triple [...]

O’Brien Trio Embark on Derby Trail in Patton Stakes

Following a lengthy winter hiatus, the European Road to the Kentucky Derby will resume on March 1 with the one-mile Patton Stakes at Dundalk in Ireland. Last year, the Patton marked the successful seasonal debut for Mendelssohn, a highly-regarded colt campaigned by Ireland’s leading trainer Aidan O’Brien. Mendelssohn’s victory in the Patton served as a springboard to a productive 2018 campaign that included a romping victory in the UAE Derby and a start in the Kentucky Derby. O’Brien appears to [...]

Why I’m Betting Hidden Scroll in the Fountain of Youth

I don’t think anyone will deny that #5 Vekoma and #6 Signalman are the most accomplished runners heading into Saturday’s $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, a major stop on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. In a field of eleven three-year-olds, they’re the only proven graded stakes winners. Last year, Vekoma went 2-for-2 and defeated high-class rivals like Epic Dreamer, Mihos, Network Effect, and Call Paul in a maiden race and the Nashua Stakes (gr. [...]