Royal Ascot: Three spot plays for opening day

Imprimis winning the Shakertown Stakes (G2) at Keeneland - Keeneland Photo On Tuesday racing fans around the globe will turn their attention to Ascot Racecourse in England, where the five-day Royal Ascot race meet will take place June 18-22. The prestigious and much-anticipated meet will feature high-class horses from around the world in 30 races, including 19 group stakes. The opening-day card is particularly deep, with three group 1 races on the agenda. Want to get in on [...]

Exacta box of the week: Churchill Downs race 6 for Saturday, June 15

Churchill Downs Racing (Horsephotos) Exacta Box of the day for Churchill Downs Stephen Foster Day at Churchill Downs on Saturday, June 15 is the headline event of the latter half Churchill's spring meet. The Saturday race card features five graded stakes.  Of course the feature race is the Stephen Foster H. (G2) and if you want to make a serious play on the Stephen Foster, race 8, perhaps it would help to build bankroll with a nice exacta [...]

Why I’m betting Tom’s d’Etat in the 2019 Stephen Foster Handicap

Tom's d'Etat winning an allowance race at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography There will be no shortage of quality horses for handicappers to choose from in Saturday’s $600,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (G2) at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/8-mile event is the highlight of the racing weekend in North America, offering a hefty purse and a “Win and You’re In” berth to the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). On five occasions, the Stephen Foster winner has gone on to [...]

Varenka looks promising in 2019 Regret Stakes

Varenka training in the rain at Churchill Downs - © Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM /Breeders Cup A quick glance at the field for Saturday’s $150,000 Regret Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs is enough to make your head spin. The 11 sophomore fillies going 1 1/8 miles on turf all have similar form lines and speed figures, and there doesn’t appear to be a clear standout. Dig a little deeper and #4 Varenka just might have an advantage in this competitive [...]

Why I’m betting Admission Office in the Wise Dan Stakes

Admission Office winning a Keeneland allowance race - Keeneland Photo A wide post draw in a large field is less than ideal, but when 14 horses assemble for Saturday’s $250,000 Wise Dan Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs, my money will be on #12 Admission Office. This lightly raced 4-year-old son of Point of Entry has never missed the exacta in six starts, and he’s shown particular promise this year. In his 2019 debut—his first run for current trainer [...]

Exacta box of the week: Belmont Park race 7 for Saturday, June 8

Belmont Park (Carson Dennis) Exacta Box of the day for Belmont Park Race seven on Belmont Stakes Saturday at Belmont Park is the one-mile, Grade 1 $700,000 Acorn Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. The race attracted a field of nine fillies in what looks like one of the best betting opportunities on the 13-race card. What makes the 2019 Acorn such an attractive betting race figures to be a red-hot pace scenario that could set he race up to [...]

Looking for longshots in the 2019 Belmont Stakes

Intrepid Heart winning an allowance race - Keeneland Photo There is a surprising lack of genuine speed horses entered in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park. The 1 1/2-mile “Test of the Champion” serves as the third and final leg of the Triple Crown, but although the stakes are high, don’t expect to see jockeys getting aggressive for tactical positions. At least half of the 10 starters can be counted as deep closers, who will settle off [...]

Why I’m opposing Serengeti Empress in the Acorn Stakes

Serengeti Empress winning the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) - Coady Photography #1 Serengeti Empress is by far the most accomplished filly entered in Saturday’s $700,000 Acorn Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park, but that doesn’t mean she’s the most likely winner. The 3-year-old daughter of Alternation has three graded stakes wins under her belt and enters the one-mile Acorn off a gate-to-wire victory in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs, where she turned back a challenge from Liora [...]

Arlington Park spot plays: Larry Rivelli set for big Saturday

Racing down the homestretch at Arlington Park (Coady Photo/Arlington) Saturday could be a good day for trainer Larry Rivelli. With 21 wins from 45 starters—a 47% strike rate—Rivelli is leading the trainer standings at Arlington Park and will have five runners on the Illinois racetrack’s Saturday card. The star of the show is Daddy’s Boo, who could have a live chance to upset the Arlington Matron Stakes (G3), but Rivelli also has a couple of serious players entered [...]

Looking for longshots in the 2019 Epsom Derby

They call it the Derby for a reason—it’s the father of all Derbys, the race that started it all way back in 1780. Officially called the Investec Derby (G1) and held over 1 1/2 miles at Epsom, the great race has been dominated in recent years by Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien, who has conditioned six winners since 2001. In his quest to secure a record-equaling seventh win in the Derby, Aidan O’Brien will send out seven of the 13 entrants [...]