Improbable and Game Winner Look to Dominate in Separate Rebel Stakes Divisions

Improbable(Horsephotos.com) Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is after his sixth Kentucky Derby win, and two of his horses are shaping up to give him an outstanding shot at the garland of roses. Both Improbable and Game Winner are slated to race in Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile Rebel Stakes, though they won’t have a chance to face one another. On Wednesday, it was announced the Kentucky Derby prep race would be the first to split off into two separate [...]

Sparky Ville Wears Down Dessman in San Vicente Stakes

Sparky Ville winning the San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) - © Benoit Photo Over a wet-fast, sealed racetrack at Santa Anita that was slower and significantly less speed-favoring than usual, Sparky Ville became a graded stakes winner by out-dueling two heavily-bet Bob Baffert trainees in the $200,000 San Vicente Stakes (gr. II). Sparky Ville’s chances were aided when the 7-10 favorite Coliseum and his stablemate Dessman broke slowly at the start of the seven-furlong sprint and subsequently rushed [...]

Bellafina Completes Rare Sweep in Chandelier Stakes

Bellafina winning the Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © BENOIT PHOTO No matter how you slice it, it takes a pretty special filly to sweep the Sorrento Stakes (gr. II), Del Mar Debutante (gr. I), and Chandelier Stakes (gr. I), California’s three major prep races for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). Over the last 40 years, only four fillies have completed this impressive three-race streak, starting with Arewehavingfunyet (1985) and continuing with the [...]

Del Mar Handicap Gets the Stakes Action Started on Pacific Classic Day

Itsinthepost winning the San Gabriel Stakes (gr. II) - © BENOIT PHOTO The first of three graded stakes races on the Pacific Classic Day card is the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap. Trainer Phil D’Amato has won 3 of the last 4 renditions and looks to make it back-to-back wins in the event after Hunt got to the wire first in last summer’s edition for owner Michael House. D’Amato sends out a trio of runners in #1 Kenjisstorm, [...]

How to Bet the Rancho Bernardo Stakes on Sunday at Del Mar

©Benoit Photo The final graded stakes race of the week at Del Mar is the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Handicap. The six-and-a-half-furlong event over the main track drew a compact field of 6 led by last year’s winner #4 Skye Diamonds. The five-year-old mare put forth a pair of triple digit BRIS speed ratings despite finishing third twice in her first two tries of 2018, but has tailed off considerably since then. The Cal-bred flopped big time over [...]

Playing the Early Pick 4 Around Instagrand in the Best Pal Stakes

Photo: Benoit Photo. Saturday’s feature “Where the Turf Meets the Surf” is the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes. The six- furlong dash over the main track drew a compact group of 5 two-year-olds led by heavy favorite #1 Instagrand. Oxo Equine spent $1.2 million dollars on Instagrand at the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream March 2018 two-year-old in training sale and he lived up to expectations in his debut at Los Alamitos on June 29th. The Kentucky bred got hammered at [...]

A Pair of Maidens In With Significant Chance in Sunday’s Sorrento at Del Mar

The second of two graded stakes events on tap for Sunday’s card at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is the Grade 2 Sorrento Stakes for two-year-old fillies. The 2018 rendition is a challenging one for handicappers as 7 of the 10 fillies entered come in with just one start under their belt. While most horseplayers will lean on horses that won their first race, do not be too quick to eliminate a pair of Kentucky breds that come into the [...]

Ransom the Moon Defeats Roy H Again in Bing Crosby Stakes

Ransom the Moon winning the Bing Crosby Stakes (gr. I) at Del Mar - © BENOIT PHOTO If you were experiencing feelings of déjà vu while watching Saturday’s $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes (gr. I) at Del Mar, it’s certainly understandable. Remarkably, the top two finishers in the six-furlong sprint were the same this year as in 2017, with Ransom the Moon beating favored Roy H to the finish line. But Saturday’s renewal was different in one noteworthy respect—unlike [...]

A Pair of Turf Stakes Races Headline Sunday Card at Del Mar

Itsinthepost winning the San Gabriel Stakes (gr. II) - © BENOIT PHOTO The first week of the Del Mar Summer meeting concludes with a pair of two-turn stakes races run over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course. The feature is the Grade 2 Eddie Read is for three-year-olds and upward and is conducted at a mile and an eighth. Trainer Phil D’Amato won the last two renditions and brings a strong trio into Sunday that includes last year’s winner [...]

Closing Day Spot Plays at Santa Anita Park

Sunday is Closing Day at Santa Anita Park and that means mandatory payouts in all pools. The Pick 6 will get the most attention by far given the three-day $821,858 carryover, but the early Pick 5 is always an attractive option with the low 14% takeout rate. With horizontal wagering opportunities throughout the card it is imperative to find a few potential singles, even if they are favorites. Here are a pair of short priced horses and a couple of [...]