Aqueduct spot plays for Cigar Mile Day

Maximum Security wins Florida Derby(Coglianese Photos) The last major racing day of the year in New York will take place Saturday, December 7 at Aqueduct. Half a dozen stakes races are on the agenda, including the $250,000 Remsen Stakes (G2), a steppingstone on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. We’ve already previewed the Remsen, but the $250,000 Demoiselle Stakes (G2) and the $750,000 Cigar Mile (G1) are just as appealing from handicapping and sporting perspectives. Want to play [...]

Kentucky Derby Contender Profile: Maxfield

Maxfield wasn’t supposed to win his debut September 14 at Churchill Downs. Trainer Brendan Walsh knew he had a talented colt, but Walsh was viewing the race as a starting point—a chance for Maxfield to gain experience.

International challengers stand out in Melbourne Cup

Mer De Glace winning the Kokura Kinen (G3) - Photo courtesy of the Japan Racing Association They call it “the race that stops a nation,” and for good reason. The Melbourne Cup (G1) at Flemington racecourse in Australia is a historic two-mile test of speed and stamina first run in 1861. In terms of national recognition, it’s Australia’s equivalent of the Kentucky Derby, an event so cherished its annual date on the calendar (the first Tuesday in November) [...]

Castle Lady a formidable foreigner in QEII at Keeneland

The nine sophomore fillies entered in Saturday’s $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) at Keeneland are a quality bunch. Eight of them are stakes winners, and six have prevailed at the graded stakes level.

Formidable Challengers stand between Enable and Arc three-peat

Can a talented challenger take down Enable in her bid for a third win in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe? We'll find out October 6.

Spot plays for Natalma Stakes, Summer Stakes at Woodbine

Turf racing at Woodbine (Michael Burns Photo) A big weekend of Breeders’ Cup prep races at Woodbine continues Sunday, with the $250,000 Summer Stakes (G1) and the $250,000 Natalma Stakes (G1). These one-mile grass events for juveniles offer “Win and You’re In” qualifying berths to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), respectively. Two competitive fields are the result. Let’s add our own rooting interests to the action with a couple [...]

How to bet the 2019 Arlington-Washington Futurity

There are no certainties in horse racing, but it seems reasonable to conclude #2 Vincent William will be tough to beat in Saturday’s $75,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity at Arlington International Racecourse.

Royal Ascot spot plays: Sands of Mali in the Diamond Jubilee

Royal Procession. Queen Elizabeth the Second arriving at Royal Ascot - Photo by Horsephotos.com It’s been a fun run, but the five-day Royal Ascot meet wraps up Saturday with one last stakes-filled card, highlighted by the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (G1). To celebrate the final day of racing, let’s examine the three group races on the agenda and try to end the meet on a winning note. Race 2: Jersey Stakes (G3) #13 Space Blues has yet to compete [...]

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 [...]

Picks and Plays for Dubai World Cup Night

Almond Eye winning the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) - Photo courtesy of the Japan Racing Association By far the best race card in the world this Saturday will take place at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, where the eight Thoroughbred races on Dubai World Cup Night will pit high-class runners from around the world against each other in a series of rich stakes events. I’ve gone through the card and have put together a list of horses that interest me [...]