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 [...]

Why I’m Betting Walking Thunder in the UAE Derby

Meydan Racecourse - Coady Photography The international roads to the Kentucky Derby will heat up significantly this weekend, with the $2 million UAE Derby (UAE-II) at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai being the main highlight. A major Road to the Kentucky Derby steppingstone offering 100 qualification points to the winner, the UAE Derby has never produced a Kentucky Derby champion, but it has produced plenty of Derby starters through the years and figures to produce one or two more [...]

Godolphin Holds Strong Hand on Super Saturday at Meydan

Thunder Snow winning the 2018 Dubai World Cup - Coady Photography High-class racing action will kick off earlier than usual on Saturday thanks to a stakes-packed card at Meydan in Dubai that includes two Group 1 events. Billed as “Super Saturday,” these races serve as major steppingstones toward the March 30 Dubai World Cup program, and several prominent runners aiming for big races three weeks from now will be in action. First and foremost is Thunder Snow, who [...]

Is Knicks Go Vulnerable in the Sam F. Davis?

Knicks Go winning the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) - Keeneland Photo I don’t think anyone will deny that #3 Knicks Go was among the best two-year-olds of 2018, but that doesn’t mean that he’ll be unbeatable in Saturday’s $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) at Tampa Bay Downs. Knicks Go will surely be favored in the 1 1/16-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race, but he’ll be making his first start in 2 ½ months [...]