Should You Bet Deep Closers in the Pegasus World Cup?

Question: Will deep closers who rally from the back of the pack have any chance to contend for a significant piece of the purse in the 2019 Pegasus World Cup (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park? It seems like nine-furlong races at Gulfstream Park often receive special scrutiny since they start so close to the first turn and there’s always concern about horses drawn outside getting hung wide and losing all chance. But might the running style of each individual horse [...]

How to Bet the Hagyard Fayette Stakes

Hofburg training at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography When seven accomplished runners line up to contest the $200,000 Hagyard Fayette Stakes (gr. II) on Saturday at Keeneland, the feature race on the last day of the meet, most eyes will be focused on the lone three-year-old in the field, #6 Hofburg. That’s certainly understandable, since the Bill Mott-trained son of Tapit has compiled a promising record this year, most notably finishing second in the Florida Derby (gr. I) [...]

Who Are the Top Contenders for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic?

Accelerate winning the Pacific Classic (gr. I) - © Benoit Photo In recent years, the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) has not been the most competitive race from a handicapping perspective, turning instead into a showcase showdown between two star runners (Arrogate and California Chrome in 2016, Gun Runner and Arrogate in 2017) or just a simple coronation of an undisputed champion (American Pharoah in 2015). However, the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic promises to be different. With the [...]

Top 5 Three-Year-Olds After Justify

  Saratoga - Photo by Adam Mooshian/Coglianese Photos Justify won the Triple Crown. He's the second Triple Crown winner from Bob Baffert's barn since 2015. It's obvious that Justify not only is the best 3-year-old of his generation, he's also one of the best 3-year-olds to ever race. Justify's also back in training. The Haskell Invitational is most likely his next race. If Justify does run in the Haskell, he's likely to meet at least one of the [...]

Looking for Value in the Belmont Stakes

Justify winning the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) - Jim McCue Photography There are two ways to approach choosing a “top selection” for a horse race. One is to identify the most likely winner. The other is to identify the horse offering the best wagering value. The tricky part is that they aren’t always the same horse. The most likely winner might be an obvious choice on paper, leading to very short odds that don’t reflect his actual odds [...]

Shapiros’ Fair Odds Line for the 150th Running of the Belmont Stakes

Justify winning the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) - Jim McCue Photography Last week I did a preliminary Fair Odds line for the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, but after further research and the post-position draw here is my final rendition: #1 Justify (Even money) - The undefeated dual Classic winner obviously has a ton going for him, including tactical speed that allows him to make the lead or stalk just off the early pace. However, regressing numbers [...]

Shapiro’s Fair Odds Line for the Belmont Stakes as of May 30th

In just ten days dual classic winner Justify will attempt to make history and become the second Triple Crown winner this century for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. It is hard to believe that this son of Scat Daddy has accomplished so much in such a short period of time. If he can conclude this incredible run dating back to his maiden victory on debut at Santa Anita on February 18th with a win at “Big Sandy” next Saturday [...]

2018 Kentucky Derby: A Horse-By-Horse Recap

Justify winning the Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography The results of the 144th Kentucky Derby are in the history books, and it was a day for records to broken. Record rainfall. Record wagering. The demise of the fabled “Apollo Curse.” Throw in the fact that favored Justify delivered with a huge victory, and you have an unforgettable Kentucky Derby. But the Preakness and Belmont Stakes are still to come, so Triple Crown season is far from over. With an [...]

Shapiro’s Fair Odds Line for the 2018 Kentucky Derby

Coady Photography Today is the day. At 6:48 ET the anticipation ends and the gates open for the 144th Kentucky Derby. With less than 12 hours before the big race there is little work left to be done. It is now in the hands of the racing gods. With that being said here is my final fair odds line for the 2018 “Run for the Roses.” #1 Firenze Fire (500-1) Likely to send from the rail, but also [...]

Shapiro’s Final Verdict: Kentucky Derby 2018

Audible winning the Florida Derby (gr. I) - Photo by Adam Coglianese Photography We are just a few days out from the world-famous Kentucky Derby set to go to post at 6:50 local time on Saturday evening. The first leg of the Triple Crown has been as enjoyable as ever to analyze starting months ago given the talented crop set to break from the gates in the twelfth race on Saturday’s 14-race card at Churchill Downs. So without [...]