Basin charges clear to win 2019 Hopeful Stakes

No one is comparing Basin to Affirmed just yet, but the Steve Asmussen-trained colt has made a positive impression in his first three starts, and his dominant triumph in the 2019 Hopeful Stakes (G1) suggests he might be on the verge of a very productive racing career.

History points away from proven stars in 2019 Hopeful Stakes

By Your Side winning the Sanford Stakes (G3) - Photo by Coglianese Photography/NYRA Technically speaking, the Sanford Stakes (G3) and Saratoga Special Stakes (G2) at Saratoga were designed to be local springboards toward the $350,000 Runhappy Hopeful Stakes (G1), the track's feature race on Labor Day. But when was the last time a Hopeful winner actually prepped in the Sanford or the Saratoga Special? You have to go all the way back to Vineyard Haven, who utilized a [...]

Game Winner vs. Mind Control: Who’s More Likely to Win the Kentucky Derby?

Mind Control winning the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga - Photo by Adam Coglianese Photography On Labor Day, the summer race meets at Del Mar and Saratoga came to a climax with the running of the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) and the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I), the first two Grade 1 events of the year for two-year-old males. As a result, Game Winner (who prevailed in the Del Mar Futurity) and Mind Control (a determined winner [...]

Mind Control Posts Upset Victory in Hopeful Stakes

Mind Control winning the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga - Photo by Adam Coglianese Photography Saturday’s $350,000 Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga was supposed to be a showdown between the impressive Saratoga maiden winners Mucho and Nitrous—or at least, that’s how bettors perceived the race. But apparently, no one made sure Mind Control had a copy of the script, since the son of Stay Thirsty paid no heed to pre-race predictions and stole the race at [...]

Del Mar and Saratoga 2yos Analysis: Grade 1s Close Out the Meets

Instagrand winning the Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © BENOIT PHOTO Although we’re nearing the conclusions of the 2018 summer meets at Del Mar and Saratoga, there’s still plenty of top-notch juvenile racing still to come. In fact, the meets are going to end with a bang in that respect! Saturday will see fillies take the stage in the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) at Del Mar and the Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) at [...]

Top Programs for 2yos, 3yos Highlight 2018 Saratoga Stakes Schedule

Saratoga - Photo by Adam Mooshian/Coglianese Photos Summer may have officially arrived in June, but for horsemen, racing fans, and bettors, the season doesn’t truly begin until the annual summer meets at Del Mar and Saratoga open for business in mid-July. Both meets are packed with rich stakes races that are expected to attract some of the most accomplished runners in the nation, as well as some of the most promising two-year-olds with 2019 Triple Crown aspirations. We’ve [...]

Thursday Afternoon Spot Plays at Belmont Park

Thursday afternoon starts the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival in Elmont, New York. The New York Racing Association has a massive three days of thoroughbred racing in store headlined by Justify’s attempt at history in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. With a plethora of opportunities to score out over the weekend let’s try to get things started on Thursday with a few bankroll building spot plays during the solid 9-race card. Race 3 #3 Mybigitalianfriend is one of seven first-time starters [...]

Gendarme Stretches Out for Hopeful Stakes at Nakayama

Gendarme winning the Daily Hai Nisai Stakes - Photo courtesy of the Japan Racing Association The final Group 1 race of the Japanese racing year is coming up on December 28th, that being the Hopeful Stakes for two-year-olds going 2,000 meters (about 1 ¼ miles) over the turf course at Nakayama. In North America, there are no graded stakes races for juveniles held over such an extended distance, but Nakayama has had no difficulties finding horses to start [...]

Breeders’ Cup opens up discussion on 2018 Kentucky Derby

Firenze Fire (left) and Good Magic are both in the conversation about potential 2018 Kentucky Derby prospects. Photo: Coglianese Photos. Before the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, it seemed clear that Bolt d’Oro was not only going to win, he’d be a clear favorite for the 2018 Kentucky Derby. Now, with the race run and Bolt d’Oro finishing third, it’s not so obvious. Bolt d’Oro (Medaglia d’Oro) may have been suffering for his huge FrontRunner Stakes (G1) performance, and with [...]

Plenty to think about for Belmont Futurity

Measuring up a number of different races will be the key to betting on the Belmont Futurity Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park Oct. 14. Mojovation and Happy Like a Fool head a small but intriguing group of 2-year-old sprinters contesting the 6-furlong dash on dirt, but all six deserve some consideration. Mojovation will appreciate the cut back in class after finishing seventh in the Hopeful Stakes (G1). That’s proved to be a good form race, with the second-place finisher Free [...]