Can Enable be defeated in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes?

Magical (purple cap) battles with Enable (pink cap) in the 2018 Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) - © Casey Phillips/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM /Breeders Cup When the two-time Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) winner Enable makes her much-anticipated 2019 debut in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes (G1) at Sandown Park Racecourse in England, she might not be a shoo-in to prevail. Racing for the powerful team of trainer John Gosden and jockey Frankie Dettori, #6 Enable will be favored to defeat seven rivals [...]

Breeders’ Cup Turf top 5: An American at the top

Bricks and Mortar winning the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) - Photo by Ashley Blum/Adam Coglianese Photography European shippers have dominated the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), so much so that 17 of the last 20 winners were trained overseas. But once in a while a high-class U.S. runner comes along and successfully defends their home turf. Could we see an American winner in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Turf? The field remains very much in flux with [...]

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 [...]

Royal Ascot: Spot plays for Day 4

Racing at Royal Ascot - Photo by Horsephotos.com The penultimate day of racing at the 2019 Royal Ascot meet features four more group stakes races, including a high-quality renewal of the Coronation Stakes (G1). Favorites have struggled during the first three days of the meet, perhaps in part because of the soft ground, but with the course drying out, the action might be a bit more predictable Friday. Let’s dig in and come up with a few spot [...]

Royal Ascot: Spot plays for Gold Cup day

Horses and jockeys during the 2017 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot - Photo by Horsephotos.com The highlight of the racing action on Day 3 of the 2019 Royal Ascot meeting is the Gold Cup (G1), a 2 1/2-mile test of stamina that ranks among my favorite races anywhere in the world. I’m also intrigued by the much shorter Norfolk Stakes (G2) for 2-year-olds, so let’s come up with a few plays for these two competitive events. Race [...]

Royal Ascot spot plays for a magical day of racing Wednesday

Magical (purple cap) battles with Enable (pink cap) in the 2018 Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) - © Casey Phillips/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM /Breeders Cup The second day of racing at Royal Ascot brings the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1), arguably the most anticipated race of the meet, thanks to its high-quality international field. Three other group stakes races support the Prince of Wales’s, with the Duke of Cambridge Stakes (G2) for fillies and mares my main interest from a handicapping [...]

Royal Ascot: Three spot plays for opening day

Imprimis winning the Shakertown Stakes (G2) at Keeneland - Keeneland Photo On Tuesday racing fans around the globe will turn their attention to Ascot Racecourse in England, where the five-day Royal Ascot race meet will take place June 18-22. The prestigious and much-anticipated meet will feature high-class horses from around the world in 30 races, including 19 group stakes. The opening-day card is particularly deep, with three group 1 races on the agenda. Want to get in on [...]

Top Milers Prep for Royal Ascot in Lockinge Stakes

Horses and jockeys during the 2017 Queen Mary Stakes, Royal Ascot - Photo by Horsephotos.com The 2019 British flat racing season is well underway, and preparations are heating up for the prestigious five-day Royal Ascot meet in mid-June. The annual opening race at Royal Ascot is the Queen Anne Stakes (G1), a one-mile test that pits some of the best older milers in Europe—both male and female—against each other in a straight run down the long chute and [...]

European Representation Seems Unlikely in 2019 Kentucky Derby

When clear favorite U S S Michigan flattened out in the homestretch of the Cardinal Conditions Stakes at Chelmsford City Racecourse in England, the chance of having a European representative in the 2019 Kentucky Derby weakened considerably. The one-mile Polytrack race was the final stop on the European Road to the Kentucky Derby, a series designed to offer a spot in the Derby starting gate to the horse that accumulated the most points in seven qualifying races. But the first six [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby Contender Profile: Master Fencer

The recent confirmation that Japan’s Master Fencer will contest the 2019 Kentucky Derby has added a bit of international intrigue to the Run for the Roses. Master Fencer will be just the third Japan-based runner to compete in the Derby, and he’ll be making history as the first Derby starter bred in Japan. His participation will naturally provide a challenge for handicappers, since it’s difficult to determine how his form compares to that of the more clearly established Derby contenders [...]