Jockeys to watch (and wager on) at Saratoga

Jockey Mike Smith aboard Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Justify - Coady Photography Summer may have officially started June 21, but in the world of Thoroughbred racing, it doesn’t truly begin until Saratoga opens. The much-anticipated, high-class meet will open July 11, a week earlier than usual, which will delight racing fans and bettors who can’t get enough of the action at the Spa. Some of the top jockeys in North America will ride at the Saratoga meet, so [...]

What has the last decade taught us about racing at Belmont Park?

Turf racing at Belmont Park - Photo by Coglianese Photography Recently I was thinking back on the unforgettable 3-year-old campaign of super filly Rachel Alexandra, and I had to shake my head at the thought that 10 years have passed since her sensational 2009 season. It seems like yesterday Rachel Alexandra was obliterating eventual grade 1 winners Malibu Prayer and Flashing by 19 1/4 lengths and 31 1/2 lengths, respectively, in the 2009 Mother Goose Stakes (G1) at [...]

Bricks and Mortar: A Horse of the Year Candidate?

Bricks and Mortar winning the Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) - Coady Photography In a year when several prominent racing divisions lack standout leaders, the older turf horse Bricks and Mortar has thrown his hat in the ring for Horse of the Year consideration. The talented 5-year-old enhanced his budding reputation with a powerful late-running triumph in the $1 million Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs. The victory brought Bricks and Mortar’s [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby Jockey Assignments, Facts and Trends

Jockey Mike Smith aboard Kentucky Derby winner Justify - Coady Photography It is often said that jockeys are unable to make horses run beyond their abilities, but the difference between victory and defeat can come down to the skills of a rider in saving ground, timing moves correctly and riding hard to the finish line. That’s why the 20 jockeys who will compete in the 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1) include the most talented riders in North America. Leading [...]

Bricks and Mortar Crushes Rivals in Pegasus World Cup Turf

Bricks and Mortar winning the Pegasus World Cup Turf (gr. I) - Photo by Ashley Blum/Adam Coglianese Photography A yielding turf course, a huge jump in class, and a significant stretch-out in distance were among the obstacles facing Bricks and Mortar in Saturday’s inaugural running of the $7,000,000 Pegasus World Cup Turf (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park. But in the manner of a budding star, Bricks and Mortar shrugged off the challenges to decisively defeat a strong field. [...]

Year in Review: Who Was the Top Jockey in 2018?

Jockey Mike Smith aboard Kentucky Derby winner Justify - Coady Photography It seems like a simple question: Who was the top jockey in North America in 2018? By basic metrics such as overall wins and earnings, the answer is similarly simple: Irad Ortiz, Jr. As of December 17th, the 26-year-old rider leads all jockeys by wins (336) and by purse earnings ($27,291,607), making him the favorite to be awarded the 2018 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey. However, looking [...]

Robert Bruce Showcases Terrific Acceleration in Arlington Million

Robert Bruce winning the Arlington Million (gr. I) - © Arlington Park/Coady Photography With just one furlong left to run, victory appeared to be out of the question. There was Robert Bruce, the Chilean-bred sensation, with just one horse beaten and seven horses left to pass in Saturday’s $1,000,000 Arlington Million (gr. I) at Arlington Park. Five lengths separated him from the leader, and to make matters even more challenging, his Grade 1-winning stablemate Almanaar was much closer [...]

Diversify Overcomes Obstacles in Whitney Stakes

Diversify in the winner's circle after winning the Suburban Stakes (gr. II) - Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography A sloppy, sealed track. A 45-minute weather-related delay. A fast pace. A quality field. You certainly can’t claim that Diversify had things easy in Saturday’s $1.2 million Whitney Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. Quite to the contrary, the Richard Violette, Jr.-trained runner faced challenges and obstacles at seemingly every turn, both before and during the running of the prestigious nine-furlong [...]

2018 Preakness Stakes Jockey Facts and Trends

Jockey Mike Smith aboard Kentucky Derby winner Justify - Coady Photography Every year, bettors handicapping the Kentucky Derby study a huge number of factors and trends that could affect the outcome of the race, placing greater emphasis than usual on things like history, pedigrees, and jockey assignments. In contrast, the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Racecourse never seems to receive the same level of attention from a handicapping perspective, but that doesn’t mean that the second leg [...]

How to Bet the Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park

Saturday’s feature at Gulfstream Park is the Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes. The six furlong dash over the main track for three-year-olds drew a compact group of 6, but remains an intriguing Grade 3 event nonetheless. The field is led by 9-5-morning line favorite #1 Impact Player. The $350,000 OBS April 2017 purchase for Nk Racing enters his first try against stakes company off of two wire-to-wire victories over this surface. The son of City Zip is all but certain to [...]