2019 Kentucky Derby Free Picks: Building Tickets Around Maximum Security

Maximum Security wins Florida Derby(Coglianese Photos) I’m a huge believer in Brisnet speed ratings. So much so, that four of my top five picks for the 2019 Kentucky Derby are horses with the highest Brisnet speed ratings in their last races. That means I’m leaving all three Bob Baffert horses, Game Winner, Improbable, and Roadster, out of my Top 5. I do include Omaha Beach, though. Check out my 2019 Kentucky Derby Top 5. I’m only switching things [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby: Trainers, Facts and Trends

Bode Baffert (and Mike Smith) holds up the Derby trophy as his father, trainer Bob Baffert (second from left), enjoys the moment after Justify won the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs (Skip Dickstein/Times Union) Some of the best-known trainers in North American horse racing will be represented by major contenders in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, but as usual, the “Run for the Roses” will make room for a few newcomers as well. Sixteen different [...]

Kentucky Derby Make the Case: Maximum Security and Spinoff

Maximum Security wins Florida Derby(Coglianese Photos) Because 20 horses enter into the Kentucky Derby starting gate, there’s a chance that many runners will offer overlay odds. Two of those horses offering overlay odds on May 4 should be the Todd Pletcher trained Spinoff and the Florida Derby winner, Maximum Security. Both are quality three-year-olds who deserve to be in the starting gate. But, questions surround both, which is why to get a real idea of whether either has [...]

Maximum Security Finishes Fast in Florida Derby

Maximum Security winning the Florida Derby (gr. I) - © Adam Coglianese Photography The name of the game in Saturday’s $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park was “catch me if you can,” and when the dust settled, you could practically hear the front-running Maximum Security taunting his rivals as he pulled away down the homestretch to score a convincing victory in the 1 1/8-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race. Granted, the pace setup for Maximum [...]

Claiming Crown Kicks Off Gulfstream Park 2018-2019 Championship Meet

Gulfstream Park (Coglianese Photos) The 2018-2019 Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park will kick off with a bang on December 1st with the 20th running of the Claiming Crown, a series of nine races restricted to current or former claiming race competitors. With total purse money of $1.1 million, the Claiming Crown races have attracted deep and competitive fields that should be very appealing from a handicapping standpoint. Let’s take a quick look at what to look forward to [...]

An Introduction to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint

Photo by © Breeders' Cup/Jamie Rhodes 2011 A new Breeders’ Cup race is set to debut this year at Churchill Downs, and while it might not be the type of championship race you’d typically expect from the Breeders’ Cup, there’s no doubt that it will offer bettors an intriguing handicapping challenge with the possibility for big payoffs. The race in question is the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, a 5 ½-furlong grass race somewhat reminiscent of the short-lived [...]

How to Bet the Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens Stakes

Promises Fulfilled winning the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) - Photo by Leslie Martin/Coglianese Photography The first graded stakes race on the Travers Day card is the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes (G1.) The event formerly known as the King’s Bishop Stakes is contested at seven furlongs over the main track. The field is led by the impressive winner of the Dwyer Stakes (G3) #8 Firenze Fire. The son of Poseidon’s Warrior had a strong two-year-old campaign capturing [...]

Saratoga 2yos Analysis: Chad Brown On the Rise

The fourth weekend of the Saratoga meet featured a couple more graded stakes races for juveniles, including one that was essentially the definition of a closer-favoring race. The action kicked off on Saturday with the $200,000 Adirondack Stakes (gr. II), a 6 ½-furlong sprint for fillies contested over a drying-out main track labeled “good.” The track was a bit tiresome as a result, so you can imagine what happened when race favorite Lyrical Lady and longshot Mucho Amor wound up [...]