Stakes spot plays for opening day at Saratoga

Saratoga - Photo by Adam Mooshian/Coglianese Photos The 2019 Saratoga meet kicks off Thursday, with a competitive ten-race card featuring two graded stakes events. All but one race attracted nine or more entrants, and the stakes races offer plenty of viable contenders to consider. Let’s kick off the much-anticipated meet with a couple of graded stakes spot plays. Race 8: Schuylerville Stakes (G3) There are a bunch of speedy juvenile fillies entered in this six-furlong sprint, so it’s [...]

Trainers to watch (and wager on) at Saratoga

Bob Baffert at Saratoga - Photo by Courtney Heeney/Coglianese Photography With the 2019 Saratoga summer meet opening July 11, it’s time to formulate our plan of attack for handicapping the multitude of high-quality races. Determining which trainers to bet under which circumstances is a good place to start. After analyzing five years of Saratoga trainer statistics available through StatsMaster, I’ve compiled a list of trainers to watch (and wager on) during the Saratoga meet. With a bit of [...]

Pegasus Stakes kicks off summer campaign for Maximum Security

Maximum Security wins Florida Derby (Coglianese Photos) With the disappointment of his Kentucky Derby (G1) disqualification still looming large, Maximum Security will aim to start the summer of his 3-year-old campaign on a bright note when he contests the June 16 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park. Gary and Mary West’s star colt is one of six runners entered in the 1 1/16-mile event, which serves as a local springboard to the July 20 Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth. [...]

Betting a horse for the course in the Jaipur Invitational

Disco Partner winning the 2017 Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational - © NYRA/Susie Raisher/Adam Coglianese Photography When handicappers tackle the tricky multi-race wagers on Belmont Stakes Day at Belmont Park, you can bet many of them will focus in on #8 World of Trouble as a possible single in the $400,000 Jaipur Invitational (G1). The 4-year-old son of Kantharos looms as an obvious choice on paper. He’s won six of his last seven starts for trainer Jason Servis, with [...]

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 [...]