Owendale Impresses in Lexington Stakes

Owendale winning the Lexington Stakes (gr. III) - Keeneland Photo What a difference two months can make. After failing to challenge when finishing eighth in the Feb. 16 Risen Star Stakes (G2) at Fair Grounds, Owendale looked like a completely different horse in the April 13 Lexington Stakes (G3) at Keeneland, producing a sweeping rally from off the pace to triumph in eye-catching fashion. A wide but clean trip may have been the key factor for Owendale. Under a [...]

Vekoma Much the Best in Blue Grass Stakes

Vekoma winning the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II) - Keeneland Photo With few exceptions, the top contenders in Saturday’s $1 million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland ran to expectations as favored Vekoma led home a parade of short-priced, proven stakes winners in the 1 1/8-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race. Coming off of a third-place finish in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, his seasonal debut, Vekoma took a nice [...]

City of Light Shines Bright in Pegasus World Cup

City of Light winning the Pegasus World Cup (gr. I) - Photo by Lauren King/Adam Coglianese Photography For the second straight year, the Pegasus World Cup (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park marked the last hurrah for a brilliant five-year-old at the peak of his powers. The manner in which City of Light won the Pegasus on January 26—defeating a stacked field of graded stakes winners with complete authority—leaves fans simultaneously marveling at the brilliance of his performance and [...]

Maximus Mischief Handles Class, Distance Tests in Remsen Stakes

Maximus Mischief winning the Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct - Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography/Chelsea Durand Big steps up in both class and distance can be problematic for some horses, but they were certainly no obstacle for Maximus Mischief in Saturday’s $250,000 Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct, as the speedy colt kept his unbeaten record intact with another eye-catching victory. With qualifications points for the 2019 Kentucky Derby on the line, the 1 1/8-mile Remsen marked [...]

Will Mendelssohn Prevail in the Cigar Mile?

Mendelssohn winning the UAE Derby - Coady Photography More often than not, the $750,000 Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct is won by a horse exiting a Breeders’ Cup race, whether it’s the Classic, the Dirt Mile, or even the Sprint. It only makes sense. With its Grade 1 ranking, its hefty purse, its perfect placement on the calendar, and its one-mile distance that is ideal for a wide variety of horses, the Cigar Mile is a [...]

How to Bet the Exotics in the Remsen Stakes

Network Effect winning his debut at Saratoga - Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography If you’re among the many handicappers who figure to place their betting dollars on #5 Network Effect in Saturday’s $250,000 Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct, I certainly can’t blame you. What’s not to like? He’s got the powerful team of trainer Chad Brown and jockey Javier Castellano in his corner, and he’s done little wrong in two starts to date. After breaking his maiden by [...]

Seven Maiden Winners Face Off in Demoiselle Stakes

Aqueduct (Coglianese Photo) Looking for a wide-open race to handicap this weekend? Well, considering that none of the seven entrants in Saturday’s $250,000 Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct have won more than a maiden race, it could take a bit of skill to determine which of these lightly-raced fillies is most likely to prevail. And it’s important to get a feel for these fillies as soon as possible since the Demoiselle Stakes is a “Road to the Kentucky [...]

Eight Fillies Seek Graded Victory in Comely Stakes

Blamed galloping at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Calling all three-year-old fillies! Friday’s $200,000 Comely Stakes (gr. III) might not be the most anticipated race on Thanksgiving week, but the nine-furlong event at Aqueduct does represent the penultimate opportunity for sophomore fillies to seek a graded stakes victory on dirt this year. Suffice to say, someone is definitely going to benefit from this opportunity, because none of the eight entrants in the Comely have previously won at the [...]

2yos Take to the Turf in Aqueduct’s Atlantic Beach Stakes

Aqueduct (Coglianese Photo) As the saying goes, a Kentucky Derby winner can come from anyone, so as we head into winter with roughly six months remaining until the first Saturday in May, it could pay to keep an eye on every stakes race of significance open to the three-year-olds of 2019—even stakes races on turf. One example is Saturday’s $100,000 Atlantic Beach Stakes at Aqueduct, a six-furlong sprint scheduled to be run over the outer turf course. Chances [...]

Fog of War Rallies to Victory in Summer Stakes

Fog of War (left) rallies to victory in the Summer Stakes (gr. I) at Woodbine (Michael Burns Photo) When Fog of War rallied to win his debut at Saratoga this summer with a determined late run, it seemed clear that trainer Chad Brown had yet another promising turf horse in his barn. That belief was vindicated on Sunday when Fog of War proved to be a most impressive winner of the $250,000 Summer Stakes (gr. I) at Woodbine, [...]