Halfway through Saratoga, which jockeys are riding strongest?

With four weeks down and four still to come at the 2019 Saratoga summer meet, a handful of jockeys have reaped most of the victories.

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 [...]

Brooklyn provides last chance for bettors on Belmont Stakes Day

The start of the 2016 Brooklyn Invitational (G2) - © Nikki Sherman/Adam Coglianese Photography Who says long-distance dirt races are dying out in North America? Maybe they’re not as common as they used to be, but the field for Saturday’s $400,000 Brooklyn Invitational (G2) suggests genuine dirt route races are still alive and well. The Brooklyn serves as the final race at Belmont Park on Belmont Stakes Day, providing bettors with one last opportunity to cash winning tickets [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]