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, [...]

Surface Switch No Issue for Catholic Boy in Travers Stakes

Catholic Boy winning the Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga - Photo by NYRA/Coglianese Photograpy/Elsa Lorieul Turf to dirt? No problem! A switch in racing surfaces might be tricky for some horses to handle, but it certainly wasn’t an issue for Catholic Boy, who utilized his exceptional talent and stamina to crush nine rivals in Saturday’s $1,250,000 Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. It’s not like Catholic Boy had never shown an affinity for dirt—last winter, he pulled [...]

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 [...]

2018 Kentucky Derby Jockey Facts and Trends

Jockey John Velazquez guides Always Dreaming to victory in the 2017 Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography It was the most improbable of victories—an unknown longshot named Mine That Bird surging past his more heralded rivals to win the 2009 Kentucky Derby at the stunning odds of 50-1. While Mine That Bird deserves much of the credit for his unforgettable triumph on the first Saturday in May—you don’t win the Derby without talent!—there’s no doubt that jockey Calvin Borel [...]

Spot Plays for Big ‘Cap Day at Santa Anita Park

Beautiful Santa Anita Park has a star-studded 11-race card on tap for Saturday afternoon headlined by the battle between McKinzie and Bolt d’Oro in the Grade 2 San Felipe. There are plenty of opportunities to make money throughout the card that starts at 12 PM local time, but here are a couple of spot plays I will be getting involved in at “The Great Race Place.” Race 3 The third offers horseplayers an extremely challenging optional claimer run at a [...]