Why Dennis’ Moment won’t lose the Iroquois Stakes

Three colts who won their last starts by double-digit margins will face off in Saturday’s $200,000 Iroquois Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs, the much-anticipated first stop on the 2019-2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby.

Serengeti Empress Stands Out in Fair Grounds Oaks

Serengeti Empress winning the Ellis Park Debutante Stakes - Coady Photography The Road to the Kentucky Oaks continues on Saturday with the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) at (where else?) Fair Grounds, a very productive race that has churned out four Kentucky Oaks winners since 2008. All eyes will be on #2 Serengeti Empress in this 1 1/16-mile race, and deservedly so. Trained by Tom Asmoss, the daughter of Alternation is a three-time graded stakes winner and [...]

How to Bet the Southwest Stakes

Sueno galloping at Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography When I started handicapping the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) on Presidents’ Day at Oaklawn Park, I initially began by trying to separate the six runners coming out of last month’s Smarty Jones Stakes. I took note of the fact that #1 Gray Attempt won the Smarty Jones in gate-to-wire fashion, tenaciously clinging to a narrow advantage down the homestretch while giving the impression that he was in better control [...]

Del Mar 2yos Analysis: Bellafina Impresses, Instagrand Steps Up

Bellafina winning the Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © BENOIT PHOTO Bellafina didn’t really look like a star in the making when she finished second in her debut at Los Alamitos last month. But boy, she presented an entirely different appearance in the $200,000 Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) on Sunday at Del Mar! The Sorrento, an early prep race on the road to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), was the top juvenile race [...]

Del Mar 2yos Analysis: Baffert’s Barn is Loaded

Roadster winning his debut at Del Mar - © Benoit Photo If anyone thought that Bob Baffert’s barn might be lacking in star power following the retirement of Triple Crown winner Justify… well, you need not have worried. While it’s too early to say whether Roadster or Chasing Yesterday will achieve remotely the same level of success as Justify, there can be no denying that these two Baffert-trained juveniles looked like future stars while winning their debuts last [...]

Del Mar 2yos Analysis: Baffert Set to Debut Chasing Yesterday, Roadster

Bob Baffert at Saratoga - Photo by Courtney Heeney/Coglianese Photography The first week of summer racing at Del Mar is complete, and suffice to say there was lots of noteworthy action on the juvenile racing front, with plenty more to come this week. With the main juvenile stakes races coming a bit later in the meet, the most significant events on opening week were the high-class maiden special weights that drew large fields of promising young runners. On [...]

Horses to Consider for Thursday’s Pick 6 Carryover at Santa Anita

A challenging set of results to conclude the action at Santa Anita Park on Sunday led to a Pick 6 carryover of $63,301 heading into Thursday afternoon. The eight-race card features four maiden events, including a pair of $40,000 maiden claimers down the hill. The six-race sequence begins in Race 3 at approximately 1:30 PM local time.  Despite a number of small fields there should be at least a couple of opportunities to differentiate from the public. Most likely winner [...]

Competitive Field Assembles for Lexington Stakes

My Boy Jack winning the Southwest Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography Talk about a competitive race! Saturday’s $200,000 Lexington Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland offers 20 Kentucky Derby qualification points to the winner, and since the timing of the race also makes it a viable prep race for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), a huge field of twelve horses has been entered. On paper, there’s quite a bit of early speed in the Lexington [...]

All-Stakes Pick 4 Analysis for Louisiana Derby Day at Fair Grounds

Fair Grounds Race Course takes center stage on Saturday afternoon as the meet’s premier event headlines a superb card of racing that commences at 12:30 PM local time. The Twin Spires.com Louisiana Derby drew a competitive field of ten colts led by the top two finishers in the Grade 2 Risen Star last month and Southwest Stakes winner My Boy Jack.  The one million dollar event concludes an all-stakes Pick 4 sequence that gets started in Race 8 with the [...]

Analyzing a Competitive Renewal of the Gotham Stakes

Firenze Fire winning the Jerome Stakes (NYRA/Coglianese Photography/Chelsea Durand When handicapping Kentucky Derby prep races, it’s usually simple to narrow down the field to a couple of main contenders. But that isn’t the case in Saturday’s $300,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct, a race in which nearly half the entrants boast impressive credentials. Leading the way are the Grade 1 winners #5 Firenze Fire and #6 Free Drop Billy, who also strike me as the most likely [...]