2019 Kentucky Oaks Final Top 5 Rankings

Bellafina winning the Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © BENOIT PHOTO The Kentucky Oaks, on the Friday before the Run for the Roses, is shaping up to be incredibly competitive. Last year, Monomoy Girl easily won the Oaks, but this year’s favorite, Bellafina, could face some serious competition. No doubt, Bellafina’s the chalk. She’s at the top of my final Kentucky Oaks Top 5 because she’s a dynamite racehorse and the most accomplished of the [...]

How to Bet the Blue Grass Day All-Stakes Pick 4

Amy's Challenge winning the Dixie Belle Stakes - Coady Photography The first Saturday of the 2019 Keeneland spring meet is a typical stakes-packed card highlighted by the $1 million Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II), a major prep race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. The Blue Grass also serves as the last leg of an all-stakes Pick 4 that features large fields and 13,104 possible outcomes before scratches. It will be a difficult sequence to hit, but [...]

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 [...]

Four Fillies to Consider in the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager Pool

The Twin Spires at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography The annual Kentucky Oaks Future Wager Pool opens for action this weekend, with 23 individual fillies plus an “all others” option available for bettors to consider. The Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs is just two months away, but the potential field for the race remains in flux. That’s why it’s tough to consider playing the morning line favorites when there’s no guarantee that they’ll be among the favorites (or [...]

Speed, Pace Figures Give Jaywalk Clear Advantage in Davona Dale Stakes

Jaywalk winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) - Coady Photography On paper, there isn’t much in the way of early speed in Saturday’s $200,000 Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, and that should play to the strengths of champion #1 Jaywalk as she makes her much-anticipated three-year-old debut. After finishing second in her debut at Monmouth last summer, Jaywalk rattled off four straight victories with complete authority. She got better as the year progressed, [...]

Kentucky Derby, Oaks Candidates Face Off in Japan’s Hyacinth Stakes

Tokyo Racecourse (Photo courtesy of the Japan Racing Association) If you’re a forward-looking handicapper already anticipating major spring races like the UAE Derby, Kentucky Derby, and Kentucky Oaks, then I encourage you to stay up late on Saturday night and check out the Hyacinth Stakes in Japan. Held over a metric mile at Tokyo Racecourse, the Hyacinth (which technically takes place at 12:25 a.m. Eastern on Sunday Morning) serves as the third leg of the Japan Road to [...]

Spot Plays for Risen Star Day at Fair Grounds

Synchrony winning the 2018 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. III) - Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges, Jr. Planning to watch and wager on the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) this Saturday at Fair Grounds? Don’t forget to check out the other appealing races on the card! I’ve already shared my thoughts on the Risen Star, but that’s just one of the dozen races on the agenda. After going over the rest of the card, I’ve found four other spot plays throughout [...]

Derby, Oaks Contenders Face Off on Saturday at Fair Grounds

Serengeti Empress winning the Pocahontas Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders will shine at Fair Grounds on February 16, a busy day of racing that includes four graded stakes races at the New Orleans racetrack. The highlight of the day is unquestionably the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. II), which offers 50 Kentucky Derby qualification points to the winner as part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby Championship [...]

How to Bet the Las Virgenes Stakes

Bellafina winning the Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © BENOIT PHOTO In my opinion, the only way to make a meaningful profit playing Saturday’s $200,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita is to play the exotics straight and hope that your selections are absolutely perfect. Just five three-year-old fillies have been entered in this one-mile Road to the Kentucky Oaks prep race, and on paper, the four-time graded stakes winner #3 Bellafina towers [...]

Picks and Plays for Saturday Stakes Races at Fair Grounds

Great Wide Open winning the Buddy Diliberto Memorial at Fair Grounds - Photo by Hodges Photography Fair Grounds racetrack in New Orleans certainly knows how to put together a fun day of racing! The upcoming Saturday card features six stakes races worth a combined $700,000, and the best part is that they’re arranged in consecutive fashion without any maiden, allowance, or claiming races to interrupt the action. That makes the card very appealing from the standpoint of multi-race [...]