Belmont: Action-packed weekend features four Breeders’ Cup preps

Four weeks out from the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita, Belmont Park will host an action-packed weekend of Breeders’ Cup prep races.

Lazy Daisy digs deep to win Pocahontas Stakes

Reiterating the strength of the juvenile fillies division in California, Lazy Daisy shipped east off a fourth-place finish in the Del Mar Debutante (G1) and sprung a 7-1 upset in the $200,000 Pocahontas Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs.

Spot plays for Natalma Stakes, Summer Stakes at Woodbine

Turf racing at Woodbine (Michael Burns Photo) A big weekend of Breeders’ Cup prep races at Woodbine continues Sunday, with the $250,000 Summer Stakes (G1) and the $250,000 Natalma Stakes (G1). These one-mile grass events for juveniles offer “Win and You’re In” qualifying berths to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), respectively. Two competitive fields are the result. Let’s add our own rooting interests to the action with a couple [...]

McPeek filly to follow winning formula in Pocahontas Stakes

You can take your pick of fillies who recorded maiden victories on dirt at Saratoga, Del Mar, Gulfstream Park, Colonial Downs, Ellis Park or Indiana Grand, but I’m going to play outside the box and favor #6 Morning Gold, whose maiden victory came on grass at Saratoga.

Keying a 6-1 shot in the 2019 Spinaway Stakes

#6 Risky Mischief might not be the fastest filly on paper in Sunday’s $350,000 Spinaway Stakes (G1) at Saratoga, but I believe this daughter of Into Mischief might be better than she appears at first glance. Although Risky Mischief’s debut victory on July 31 at Saratoga didn’t yield big speed figures (67 Beyer and 82 Brisnet), she made a terrific visual impression. Facing nine New York-bred rivals in a six-furlong sprint, Risky Mischief broke slowly from the rail before rushing [...]

Frontrunning Tactics Pays Off for Serengeti Empress in Kentucky Oaks

Serengeti Empress winning the Kentucky Oaks (G1) - Coady Photography A bold, frontrunning gambit paid off for Serengeti Empress in the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 3 at Churchill Downs, surprising many handicappers who were expecting anything but a gate-to-wire winner. A full field of 14 3-year-old fillies, many of them speedy frontrunners or pace-pressers, lined up to contest 145th running of the Kentucky Oaks, so a fast and contested pace was widely expected. But when [...]

2019 Kentucky Oaks/Kentucky Derby Double Will Pays

Serengeti Empress winning the Kentucky Oaks (G1) - Coady Photography The frontrunning 13-1 upset by #13 Serengeti Empress in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs has produced some eye-catching potential payoffs in the Kentucky Oaks/Kentucky Derby Double. Bettors who successfully picked Serengeti Empress in the first leg of the two-day double will be live to $1 payoffs between $110.60 and $1,679.30, depending on which horse(s) they paired her with in the Kentucky Derby. The complete list of “will [...]

How to Bet the Oaks/Turf Classic/Derby Pick 3

Bricks and Mortar winning the Pegasus World Cup Turf (gr. I) - Photo by Ashley Blum/Adam Coglianese Photography There are a handful of interesting multi-day bets on the agenda at Churchill Downs, each one pairing races on Kentucky Oaks Day with races on Kentucky Derby Day. Yesterday I shared my wagering strategy for the popular Oaks/Derby Double, but I encourage you to check out the similar Pick 3 that sandwiches the Oaks and Derby around the $1 million Old Forester [...]

2019 Kentucky Oaks: Main Track Should Be Fast and Fair

Break Even winning the Eight Belles Stakes (G2) - Coady Photography Overnight and early morning rainfall threatened to leave Churchill Downs wet and soggy for Kentucky Oaks Day, but after watching the first seven races on the card, it seems evident the rain will have no meaningful impact on the Oaks itself. Churchill Downs' main track has a reputation for drying out quickly, and with the temperature climbing past 70 degrees, the main track has steadily improved from [...]