Picks and Plays for Saturday Stakes at Laurel Park

Late Night Pow Wow winning the Charles Town Oaks (gr. III) - Coady Photography The fields might be a bit on the small side, but four interesting stakes races are among the highlights of an action-packed day of racing scheduled for January 12th at Laurel Park. The card kicks off at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, with the first stakes race following an hour later. I’ve handicapped the four main attractions, and while finding value in small fields is challenging, [...]

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 [...]

Endorsed, Trophy Chaser Look Live in Deep Champagne Stakes

Belmont Park - Chelsea Durand/Coglianese Photography Some of the most promising two-year-olds on the East Coast are set to face off in Saturday’s $500,000 Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park, a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) that also figures to toss up a few early contenders for the 2019 Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Nine of the ten starters enter the Champagne off of victories, so it’s hard to knock [...]

Saratoga 2yos Analysis: Chad Brown On the Rise

The fourth weekend of the Saratoga meet featured a couple more graded stakes races for juveniles, including one that was essentially the definition of a closer-favoring race. The action kicked off on Saturday with the $200,000 Adirondack Stakes (gr. II), a 6 ½-furlong sprint for fillies contested over a drying-out main track labeled “good.” The track was a bit tiresome as a result, so you can imagine what happened when race favorite Lyrical Lady and longshot Mucho Amor wound up [...]

Will Lido Upset the Beaugay Stakes?

Turf racing at Belmont Park - Photo by Coglianese Photography Saturday’s $200,000 Beaugay Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont Park might be packed with proven stakes winners, but in handicapping the race, I’m drawn to one of the up-and-comers. Held at 8.5 furlongs over the inner turf course, the Beaugay has attracted seven starters, and at first glance the race looks wide open. #2 Inflexibility could start as the favorite based off her wins in the Wonder Where Stakes [...]

Large Field Assembles for Wide-Open Gulfstream Park Oaks

Take Charge Paula winning the House Party Stakes at Gulfstream Park - Photo by Leslie Martin/Coglianese Photography Saturday’s $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park has certainly taken on a different complexion than was originally expected. The 8.5-furlong Kentucky Oaks prep race was supposed to be the goal for Fly So High, impressive winner of the Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream last month. But with Fly So High sidelined by a minor injury, the [...]

Lucullan Looks Live in Muniz Memorial Handicap

Synchrony winning the Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. III) - Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges, Jr. Finding the winner of Saturday’s $300,000 Muniz Memorial Handicap (gr. II) at Fair Grounds could be more or less akin to finding a needle in a haystack. Held at “about” nine furlongs on the turf course, the Muniz Memorial attracted eleven starters, and on paper the race looks wide-open and competitive. Among the most accomplished entrants are #1 Synchrony, who rallied powerfully from off the [...]

Take Charge Paula, Fly So High Face Off in Davona Dale Stakes

Take Charge Paula winning the House Party Stakes at Gulfstream Park - Photo by Leslie Martin/Coglianese Photography The Road to the Kentucky Oaks continues on March 3rd with the $200,000 Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, a one-mile race that attracted eight promising young fillies. By far the most accomplished entrant is Take Charge Paula, who has already won four stakes races from just seven starts. The daughter of Take Charge Indy is also 2-for-2 at Gulfstream [...]