Is Maximum Security vulnerable in the Bold Ruler Handicap?

Maximum Security is undoubtedly the most recognizable name entered in Saturday’s $200,000 Bold Ruler Handicap (G3) at Belmont Park. But that doesn’t mean he is the most likely winner.

Speed should be dangerous in Jockey Club Oaks

If you’re searching for the speed horses entered in Saturday’s inaugural running of the $750,000 Jockey Club Oaks at Belmont Park, let me save you some trouble—there aren’t any.

2019 Kentucky Derby: Trainers, Facts and Trends

Bode Baffert (and Mike Smith) holds up the Derby trophy as his father, trainer Bob Baffert (second from left), enjoys the moment after Justify won the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs (Skip Dickstein/Times Union) Some of the best-known trainers in North American horse racing will be represented by major contenders in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, but as usual, the “Run for the Roses” will make room for a few newcomers as well. Sixteen different [...]

Why I’m Betting Haikal in the Gotham Stakes

Instagrand winning the Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © BENOIT PHOTO There is an abundance of early speed entered in Saturday’s $300,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct, so it’s hard not to envision the one-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race unfolding at a rapid pace. For example, #6 Instagrand led gate-to-wire in his two impressive victories last year. #7 Not That Brady has set the pace in his last four starts. [...]

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 [...]