2019 Kentucky Derby Jockey Assignments, Facts and Trends

Jockey Mike Smith aboard Kentucky Derby winner Justify - Coady Photography It is often said that jockeys are unable to make horses run beyond their abilities, but the difference between victory and defeat can come down to the skills of a rider in saving ground, timing moves correctly and riding hard to the finish line. That’s why the 20 jockeys who will compete in the 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1) include the most talented riders in North America. Leading [...]

Maximum Security Finishes Fast in Florida Derby

Maximum Security winning the Florida Derby (gr. I) - © Adam Coglianese Photography The name of the game in Saturday’s $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park was “catch me if you can,” and when the dust settled, you could practically hear the front-running Maximum Security taunting his rivals as he pulled away down the homestretch to score a convincing victory in the 1 1/8-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race. Granted, the pace setup for Maximum [...]

2018 Preakness Stakes Jockey Facts and Trends

Jockey Mike Smith aboard Kentucky Derby winner Justify - Coady Photography Every year, bettors handicapping the Kentucky Derby study a huge number of factors and trends that could affect the outcome of the race, placing greater emphasis than usual on things like history, pedigrees, and jockey assignments. In contrast, the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Racecourse never seems to receive the same level of attention from a handicapping perspective, but that doesn’t mean that the second leg [...]

How to Bet the Blue Grass Stakes

Despite the potential of weather that emulates the winter, it is opening weekend at beautiful Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. The track that will soon be roughly 60 miles from my residence wastes no time jumping into high quality action with a ten-race card on Friday followed up by a stakes laden Saturday that includes three Grade 1’s spread over the 11-race slate. The headliner on the first of three Saturday cards at Keeneland this spring is the one [...]

How to Bet the Grade 1 Florida Derby

The grand finale on the 14-race Saturday afternoon card at Gulfstream Park is the $1.1 million dollar Grade 1 Florida Derby. The event for three-year-olds is conducted at a mile and an eighth and offers a total of 170 qualifying points (100 to the winner) on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” leaderboard. The Florida Derby marks the return of one of my top contenders for this year’s “Run for the Roses” in #8 Audible. The New York bred has [...]

How to Bet the Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park

Saturday’s feature at Gulfstream Park is the Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes. The six furlong dash over the main track for three-year-olds drew a compact group of 6, but remains an intriguing Grade 3 event nonetheless. The field is led by 9-5-morning line favorite #1 Impact Player. The $350,000 OBS April 2017 purchase for Nk Racing enters his first try against stakes company off of two wire-to-wire victories over this surface. The son of City Zip is all but certain to [...]

Saturday Afternoon Spot Plays for Starter Stakes Day at Gulfstream Park

Gulfstream Park Scenic Turf Gate (Coglianese Photos) There is no graded stakes action on Saturday at Gulfstream Park, but that is because it is Starter Stakes Day in Hallandale, Florida. The entire twelve race card is filled with conditional stakes events written for horses that have competed in claiming races in the past. Here are two horses I will build my Saturday around at Gulfstream Park: Race 8 Like a few of the other races on Starter Stakes [...]

Early Pick Five analysis for Saturday afternoon at Gulfstream Park

Gulfstream Park Scenic Turf Gate (Coglianese Photos) The Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf run at a mile and an eighth headlines Saturday’s card in Hallandale, Florida. The $300,000 event for four year olds and upward will be conducted as the ninth race on the twelve race card. Despite the lack of star power during the early portion of Saturday afternoon’s action, the early Pick 5 offers horseplayers a chance to build their bankroll for the stakes action during [...]