Betting a Cold Exacta in the 2019 Selene Stakes

Bold Script winning the Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Woodbine - Michael Burns Photo There are four stakes winners among the five fillies entered in Saturday’s $125,000 Selene Stakes (G3) at Woodbine, but despite the quality of the small field, I expect the race to be dominated by #4 Bold Script. Trained by Stuart Simon, the 3-year-old daughter of Speightstown demonstrated high-class form on turf at Woodbine last year, most notably when she finished third in the Natalma Stakes [...]

Preakness Stakes Make the Case – Improbable & War of Will

On Saturday, Improbable should offer favorite’s odds. War of Will figures to go off second choice. There are reasons to like both horses to win the Second Jewel of the Triple Crown. There are also reasons to go against both. Check out the case for and against Improbable and War of Will Preakness Stakes Case For & Against Improbable & War of Will Preakness Case for and against Improbable Bob Baffert trains the City Zip sired three-year-old. That [...]

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 [...]

By My Standards Upsets the Louisiana Derby

By My Standards winning the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) - © Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges, Jr. The trend of upset victories in Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races continued on Saturday when By My Standards produced a big rally up the inside to post a 22-1 upset victory in the $1 million Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds. At the start of the race, all eyes were won the 4-5 favorite War of Will, who was expected [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby Contender Profile: War of Will

War of Will winning the Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds - Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir As the old saying goes, a good horse can come from anywhere, so by extension a Kentucky Derby contender must be able to come from anywhere… even if he’s a turf-bred youngster back from a foray in Europe. That, in essence, is the journey of War of Will, who joined the Road to the Kentucky Derby with a decisive [...]

War of Will Conquers Opposition in Lecomte Stakes

War of Will winning the Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds - Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr. Saturday’s Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds was billed as a wide-open race that just about any of the dozen starters could potentially win. But when the dust settled, it was favored War of Will who raced to a resounding victory, crushing the field in the manner of a horse who was clearly superior on the day. Certainly War of [...]

Keying Avie’s Flatter in the Coronation Futurity

Woodbine Racetrack(Michael Burns Photo) This is hardly a creative opinion—to the contrary, it’s an opinion that will surely be shared by many—but it’s rather difficult to envision a scenario in which #3 Avie’s Flatter loses the $225,000 Coronation Futurity for Canadian-breds at Woodbine. In a race where three of the seven starters have never reached the winner’s circle, Avie’s Flatter stands out on pretty much any metric you consider. Class? Avie’s Flatter is the lone stakes winner in [...]

An Introduction to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint

Photo by © Breeders' Cup/Jamie Rhodes 2011 A new Breeders’ Cup race is set to debut this year at Churchill Downs, and while it might not be the type of championship race you’d typically expect from the Breeders’ Cup, there’s no doubt that it will offer bettors an intriguing handicapping challenge with the possibility for big payoffs. The race in question is the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, a 5 ½-furlong grass race somewhat reminiscent of the short-lived [...]

Betting Longshot Signalman in the Breeders’ Futurity

Keeneland Photo What do you do when faced with handicapping a full field of fourteen lightly-raced two-year-olds, the majority of them stretching out around two turns for the first time? Well, pretty much the best you can do is analyze the field, pick a few horses you like, and hope for the best. That’s what I’ll be doing for Saturday’s $500,000 Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland, a 8.5-furlong “Win and You’re In” prep race for the 2018 [...]

Why I’m Keying Restless Rider in the Spinaway Stakes

Restless Rider winning the Debutante Stakes - Coady Photography The East Coast, Midwest, and West Coast will all be well represented in Saturday’s $350,000 Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga, so there’s no guarantee that the East Coast’s first major prize for two-year-old fillies will be won by a local runner. Twelve promising juveniles have turned out to contest this seven-furlong "Win and You're In" prep race for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), with #4 Catherinethegreat [...]