Tacitus Prevails in Roughly-Run Wood Memorial

Tacitus winning the Wood Memorial (gr. II) at Aqueduct - © NYRA/Coglianese Photography In one of the roughest races seen on the Road to the Kentucky Derby this winter, favored Tacitus emerged from a battle-weary field to win the $750,000 Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct in hard-fought fashion. Chaos reigned during the run to the first turn, and even Tacitus did not emerge unscathed. A generally ragged start was made worse when Tax, breaking from the rail, [...]

Three Takeaways from the Gotham Stakes

Haikal winning the Gotham Stakes (gr. III) - © Adam Coglianese Photography/Chelsea Durand The old phrase “pace makes the race” was demonstrated clearly in the $300,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) on March 3 at Aqueduct, won by the late-running Haikal in a driving finish. Indeed, it’s not a stretch to conclude that the outcome of the race was determined almost solely by the extraordinary pace of the one-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby prep event. On a day [...]

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. [...]

No Shortage of Derby Contenders Boasting Triple-Digit BRIS Speed Figures

Game Winner winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) - Coady Photography Generally speaking, Beyer and BRIS speed figures are arranged on a similar scale. A young horse that posts a triple-digit number is a fast and probably stakes-caliber runner with a bright future. But interestingly, the Beyer and BRIS speed figures paint differing pictures of the 2019 Triple Crown contenders. On the Beyer scale, just two members of this foal crop have cracked the triple-digit barrier, those [...]

Tax Rallies Inside to Win Rough Running of Withers Stakes

Tax winning the Withers Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct - Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography/Joe Labozzetta It was a messy race from start to finish, but when the dust settled it was the 2-1 favorite Tax who emerged victorious in the $250,000 Withers Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct, gamely rallying up the rail to prevail in a three-way photo finish. It all began when the gates opened and the seven starters were dispatched to a rather ragged start. [...]

How to Bet the Withers Stakes

Aqueduct (Coglianese Photo) For a race with only seven starters, there’s a surprising amount of depth and talent in Saturday’s $250,000 Withers Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct. I say “surprising” in part because the Withers is a nine-furlong Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race being held in the cold month of February up at Aqueduct in New York, and the race usually comes up a little light on quality. But this year, the Withers has attracted three [...]