Analyzing a wild edition of the Del Mar Futurity

Whether the 2019 Del Mar Futurity (G1) produces another top runner is open to debate. Anyone who watched the summer feature for 2-year-olds on Labor Day had to come away befuddled by its unusual result.

Trainers to watch (and wager on) at Del Mar

Del Mar - © Benoit Photo. Trainer statistics are commonly employed by bettors handicapping horse races. Isn’t it helpful to know a trainer excels with turf horses and juveniles but is less successful with dirt runners and older horses? In preparation for the much-anticipated 2019 Del Mar summer meet, which kicks off on Wednesday, July 17, I’ve used Statsmaster to compile a handful of intriguing trainer trends and statistics. With luck these angles will produce profitable plays throughout [...]

How to Bet the Quality Derby Week Maiden Races at Churchill Downs

The Twin Spires at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography The Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks and 11 other graded stakes races are the obvious highlights at Churchill Downs this week, but racing’s future will also be on display in a series of quality maiden special weight races. Across Friday and Saturday, five special weight events—three on dirt, two on turf—will be conducted over a variety of distances. The participants might be winless, but these competitive races could serve as springboards [...]

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 [...]

Plus Que Parfait Rebounds in UAE Derby

Plus Que Parfait winning the UAE Derby - © Dubai Racing Club/Mathea Kelley After being soundly defeated in two Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races at Fair Grounds this winter, it seemed as though the Derby trail had come to an end for Plus Que Parfait. But his undaunted connections persevered and set their sights on another target—the $2 million UAE Derby (UAE-II) at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, offering 100 Kentucky Derby qualification points to the winner. And [...]

Del Mar Handicap Gets the Stakes Action Started on Pacific Classic Day

Itsinthepost winning the San Gabriel Stakes (gr. II) - © BENOIT PHOTO The first of three graded stakes races on the Pacific Classic Day card is the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap. Trainer Phil D’Amato has won 3 of the last 4 renditions and looks to make it back-to-back wins in the event after Hunt got to the wire first in last summer’s edition for owner Michael House. D’Amato sends out a trio of runners in #1 Kenjisstorm, [...]

Stormy Liberal Headlines Strong Group in Friday’s Green Flash Handicap at Del Mar

Understandably the Green Flash Handicap will not get the attention that the graded stakes races will receive on Pacific Classic Day at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, but the five-furlong event over the sod drew an extremely strong group of turf sprinters for the Friday twilight feature. The field is led by the top two finishers in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) over this course. #2 Stormy Liberal makes his second start of the form cycle after a [...]

A Pair of Maidens In With Significant Chance in Sunday’s Sorrento at Del Mar

The second of two graded stakes events on tap for Sunday’s card at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is the Grade 2 Sorrento Stakes for two-year-old fillies. The 2018 rendition is a challenging one for handicappers as 7 of the 10 fillies entered come in with just one start under their belt. While most horseplayers will lean on horses that won their first race, do not be too quick to eliminate a pair of Kentucky breds that come into the [...]

American Pharoah’s Sister Headlines Three Strong Maiden Races Saturday at Del Mar

Maiden special weight events are not for everyone, but they are some of my favorite races to handicap, especially at the boutique summer meetings in California and New York. A trio of protected non-winner races are a part of the ten-race card on Saturday “Where the Turf Meets the Surf” and I look forward to all three. The first of the three kicks things off in San Diego County and features the half-sister to 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, [...]

Late Pick 4 Analysis for Saturday Afternoon at Del Mar- July 28th

Roy H winning the Breeders' Cup Sprint - Photo by Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup The second Saturday of the 2018 Del Mar summer meeting offers racing fans several great wagering opportunities, including a late Pick 4 that commences in Race 7 with the $150,000 California Dreamin and concludes with a maiden special weight event over the sod for two-year-olds. Here are my thoughts: Race 7: The California Dreamin Stakes This mile and a sixteenth event for California-Bred or [...]