Is Seeking the Soul Unstoppable in the Clark Handicap?

Seeking the Soul winning the 2017 Clark Handicap (gr. I) - Coady Photography As we approach the end of 2018 and enter the winter racing season, only two Grade 1 dirt races for older horses remain to be run this year, and one of them—the $500,000 Clark Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs—is coming up this Friday. That said, on paper, this year’s renewal of the nine-furlong event bears a greater resemblance to a quality Grade 2 than [...]

How to Bet the Hagyard Fayette Stakes

Hofburg training at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography When seven accomplished runners line up to contest the $200,000 Hagyard Fayette Stakes (gr. II) on Saturday at Keeneland, the feature race on the last day of the meet, most eyes will be focused on the lone three-year-old in the field, #6 Hofburg. That’s certainly understandable, since the Bill Mott-trained son of Tapit has compiled a promising record this year, most notably finishing second in the Florida Derby (gr. I) [...]

Accelerate vs. West Coast in the Awesome Again: Who Will Prevail?

Accelerate winning the Pacific Classic (gr. I) - © Benoit Photo There might be six horses entered in the $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes (gr. I) on Saturday at Santa Anita, but from all appearances, the race is shaping up to be more of a match race between #5 West Coast and #6 Accelerate. On paper, these two Grade 1 winners pretty much tower over the field in this 1 1/8-mile “Win and You’re In” prep race for the [...]

How to Bet the Pacific Classic

Del Mar - ©Benoit Photo If you like the chances of #5 Accelerate in Saturday’s $1 million TVG Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar, I certainly can’t blame you—quite frankly, I like him too. What’s not to like? The five-year-old son of Lookin at Lucky is 3-for-4 this year and has already scored two dominating wins over the 1 ¼-mile distance of the Pacific Classic, prevailing by 5 ½ lengths in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) [...]

Itsinthepost, Hunt Square Off in Eddie Read Stakes

Itsinthepost winning the San Gabriel Stakes (gr. II) - © BENOIT PHOTO If you like grass racing and large, competitive fields, then you won’t want to miss the $250,000 Eddie Read Stakes (gr. II) on Sunday at Del Mar. Held at nine furlongs, the Eddie Read has attracted eleven starters that pretty much represent a “who’s who” of California’s top turf horses. Of course, that includes Itsinthepost, who has won seemingly every Grade 2 turf race in California [...]

Baffert Sends Out Two Contenders in Santa Anita Handicap

Mubtaahij winning the 2017 Awesome Again Stakes - © Benoit Photo. Get ready—there’s a great race coming up at the “Great Race Place.” The historic $600,000 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) is set to be renewed for the 81st time on Saturday at Santa Anita Park. Commonly referred to as the “Big ‘Cap,” the ten-furlong race has been won through the years by some of the greatest horses in racing history, including Seabiscuit, Round Table, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid, John [...]

Strong undercards at Del Mar Thanksgiving weekend

Mubtaahij wins the 2017 Awesome Again Stakes. Pic: Benoit Photo. The Hollywood Derby and the Matriarch Stakes are the big races at Del Mar this Thanksgiving weekend, but there’s also four other graded stakes for punters to have a serious look at. The Native Diver Stakes (G2) sees the return of Mubtaahij to the track. Winner of the Awesome Again Stakes (G1) Sept. 30, he found Gun Runner and company too difficult in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) [...]

Hollywood Turf Cup could be Flamboyant

Flamboyant looks for his first win in 21 months when he contests the Hollywood Turf Cup at Del Mar. Pic: Benoit Photo. Flamboyant hasn’t won for 21 months, but his form is as good as any of his rivals in the 1 ½-mile Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) at Del Mar Nov. 24. The former French galloper won two consecutive graded stakes races at Santa Anita in early 2016. He hasn’t won in 11 starts since, but his form [...]