Patience Pays Off, She’s a Julie Wins La Troienne

She's a Julie winning the La Troienne Stakes (G1) - Coady Photography She wasn’t the favorite—three rivals started at shorter prices—but when push came to shove, She’s a Julie was indisputably the best filly in the $500,000 La Troienne Stakes (G1) on Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs. She’s a Julie is a perfect example of a horse who needed time to mature before reaching peak form. After winning her debut as a 2-year-old at Churchill Downs, the [...]

Mia Mischief Wins Humana Distaff with Rapid Mid-Race Move

Mia Mischief winning the Humana Distaff (G1) - Coady Photography Mia Mischief has always shown talent, but on racing’s biggest days she’s had trouble delivering on her potential. But everything changed on Kentucky Derby Day, when Mia Mischief delivered a dominant victory in the $500,000 Humana Distaff (G1) going seven furlongs at Churchill Downs, the first top-level win of her career. Considering the manner in which she prevailed, additional grade 1 wins could well be in her future. Disregarded [...]

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 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 [...]

Spot Plays for Southwest Stakes Day at Oaklawn Park

Jack Van Berg breaking his maiden at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography High-class Monday racing action isn’t common, but Oaklawn Park is making an exception by scheduling three graded stakes races for February 18, Presidents’ Day. It’s a fun card with a lot of options, so let’s go through the fields and look for some spot plays…. Race 3: Maiden Special Weight There are some promising first-time starters in this race, including #1 Good as Money (a Calumet [...]

Whitmore Rides the Rail to Victory in Forego Stakes

Whitmore winning the Forego Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga - Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography/Chelsea Durand It was a tale of two trips, and how differing circumstances can favor one horse while putting others at a disadvantage. You really won’t see a more clear-cut example how trips can affect the outcome of a race than the example we witnessed in Saturday’s $600,000 Forego Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. The seven-furlong sprint was won in determined fashion by the [...]

Saratoga 2yos Analysis: Bill Mott Gets Hot

Two weekends ago, the juvenile races at Saratoga were dominated by trainer Steve Asmussen. Last weekend, it was Bill Mott’s turn to take the spotlight. The Hall of Fame trainer, best known as the conditioner of two-time Horse of the Year Cigar, has been enjoying a strong Saratoga meet with nine wins from his first 42 starters. Two of those victories came on Saturday, courtesy of the two-year-olds Casa Creed and Mucho. Both ran very well in their respective races, [...]

Switzerland Steps Up in Maryland Sprint Stakes

Switzerland winning an allowance race at Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography Although the highlight of Pimlico’s stakes-packed Saturday card is undoubtedly the Preakness Stakes, handicappers can look forward to top-notch racing throughout the day, with the $150,000 Maryland Sprint Stakes (gr. III) being one of the more intriguing events. The six-furlong sprint has attracted nine starters, including an up-and-comer named Switzerland. The son of Speightstown developed a reputation among handicappers as something of a “money burner” while losing [...]

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 [...]