Keying Mother Mother in the Starlet Stakes

Mother Mother winning the Rags to Riches Stakes - Coady Photography At first glance, the December 8th $300,000 Starlet Stakes (gr. I) at Los Alamitos isn’t the most appealing race from a betting perspective—with just six starters, payoffs could be on the small side. But then again, the 1 1/16-mile Road to the Kentucky Oaks prep race is packed with quality, so it’s not like there’s an overwhelming favorite towering over the field. And if we can beat the [...]

Seven Maiden Winners Face Off in Demoiselle Stakes

Aqueduct (Coglianese Photo) Looking for a wide-open race to handicap this weekend? Well, considering that none of the seven entrants in Saturday’s $250,000 Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct have won more than a maiden race, it could take a bit of skill to determine which of these lightly-raced fillies is most likely to prevail. And it’s important to get a feel for these fillies as soon as possible since the Demoiselle Stakes is a “Road to the Kentucky [...]

Jaywalk Cruises to Victory in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies

Jaywalk winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) - Coady Photography Once upon a time, an increasingly long time ago, a filly named Jaywalk demonstrated that she is indeed mortal by finishing second in her debut at Monmouth Park. But since that day in June, Jaywalk has looked less and less like a typical racehorse and more and more like a top-notch talent in the making. And on November 2nd at Churchill Downs, Jaywalk brought her game to [...]

Bellafina Favored in Deep Renewal of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies

Bellafina winning the Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © BENOIT PHOTO At some point in the lengthy history of the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), there has probably been a better field than the one that has assembled for Friday’s renewal of the race at Churchill Downs. But I’d be hard-pressed to tell you which field that might have been, because quite frankly, the 2018 Juvenile Fillies is shaping up to be [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Top 10

Bellafina winning the Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © BENOIT PHOTO If you think you’ve still got plenty of time to wait before diving into handicapping the 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships… think again! The deadline for pre-entries is October 22nd, just one week away, and the prospective fields will be released to the public shortly thereafter, so we’re definitely in the homestretch of the lead-up to these much-anticipated championship races. Certainly one of the [...]

2018-19 Road to the Kentucky Derby Kicks Off With Iroquois Stakes

Coady Photography The journey ultimately comes full circle; it begins where it ends, and ends where it begins. That journey, of course, is the 2018-19 Road to the Kentucky Derby, which kicks off on September 15th with the running of the Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby. It’s only fitting that the Road to the Kentucky Derby should begin at the track where the historic “Run for the Roses” will be held [...]

Analyzing the Late Pick 4 on Santa Anita Derby Day

The big day in thoroughbred racing spans from coast to coast on Saturday and that includes a 13-race card in Southern California headlined by the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. The final race is an Arabian event, so the late Pick 4 commences with the Santa Anita Derby in Race 9, includes the Grade 2 Royal Heroine and the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks and ends with an optional claimer at a mile and an eighth over the lawn in [...]

Large Field Assembles for Wide-Open Gulfstream Park Oaks

Take Charge Paula winning the House Party Stakes at Gulfstream Park - Photo by Leslie Martin/Coglianese Photography Saturday’s $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park has certainly taken on a different complexion than was originally expected. The 8.5-furlong Kentucky Oaks prep race was supposed to be the goal for Fly So High, impressive winner of the Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream last month. But with Fly So High sidelined by a minor injury, the [...]

Classy Act Takes Center Stage in Fair Grounds Oaks

Wonder Gadot winning the Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct - Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography If you’re looking for a horse to single in the multi-race wagers on Saturday at Fair Grounds, I would recommend that you check out the field for the $400,000 TwinSpires.com Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II). The 8.5-furlong Kentucky Oaks prep race has attracted nine starters, and at first glance the race appears very competitive. But upon closer examination, I believe that #1 Classy [...]

Dream Tree, Midnight Bisou Meet Again in Santa Ysabel

Dream Tree holds off Midnight Bisou in the Desi Arnaz Stakes -© BENOIT PHOTO The Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has won the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) on three occasions in the past, which is why all eyes will be on Baffert’s unbeaten filly Dream Tree in Saturday’s $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita. Although the 8.5-furlong race is only a Grade 3 event, it offers 50 Kentucky Oaks qualification points to the winner [...]