Serengeti Empress Stands Out in Fair Grounds Oaks

Serengeti Empress winning the Ellis Park Debutante Stakes - Coady Photography The Road to the Kentucky Oaks continues on Saturday with the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) at (where else?) Fair Grounds, a very productive race that has churned out four Kentucky Oaks winners since 2008. All eyes will be on #2 Serengeti Empress in this 1 1/16-mile race, and deservedly so. Trained by Tom Asmoss, the daughter of Alternation is a three-time graded stakes winner and [...]

Speed, Pace Figures Give Jaywalk Clear Advantage in Davona Dale Stakes

Jaywalk winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) - Coady Photography On paper, there isn’t much in the way of early speed in Saturday’s $200,000 Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, and that should play to the strengths of champion #1 Jaywalk as she makes her much-anticipated three-year-old debut. After finishing second in her debut at Monmouth last summer, Jaywalk rattled off four straight victories with complete authority. She got better as the year progressed, [...]

Spot Plays for Risen Star Day at Fair Grounds

Synchrony winning the 2018 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. III) - Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges, Jr. Planning to watch and wager on the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) this Saturday at Fair Grounds? Don’t forget to check out the other appealing races on the card! I’ve already shared my thoughts on the Risen Star, but that’s just one of the dozen races on the agenda. After going over the rest of the card, I’ve found four other spot plays throughout [...]

Derby, Oaks Contenders Face Off on Saturday at Fair Grounds

Serengeti Empress winning the Pocahontas Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders will shine at Fair Grounds on February 16, a busy day of racing that includes four graded stakes races at the New Orleans racetrack. The highlight of the day is unquestionably the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. II), which offers 50 Kentucky Derby qualification points to the winner as part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby Championship [...]

How to Bet the Las Virgenes Stakes

Bellafina winning the Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © BENOIT PHOTO In my opinion, the only way to make a meaningful profit playing Saturday’s $200,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita is to play the exotics straight and hope that your selections are absolutely perfect. Just five three-year-old fillies have been entered in this one-mile Road to the Kentucky Oaks prep race, and on paper, the four-time graded stakes winner #3 Bellafina towers [...]

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 [...]