Spot plays for opening day at Del Mar

Summer has officially arrived at Del Mar, “Where the Turf Meets the Surf.” Del Mar’s anticipated summer race meet gets underway Wednesday with a 10-race card. It’s a can’t-miss event on the racing calendar, so even if you can’t make it out to California to attend in person, we can still take ~$50 and celebrate opening day with a couple of spot plays: Race 7: maiden special weight Call it a hunch, but I’m siding with the 12-1 first-time starter [...]

Stakes spot plays for opening day at Saratoga

Saratoga - Photo by Adam Mooshian/Coglianese Photos The 2019 Saratoga meet kicks off Thursday, with a competitive ten-race card featuring two graded stakes events. All but one race attracted nine or more entrants, and the stakes races offer plenty of viable contenders to consider. Let’s kick off the much-anticipated meet with a couple of graded stakes spot plays. Race 8: Schuylerville Stakes (G3) There are a bunch of speedy juvenile fillies entered in this six-furlong sprint, so it’s [...]

Spot plays for the Debutante, Bashford Manor and more

Magic Dance winning her debut at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography The 2019 Churchill Downs spring meet wraps up Saturday, with a 12-race card that features three stakes races. Juveniles will take the spotlight in the $125,000 Debutante Stakes and $125,000 Bashford Manor Stakes (G3), while older sprinters will shine in the $120,000 Kelly’s Landing Stakes. Let’s put together a few spot plays for the stakes races. Race 8: Kelly’s Landing Stakes #8 Warrior’s Club looms as the [...]

Royal Ascot spot plays: Sands of Mali in the Diamond Jubilee

Royal Procession. Queen Elizabeth the Second arriving at Royal Ascot - Photo by Horsephotos.com It’s been a fun run, but the five-day Royal Ascot meet wraps up Saturday with one last stakes-filled card, highlighted by the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (G1). To celebrate the final day of racing, let’s examine the three group races on the agenda and try to end the meet on a winning note. Race 2: Jersey Stakes (G3) #13 Space Blues has yet to compete [...]

Royal Ascot: Spot plays for Day 4

Racing at Royal Ascot - Photo by Horsephotos.com The penultimate day of racing at the 2019 Royal Ascot meet features four more group stakes races, including a high-quality renewal of the Coronation Stakes (G1). Favorites have struggled during the first three days of the meet, perhaps in part because of the soft ground, but with the course drying out, the action might be a bit more predictable Friday. Let’s dig in and come up with a few spot [...]

Royal Ascot: Spot plays for Gold Cup day

Horses and jockeys during the 2017 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot - Photo by Horsephotos.com The highlight of the racing action on Day 3 of the 2019 Royal Ascot meeting is the Gold Cup (G1), a 2 1/2-mile test of stamina that ranks among my favorite races anywhere in the world. I’m also intrigued by the much shorter Norfolk Stakes (G2) for 2-year-olds, so let’s come up with a few plays for these two competitive events. Race [...]

Royal Ascot spot plays for a magical day of racing Wednesday

Magical (purple cap) battles with Enable (pink cap) in the 2018 Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) - © Casey Phillips/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM /Breeders Cup The second day of racing at Royal Ascot brings the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1), arguably the most anticipated race of the meet, thanks to its high-quality international field. Three other group stakes races support the Prince of Wales’s, with the Duke of Cambridge Stakes (G2) for fillies and mares my main interest from a handicapping [...]

Royal Ascot: Three spot plays for opening day

Imprimis winning the Shakertown Stakes (G2) at Keeneland - Keeneland Photo On Tuesday racing fans around the globe will turn their attention to Ascot Racecourse in England, where the five-day Royal Ascot race meet will take place June 18-22. The prestigious and much-anticipated meet will feature high-class horses from around the world in 30 races, including 19 group stakes. The opening-day card is particularly deep, with three group 1 races on the agenda. Want to get in on [...]

Arlington Park spot plays: Larry Rivelli set for big Saturday

Racing down the homestretch at Arlington Park (Coady Photo/Arlington) Saturday could be a good day for trainer Larry Rivelli. With 21 wins from 45 starters—a 47% strike rate—Rivelli is leading the trainer standings at Arlington Park and will have five runners on the Illinois racetrack’s Saturday card. The star of the show is Daddy’s Boo, who could have a live chance to upset the Arlington Matron Stakes (G3), but Rivelli also has a couple of serious players entered [...]

Saturday spot plays for Churchill Downs

Bobby's Wicked One turns for home in command of the Commonwealth Stakes (G3) - Keeneland Photo Proving once again that there’s more to racing at Churchill Downs than the first Saturday in May, the Louisville racetrack has put together a solid evening of competitive events for Saturday. The 11-race card kicks off at 6 p.m. ET and includes two stakes races, the $125,000 Aristides Stakes and the $120,000 Mighty Beau Stakes. Let’s go through the action and look [...]