How to Bet the Travers Stakes

Good Magic winning the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II) - Keeneland Photo No matter how you slice it, Saturday’s $1,250,000 Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga is the best race of this coming weekend. With its hefty purse, huge field, challenging 1 ¼-mile distance, and competitive list of entrants, the Travers Stakes is certainly the most prestigious race of the week, and it promises to be a fantastic betting race as well. Truthfully, a case can be made [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Classic Top 10: Accelerate Moves to the Top

Accelerate winning the Pacific Classic (gr. I) - © Benoit Photo The retirement of Triple Crown winner Justify has certainly had a significant impact on the landscape for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. Justify was a clear early choice to win the Classic, and in his absence, coming up with a Top 10 list of contenders for the 1 ¼-mile race is a more difficult task. In terms of speed figures, relatively few [...]

How to Bet the Jim Dandy Stakes

Reride winning an allowance race at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Saturday’s $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga may have attracted a small field—just five starters—but what it’s lacking in quantity it makes up for in quality. Four of the five entrants competed in the Triple Crown series, with the probable favorites #2 Tenfold and #5 Vino Rosso running in two legs apiece. The tricky part is trying to separate these accomplished contenders… while keeping in [...]

Looking for Value in the Belmont Stakes

Justify winning the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) - Jim McCue Photography There are two ways to approach choosing a “top selection” for a horse race. One is to identify the most likely winner. The other is to identify the horse offering the best wagering value. The tricky part is that they aren’t always the same horse. The most likely winner might be an obvious choice on paper, leading to very short odds that don’t reflect his actual odds [...]

Shapiros’ Fair Odds Line for the 150th Running of the Belmont Stakes

Justify winning the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) - Jim McCue Photography Last week I did a preliminary Fair Odds line for the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, but after further research and the post-position draw here is my final rendition: #1 Justify (Even money) - The undefeated dual Classic winner obviously has a ton going for him, including tactical speed that allows him to make the lead or stalk just off the early pace. However, regressing numbers [...]

Shapiro’s Fair Odds Line for the Belmont Stakes as of May 30th

In just ten days dual classic winner Justify will attempt to make history and become the second Triple Crown winner this century for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. It is hard to believe that this son of Scat Daddy has accomplished so much in such a short period of time. If he can conclude this incredible run dating back to his maiden victory on debut at Santa Anita on February 18th with a win at “Big Sandy” next Saturday [...]

Justify Impresses Again With Gutsy Preakness Stakes Victory

Justify winning the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) - Jim McCue Photography At this point, is there anything left to say about the unbeaten Justify, who brought his record to a perfect 5-for-5 with a gutsy win in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico? We knew he had speed and talent—he showed that while winning his first three starts in easy fashion with blazing speed figures. And he showed that he can carry his speed over classic distances [...]

Why I’m Keying Justify in the Preakness Stakes Exotics

Jockey Mike Smith aboard Kentucky Derby winner Justify - Coady Photography It’s the question that all handicappers are asking right now—what’s the best way to make a meaningful profit betting on Saturday’s $1,500,000 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico? With the impressive Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner #7 Justify the heavy favorite at 1-2 on the morning line, and with the most likely upset candidate #5 Good Magic listed at just 3-1, it could be tricky to put together [...]

Post Positions (and Keeler Johnson’s Fair Odds Line) for the 2018 Preakness Stakes

Justify winning the Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography The good luck for Justify continued on Wednesday when the newly-crowned Kentucky Derby winner drew post position seven in the $1,500,000 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Racecourse. The draw was essentially perfect for the unbeaten colt, who has been made the 1-2 morning line favorite for the May 19th classic. With just one rival drawn to his outside, Justify will have plenty of options to stay out of trouble and [...]

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 [...]