Six Juvenile Stakes Races Scheduled for December 8th at Gulfstream Park

Gulfstream Park (Coglianese Photos) As part of an action-packed afternoon of racing on December 8th, Gulfstream Park will host not only the Clasico Internacional del Caribe series (showcasing some of the best horses from Latin America and the Caribbean), but also a half-dozen stakes races for two-year-olds. Those juvenile races comprise the first six events on the massive card, which kicks off at 11:50 p.m. Eastern. And since you never know where the next Kentucky Derby (gr. I) [...]

Will Mendelssohn Prevail in the Cigar Mile?

Mendelssohn winning the UAE Derby - Coady Photography More often than not, the $750,000 Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct is won by a horse exiting a Breeders’ Cup race, whether it’s the Classic, the Dirt Mile, or even the Sprint. It only makes sense. With its Grade 1 ranking, its hefty purse, its perfect placement on the calendar, and its one-mile distance that is ideal for a wide variety of horses, the Cigar Mile is a [...]

Playing Against the Favorites in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes

Knicks Go winning the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) - Keeneland Photo Full field? Check. Competitive betting race? Check. Official Kentucky Derby prep race? Check again. The 2018-19 Road to the Kentucky Derby will resume on Saturday with the $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs, and from a handicapping perspective, there’s nothing not to like about this 1 1/16-mile event. I find the race particularly exciting because I’m not convinced that the expected favorites [...]

Early Impressions on the Road to the 2019 Kentucky Derby

The field rounds the first turn of the 2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography With less than six months remaining until the 2019 Kentucky Derby, we’re about to enter what I like to consider the second stage of the qualification process. The first stage included the major Breeders’ Cup prep races such as the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) and American Pharoah Stakes (gr. I) and culminated with the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. [...]

2yos Take to the Turf in Aqueduct’s Atlantic Beach Stakes

Aqueduct (Coglianese Photo) As the saying goes, a Kentucky Derby winner can come from anyone, so as we head into winter with roughly six months remaining until the first Saturday in May, it could pay to keep an eye on every stakes race of significance open to the three-year-olds of 2019—even stakes races on turf. One example is Saturday’s $100,000 Atlantic Beach Stakes at Aqueduct, a six-furlong sprint scheduled to be run over the outer turf course. Chances [...]

Why I’m Betting Against the Favorites in the Bold Ruler Handicap

Belmont Park - Chelsea Durand/Coglianese Photography A turf horse switching to dirt and a lightly-raced runner making his first start off a 13-month layoff ensure that Saturday’s $200,000 Bold Ruler Handicap (gr. III) at Belmont Park will offer handicappers a tricky challenge despite attracting just six starters. The turf horse in question is #6 Delta Prince, who has spent the vast majority of his career as a capable turf miler. The Shug McGaughey-trained five-year-old does have a reasonably [...]

Del Mar and Saratoga 2yos Analysis: Grade 1s Close Out the Meets

Instagrand winning the Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © BENOIT PHOTO Although we’re nearing the conclusions of the 2018 summer meets at Del Mar and Saratoga, there’s still plenty of top-notch juvenile racing still to come. In fact, the meets are going to end with a bang in that respect! Saturday will see fillies take the stage in the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) at Del Mar and the Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) at [...]

Saratoga 2yos Analysis: Chad Brown On the Rise

The fourth weekend of the Saratoga meet featured a couple more graded stakes races for juveniles, including one that was essentially the definition of a closer-favoring race. The action kicked off on Saturday with the $200,000 Adirondack Stakes (gr. II), a 6 ½-furlong sprint for fillies contested over a drying-out main track labeled “good.” The track was a bit tiresome as a result, so you can imagine what happened when race favorite Lyrical Lady and longshot Mucho Amor wound up [...]

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, [...]

Saratoga 2yos Analysis: Steve Asmussen Keeps On Winning

Trainer Steve Asmussen (Photo by © Breeders' Cup/Ben Van Hook 2014) Just how deep is Steve Asmussen’s roster of talented young two-year-olds? No one can say for certain, because seemingly every week—or at times, every day—Asmussen unleashes another promising young runner. Last week at Saratoga, Asmussen won three juvenile races in the span of two days, and he would have won four over three days if not for a disqualification on Thursday. The disqualified runner was Super Simple, [...]