Betting a Baffert Exacta in the Los Alamitos Futurity

Improbable winning the Street Sense Stakes - Coady Photography Just how many times has the Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert won the $300,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (gr. I), which will be renewed for the 38th time on December 8th? Well, technically, Baffert has never lost the Los Alamitos Futurity. Since the race was moved to Los Alamitos in 2014, Baffert has prevailed in every edition, and he also won the race six times during its glory days at [...]

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 [...]

Why I’m Keying the Favorites in the Hollywood Derby

River Boyne - © Benoit Photo With relatively few opportunities remaining for horses to compete against Grade 1 company before the end of 2018, fourteen three-year-olds have turned out to contest Saturday’s $300,000 Hollywood Derby (gr. I) at Del Mar. But while the huge field size suggests that the race should be wide-open in nature, I’m strongly drawn toward the two favorites #4 River Boyne and #6 Raging Bull, in part because I believe their most recent efforts [...]

How to Bet the Exotics in the Remsen Stakes

Network Effect winning his debut at Saratoga - Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography If you’re among the many handicappers who figure to place their betting dollars on #5 Network Effect in Saturday’s $250,000 Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct, I certainly can’t blame you. What’s not to like? He’s got the powerful team of trainer Chad Brown and jockey Javier Castellano in his corner, and he’s done little wrong in two starts to date. After breaking his maiden by [...]

Betting Regional Class Advantages, Part 1

Elsa winning the Jimmy Durante Stakes (gr. III) at Del Mar - © Benoit Photo While the old saying “a good horse can come from anywhere” is certainly true, it’s also true that good horses are more likely to come from some places than others. A great example comes from California, where a greater emphasis is placed on dirt racing than turf racing. That’s not to say that California can’t produce good grass horses, but compared to the [...]

Stella di Camelot Stands Out in Mrs. Revere Stakes

Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Technically speaking, Friday’s $200,000 Mrs. Revere Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs is a Grade 2 event, and understandably so. The 8.5-furlong turf race for three-year-old fillies has been won by some very good horses over the last decade or so, including the Grade 1 winners Acoma, Aruna, Marketing Mix, and Centre Court. Perhaps one of the dozen fillies entered in the 2018 renewal will go on to achieve similar success, though at [...]

Is Seeking the Soul Unstoppable in the Clark Handicap?

Seeking the Soul winning the 2017 Clark Handicap (gr. I) - Coady Photography As we approach the end of 2018 and enter the winter racing season, only two Grade 1 dirt races for older horses remain to be run this year, and one of them—the $500,000 Clark Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs—is coming up this Friday. That said, on paper, this year’s renewal of the nine-furlong event bears a greater resemblance to a quality Grade 2 than [...]

Keying Divine Miss Grey in the Falls City Handicap

Divine Miss Grey winning the Chilukki Stakes (gr. II) - Coady Photography From a BRIS speed figure perspective, it’s hard to look past #1 Divine Miss Grey in Saturday’s $200,000 Falls City Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. In a race that didn’t draw the toughest field for its grade, Divine Miss Grey appears to have an overwhelming advantage over her seven rivals. The four-year-old daughter of Divine Park won the Chilukki Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs [...]

Keying Avie’s Flatter in the Coronation Futurity

Woodbine Racetrack(Michael Burns Photo) This is hardly a creative opinion—to the contrary, it’s an opinion that will surely be shared by many—but it’s rather difficult to envision a scenario in which #3 Avie’s Flatter loses the $225,000 Coronation Futurity for Canadian-breds at Woodbine. In a race where three of the seven starters have never reached the winner’s circle, Avie’s Flatter stands out on pretty much any metric you consider. Class? Avie’s Flatter is the lone stakes winner in [...]

How to Bet the Red Smith Stakes

Zulu Alpha winning the Sycamore Stakes (gr. III) - Keeneland Photo Just how many times has trainer Mike Maker claimed turf horses, stretched them out in distance, and turned them into graded stakes winners? The list goes on and on—I even wrote a whole article about it earlier this year—and the latest example is #3 Zulu Alpha, who runs in Saturday’s $200,000 Red Smith Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct. Prior to being claimed by Maker, Zulu Alpha was [...]