Why I’m betting Admission Office in the Wise Dan Stakes

Admission Office winning a Keeneland allowance race - Keeneland Photo A wide post draw in a large field is less than ideal, but when 14 horses assemble for Saturday’s $250,000 Wise Dan Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs, my money will be on #12 Admission Office. This lightly raced 4-year-old son of Point of Entry has never missed the exacta in six starts, and he’s shown particular promise this year. In his 2019 debut—his first run for current trainer [...]

How to bet the 2019 Fleur de Lis Handicap

Blue Prize winning the Falls City Handicap (gG1) - Coady Photography Three fillies and mares stand above the others in Saturday’s #250,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2) at Churchill Downs. #2 She’s a Julie, #3 Elate and #5 Blue Prize are all grade 1 winners who figure to put on a show in this 1 1/8-mile “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). In terms of Brisnet speed figures, they’re significantly faster than their [...]

Betting a horse for the course in the Jaipur Invitational

Disco Partner winning the 2017 Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational - © NYRA/Susie Raisher/Adam Coglianese Photography When handicappers tackle the tricky multi-race wagers on Belmont Stakes Day at Belmont Park, you can bet many of them will focus in on #8 World of Trouble as a possible single in the $400,000 Jaipur Invitational (G1). The 4-year-old son of Kantharos looms as an obvious choice on paper. He’s won six of his last seven starts for trainer Jason Servis, with [...]

Looking for longshots in the 2019 Belmont Stakes

Intrepid Heart winning an allowance race - Keeneland Photo There is a surprising lack of genuine speed horses entered in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park. The 1 1/2-mile “Test of the Champion” serves as the third and final leg of the Triple Crown, but although the stakes are high, don’t expect to see jockeys getting aggressive for tactical positions. At least half of the 10 starters can be counted as deep closers, who will settle off [...]

How to bet the 2019 Manhattan Stakes

Bricks and Mortar winning the Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) - Coady Photography Trainer Chad Brown seems to be throwing the kitchen sink at Saturday’s $1 million Manhattan Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park, where he's entered four graded stakes winners in a quest to extend his domination of the 1 1/4-mile race. The Manhattan is one of eight grade 1 races scheduled to be run at Belmont on Belmont Stakes Day, and Brown will be tough to beat. [...]

Why I’m betting Firenze Fire in the 2019 Met Mile

Firenze Fire winning the Champagne Stakes (G1) - Photo courtesy of NYRA/Coglianese Photography The Belmont Stakes (G1) is going to be an exciting race, but from a sporting standpoint, the highlight of the spectacular June 8  card at Belmont Park is the $1.2 million Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap (G1). The field for this prestigious one-mile race is packed with some of the best older horses in training. There’s #2 McKinzie, a two-time grade 1 winner entering off a dominant performance in the Alysheba Stakes [...]

Why I’m opposing Serengeti Empress in the Acorn Stakes

Serengeti Empress winning the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) - Coady Photography #1 Serengeti Empress is by far the most accomplished filly entered in Saturday’s $700,000 Acorn Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park, but that doesn’t mean she’s the most likely winner. The 3-year-old daughter of Alternation has three graded stakes wins under her belt and enters the one-mile Acorn off a gate-to-wire victory in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs, where she turned back a challenge from Liora [...]

Why I’m betting Forty Under in the 2019 Penn Mile

Forty Under training at Churchill Downs - © Scott Serio/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM Saturday’s $500,000 Penn Mile Stakes (G2) at Penn National is stacked with accomplished 3-year-old turf runners, but despite the competitive look of the race, I’m expecting #5 Forty Under to deliver a winning performance. After he finished ninth in his debut sprinting on dirt at Saratoga last summer, Forty Under switched to turf, stretched out to 1 1/16 miles and promptly sprung a 20-1 upset in another [...]

How to bet the 2019 Arlington Matron Stakes

La Force training at Churchill Downs - © Evers/ESW/Breeders Cup /Breeders' Cup In terms of proven class and overall accomplishments, #3 La Force is clearly the mare to beat in Saturday’s $100,000 Arlington Matron Stakes (G3) at Arlington Park. Last year, the German-bred daughter of Power placed second in three straight grade 1 races on the California circuit, and she returned as good as ever in her 2019 debut, when she finished second in the Santa Margarita Stakes [...]

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 [...]