Why I’m betting Tom’s d’Etat in the Woodward Stakes

Tom's d'Etat winning an allowance race at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Although #9 Tom’s d’Etat has never won a graded stakes race of any kind, he may have found the perfect spot to nab a signature Grade 1 victory in the $750,000 Woodward Stakes (G1), the feature race on the final Saturday of the 2019 Saratoga meet. Tom’s d’Etat has long shown flashes of significant talent, and he’s knocked heads with some serious racehorses this year, most [...]

Breeders’ Cup Classic Top 12: Your guess is as good as mine

If you have any clue which horse will emerge victorious in the November 2 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita, I applaud you. You’re one step ahead of me and perhaps 95% of the remaining handicapping world.

Breeders’ Cup Classic Top 10: Maximum Security moves up

Maximum Security winning the Haskell Invitational (G1) - © Bill Denver/Equi-Photo Slowly but surely the top contenders for the Nov. 2 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita are sorting themselves out. The Haskell Invitational (G1) and the Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) served to clarify aspects of the 3-year-old division, while a quartet of top-ranked older runners will square off in the Aug. 3 Whitney Stakes (G1) at Saratoga, a race that will surely shake up the division [...]

Breeders’ Cup Classic Top 10: A new name at the top

Preservationist winning the Suburban Stakes (G2) - © NYRA/Coglianese Photography/Susie Raisher When was the last time we were four months out from the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and the division lacked anything resembling a clear-cut group of top contenders? This year’s Classic division is among the most wide-open in recent memory, thanks to an inconclusive Triple Crown season and a lack of standout older males. The Classic contenders have not been running particularly fast on the Beyer speed [...]

Breeders’ Cup Classic top 10: Thunder Snow impresses in defeat

Thunder Snow winning the 2018 Dubai World Cup (G1) - Coady Photography A busy Saturday of racing at Belmont Park on Belmont Stakes Day saw a handful of contenders for the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) enhance their résumés. Others faltered under the bright lights and will have to rebound this summer. No clear favorite has emerged for the 1 1/4-mile race Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park. Your guess is as good as mine when it comes [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]