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 [...]

2018 Kentucky Derby: A Horse-By-Horse Recap

Justify winning the Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography The results of the 144th Kentucky Derby are in the history books, and it was a day for records to broken. Record rainfall. Record wagering. The demise of the fabled “Apollo Curse.” Throw in the fact that favored Justify delivered with a huge victory, and you have an unforgettable Kentucky Derby. But the Preakness and Belmont Stakes are still to come, so Triple Crown season is far from over. With an [...]

Shapiro’s Fair Odds Line for the 2018 Kentucky Derby

Coady Photography Today is the day. At 6:48 ET the anticipation ends and the gates open for the 144th Kentucky Derby. With less than 12 hours before the big race there is little work left to be done. It is now in the hands of the racing gods. With that being said here is my final fair odds line for the 2018 “Run for the Roses.” #1 Firenze Fire (500-1) Likely to send from the rail, but also [...]

Justify Draws Lucky Seven at Kentucky Derby Post Position Draw

The post positions for the 2018 Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography Trainer Bob Baffert was late in arriving at the post position draw for the 2018 Kentucky Derby, but if he was worried about where his horses would draw, he needn’t have been. By the time Baffert arrived, his Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Justify had drawn post seven in the “Run for the Roses,” an ideal position that has cemented the unbeaten colt as the horse [...]

Shapiro’s Fair Odds Line for the Kentucky Derby as of April 25th

We are just 10 days away from one of the more fascinating Kentucky Derby’s in recent memory. This year’s group of colts is as top heavy and strong as I can recall. I am unlikely to be involved in the Win pool unless my opinion on a top choice becomes stronger over the next week and a half, but demanding fair value is a must. At the moment I have clear separation between my Top 4 and the rest of [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10 — 4/24/18

Justify - © Benoit Photo Twelve days, folks. Just twelve days remain until twenty of the best three-year-old Thoroughbreds from North America and Europe vie for supremacy in the 2018 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Since the start of December, I’ve been compiling a weekly ranking of the top Kentucky Derby contenders, an enjoyable exercise that is equal parts challenging and fun. Many names have come and gone from my list, but now the prep races are complete [...]