2018 Year in Review: Horse Racing’s Top 5 Biggest Upsets

Knicks Go winning the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) - Keeneland Photo Although 2018 was generally a very productive year for racing’s established stars, that doesn’t mean the season went by without any memorable (and occasionally monumental) upsets. Some upsets featured high-priced winners, while others featured favorites that were defeated at very short prices. Comparing and ranking them is tricky, but after going back through the year’s results, here’s my opinion on five of the biggest racing upsets [...]

Abel Tasman Stands Out in Zenyatta Stakes

Abel Tasman edging Elate in the Personal Ensign Stakes (gr. I) - Photo by NYRA/Coglianese Photography/Viola Jasko In this day and age, with an increasing number of top-class horses skipping the final round of Breeders’ Cup prep races in favor of training up to the championship, it’s encouraging to see the highly accomplished Abel Tasman among the six fillies and mares entered in Sunday’s $300,000 Zenyatta Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita. Abel Tasman certainly could have trained [...]

How to Bet the Beholder Mile

Unique Bella winning the Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II) - Benoit Photo Saturday’s feature at Santa Anita Park is the $400,000 Grade 1 Beholder Mile.The race named for the star Richard Mandella trainee only drew a field of six, but it does not lack star power given the presence of Unique Bella, Vale Dori and Paradise Woods. Don Alberto Stable’s #6 Unique Bella makes her first start since a poor break led to a disappointing second place effort [...]

Keying Longshot Mopotism in the La Brea Stakes

Unique Bella winning the Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II) - Benoit Photo One of the last Grade 1 races of 2017 is the $300,000 La Brea Stakes (gr. I) on December 26th, one of the features on a stakes-filled opening-day card at Santa Anita Park. The seven-furlong sprint for three-year-old fillies typically draws an interesting blend of sprinters and horses cutting back in distance from route races, and perhaps as a result, the race isn’t an easy one [...]

Faithfully, Money’soncharlotte head Falls City Handicap

Money'soncharlotte will seek a graded stakes victory in the Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs. Photo: J J Zamaiko Photography. Denied twice in California this year, Faithfully heads east to search for her first graded stakes triumph in the Falls City Handicap (G2) at Churchill Downs on Thanksgiving Day. The Smart Strike filly stepped up to stakes company for the first time at Santa Anita in June, winning the ungraded Santa Lucia Stakes. She then took on the [...]

Stellar Wind freshened for third Distaff attempt

Abel Tasman (left) beats Elate in the Coaching Club American Oaks. The pair square off again in the Breeders' Cup Distaff. Photo: Coglianese Photos/Chelsea Durand.   The Breeders’ Cup Distaff is the highlight of the year for dirt females, and it might possibly be third time lucky for Stellar Wind. The 5-year-old Virginia-bred mare has won 10 of her 15 starts, but two of her defeats have come in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. She finished a close second [...]