Saudi Cup Day prospectus: Country Grammer, Taiba, Elite Power among probables
Now that the projected fields for the Feb. 25 Saudi Cup Day extravaganza have been announced, let’s get a head start on the handicapping! Here are the key contenders in the $20 million Saudi Cup (G1) as well the five Thoroughbred stakes on the undercard.
When to bet to place (or not)
The place bet can be a tricky wager to properly play. Not because it’s complicated to understand, but because executing a sound strategy that capitalizes on your opinions is easier said than done.
Catching My Eye: Fair Grounds Feb. 2-4
Yes, 11 of the 38 in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 3 are trained by Brad Cox, but don’t think for a second that’s all he’s got.
Pedigree profile: Newgate
Does Newgate have the pedigree to succeed over classic distances? It’s not necessarily a clear-cut answer, because there are mixed signals to interpret.
Kentucky Derby Maiden Watch: Bus Buzz, Demolition Duke impress
Santa Anita… Fair Grounds… Gulfstream Park… Oaklawn Park… Tampa Bay Downs. Possible Kentucky Derby (G1) contenders won maiden special weights at racetracks all around the country last week.
Kentucky Derby pedigree profile: Rocket Can
It isn’t surprising to see Rocket Can enjoying success on the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail. The gray colt boasts a pedigree combining speed with stamina, often a recipe for success in the Derby.
Kentucky Derby Report: Southwest flash, Cyclone set for Holy Bull
The second of four Kentucky Derby qualifiers at Oaklawn Park, the Jan. 28 Southwest (G3) featured the return of Arabian Knight, a spectacular wire-to-wire maiden winner on the Breeders’ Cup Saturday undercard in his career debut.
Catching My Eye: Cox striking at 42% through Jan. 29 at Fair Grounds
Through Jan. 29 at Fair Grounds, the Brad Cox barn has sent out 50 runners, 21 of them winners. 42%.
Racing Roundtable: Arabian Knight, Pegasus World Cup, and Eclipse Awards
The Racing Roundtable discusses Arabian Knight's romp in the Southwest (G3), takeaways from the Pegasus World Cup (G1), and Eclipse Awards disagreements.
Kentucky Derby Maiden Watch: Geaux Rocket Ride romps for Mandella
Arguably the most impressive three-year-old maiden winner of the weekend was Richard Mandella’s Geaux Rocket Ride, who trounced his Sunday debut sprinting six furlongs at Santa Anita.
Pedigree profile: Arabian Knight
An impressive victory from Arabian Knight in the Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn Park has launched the $2.3 million auction acquisition thoroughly into the Triple Crown picture.
Oaklawn Park: Early trends for 2023 meet
Most trends at Oaklawn Park are playing out as might be expected. But there have been a few interesting stats to start the year.
Catching My Eye: Derby Hopefuls on Fair Grounds Road to the Derby Day
With Road to the Derby Day and other strong fields, there was a lot of action at the Fair Grounds this past week. Let’s dive into two races: the Lecomte and the three-year-old allowance race that featured a handful of Derby dreamers.
The best way to decide and create a place bet
When carefully executed, the place bet can play a useful role in a bettor’s arsenal of handicapping strategies.
Kentucky Derby Maiden Watch: Stoutly bred colts Slip Mahoney, First Defender post victories
Sometimes, you look at the pedigree of a young maiden winner and think, “Wow, this horse is bred to run long.”
First-Crop Sires Update: Mendelssohn progeny start strongly as 3yos
The Scat Daddy half-brother to Into Mischief and Beholder was a Grade 1 performer on both turf and dirt, and his progeny, like him, should improve with age.
The best way to decide and create a show bet
As strange as it might sound, the horse racing wager that's easiest to hit is one of the trickiest to understand on a technical level.
Kentucky Derby Maiden Watch: Kingsbarns, Cuvier, Clubhouse win for Pletcher
Two-time Kentucky Derby (G1)-winning trainer Todd Pletcher knows how to prepare a January maiden winner for success on the first Saturday in May.
Catching My Eye: LA-bred extraordinaires from Fair Grounds, Jan. 5-8
Three stakes winners plus a debut runner caught Kevin Kilroy's eye last week at Fair Grounds.
The best way to decide and create a win bet
The win bet is the purest way to wager on a horse race. All you have to do is pick the winning horse. But deciding which horse to bet can quickly grow complicated.
Racing Roundtable: Thoughts on the Sham and Jerome
The Racing Roundtable this week discusses the impact of the two most recent Kentucky Derby (G1) preps and other action that occurred during the first full weekend of 2023.
Pedigree profile: Reincarnate
Dashing to the lead and refusing to yield proved a successful strategy for Reincarnate in the Sham (G3) at Santa Anita, as the hardy gray colt led all the way to prevail by a neck.
Kentucky Derby Maiden Watch: Willakenzie cruises for Cox
Kentucky Derby (G1)-winning trainer Brad Cox sent out Willakenzie on Thursday at Fair Grounds to win his debut traveling 1 1/8 miles.
Kentucky Derby pedigree profile: Lugan Knight
You have to admire the tenacity Lugan Knight displayed to win the Jerome S. on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. But does he have the pedigree to handle the Kentucky Derby's testing 1 1/4-mile distance?
Kentucky Derby Report: Forte brings top credentials to the New Year
The Road to the Kentucky Derby series opened in late September, but the prep season doesn’t get into full swing until the New Year. And the first qualifier of 2023 took place at Oaklawn Park on New Year’s Day, the Smarty Jones.
Pegasus World Cup 2023: Seven things to know
To help you get ready for the seventh running of the Pegasus World Cup on Jan. 28, here are seven things to know about race trends, the historical background, and successful trainers.
How trainer and sire stats can combine for enticing payoffs
When betting maiden races filled with unraced horses, win percentage stats come in handy. They consistently steer bettors toward live contenders in races that might otherwise be inscrutable.
Catching My Eye: Fair Grounds, Dec. 29-Jan. 1 'Mercy, Mercy, Mercy'
Mercy Warren won by 16 lengths in a first-level allowance sprint on Sunday at Fair Grounds with a merciless move in the turn.
Kentucky Derby Maiden Watch: Pletcher, Cox, Mott pick up new winners
Kentucky Derby (G1)-winning trainers Todd Pletcher, Brad Cox, and Bill Mott all picked up possible 2023 Derby players when they sent out two-year-olds to win maiden races on New Year’s Eve.
Kentucky Derby pedigree profile: Victory Formation
After posting two victories sprinting as a juvenile, Victory Formation joined the Road to the Kentucky Derby with a pacesetting triumph in the one-mile Smarty Jones S. at Oaklawn Park.
Kentucky Derby: 2022 End of Year Stock Take
With all major juvenile racing now complete in 2022, it’s time to take stock of the 2023 Kentucky Derby picture – though it may seem as murky as it’s ever been.
2022 in Review: Leading Turf Horses by Eclipse Award categories
A majority of Eclipse Award categories for equine flat performers is technically open to all runners, regardless of surface proclivity.
Catching My Eye: Fair Grounds' Road to the Derby Kickoff Day
Three out of the last four Derby winners come through Fair Grounds, and both Epicenter and Rich Strike, the Kentucky Derby 148 exacta, ran in last year’s Gun Runner Stakes.
How trainer stats can point toward future stakes winners
When a horse defies the stats and wins at first asking for a low-percentage debut trainer, you might be looking at a special horse. Maybe even a stakes winner.
Kentucky Derby pedigree profile: Jace's Road
Jace’s Road couldn’t have been much more impressive in the Gun Runner S. on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. But does he have the pedigree to thrive racing 1 1/4 miles in the Kentucky Derby?
Kentucky Derby Maiden Watch: Banishing, Groveland win for Godolphin
Godolphin has never won the Kentucky Derby (G1), but perhaps that will change in 2023. Maiden winners Banishing and Groveland are shaping up as possible Derby players for the world-renowned stable.
New Zealand: Spot Plays for Christmas Black Type racing
If you’re wanting to play some high-quality racing on Christmas and can’t wait for North American racing to resume the day after, the place to look toward is New Zealand.
Japan: Titleholder can secure title in world's biggest betting race
Titleholder can secure Japan’s Horse of the Year award by taking out its equal-richest race this weekend.
Top Winning Brisnet Speed Ratings for 2022
Brisnet Speed Ratings show there were two outstanding performances in 2022: one by Flightline, and one by… Wudda U Think Now?
Catching My Eye: Two angles to find prices at Fair Grounds, Part Two
The second angle I am finding will likely be with us for the meet: trusting the less well-known jockeys.
What is a jockey weight allowance?
In the sport of horse racing, the amount of weight carried by each horse has long been varied to account for differences in age, gender, and ability. Or, in some cases, the experience of their jockey.
Kentucky Derby Maiden Watch: Tapit Trice shows grit for Pletcher
Two-time Kentucky Derby (G1)-winning trainer Todd Pletcher recently picked up another possible Derby player when Tapit Trice broke his maiden at Aqueduct.
Kentucky Derby pedigree profile: Wildatlanticstorm
Does Wildatlanticstorm have the pedigree to factor in the Kentucky Derby?
Oaklawn Park: How scrutinizing race conditions can be beneficial
The first thing bettors should generally do before handicapping a race is read and comprehend its conditions.
Why horses tackling multiple major changes can outrun their odds
Sometimes, a racehorse will tackle so many changes at once it’s impossible to project how they'll perform. But the “change everything” approach can occasionally reap big dividends.
Catching My Eye: Two Angles to find prices at Fair Grounds, Part One
Four weeks in at Fair Grounds, racing analyst Kevin Kilroy has found two handicapping angles that have been key for finding price horses.
Kentucky Derby Maiden Watch: Phileas Fogg, Z Resurrection impress at Fair Grounds
What do Country House, Mandaloun, and Rich Strike have in common? They’ve all won the Kentucky Derby (G1) since 2019, and they all did so after competing at Fair Grounds during the winter.
Five early trends at Fair Grounds for Winter 2022
Winter racing at Fair Grounds has been going since Thanksgiving, but there have already been some notable trends.
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