It is interesting to look back at some of our opinions on races and horses from a few weeks or months back and see how they aged. You get a real good window into your focus and grasp of this challenging game we play. This is a good time of year to do it as we are approaching the fourth quarter so to speak and if we don’t have a clear picture now something is wrong. A few weeks ago, I wrote right here Shancelot was a bet against in his next start after the monster win first time at the Spa. He lost at a short price. A week or two before that I wrote right here Code of Honor was most likely to be the one to assert himself into the top three-year-old of 2019 picture. I think he accomplished that with his Travers win. We pretty much…
Brought to you by Amwager.com, a great legal online wagering website. Exacta Systems Juvenile Fillies Stakes-Race 9 at Kentucky Downs-Post Time 5:47 Eastern/4:47 Central This race, and race 10, the Gainesway Farm Juvenile Stakes, are fantastic betting races. With horses shipping in from everywhere, most only with a maiden win, whoever is the favorite near post time will likely be as high as 4 to 1. As such, multiple win bets and some exactas bets we wouldn’t normally make are called for because the investment is worth the potential return. In this race I’ll start with Fly So Pretty, who has two starts under her belt. The first was a turf sprint at Churchill in June and the second was a turf sprint last month at Saratoga. In that race Fly So Pretty rallied from eighth after encountering enough trouble to cover a couple of paragraphs. Since then, she was…
They may have put an aftermarket spoiler on a vintage red Ferrari, but when you crank it up, you can still feel and hear the engines rumble. There are some racetracks that just have a magically electric atmosphere to them as soon as you enter the gates. Saratoga has that as soon as you approach the town from the South and pass the Mohawk River Bridge. It amplifies as you approach the grounds and see the familiar grand mansions, barns, and racetrack itself. I have yet to visit a racetrack that has the feel of Saratoga, and I have been to most all over the world. Whether it is the history, the epic performances, the legendary upsets, the champions of our game, both human and equine who have competed there, or the big scores doesn’t really matter. Maybe it’s a combination of all of that, or even something else. When NYRA announced the…
Brought to you by Amwager.com, a great legal online wagering website. Personal Ensign Stakes - Race 9 at Saratoga- Post Time 4:12 PM Eastern There’s a time to play favorites, particularly when they help turn multi-race bets like the pick three into the equivalent of a daily double, and that’s the case here as Midnight Bisou should not lose if she runs as she did in either the Ogden Phipps in June or in the Molly Pitcher last month. In both cases, Mike Smith was sitting on a powder keg in the last quarter mile and barely needed to give her a cue before she accelerated and won. Perhaps there were lesser quality horses in those two races compared to what she faces here but right now, Midnight Bisou is an “alpha” horse and refuses to lose. If she’s in form she wins. I’ve been a big fan of Elate…
There has been a lot of talk recently about the cost of past performances and all the handicapping information available to bettors. Most of the information is based on past performances, which are usually provided by Equibase. Equibase is owned by the Jockey Club. There is a hint of a conflict here, in my opinion. One of the functions of the Jockey Club should be to promote the sport of horse racing. It would be a tough sell to try and say promoting the sport should not include at the least basic past performances being made available to bettors free of charge.  In sports betting basic statistics are readily available and free. In poker, there are all kinds of free information available on any type of hand you may draw. The basic information needed to make a somewhat informed decision differs from more tailored and pinpoint type of information. For example,…
Brought to you by Amwager.com, a great legal online wagering website. Del Mar Handicap - Race 7 at Saratoga- Post Time 8 PM Eastern, 5 PM Pacific Oscar Dominguez was 5 to 2 at post time in his most recent start, in June in the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano Stakes at one mile and three-quarters on turf. He ran very well as he was three paths wide at multiple points in the race and he closed creditably from eight back early to be beaten a half-length at the wire when second. Oscar Dominguez won at nine furlongs on grass prior to that, that race his second following nearly three months off and second since Baltas claimed him, with none of the three races since the claim races in which the horse could be claimed. This goes to how this top trainer feels about the gelding, which is important because…
When it comes to horse racing I have known for quite sometime, the answer is a skill game. I was surprised to learn through a recent conversation on social media that many play the races who do not really feel as I do. More bettors then I'd imagine actually expect to lose annually and continue to play. I really can't get my arms around that. Even if you are playing for fun per se, is the fun not the expectation of winning or at least the possibility of your study and handicapping turning you a profit? There are two groups in my educated opinion who beat the races. The first would be the player who grinds out a small profit from meet to meet or annually. The second would be the player who actually makes a living playing the races. The latter means their sole or primary income is derived from…
Brought to you by Amwager.com, a great legal online wagering website. Saratoga Special Stakes - Race 8 at Saratoga- Post Time 5:11 PM Eastern This is a salty group of two year olds with seven of eight having won their most recent start. However, the horse that didn’t win, King Snake, is the most interesting. He was beaten a nose on the wire by Peruvian Boy after opening up by two and one-half lengths in the stretch. That was after he made the lead in a 12 horse field, got headed then drew off. That was also on the polytrack at Arlington Park so that 22.2 first quarter fraction projects as tops in this field. He’s come back to put in a pair of sensational half-mile workouts and he gets leading rider Jose Ortiz. Another reason he may have been beaten last out was he was making his career debut…
Brought to you by Amwager.com, a great legal online wagering website.Fasig -Tipton Lure Stakes - Race 7 at Saratoga- Post Time 4:31 PM Eastern Lukewarm morning line favorite Lucullan (3/1) could be very tough here as he returned from a 14 month layoff last month to win a turf route as if he’d never been away, beating graded stakes winner Noble Indy pretty easily. Saez was up for the first time for the win and we can expect even better second off the layoff for this lightly raced five year old who is four for eight on grass and who missed by a neck to Yoshida (seen later today in the Whitney Stakes) in the fall of 2017 in a stakes on turf at Belmont. The 113 Equibase figure is the best ANY horse in the field has earned, ever, so repeating or improving upon the effort, particularly if no…
We've all heard the phrase "The Morning After" but today we will talk about the race after. In keeping with one of our recent themes, we will again look at an angle which can translate to some nice scores. That's what it is all about. Last weekend we saw two of the most impressive sprint performances in years. Imperial Hint smoked a field that included Met Mile winner Mitole. It wasn't just that he smoked the field; it was also how he did it and how fast he did it. Anytime a horse breaks a track or stakes record it is indeed impressive. When they break one at Saratoga, you just can't help but think about how many great ones raced there at that distance, whatever that distance may be. In Imperial Hint's case, it was 6 furlongs, and he needed just 1.07:92 to run it. That's what they call racehorse…