Thursday, 04 August 2016 04:43

Profiles of the West Virginia Derby field

Written by

westvirginiaderbyFrom Mountaineer Park

Cupid
Gray/Roan colt 122
3-1 Morning Line
Career record: 7-3-1-0, $880,553
Kentucky-bred: Tapit – Pretty ‘n Smart (Beau Genius)
Foaled: May 19, 2013
Jockey: Rafael Bejarano
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Co-owners: Michael B. Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier, and Derrick Smith

Thursday, 28 July 2016 04:41

Belmont Stakes, Creator and Destin reunion

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saratogaBy Dave Litfin, NYRA

Seven weeks after Creator scored a narrow win against Destin in the final U.S. classic of the season, those two are set for a rematch in the $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) July 30 at Saratoga Race Course.

Creator and Destin, who were separated by inches at the end of a grueling 12 furlongs in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes, hook up again at Saratoga Race Course in Saturday's Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes - the key local stepping-stone to the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers Stakes August 27.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016 04:39

Graded Stakes this weekend

Written by

gradedstakesjul30aug1

sandiegohandicapFrom DRF

DEL MAR, Calif. - California Chrome and jockey Victor Espinoza were in a familiar place on the turn of Saturday’s $200,000 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar. With three furlongs to go, California Chrome was running alongside the pacesetter and giving Espinoza positive vibes for the stretch run.

Back in March, in the $10 million Dubai World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, Espinoza was in a similar spot and chose a point in early stretch to urge California Chrome to the front. California Chrome drew off to win that race by 3 3/4 lengths.

kentuckyderbynyquistOceanport, N.J. – The connections of Nyquist, winner of the Kentucky Derby, confirmed they will run their champion next in Monmouth Park’s $1 million betfair.com Haskell Invitational on Sunday, July 31.

“We’re headed to New Jersey,” said Doug O’Neill, trainer of Nyquist. “He very much impressed us this morning with his work. Mario (Gutierrez) was aboard and he looked really solid. We’re pumped up and can’t wait to get to New Jersey.”

That work was a snappy :59 flat over the Santa Anita Racetrack, best of 23 that went five furlongs this morning.

“He’ll ship down to Del Mar and train there,” O’Neill said. “We don’t have specific shipping plans just yet, but we’ll work that out over the next week or so.”

A colt by Uncle Mo, Nyquist won his first eight career starts for Reddam Racing LLC before finishing second last out over a sloppy track in the Preakness on May 21. He secured champion 2-year-old honors with his victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and this year sports wins in the San Vicente Stakes, Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby. The betfair.com Haskell will mark his tenth trip to the post and fifth in 2016.

Friday, 15 July 2016 04:27

Papo analyzes the G2 Yellow Ribbon at Del Mar

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delmarBy Papo Morales, AmWager

Race 9 Yellow Ribbon Handicap

It’s opening weekend at Del Mar which is Spanish for by the sea. Located just a stones throw from the Pacific Ocean, Del Mar’s slogan of “Where the Turf Meets the Surf” could not be more appropriate. California’s summer racetrack has been a magnet for Hollywood’s elite since it was first built in the late 1930’s by a partnership of investors including actor/singer Bing Crosby. In fact, Crosby met fans at the gate on opening day back in 1937 and was a regular attendee of the races. The summer playground for California’s elite, Del Mar has continued to draw crowds over the years and opening weekend is always popular with the stands full of beautiful people and the starting gate overflowing with entries.

sixgradedstakes1mAmWager's resident handicapper Papo Morales hits exacta & trifecta in all the Belmont Stars & Stripes races that were previewed on Saturday's Down the Stretch radio show. Papo also provide his recommended Pick 4 and hit that, too.

Be sure to follow Papo on the Down the Stretch radio show each Saturday, via his twitter feed @papocore1, or via this blog every week.

Tuesday, 05 July 2016 03:51

Papo Picks the G1 Belmont Derby

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starsstripesfestBy Papo Morales, AmWager

Race 8 Grade 1 Belmont Derby

A full field of 13 three-year-olds running for grade one honors and the winner’s share of the $1.25 million dollar purse in a firecracker of a race the Belmont Derby.

Brexit has not tempered the Euros from shipping over three horses including the morning-line favorite Long Island Sound (7-2). From the stable of trainer Aiden O’Brien, Long Island Sound makes his US debut after running third in a Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes at Ascot. That was his first race going a route distance as his three prior races were winning ones at the flat mile. By War Front, out of a Pulpit mare, I can see why O’Brien stretched him out in distance.

Friday, 01 July 2016 03:45

Papo Picks the Queen's Plate at Woodbine

Written by

157qpBy Papo Morales, AmWest Entertainment

Race 10 Queen’s Plate Stakes 1 1/4th Miles

The highlight of Sunday’s racing takes us north to Woodbine for the 157th running of the Queen’s Plate Stakes. The race was first run in 1860 and was comprised of three one-mile heats. The inaugural winner was a horse by the name of Don Juan, who won two of the three races that day. There are no “heat” races for the modern day Queen’s Plate Stakes that it is now run at the classic distance of mile and a quarter. The pageantry and excitement remains and this rendition of the race has a contentious field of 13 three-year-olds looking to have their name engraved in history.

I can see one of four horses winning the 2016 Queen’s Plate and will include all of them in my multi-race bets. My “A”’s in the race are Ami’s Gizmo (3-1) and Shakhimat (5-1). Ami’s Gizmo has done little wrong in his career winning five of six lifetime starts. The Giant Gizmo colt is coming off a very impressive win in the Plate Trial Stakes where he stalked the early pace and then powered down the stretch to win going away. That race was at 1 1/8th miles but the added distance should not be an issue as his grandsire is Giant’s Causeway and he is out of a Victory Gallop mare. It’s worth noting that Luis Contreras chose Ami’s Gizmo over the other Carroll entry in Gamble’s Ghost.