National Race Masters Blog

DEL MAR AND SARATOGA - RACING’S BEST TIME OF THE YEAR IS NOW

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 10:40 AM

The summer racing seasons at Del Mar and Saratoga are all about the top horses, trainers and jockeys in horseracing, and the top-notch handicapping and betting opportunities that go along with them. The fields will be huge, the competition will be stiff and evenly-matched, and the payoffs will often be pricey and loaded with good value for horseplayers who are willing to put in the necessary effort.Del Mar is already underway and Saratoga is ready to kick-off its 2016 meet on Friday, July 22. Both meets will last the remainder of the summer up through Labor Day.Del Mar and Saratoga…

Saratoga Handicapping Tips and Stats

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 1:59 PM

SARATOGA HANDICAPPING TIPS AND STATS FOR THE WINNING EDGESaratoga is America's premier annual horseracing meet, and there is no better place for race fans and handicappers to watch, wager, and enjoy the best summertime racing than at "The Spa" meet, which annually brings together the best horses, trainers, and jockeys in North American racing.  The competition on the track is stiff and evenly-matched, and a lot of rookie handicappers are adding money to the pari-mutuel pools. Therefore, you can expect the payoffs at Saratoga to be loaded with good value.  Opportunities always abound for serious horseplayers to get their share…

IN-DEPTH SARATOGA TRAINER TRENDS AND ANGLES FOR SERIOUS PROFITS

Wednesday, July 6, 2016 at 1:09 PM

Opportunities always abound for serious horseplayers to get their share of profits over the course of the seven-week Saratoga meet. The keys to unlocking those profit opportunities often lie in knowing the important trainer trends that tend to dominate handicapping at high-profile race meets like Saratoga, because many handicappers believe the "trainer angle" is the single most important piece of the handicapping pieBet trainers at their strengths and bet against them at their weaknesses, and your win percentage and return on investment will go upward quickly. The Saratoga meet is filled with extremely competitive fields and difficult handicapping puzzles, but…

Saratoga Juvenile Stakes Races

Friday, July 1, 2016 at 5:58 PM

SARATOGA SIGHTINGSVOL. 16 - Number 3SARATOGA JUVENILE STAKES RACESIn our first two editions of the 2016 SARATOGA SIGHTINGS we took a look at Juvenile Dirt Sprint Maidens and followed that with a look at Juvenile Turf Maidens (run at the sprint distance of 5 ½ furlongs and the two turn distance of 1 1/16ths miles.) If you haven't availed yourself of the information you can check it out in the archives.Now it is time for the concluding segment of the Juvenile Previews as we look at the Two-Year Old Stakes Races. For purposes of this preview we are looking at…

Saratoga Juvenile Turf Maiden Races

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 10:54 AM

SARATOGA SIGHTINGSVOL. 16 - Number 2SARATOGA JUVENILE TURF MAIDEN RACESOn Saturday we took a look at the 2015 juvenile maiden dirt sprints and gave you a few ideas of what to look for as you "handicap forward."In today's SARATOGA SIGHTINGS we'll stay with the juvenile maidens but move to the turf for the two distances they run those races at...5½ furlongs and 1 1/16th miles.Another departure from Saturday's overview is that we are taking a look at BOTH 2015 and 2014 and doing so for one very important reason.If you take a look at the collective results for each year…

Saratoga 4 Weeks Away and Counting

Sunday, June 26, 2016 at 12:08 PM

SARATOGA SIGHTINGSVOL. 16 - Number 1SARATOGA 4 WEEKS AND COUNTING...LET THE STUDY BEGINHere we are again. Just weeks from the Biggest and Most Profitable Race Meet of the Year in New York. 40 days of racing begins July 22nd and runs through the traditional closing card on Labor Day, Monday 9/5.You know the drill. The best barns, the best trainers, the top stakes runners as well as debuting juveniles. Bigger fields, huge local and national simulcast pools in races that regularly run 5-6 or more horses deep in contention. Contention that last year produced a $14.55 average win mutuel. To…

Belmont Stakes Recap

Sunday, June 12, 2016 at 1:46 PM

"DEEP" CLOSER CREATOR WINS BELMONT STAKES?A Perspective On The Race Six days after the Preakness Stakes I published on these pages an Article titled "If They Were Running Late In Louisville And Baltimore, More Distance Must Be Better In New York...Not So Fast!"The following is from the article.There is one thing about the Belmont Stakes that can be absolutely guaranteed. Over the course of the next two plus weeks you will hear it over, and over, and over again from bettors who had their deep closers run out of ground in the Derby and Preakness. "I love my horse in…

Belmont Stakes Preview

Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 5:42 PM

BELMONT STAKES BULLETINVOLUME 16 - Number 4FULL FIELD TESTS EXAGGERATOR IN BELMONT STAKES AS NEWCOMERS AND DERBY RETURNEES COME FROM ALL DIRECTIONSTwo weeks ago it appeared as though the NYRA was scrambling to work around 8 or 9 Belmont Stakes runners. Since then the entry ranks continued to grow and either a number of outfits question whether Exaggerator can duplicate his Derby and Preakness efforts or with a purse of $1.5 Million that provides $280K for second, $150K for third and $100K for fourth and being placed in a Triple Crown Race are significant runner up awards.The reasons the field…

USE ANGLES AND TRENDS TO CRUSH THE BELMONT STAKES

Monday, June 6, 2016 at 4:56 PM

USE ANGLES AND TRENDS TO CRUSH THE BELMONT STAKESAfter the Kentucky Derby and Preakness are in the books, New York's Belmont Park again becomes the center of the racing universe thanks to the running of the third jewel of racing's Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes. The 2016 Belmont Stakes, to be run on Saturday, June 11, headlines what will be one of the year's best weekends of racing from June 9-11 at Belmont Park.  In all, the three-day Belmont Stakes Festival will feature 19 stakes races worth in excess of $10 million. The Belmont Stakes will be one of six…

Build Bankroll For Belmont Stakes Day and Beyond

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at 1:45 PM

BUILD BANKROLL FOR BELMONT STAKES DAY AND BEYONDA full month of the Belmont Park spring/summer meet is already in the books, and we are now approaching the best part of the Belmont season as the date draws near for the 2016 running of the Belmont Stakes - the third jewel in racing's Triple Crown. In addition to the Belmont Stakes, there is also still plenty of other great action going on at Belmont between now and Saturday, June 11.There are lots of great handicapping and wagering opportunities at Belmont this summer at what has always been the early summer season's…

Belmont Stakes Bulletin - Vol. 2

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at 12:09 PM

BELMONT STAKES BULLETINVOLUME 16 - Number 2THOSE WHO CONTEND DERBY RUNNERS WHO SAT OUT THE PREAKNESS HAVE AN EDGE IN THE BELMONT MIGHT NOT BE EXAGGERATORSAs someone who picked Palace Malice to win the 2013 Derby I still add a sarcastic "yeah but" every time I rightly (I suppose) hear the virtues of jockey Mike Smith extolled. Yet I am also appreciative of the history that saw trainer Todd Pletcher hold Palace malice out of the Preakness and train up to win the Belmont Stakes at $29.80!With that anecdote now on the page there is now the suggestion that we…

Belmont Stakes Bulletin

Friday, May 27, 2016 at 1:35 PM

BELMONT STAKES BULLETIN: IF THEY WERE RUNNING LATE IN LOUISVILLE AND BALTIMORE, MORE DISTANCE MUST BE BETTER IN NEW YORK...NOT SO FAST!There is one thing about the Belmont Stakes that can be absolutely guaranteed. Over the course of the next two plus weeks you will hear it over, and over, and over again from bettors who had their deep closers run out of ground in the Derby and Preakness. "I love my horse in the Belmont, he will love the extra ground of the mile and a half race."The eye test might convince bettors that this is reality, but evidence…

Meet The Belmont Stakes Probables

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 2:13 PM

LET'S MEET THE 2016 BELMONT STAKES PROBABLESThe Kentucky Derby and Preakness are in the books, and now New York's Belmont Park becomes the center of the American racing universe with the running of the Belmont Stakes, upcoming on Saturday, June 11.With Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist sidelined with a fever, all eyes in the horseracing world will be on Preakness winner Exaggerator, who will be going for two-thirds of the Triple Crown.  This year's Belmont Stakes will certainly be a letdown after last year's run at history for American Pharoah, and it is also unfortunate that the Belmont Stakes will also…

2016 Preakness Stakes preview

Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 11:43 AM

PREAKNESS PREVIEW EXAGGERATOR TRIES AGAIN AND NINE OTHERS SIGN ON TO TRY AND FORECHECK AND ICE NYQUISTOn Saturday Nyquist will look to become the third straight 3-year old to head to Belmont with the Triple Crown on the line. Last year American Pharoah got it done and in 2014 California Chrome won the Derby and Preakness before failing in the Belmont.All things being equal and all eleven combatants running to what their history so far dictates, Nyquist will head to New York with a Triple Crown on the line. However, they still need to run  the race...let's take a look at…

DERBY RETURNEES VS PREAKNESS NEW SHOOTERS...IS THERE AN EDGE?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 1:35 PM

PREAKNESS PREVIEWVolume 16 - Number 3DERBY RETURNEES VS PREAKNESS NEW SHOOTERS...IS THERE AN EDGE?As of Tuesday afternoon with the announcement that Gun Runner will not race in the second leg of the Triple Crown and that Dazzling Gem, whose connections were flirting with the Preakness Stakes will instead have his date a little earlier in the day as he will enter the Sir Barton Stakes on the undercard.At this point the first two Kentucky Derby finishers, the undefeated Nyquist, who dominated at Louisville is the presumptive winner at Pimlico on his way to challenging for the Triple Crown, is expected…

GREAT RACING AND WAGERING PREAKNESS WEEK AT PIMLICO

Friday, May 13, 2016 at 2:26 PM

GREAT RACING AND WAGERING PREAKNESS WEEK AT PIMLICOThe Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown, will be run Saturday, May 21 - in its usual spot two weeks after the Kentucky Derby.  With the Kentucky Derby winner and a nearly-full starting gate of other 3-year-olds heading to Baltimore for the Preakness, plus tons more top horses lining-up for a total of 14 other stakes races to be run at Pimlico on Friday and Saturday, including five Graded stakes, this is the perfect time for handicappers to turn their attention to Pimlico.The 2016 Preakness could feature an 11-12…

Kentucky Oaks Preview

Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 9:04 AM

LADIES FIRST...2016 KENTUCKY OAKS GAINS SPECTACULAR POTENTIAL WITH DEFECTION OF SONGBIRDOne month ago the connections of a number of the top rated 3-year old fillies in the nation were looking for spots other than this year's Kentucky Oaks. And that avoidance scramble could be summed up in one word...or two words combined into one...SONGBIRD.The seemingly invincible daughter of Medaglia D'oro was undefeated and unchallenged after winning the Santa Anita oaks in the seventh start of her career. Few fillies would have faced her in this year's Kentucky oaks. But a few weeks back she came down with a low-grade fever…

Derby Doings - Running Style

Monday, May 2, 2016 at 9:47 AM

DERBY DOINGS 2016VOL. 16 - NUMBER 8DERBY PREP CIRCUIT RUNNING STYLES...HOW THEY TRANSFER TO CHURCHILL DOWNS AND THE KENTUCKY DERBYWith the Kentucky Derby just 6 days away the intricate fine-tuning that serves MORE AS ELIMINATION OF CERTAIN HORSES than it does inclusion, becomes a major factor in creating a SHORT LIST from the large number of contenders which have proven they belong in any conversation virtue of the promise they have shown in their Kentucky Derby Preps.The question becomes, how does one evaluate the different Derby Prep Series and final races based on the circuits they are run at?The obvious…

Churchill Downs Preview

Saturday, April 30, 2016 at 12:45 PM

CHURCHILL OPENING PREVIEW: THROUGH DERBY DAY & BEYONDFor lovers of Kentucky horse racing, the opening of Churchill Downs is truly a time to rejoice after so many winter months on Polytrack at Turfway. The highly-touted but only three-week long Keeneland meet is good, but it is only an appetizer for what is to come at Churchill for a tremendous week of racing leading up to the Kentucky Derby under the iconic twin spires in Louisville.The 2016 Churchill Downs Spring/Summer Meet begins on Saturday, April 30. What follows after opening Night, is one of the best weeks of racing of the…

Belmont Park Spring Meet Preview

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 2:04 PM

WATCH AND WAGER THE SEASON'S BEST RACING AT BELMONT PARKWith all the hub-bub in Thoroughbred racing focused on the Triple Crown, it can be easy to forget that at the same time horseplayers are getting ready for the Kentucky Derby and Oaks, it is also time to get ready for the opening of premier east coast meet of the season at beautiful Belmont Park.The 2016 Belmont Park Spring/Summer meet will run from Friday, April 29 through closing day, Sunday, July 17. After months and months of Aqueduct, and with winter/spring detours through Gulfstream and then Keeneland, the major eastern circuit…

Derby Top-10 Qualifiers: Pros and Cons

Friday, April 22, 2016 at 10:33 AM

DERBY DOINGS 2016VOL. 16 - NUMBER 6Friday 4/22/16DERBY TOP QUALIFIERS...INTRODUCTORY PROS AND CONS (Part 1)With 15 days until the 2016 Kentucky Derby (May 7, Churchill Downs) it is time to gear up DERBY DOINGS and we'll start today with Part 1 of the "CLIFF NOTES" version of our Top Qualifier Outline.Saturday's edition will publish the remaining 10 on the Top List as well as the also eligible and subsequent editions of DERBY DOINGS will go into much more detail and will be published on a regular basis...every other day is the plan.So let's begin by producing a brief PROS and…

Noel Michaels Kentucky Derby Preview

Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 2:53 PM

MICHAELS DERBY PREVIEW: Pletcher, Asmussen Stalkers Hold the EdgeThere is still plenty of time to make the important handicapping and wagering decisions before the 2016 Kentucky Derby, which will be run this year on Saturday, May 7.  The prep race season is over and the field for the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby is now taking shape, so it's definitely not too early to start thinking about the Run for the Roses and the horses that figure to be the contenders and pretenders on the first Saturday in May.The process of trying to weed-out the eventual Kentucky Derby winner…

5 Things To Take Away From Saturday’s Derby Preps

Monday, April 11, 2016 at 3:49 PM

DERBY DOINGS 2016VOL. 16 - NUMBER 4Monday 4/11/165 THINGS TO TAKE AWAY FROM SATURDAY DERBY PREPS Does Off Track Exaggerate Ability Of Santa Anita Derby Champ?When they hit the backstretch in Saturday's Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby eventual winner Exaggerator was loping through the mud some 13 lengths off pace-setter Danzig Candy, the well regarded second choice (8-5) following his wire-to-wire win in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes.As the runners came off the turn Kent Desormeaux had all he could do to keep the son of Curlin from going ten wide or falling sideways as he looked like one…

ANOTHER DEEP BLUE GRASS LINEUP WITH NO SINGLE STANDOUT...WHO STANDS OUT?

Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 4:39 PM

DERBY DOINGS 2016VOL. 16 - NUMBER 3Thursday 4/7/16ANOTHER DEEP BLUE GRASS LINEUP WITH NO SINGLE STANDOUT...WHO STANDS OUT?Just when it appears as though the 3-year old Derby Prep series was getting short on price and short on drama along comes Keeneland Race Track and the Blue Grass Stakes.On resume Gulfstream Park Fountain of Youth (G2) runner-up ZULU and BRODY'S CAUSE who won the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity and finished third in the Grade 1 BC Juvenile (both over the Keeneland main track) have been established as the 5-2 ML favorite and 4-1 ML second choice respectively in Saturday's $1 million mile and…

Florida Derby Preview

Thursday, March 31, 2016 at 3:01 PM

DERBY DOINGS 2016VOL. 16 - NUMBER 2Friday 3/31/16IS THE FLORIDA DERBY REALLY JUST A TWO COLT RACE...Only 6 Weekends Until The First Saturday In MayThere are two Kentucky Derby Qualifying Preps scheduled for Saturday and it is rather safe to make at least one definitive statement about each.In the Grade I Florida Derby 100 qualifying points will be provided to the winner and 40 points to the second place finisher. And based on the pundits' conversation regarding this key Derby Prep Nyquist and Mohaymen are about to run first and second or second and first respectively, which will leave the…

Aqueduct’s Spring Meet

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 3:35 PM

DON'T BLINK, YOU'LL MISS AQUEDUCT'S UNDERRATED SPRING MEETThe Aqueduct main track spring meet - which opens on Thursday, March 31 for nineteen racing days leading up to the opening of Belmont at the end of April - is always one of the most overlooked and underrated race meets of the year.  Aqueduct's spring meet is always highly anticipated following the long cold winter in New York on the inner dirt track, and with only 19 days on the main track in the spring, if you blink, you'll miss a short but sweet month that features the return of turf races,…

Final Derby Prep Race Fields Taking Shape

Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 3:10 PM

FINAL KENTUCKY DERBY PREP RACE FIELDS TAKING SHAPEThe 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby is only about a month away on Saturday, May 7, 2016, and that can only mean one thing at this time of year – Derby prep season is finally ready to reach its peak, and the action is only going to get faster and more furious from here on out pretty much each and every Saturday from now until the first Saturday in May.The Kentucky Derby prep season is already underway as 3-year-olds from around the country continue to compete for right to occupy one of…

STANDOUT 3-YEAR-OLDS ON THE ROAD TO THE TRIPLE CROWN

Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 1:05 PM

Tips for Betting the Kentucky Derby Future Wager and BeyondThe 2016 Kentucky Derby is still two months away, and the next go-around of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager is already upon us on March 11-13.  That makes this a good time to take a closer look at the top early contenders on the road to the Triple Crown, and assess the chances of some of the key horses to watch based on what we've seen so far.Even the fans, handicappers, and bettors who have no interest in Kentucky Derby Future Wagers most certainly have some interest in the Kentucky Derby,…

Tips for Finishing Strong at Aqueduct’s Inner Track Meet

Saturday, March 5, 2016 at 12:44 PM

As far as winters at Aqueduct go, this has been a mild one at Aqueduct, both in terms of the weather and when it comes to the quality of the racing, with plenty of small fields and low-priced favorites. On the plus side, however, spring-like weather is finally arriving in New York, and the one remaining month still to go on the Aqueduct inner track should be an excellent one with a back-log of competitive horses ready to run and fill races. And so, while still we have one month still to go until the unofficial start of spring in…

FIVE WAYS TO WIN THIS SEASON AT GULFSTREAM PARK

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 5:45 PM

A lot of focus is on racing at Gulfstream Park this time of the season with the track in the midst of its best racing of the year in the heart of the meat-and-potatoes portion of the winter championship meet.The road to the Kentucky Derby goes through Gulfstream Park, with important races such as the Fountain of Youth and the Florida Derby getting all the headlines. However, the Gulfstream meet is about much more than just the stakes. When you look at the daily race cards at Gulfstream this season, you can always find the big, competitive fields and high…

TOP 10 KENTUCKY DERBY 2016 CONTENDERS TO FOCUS ON

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 2:11 PM

It's mid-February and there is still 2 1/2 loooong months to go before the Kentucky Derby, which will be run this year on Saturday, May 7.  Churchill Downs may be frozen over at this time of the year, but the road to the Kentucky Derby is just starting to heat up just past the latest Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool, which closed on Feb. 14.  Therefore, it's never too early to start thinking about the Run for the Roses, the next Future Wager, and who the horses are that are shaping up as the best early contenders to win on…

Oaklawn Park: The Midwest’s Best Winter Dirt Racing

Monday, February 8, 2016 at 12:00 AM

Winter dirt racing is in full force at Oaklawn Park, and the best part of the meet is still yet to come over the course of February, March, and early April as the track marches on to Arkansas Derby Day on Saturday, April 16.  When the weather heats up, so does the action at Oaklawn.  Oaklawn Park is one of the many tracks that is always on our radar when it comes to picking winners, and making serious pari-mutuel money.Oaklawn Park is just one of the many pathways to the Kentucky Derby, with prep races like the Southwest Stakes and…

SHORT, SWEET AND SOLID FIELDS...HOLY BULL & WITHERS STAKES KICK OFF 2016 DERBY PREPS

Friday, January 29, 2016 at 12:00 AM

With last year's hero American Pharoah off to the happy world of the breeding shed and already having banked close to a "studdish" $60 Million in fees it is time for the next Triple Crown chase.The racing world needed to wait 37 years for American Pharoah so it isn't crazy to think the odds against another Triple Crown winner in 2016 are rather prohibitive. But dreams emerge easily as the top 3-year olds take to preparation. And though we had to wait since 1978 and Affirmed, it is also worth remembering that the year before Seattle Slew accomplished the historic…

Winter Handicapping 2016: All Eyes on Six Tracks

Monday, January 11, 2016 at 12:00 AM

Although it is not often regarded as such, the winter is perhaps the best time of the year for horseplayers.  As opposed to other times of the year when good racing and wagering are scattered all around the country at various far flung race circuits, and the stakes races take center stage every weekend, the winter is a time of the year when hardcore handicapping and serious horseplayers are basically all focusing on the same six tracks - Aqueduct, Fair Grounds, Gulfstream, Oaklawn, Tampa Bay Downs, and Santa Anita.With so much good racing taking place in January and February at…

18 Winning Tips for the Santa Anita Race Meet

Monday, December 21, 2015 at 12:00 AM

HOW TO DO GREAT AT “THE GREAT RACE PLACE”The California winter racing season celebrates its annual official opening day on the day after Christmas, December 26, with the opening day of the Santa Anita meet. The 6 1/2-month race meet now lasts half the year and continues throughout winter, spring, and early summer until July 10. Along the way, a long list a major stakes races will be run in every non-juvenile division, including Grade 1 events such as the Santa Anita Handicap in early March, the Santa Anita Derby in early April.Along with Gulfstream and Aqueduct, Santa Anita is…

Picking Winners On Aqueduct Inner Track

Monday, December 14, 2015 at 12:00 AM

The winter racing season in New York officially began with the opening of the Aqueduct inner track meet. Even though winter racing is the most low-profile time of the year on the New York racing calendar, there is still much for horseplayers to anticipate during the long cold winter months in the Big Apple. Graded stakes racing and turf racing might not be a part of the New York racing scene at this time of the year, but that doesn't mean there is not a lot of bettable action for bettors and handicappers who consider Aqueduct's inner track meet to…

Turf Trip Handicapping at Gulfstream

Monday, December 14, 2015 at 12:00 AM

TURF TRIP HANDICAPPING: MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER AT GULFSTREAMAsk any serious handicapper and bettor how much he or she weighs "Trip Handicapping" as part of their overall analysis protocol and if they are the kind of serious handicapper and bettor that makes money they will likely answer...heavily!I'm sure the majority reading this are fully knowledgeable regarding what is meant by "Trip Handicapping" but for those just learning the game a brief explanation is as follows. Trip handicapping is the practice of watching and re-watching races in order to discover if and when a horse that otherwise was considered a solid…

13 Tips To Help You Cash In at Gulfstream Park

Monday, December 7, 2015 at 12:00 AM

Winter racing season is here, and the best winter race meet anywhere this time of year is off and running at Gulfstream Park, which kicked-off its annual premier winter race meet in early December.  As always, the meet will feature the best trainers, jockeys, stakes horses and stakes races in action at this time of year, making Gulfstream a must-bet track for all serious horseplayers and handicappers for the next several months.The Gulfstream meet customarily begins with horses shipping to Florida from all over the East and Midwest to join the cream of the local crop that has been competing…

Why You Should Love Gulfstream Park

Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 12:00 AM

Championship Meet Opens Saturday"Claiming Crown" Card Draws 151 Entrants For 11 RacesAs cold weather racing settles in at Aqueduct and hard boot New York trainers stay in action facing each other in short fields...as Kentucky racing switches to the all-weather surface at Turfway Park to accommodate that location's tough conditions this time of year...and even as Southern California racing returns to Santa Anita after Christmas but battles through short fields in January and February, we can at least be thankful for the 4 months of full fields of top notch competition at Gulfstream Park.The meet opens this Saturday and continues…

Warming Up To Cold weather Racing

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 12:00 AM

Aqueduct Inner Dirt Track Has Its BenefitHere is how you know when winter racing has arrived on the New York Circuit. It is the day you look out at the Aqueduct ovals from the grandstand or clubhouse. Or more likely from your TV, I-Pad, Phone or Computer screen (only a foreign species inhabits the BIG A on track facility during the winter months) and you need to look "inside" the main track oval to find the place where the horses are running…the Inner Dirt Track.Without this INNER DIRT TRACK, here the surfaced is made up of a combination of sand,…

Thanksgiving Racing

Friday, November 20, 2015 at 12:00 AM

THANKSGIVING RACING SERVES-UP FALL SEASON'S LAST HURRAHThe table is set for a big holiday weekend of horseracing this Thanksgiving, with the season's biggest and best tracks -  Aqueduct, Churchill Downs, and Del Mar - all serving up extra helpings of great racing with all the trimmings for the four-day weekend. Thanksgiving weekend has something for all racing fans, and the premier tracks all are set to offer up one last hurrah to cap-off the fall racing season at the end of November.Both Churchill Downs and the Aqueduct main track meets are scheduled to end with a bang over the holiday…

Tips For Winning at the Churchill Fall Meet

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at 12:00 AM

The Churchill Downs Fall meet, which began this current season on Sunday, Nov. 1 and continues throughout November, is obviously one of the premier race meets of the fall, and it will be prominent on the minds and in the wallets of horseplayers all month long.  As always, there are plenty of good betting opportunities at this Churchill fall meet, which offers turf racing, stakes highlights, and good daily meat-and-potatoes racing to keep handicappers occupied for what is otherwise generally a lean time of the year for horseplayers.There is great betting action still going on at this time of year…

Don’t Miss The Aqueduct Fall Meet

Monday, November 2, 2015 at 12:00 AM

After the Breeders' Cup has come and gone and you are looking for the best racing in the country to bet over the course of the month of November, don't overlook Aqueduct's fall main track meet - it is always one of the most underrated race meets of the year.The Aqueduct Fall meet, which immediately follows Belmont, is a short but sweet race meet offering horseplayers some of their best wagering options during November, culminating on Thanksgiving weekend when the Big A reaches its overloaded stakes-filled conclusion.Many people associate Aqueduct with small fields and low-priced winning favorites, but that reputation…

Taking A Look At This Year’s Breeders Cup Dirt Mile

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 at 12:00 AM

BREEDERS CUP BULLETIN VOLUME 14 - Number 4 Tuesday, October 27 BREEDERS’ CUP MEANS ONE THING...WHERE DO LONGSHOTS COME FROM? Taking A Look At This Year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile - Thinking Outside The Box The prep races have been run. The fields are set. It is time for Breeders Cup XXXII this Friday and Saturday at Keeneland. This will be the first time in the history of the Breeders Cup that the races will be run at the Lexington track and that in itself ls one of the first challenges. There is nothing to go back to. There is…

5 Breeders Cup Tips That Will Help You Cash In

Monday, October 26, 2015 at 12:00 AM

FIVE BREEDERS’ CUP BETTING TIPS THAT WILL HELP YOU CASH-IN By Noel Michaels For horseplayers, the Breeders’ Cup means world-class horses, big wide-open fields, and loads of wagering value throughout the two most anticipated race cards of the year.  The 2015 Breeders’ Cup will make its much-anticipated first-ever trip to Keeneland this year, featuring a total of 13 races over two days, worth a combined $24.5 million – including $19.5 million on Saturday alone. The weather forecast calls for a stormy start to Breeders’ Cup week, but sunshine and moderate temperatures will take hold by Thursday and remain nice through…

EVALUATE JOCKEY RECORDS IN BREEDERS CUP HANDICAPPING

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 12:00 AM

EVALUATE JOCKEY RECORDS IN BREEDERS’ CUP HANDICAPPING By Noel Michaels Handicapping the Breeders’ Cup is a complex puzzle with too many variables to list. Horseplayers must weigh factors such as speed, pace, trainers, current form, and much more, in order to come up with their selections in every Breeders’ Cup race. However, no matter how well a horse is prepared and how well the horse has been spotted, once the bell rings and the gates open, it is just the horses and their jockeys who are ultimately left to decide the outcome of the races, and whether or not you…

Five Things To Know Leading Up To The Breeders Cup

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 12:00 AM

FIVE THINGS TO KNOW LEADING UP TO THE 2015 BREEDERS’ CUP By Noel Michaels The Breeders’ Cup will be here in a couple weeks and the all-important Breeders’ Cup Challenge prep race season is over, with key races at tracks like Belmont, Keeneland, and Santa Anita all setting the stage for the two-day Breeders’ Cup extravaganza to be run at for the first time ever at Keeneland on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 30-31. Now that the Breeders’ Cup preps are in the books, let’s take a look at five important things handicappers have learned from the key stakes races that…

Tips For Finishing Strong at Belmont

Friday, October 9, 2015 at 12:00 AM

TIPS FOR FINISHING STRONG AT BELMONT’S FALL MEET By Noel Michaels Check out my new book. BOMBSHELLS AT BELMONT, 24 Handicapping Angles Pro Bettors use to get ALL the Money at Big Sandy. Click here to order or download online The 2015 Belmont Fall Championship Meet is more than half over, but just because the Super Saturday stakes of the past couple weeks have come and gone, that does not mean that there are not tons of great handicapping and wagering opportunities remaining at what figures to be a terrific couple weeks through mid-to-late October. With more than half of…

FINAL PREP RACE OF RECENT CUP WINNERS REVEALS FEW SURPRISES

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 12:00 AM

BREEDERS CUP BULLETIN VOLUME 14 - Number 1 Wednesday, October 7, 2015 FINAL PREP RACE OF RECENT CUP WINNERS REVEALS FEW SURPRISES Ever since the first Breeders’ Cup was run at Hollywood Park in 1984 many individuals, from serious analyzers to amateur racing fans have looked back on past Cup Races to search for patterns leading into the races. Two of the oft-presented theories are where the various Breeders Cup winners had their final prep race and whether or not the horse won that last prep. More detailed followers in the search for a pattern within these results have even…

Breeders Cup Challenge Final Weekend

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 at 12:00 AM

BELMONT BULLETIN Wednesday, 9/30/15 VOLUME 12...Number 8 BREEDERS’ CUP CHALLENGE TAKES CENTER STAGE... FINAL WEEKEND OF QUALIFIERS COULD BE MOST IMPORTANT By this coming Sunday evening we’ll know much more about the live construct of the 2015 Breeders’ Cup to be run Friday, October 2, Saturday October 3 and Sunday October 4.   This Friday, October 2 the Keeneland fall Meet gets underway and does so by featuring a pair of Breeders’ Cup Qualifying Stakes races, the Alcibiades Stakes for Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly hopefuls and the Ogden Phipps Phoenix Stakes which has a guaranteed spot in the Breeders’ Cup…

What To Bet Right Now at Belmont

Monday, September 28, 2015 at 12:00 AM

WHAT TO BET RIGHT NOW AT BELMONT PARK By Noel Michaels - OTBLearningLabs.com Check out my new book. BOMBSHELLS AT BELMONT, 24 Handicapping Angles Pro Bettors use to get ALL the Money at Big Sandy. Click here to order or download online There are few race meets as important as the Belmont Fall Championship Meet, which contains all of New York’s key prep races for the Breeders’ Cup. Besides just stakes races, Belmont also offers top-notch racing day-in-and-day-out throughout the season and plenty of excellent opportunities for horseplayers to make money. Every serious horseplayer plays Belmont during the fall of…

$1.6 MILLION PURSE FILLS THE FIELD - PYRAMID OF 9 HOPE TO DETHRONE THE PHAROAH

Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 12:00 AM

SARATOGA PRIMER Volume 12 - Number 10 Thursday 8/27/15 $1.6 MILLION PURSE FILLS THE FIELD - PYRAMID OF 9 HOPE TO DETHRONE THE PHAROAH Yes this is Saratoga. Yes, the name "Onion" has already been uttered countless times in reference to American Pharoah and this year’s Travers Stakes and will be uttered countless times more before the gates spring for the Mid-Summer Derby scheduled for 5:46 (E) on Saturday. Rather than become one of those "negative wishers for misfortune" or "disbelievers in greatness on every level" let me say straight up that it would demand a far-reaching litany of reasons…

Win Big Late in the Saratoga Meet with Horses & Horsemen to Watch

Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 12:00 AM

Win Big Late in the Saratoga Meet with Horses & Horsemen to Watch By Noel Michaels - OTBLearningLabs.com All the rage these days up in Saratoga Springs, NY is the arrival of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah for the running of the $1.6 million Travers Stakes, but as exciting as that race will be, it is just one small part of what will make the remainder of the 2015 Saratoga meet for handicappers and horseplayers looking for great opportunities to cash tickets and make a lot of money. The Saratoga meet is always highlighted by the Travers Stakes, nicknamed "The…

USE FIRST-HALF SARATOGA INFO TO WIN BIG THE REST OF THE MEET

Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at 12:00 AM

USE FIRST-HALF SARATOGA INFO TO WIN BIG THE REST OF THE MEET By Noel - OTBLearningLabs.com It is four weekends down and three big weekends still to go at Saratoga, including great racing on Alabama weekend, Travers weekend, and Labor Day weekend. If the first part of the race meet at The Spa is any indication, the last half of the meet is going to be one to remember. The quality of racing and wagering at Saratoga has been lofty at the 2015 Saratoga meet, with field sizes large, payoffs big, and the racing competitive. The second half of The…

Saratoga Primer - The Vanderbilt and Bowling Green

Saturday, August 1, 2015 at 12:00 AM

SARATOGA PRIMER Number 15 - Volume 4 Friday, July 31, 2015 MORE AT STAKE THIS WEEKEND THAN AMERICAN PHAROAH’S CONTINUOUS CORONATION Click here for Jim Hurley’s Saturday Pick-3 and Stakes Special. The day starts when three sharp runners in the same race produce the Trifecta, followed by Jim’s Jim Dandy Win & Exotic and OF COURSE A BIG PAYOUT PICK 3...All Only $20 While the headline above is to in no way be construed as a downplay of the amazing accomplishments of American Pharaoh, who will make his first start since his dominant TRIPLE CROWN SWEEP when he meets seven…

Saratoga Handicapping Tips To Give You The Winning Edge

Friday, July 31, 2015 at 12:00 AM

SARATOGA HANDICAPPING TIPS TO GIVE YOU THE WINNING EDGE By Noel Michaels Saratoga is America’s premier annual horse racing meet, and there is no better meet for race fans and handicappers to watch, wager, and enjoy in the summertime than Saratoga, which annually brings together the best horses, trainers, and jockeys in North American racing. The competition is stiff and evenly–matched, and therefore the payoffs are often loaded with good value. Opportunities always abound for serious horse players to get their share of profits over the course of the seven–week meet. You only have to look at the star–studded list…

Saratoga First Week Review

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 at 12:00 AM

THROUGH THE BINOCULARS By John Piesen PIESEN HORSES TO WATCH Among many of John Piesen’s talents is his capacity to WATCHED EVERY RACE AT SARATOGA over and over to make sure that he got every "TRIP" aspect of the race correct. Was a horse hindered or helped unduly by the trip he got. How does that knowledge play forward regarding the next or ensuing race. Below is a short sample list of the sort of HORSES TO WATCH notes John compiles for further use The following list as compiled based on races run from July 24 to July 27. HERE…

Saratoga Summer Racing Preview

Friday, July 24, 2015 at 12:00 AM

GET READY FOR THE RACE MEET OF THE YEAR - SARATOGA! By Noel Michaels: OTBLearningLabs.com Click here to win with Noel Michaels at Saratoga and Del Mar plus the The top plays from other tracks nationwide. The summer racing season at Saratoga is all about the top horses, trainers and jockeys in horseracing, and the top-notch handicapping and betting opportunities that go along with it. The fields will be huge, the competition will be stiff and evenly-matched, and the payoffs will often be pricey and loaded with good value for horseplayers who are willing to put in the necessary effort.…

Saratoga Primer: Some Grass IS Greener

Friday, July 24, 2015 at 12:00 AM

SARATOGA PRIMER VOLUME 12 - Number 4 Friday 7/24/15 SOME GRASS IS GREENER...TAKING AN INNER LOOK AT THE SPA TURF! Last year at Saratoga there were a total of 181 races run on the grass. There were 92 races run over the Inner Dirt Track at 5 different distances ranging from a mile to a mile and a half. By far the most races were run at the one mile distance. On the Main Track there were a total of 89 races run and sprint races run at the only one turn distance they are run at (5.5 furlongs) dominated…

Saratoga Primer - Winning Off-The-Turf Races Not As Easy As MTO

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 12:00 AM

SARATOGA PRIMER VOLUME 12 - Number 2 Wednesday 7/22/15 TWO DAYS UNTIL OPENING DAY AT THE SPA...ALWAYS MORE TO KNOW! Winning Off-The-Turf Races Not As Easy As MTO! It is still within recent memory that race track officials from most circuits came around to realizing that they needed to ensure that races "washed from the turf to dirt" due to mostly weather related grass conditions would not become so short in number of competitors due to scratches that they were for the most part beyond reasonable wagering. The solution has been the entry of what are known as MAIN TRACK…

Del Mar 2015 Handicapping Preview

Saturday, July 18, 2015 at 12:00 AM

DEL MAR 2015 HANDICAPPING PREVIEW: DIRT RACING RETURNS! By Noel Michaels It’s summer in Southern California, and for horseplayers, that can only mean one thing: Del Mar. The annual Del Mar thoroughbred meet opens on Thursday, August 16, and will usher in California’s best and most looked-forward-to eight weeks of racing, five days a week, straight up through Labor Day, Sept. 7. For handicappers, Del Mar will be a welcome change from the small fields, limited race days, and sparse betting opportunities offered at the recently concluded Los Alamitos July meet. This big news this year at Del Mar, which…

CASH-IN ON BELMONT-TO-SARATOGA DIRT ROUTE DISTANCE CHANGES

Monday, July 13, 2015 at 12:00 AM

CASH-IN ON BELMONT-TO-SARATOGA DIRT ROUTE DISTANCE CHANGES By Noel Michaels With the impending move from Belmont Park to Saratoga fast approaching, we’re coming up to one of those times of the year in New York racing where the difference between one-turn and two-turn races is so important. Pay attention to this important difference, and you will have a distinct edge over the majority of the betting public. One of Saratoga’s long-standing nicknames is "The Graveyard of Favorites," and the track has that reputation for a number of reasons. Much of it has to do with the fact that bettors get…

Saratoga Primer - Looking Deeper Into Top Trainers

Saturday, July 11, 2015 at 12:00 AM

SARATOGA PRIMER VOLUME 12 - Number 1 TWO WEEKS UNTIL OPENING DAY AT THE SPA - NONE OF THE STATISTICS ARE THAT SIMPLE (Looking Deeper Into Top Trainers) Today I begin with my first of a series of SARATOGA PRIMERS that will show you that there are ALWAYS NUMBERS BEHIND THE NUMBERS and that you need to look a little deeper if you want to maximize your opportunity to win. Hopefully these PRIMER INSTALLMENTS will show you how much work must be done to get that all so important extra edge at what is arguably America’s toughest race meet of…

Saturday All Stakes Pick-6 Preview

Friday, July 3, 2015 at 12:00 AM

IF YOU PLAN ON ENJOYING THE JULY 4TH HOLIDAY, DON’T FORGET THE SIX PACK... 6 GRADED STAKES HIGHLIGHT BELMONT SATURDAY CARD! PART II - All-Stakes PICK 6 Preview We mentioned in PART I of this article that as is often the case over the course of the July 4th holiday even hard-line thoroughbred bettors tend to focus more on travel, the beach and barbecues and have already tucked opening day at Saratoga (this year, Friday, July 24) in the back of their minds. That might be all well and good from an entertainment standpoint, but if you only gazed upon…

SUMMER BELMONT/SARATOGA TRAINER TRENDS FOR SERIOUS PROFITS

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 at 12:00 AM

SUMMER BELMONT/SARATOGA TRAINER TRENDS FOR SERIOUS PROFITS By Noel Michaels - OTBLearningLabs.com Many handicappers believe the "trainer angle" is the most important piece of the handicapping pie, especially when top-rung racing is being run like in New York during the heart of summer in July and August. All trainers have their own particular strengths and weaknesses. The beauty of following the trainer angles, stats, and trends, is that they help you identify these strengths and weaknesses to easily give you the advantage over the rest of the betting public. Opportunities always abound for serious horseplayers to get their share of…

Taking A Look At Post Triple Crown Late Developers

Friday, June 26, 2015 at 12:00 AM

AS THE 3-YEAR OLD HEADLINES QUIET DOWN...WHICH NEWCOMERS MIGHT GRAB SUB-HEADS Taking A Look At Post Triple Crown Late Developers While the racing world remains in awe of the indisputable championship of first-in-thirty-seven-year Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, the upper tier sophomores are catching their breaths. As of right now the presses are relatively quiet as the scribes wait to see if American Pharoah begins the second phase of his 3-year old (and most likely final) campaign either at Monmouth (Haskell Invitational) or Belmont (Jim Dandy Stakes) which each takes place the first weekend in August. Undoubtedly there will eventually…

Saturday Stakes Previews From Prairie Meadows ans Santa Anita

Friday, June 26, 2015 at 12:00 AM

A TRACK YOU KNOW AND ONE YOU MIGHT NOT... 2 Big Stakes Races At Santa Anita 3 Big Stakes Races At Prairie Meadows THE PROSPECTS LOOK GOOD AT EACH! In the weeks between the wind-down following the Triple Crown and the opening of Saratoga and Del Mar meets there is a 7 week period where horse players take a break. This is understandable but if a few under-the-radar races that have been run the last few weeks prove anything, they prove that now is not the time to take a sabbatical but a time to PICK YOUR SPOTS as the…

5 Simple Jockey Tips To Make You Winner

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 12:00 AM

5 SIMPLE JOCKEY HANDICAPPING TIPS TO MAKE YOU A WINNER By Noel Michaels A horse’s jockey is one of the most important handicapping elements to consider before horseplayers make their bets. When making selections, the jockey and various jockey moves and switches should always be considered in conjunction with your other handicapping angles to come up with your best possible pick in every race. Horseplayers must weigh factors such as speed, pace, class, distance, and surface in order to come up with their bets, while also taking into consideration the horse’s trainer, and the horse’s current form and readiness to…

Finding the Value in Belmont’s Shorter Fields

Saturday, June 20, 2015 at 12:00 AM

FINDING THE VALUE IN BELMONT’S SHORTER FIELDS (IT IS NOT ALWAYS THE SIZE OF THE PACKAGE) If you have been a regular bettor at Belmont Park this spring a repeat question has probably echoed in your mind throughout…where are all the horses? For instance, this past Thursday (June 18) there was a paltry total of only 73 horsed entered for 9 races (8.2) per race and after 9 scratches just 64 (7.1 per race) ran. Under normal circumstances when you are confronted by shorter fields, the payouts often become squeezed. But there is also a counter reality to this and…

The Top Horses For 2015

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at 12:00 AM

AMERICAN PHAROAH JUST ONE OF MANY TOP HORSES IN 2015 By Noel Michaels Who are the best horses in the country and what will be their next races? Now that the Triple Crown is behind us, Thoroughbred racing is now moving into the summer season where stakes racing and turf racing action with continue fast and furious in all divisions for the next several months. Let’s take a look at this year’s top horses. It’s difficult to envision the 2015 racing season getting any more exciting at any point than at American Pharoah’s exhilarating Triple Crown victory in the Belmont…

POST TRIPLE CROWN WINNING TRENDS AT BELMONT PARK

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 12:00 AM

POST TRIPLE CROWN WINNING TRENDS AT BELMONT PARK By Noel Michaels It’s difficult to envision the Belmont Park spring/summer meet getting any more exciting at any point than at American Pharoah’s exhilarating Triple Crown victory in the Belmont Stakes. However, for everyday handicappers and bettors, Belmont Stakes Day was just one small part of a great Belmont Park season that will continue on for another month of the best racing in the country at this time of year. Here is a look at some keys to winning the rest of the way. This Belmont season will always be remembered at…

JIM HURLEY’S BELMONT BLASTER

Monday, June 1, 2015 at 12:00 AM

JIM HURLEY’S BELMONT BLASTER Monday, June 1, 2015 TRIPLE CROWN FEVER DICTATES THAT THE FANS WANT ONE... BUT WILL THEY GET IT? "That horse is as good as any horse I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen some good ones and I’ve been on some good ones, and I was on a good one [Rock Hard Ten] today. Smarty really reminded me of Secretariat the way he pulled away." Gary Stevens, discussing Smarty Jones’ 11.5 lengthsromp in the 2004 Preakness Stakes "He just keeps on getting better and keeps on getting stronger. He is special. It doesn’t look like he got…

USE ANGLES AND TRENDS TO CRUSH THE BELMONT STAKES

Monday, June 1, 2015 at 12:00 AM

USE ANGLES AND TRENDS TO CRUSH THE BELMONT STAKES By Noel Michaels After the Kentucky Derby and Preakness are in the books, New York’s Belmont Park again becomes the center of the racing universe thanks to the running of the third jewel of racing’s Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes. This is especially true in years when there is a Triple Crown on the line, and that’s a big deal because this year’s Crown aspirant, American Pharoah, appears to have a better chance to accomplish the feat than most of the recent losers that have come before him. All eyes in…

BUILD BANKROLL FOR BELMONT STAKES DAY AND BEYOND

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at 12:00 AM

BUILD BANKROLL FOR BELMONT STAKES DAY AND BEYOND By Noel Michaels A full month of the Belmont Park spring/summer meet is already in the books, and we are now approaching the best part of the Belmont season as the date draws near for the 2015 running of the Belmont Stakes - the third and decisive jewel in racing’s Triple Crown. With a Triple Crown on the line this year, it is certainly worth paying close attention to the Belmont Stakes, but remember that there is also still plenty of other great action going on at Belmont between now and Saturday,…

LET’S MEET THE 2015 BELMONT STAKES PROBABLES

Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 12:00 AM

LET’S MEET THE 2015 BELMONT STAKES PROBABLES By Noel Michaels The Kentucky Derby and Preakness are in the books, and now New York’s Belmont Park becomes the center of the American racing universe with the running of the Belmont Stakes, upcoming on Saturday, June 6. This is especially true in years when there is a Triple Crown on the line, as there is this year. All eyes in the horseracing world will be on American Pharoah, the winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, who will be trying to become the first winner of Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown in…

GREAT RACING AND WAGERING PREAKNESS WEEK AT PIMLICO

Monday, May 11, 2015 at 12:00 AM

GREAT RACING AND WAGERING PREAKNESS WEEK AT PIMLICO By Noel Michaels The Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown, will be run Saturday, May 16 - in its usual spot two weeks after the Kentucky Derby. With the Kentucky Derby winner and nine other top 3-year-olds heading to Baltimore for the Preakness, plus tons more top horses lining-up for a total of 14 other stakes races to be run at Pimlico on Friday and Saturday, including five Graded stakes, this is the perfect time for handicappers to turn their attention to Pimlico. The 2015 Preakness expects a…

Where’s The Value at Belmont? - Plus A Preakness Primer

Friday, May 8, 2015 at 12:00 AM

THE WEATHER IS WARM, THE BELMONT SPRING/SUMMER MEET IS UNDER WAY...SO WHERE ARE THE HORSES AND WHERE IS THE VALUE? While it is still early in the process to fly the alarm flag it can’t be lost on veteran horse players and public handicappers alike that the Belmont Park Spring/Summer Race Meet has had at best an inauspicious start...and that can be clearly traced to the average size of the pari-mutuel fields. Over the course of the first six racing days of the meet (Weds.4/29 - Weds. 5/6) racing officials have been pulling teeth to get horses into the entry…

Belmont Spring Summer Preview

Monday, May 4, 2015 at 12:00 AM

WATCH AND WAGER THE SEASON’S BEST RACING AT BELMONT PARK By Noel Michaels With all the hub-bub in Thoroughbred racing focused on the Triple Crown, it can be easy to forget that at the same time the Kentucky Derby and Oaks were going on, the premier east coast meet of the season was opening at beautiful Belmont Park. Six long months at Aqueduct are over and New York is once again the epicenter of east coast racing with the opening of the Belmont Park Spring/Summer meet, which will run from April 1 through closing day, November 1. The move to…

Kentucky Derby Preview

Thursday, April 30, 2015 at 12:00 AM

KENTUCKY DERBY PREVIEW: TRENDS NARROW DOWN CONTENDERS By Noel Michaels Coming up with the winner of the Kentucky Derby is always one of the toughest handicapping tests of the year for horseplayers. Everyone from the most avid Thoroughbred racing fans to the once-a-year bettors will all be coming out of the woodwork for this one race, focusing on their efforts and their betting money on the task of sorting through the long list contenders and trying to separate them from the pretenders come Derby Day. Each year, the challenge of picking the Derby winner seems to become more and more…

Tips To Win at Churchill Downs

Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 12:00 AM

CHURCHILL DOWNS TIPS TO WIN BIG ON DERBY DAY & BEYOND By Noel Michaels For lovers of Kentucky horse racing, the opening of Churchill Downs is truly a time to rejoice after so many winter months on Polytrack at Turfway, and the highly-touted but only three-week long Keeneland meet that serves as an appetizer for Opening Day and Kentucky Derby week under the iconic twin spires at Churchill Downs. The 2015 Churchill Downs Spring/Summer Meet will begin on Saturday, April 25 with a special night racing card beginning at 6:00 pm. After Opening Night, normal post time will shift to…

Are There Any Legitimate Contenders Behind The Consensus Top Three?

Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 12:00 AM

HURLEY’S DERBY DOINGS Volume 12 - Number 6 Friday, 4/17/15 IF NOT AMERICAN PHAROAH, CARPE DIEM OR DORTMUND, WHO? Are There Any Legitimate Contenders Behind The Consensus Top Three? I don’t have to tell you that with a day short of two weeks until the Run For The Roses, the consensus is all about American Pharoah, Carpe Diem and Dortmund. Last Saturday American Pharoah won his fourth straight Graded Stakes as he was literally hand-ridden to a daylight blitz of his opposition in the Arkansas Derby. Carpe Diem, who has returned as a three-year old to easily eclipse both the…

Derby Winner Likely From Baffert or Pletcher Barn

Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 12:00 AM

DERBY WINNER LIKELY TO COME FROM BAFFERT OR PLETCHER BARN By Noel Michaels There is still a couple of weeks to go before the 2015 Kentucky Derby, which will be run this year on Saturday, May 2. The prep race season is over and the field for the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby is taking shape, so it’s definitely not too early to start thinking about the Run for the Roses, and the horses that are shaping up to be the contenders and pretenders on the first Saturday in May. The process of trying to weed-out the eventual Derby…

Jim Hurley Deby Doings -Vol 12 Number 5

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 12:00 AM

HURLEY’S DERBY DOINGS Volume 12 - Number 5 Wednesday, April 15, 2015 SO YOU THINK YOU KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN... What You Will Hear Too Often...3 Derby Falsehoods! Now that the Derby Preps are finished and with 17 days remaining until the Kentucky Derby it is time for me to begin my in-depth analysis. That means that over the course of these next two-plus weeks I will be updating these DERBY DOINGS approximately every other day. However, it has once again dawned on me that no matter what the evidence shows, there are still egregiously inaccurate bromides that "The Public"…

TIPS FOR FINISHING STRONG AT AQUEDUCT?S INNER TRACK MEETtent

Sunday, March 8, 2015 at 12:00 AM

By Noel Michaels As far as winters at Aqueduct go, this has been a bad one thanks to bad weather leading to a lot of cancellations all season. On the plus side, however, spring-like weather is finally arriving in New York, and the one remaining month still to go on the Aqueduct inner track should be an excellent one with a back-log of horses all ready to run and fill races. That means better than usual field sizes are on tap at the Big A this month.  And so, while still we have one month still to go until the…

Kentucky Derby Futures

Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 12:00 AM

STANDOUT 3-YEAR-OLDS ON THE ROAD TO THE TRIPLE CROWN Tips for Betting the Kentucky Derby Future Wager and Beyond   By Noel Michaels - OTBLearningLabs.com   The 2015 Kentucky Derby is still two months away and the next go-around of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (Feb. 27-March 1) is already upon us. That makes this a good time to take a closer look at the top early contenders on the road to the Triple Crown, and assess the chances of some of the key horses to watch based on what we’ve seen so far.   Even the fans, handicappers,…

5 Keys To Winning At Gulfstream This Winter

Monday, February 16, 2015 at 12:00 AM

FIVE KEYS TO WINNING THIS SEASON AT GULFSTREAM PARK By Noel Michaels - OTBLearningLabs.com A lot of focus is on racing at Gulfstream Park this time of the season with the track in the midst of its best racing of the year in the heart of the meat-and-potatoes portion of the winter championship meet. The road to the Kentucky Derby starts early at Gulfstream Park with races such as the Holy Bull Stakes, the Hutcheson Stakes, and a slew of other important allowance races all a part of Gulfstream Park’s schedule so far. Next up will be a pair of…

Aqueduct Inner Track Update

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 12:00 AM

AQUEDUCT INNER TRACK’S WHERE IT’S AT. . .WEATHER PERMITTING   By Noel Michaels - OTBLearningLabs.com   Winter racing in New York is here, and huge purses have basically been the key to keeping field sizes decent enough to keep the good wagering opportunities coming at a steady pace at Aqueduct even during January. New York winter racing is essentially a scaled-down but yet very bettable version of the rest of NYRA’s racing schedule, without all the bells and whistles of graded stakes and turf racing.   Some people love to bet the inner track while others can’t stand it,…

Gulfstream Winter Preview

Thursday, January 1, 2015 at 12:00 AM

WIN THIS WINTER AT GULFSTREAM PARK By Noel Michaels Winter racing season is here, and the best winter race meet anywhere this time of year is at Gulfstream Park, which kicked-off its annual premier winter race meet in early December. As always, the meet will feature the best trainers, jockeys, stakes horses and stakes races in action at this time of year, making Gulfstream a must-bet track for all serious horseplayers and handicappers for the next several months. The Gulfstream meet customarily begins with horses shipping to Florida from all over the East and Midwest to join the cream of…

Santa Anita Preview

Friday, December 26, 2014 at 12:00 AM

TIPS FOR DOING GREAT AT “THE GREAT RACE PLACE” – SANTA ANITA By Noel Michaels The California winter racing season celebrates its annual official opening day every year on the day after Christmas, December 26, with the opening day of the Santa Anita meet. The six-month race meet now lasts half the year continues throughout winter, spring, and early summer until June 28. Along the way a long list a major stakes races will be run in every non-juvenile division, including Grade 1 events such as the Santa Anita Handicap in early March, the Santa Anita Derby in early April.…

Aqueduct Inner Track Tips

Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 12:00 AM

PICKING WINNERS ON AQUEDUCT’S INNER AS SIMPLE AS... By Noel Michaels - OTBLearningLabs.com The winter racing season in New York officially began with the opening of the Aqueduct inner track in early December. Even though winter racing is the most low-profile time of the year on the New York racing calendar, there is still much for horseplayers to anticipate during the long cold winter months in the Big Apple. Graded stakes racing and turf racing might not be a part of the New York racing scene at this time of the year, but that doesn’t mean there is not a…

The Longest Day

Friday, October 31, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Day One of the Breeders Cup: John Piesen’s TOP HORSE WINS the FIRST 6 Races!!! Click here to win   THE LONGEST DAY No Game on Dude. No Will Take Charge. No Wise Dan. No Wicked Strong. No Beholder. No Palace Malice. No American Pharoah.No Magician. No Midnight Lucky. Does it matter that these stars will miss the Breeders’ Cup? Not really. Although many, if not most, of the 13 Cup races feature no-name horses, it’s still the Breeders’ Cup, and for the bettors, it means big fields and big prices. That’s why you need to check out my selections…

Play Aqueduct’s Overlooked Main Track Fall Meet

Monday, October 27, 2014 at 12:00 AM

PLAY AQUEDUCT’S OVERLOOKED MAIN TRACK FALL MEET By Noel Michaels After the Breeders’ Cup has come and gone and you are looking for the best racing in the country to bet over the course of the month of November, don’t overlook Aqueduct’s fall main track meet - it is always one of the most underrated race meets of the year. The Aqueduct Fall meet, starting Wednesday, October 29, will be a short but sweet race meet offering horseplayers some of their best wagering options during from now until Thanksgiving weekend alongside some other great seasonal racing going on this time…

Breeders Cup Countdown

Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 12:00 AM

BREEDERS’ CUP COUNTDOWN By John Piesen If you have plans on hitting the Pick Six on Day Two of the 2014 Breeders’ Cup, good luck. You’ll need it. Due to the late withdrawls of Wise Dan and Beholder, and the presence of more inscrutablefour-legged Europeans than ever, there is nothing resembling a "single". Unless you want to label the unbeaten 3-year-old Shared Belief a single. Up until the Awesome Again Stakes last month, he did look the part of a potential odds-on favorite in the Classic, but he was life-and-death to beat a weak field. If you want, you…

NY Showcase Day

Friday, October 17, 2014 at 12:00 AM

NY SHOWCASE DAY October baseball in New York was never nothing more than a pipe dream. And October football isn’t looking that good either. Unless you took the points Thursday evening in Foxborough. But horse racing does provide something of a consolation prize for New Yorkers. On Saturday, with no baseball distrations, we can concentrate on the 11-race New York Showcase Day at Belmont Park. Forget those fancy Kentucky and Floride-breds. All 11 races, eight of them stakes, are strictly for New York-breds...and provide betting opportunities galore. I’m not one to blow my own horn, but my selections on-line and…

Breeders Cup Challenge Day at Belmont

Friday, September 26, 2014 at 12:00 AM

HURLEY BREEDERS’ CUP BULLETIN Volume 12 - Number 3 Friday, September 26 BIGGEST BREEDERS’ CUP CHALLENGE DAY OF YEAR SATURDAY But Even Bigger Day For Belmont Bettors 6 Graded Stakes Races...4 Bestow Automatic BC Bids Jim Hurley Has the winners and exotics of all 6 races. Click here to sign up or call 1-800-323-4453 For breeders, owners, trainers and even jockeys the 4 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Races that will be run at Belmont Park and the 5 to be contested at Santa Anita on that track’s opening weekend of the Fall race Meet are most assuredly the focus of…

Gold Cup Day

Friday, September 26, 2014 at 12:00 AM

GOLD CUP DAY In days of yore, long before there was something called the Breeders’ Cup, the biggest Fall race in the land was the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park. My, how times have changed. The Gold Cup, reduced through the years from 1-1/2 miles to 1-1/4 miles, has been reduced to a mere prep for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. And now, thanks to Jetermania, the Gold Cup not only is no longer the biggest horse race in New York every Fall, it is not the biggest New York sporting event this weekend, and it no longer has the desired…

Philly Rocks

Friday, September 19, 2014 at 12:00 AM

PHILLY ROCKS By John Piesen On any other mid-September weekend, the Eagles would monopolize the city of Philadelphia’s sports pages and sports-talk shows. But not this weekend. Sure, Sunday’s NFL match of the unbeaten Eagles vs. the arch-rival Redskins (or is it Washington?) will get its fair share of attention, but there’s bigger game in town. On Saturday afternoon, at the north end of the City of Brotherly Love, the Pax (nee Philly Park), the biggest little casino in town, will play host to the first Philadelphia appearance ever by a Derby winner. Yes, we’re talking the Kentucky Derby winner. The race is…

Horses To Watch at Belmont and Churchill

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 12:00 AM

HORSES TO WATCH Week Ending Sunday, September 14 Belmont-Churchill The horses listed below ran well enough in their most recent races to indicate that they are sitting on solid future performances. Bet them under the terms listed at least twice or until they win and then drop. Note: Now that the Saratoga meet and the Del Mar meet are finished and Fall racing settles back into regular rotation on the New York and Kentucky circuits, to be followed in Southern California beginning the last week of the month we are back with the weekly Horses To Watch segment. (BELMONT…

Horses To Watch

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 12:00 AM

HORSES TO WATCH Week Ending Sunday, September 7 Belmont-Churchill The horses listed below ran well enough in their most recent races to indicate that they are sitting on solid future performances. Bet them under the terms listed at least twice or until they win and then drop. Note: Now that the Saratoga meet and the Del Mar meet are finished and Fall racing settles back into regular rotation on the New York and Kentucky circuits, to be followed in Southern California beginning the last week of the month we are back with the weekly Horses To watch segment. This…

In Todd We Trust

Friday, August 29, 2014 at 12:00 AM

IN TODD WE TRUST By John Piesen Bet against Todd Pletcher this weekend at Saratoga at your own risk. There’s nothing in the racing world the Toddster likes more than winning those Spa training titles. He’s won nine of them, mostly by open lengths. But this year, he is facing a challenge from upstart Chad Brown, maybe half his age but just as talented. With a threebagger on Thursday, the Chadster climbed to within one winner of Pletcher (23-22) with four days of racing left. Brown was odds-on to win the ninth to forge a tie, but ran out. But Todd must have…

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