National Race Masters Blog

Saratoga Shots - Previewing the 2017 Meet

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 5:48 PM

SARATOGA SHOTSPreviewing The 2017 MeetVolume 16...Number 4MILE AND AN EIGHT DIRT RACES AT SARATOGA...WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES...OR DOES IT?There is not a "serious" horse bettor alive who would make an argument for betting every race. It is difficult enough for a solid handicapping tool player to keep his or head above water when they are in their comfort zone. Allowing themselves to drift outside that zone simply to "play the next race" is suicidal.How one defines a "comfort zone" might vary slightly, based on what kind of races that individual derives a higher Return On Investment (R.O.I.) from,…

5 GOLD STAR TIPS AND TRENDS TO MAKE YOU A WINNER AT SARATOGA

Monday, July 17, 2017 at 4:30 PM

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 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.The 40-day Saratoga racing season lasts throughout the heart of the summer, running six days a week (every day except Tuesday) from Friday, July 21 until Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4.  The 2017 Saratoga meet will feature…

Saratoga Shippers

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 12:55 PM

SARATOGA SHOTSPreviewing The 2017 MeetVolume 16...Number 2NO MEET IN THE NATION FEATURES MORE SHIPPERS THAN SARATOGA...WHERE DO THEY COME FROM AND HOW DO THEY PERFORM?Each year on these pages we show you how the various shippers di the year before at Saratoga.Over the years these numbers have remained very consistent. Which should not come as a surprise since it is the practice of the more productive barns to rely on a consistent set of operating procedures.Trainers such as Todd Pletcher, Chad Brown, Kieran McLaughlin, Graham Motion, Mark Casse, Steve Asmussen, Bill Mott, Christophe Clement and Mike Maker have wide spread…

Saratoga Shots - Following The Tote

Monday, July 10, 2017 at 5:19 PM

SARATOGA SHOTSPreviewing The 2017 MeetVolume 16...Number 1FOLLOWING THE TOTE AT SARATOGA...GOOD MOVE/BAD MOVE?The wait is just about over. The forty day Saratoga Meet for 2017 gets under way on Friday, July 21.Over the course of the next week and a half we are going to take a look at some statistics, some trends and some very solid repetitive standards that both support and just as equally fly in the face of a number of very well-held beliefs on the part of bettors.There is no better place to begin than to do so with one of the most widely held, often…

SECOND CROP SIRES CAN PROVIDE UNDERVALUED RETURNS - LEARN TO SPOT THEM

Thursday, July 6, 2017 at 2:55 PM

Not all handicappers/bettors look so deeply into overall available information that they process the monetary breeding value of their runners, especially younger or lightly run horses, by looking at stud fees.However, a number of more astute handicappers do. For those of you who might glance at the stud fees of the various sires and indiscriminately weigh the value of that horse by the sire, the following can serve as a bit of an eye-opener and in general give you the idea that not all sire success is relative to the stud fee.Generally speaking, second year crop sires, with the exception…

IT’S TIME TO START LOOKING FORWARD TO SARATOGA

Thursday, July 6, 2017 at 1:49 PM

Saratoga is the most important meet of the summer season for horseplayers, who will invariably need to handicap well at The Spa if they hope to make big money.  The highly looked-forward-to and anticipated 40-day Saratoga racing season lasts throughout the heart of the summer, running six days a week (every day except Tuesday) from Friday, July 21 until Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4.If you are a serious horseplayer and you are not already looking forward to the Saratoga meet, it might be time to check your pulse because Saratoga is the summer place to be for all handicappers and…

Horses To Watch For The Upcoming Saratoga Meet

Monday, June 26, 2017 at 11:22 AM

SARATOGA IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER...HERE ARE SOME HORSES THAT MIGHT BEAR WATCHING HORSES TO WATCHNOTE – With Saratoga looming (begins Friday, July 21, many horses that ran last week at Belmont will likely make their next tries at the Spa. With this in mind we take a brief look at a number of those horses and how that last race might translate to Saratoga.Also listed are a few runners from Delaware, PARX and Monmouth who might ship to New York. In any case those runners should be followed at their home tracks as well.(Horses To Watch From Monday, June 19…

WINNING TIPS FOR A STRONG FINAL MONTH AT BELMONT

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 5:32 PM

WINNING TIPS FOR A STRONG FINAL MONTH AT BELMONTThe Belmont Stakes has come and gone but a full month still remains at the Belmont Park spring/summer meet. Here are some tips and trends to help you finish strong as the Belmont meet comes down the home stretch.There are lots of great handicapping and wagering opportunities at Belmont this summer at what has always been the early summer season's premier racetrack.  With a half-meet worth of statistics to sink our teeth into, horseplayers who have been paying attention have accumulated a solid set of data from the Belmont meet so far.…

WHY NOT TAPWRIT

Monday, June 12, 2017 at 11:16 AM

While after the fact every pundit and talking head had all the reasons that Tapwrit won, including the fact that Pletcher has been somewhat adept at cashing Belmont success with horses who skipped the Preakness after failing in the Kentucky Derby there is much more to the layoff AND even Pletcher has failed with it. While Destin ran second in the 2016 Belmont, Materiality was up the track in 2015However, for any number of reasons (both generic and in regard to Tapwrit) I can only give you my reasons for not using him.*I did not believe that the Pletcher layoff…

2017 Belmont Stakes Preview

Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 2:26 PM

BELMONT BUZZVolume 15 - Number 5June 8, 2017BELMONT STAKES PREVIEW PLUS ALL THE DIFFERENT STORIES(NOTE) - By now you likely know that Classic Empire will not run in the Belmont Stakes. A foot abscess has knocked the 2-year old champion and Preakness runner-up out of the race.IT MIGHT BE LAST IN ORDER BUT THE BELMONT STAKES IS FIRST IN "STORIES"Any long time Triple Crown player, whether they voice it or not, has to know that the one thing the third leg of the Triple Crown can claim as its own distinction, is that it brings with it a past complete…

Belmont Buzz Volume 4

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 3:03 PM

BELMONT BUZZVolume 15 - Number 4June 7, 2017YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW GOOD THEY WILL BE AT 12 FURLONGS IN THE BELMONT STAKES...CHECK OUT THEY DO AT 9 FURLONGSHow then does one find the horse that will be within striking distance one mile into the Belmont Stakes...regardless of their past performances? Look how they finished in their last mile and an eight race.With that in mind let us return to the last 12 Belmont Stakes Winners and note the final 3 furlong time of their last mile and an eight race before the Belmont Stakes.2016 - Creator - Florida Derby…

Belmont Buzz - Vol 3

Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 12:05 PM

BELMONT BUZZVolume 15 - Number 3June 3, 2017UPDATING THE BELMONT STAKES...SOME SYMPATHY, PLETCHER WORKS AND PLETCHER PATIENCE(A LITTLE SYMPATHY FOR THE OWNERS)A few days ago, Conquest Mo Money, who was supplemented to the final two legs of the Triple Crown for $150,000 before finishing an even running seventh in the Preakness Stakes was taken off the Belmont Stakes probability list. It seemed as though the decision to utilize his speed in the Grade 2, $500,000 Woody Stephens Stakes on the Belmont Stakes undercard June 10 made sense. Co-owner Tom McKenna said on Thursday he was comfortable with the group decision.Now…

A look at the Belmont Stakes Contenders

Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 1:47 PM

NARROW DOWN CONTENDERS AND CASH-IN ON THE 2017 BELMONT STAKESThe 2017 Belmont Stakes lacks the drama of a Triple Crown bid, and does not have the star power of either the Kentucky Derby or Preakness winner as a headline attraction, but what the race does have is a world of great betting opportunities afforded by a large wide-open field of contenders. Sure, horseracing fans and handicappers would have loved to see another headline match-up in the Belmont, but this year's tremendous betting race is not too bad for a consolation prize.  What the "Test of the Champion" lacks in terms…

Belmont Buzz Volume 1

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at 2:35 PM

BELMONT BUZZVolume 15 - Number 1May 31, 2017BELMONT STAKES - LAST TWO PREPS AND RUNNING STYLE OFTEN LEAVE PUBLIC GUESSINGBy the time the public gets to the third leg of the Triple Crown there is often a certain sense of deflation. This is particularly true when, as is the case this year, there is no compelling front runner that the public hooks on to.In 2017, there is no American Pharoah and no California Chrome. However, it is the contention of this analyst that THERE COULD NOT BE A BETTER SCENARIO than no American Pharoah and no California Chrome. Without that…

GRASS CONTINUES TO STAY GREEN AT BELMONT

Monday, May 22, 2017 at 5:46 PM

GRASS CONTINUES TO STAY "GREEN" AT BELMONTIt is no secret and well worth repeating that the key to showing profit is not only a BEST WINNING PERCENTAGE, but the BEST RETURN ON INVESTMENT (R.O.I.)If you win 40% of your races and your wagering "neighbor" wins 35%, the knee-jerk conclusion would be that the 40% winner is collecting more profit. On the other hand, if the average return win mutuel for the 40% winner is $7.20 and the average mutuel payoff for the 35% winner is $8.90, the latter will have a higher R.O.I. and a higher total profit.The only way…

DEBUNKING A PREAKNESS MYTH...CHECK OUT THIS CLOSING ARGUMENT

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 2:09 PM

Whatever the reason, and there are many, from careless quick-fix handicapping, to listening to the pundits, there are certain MYTHS that too often translate into handicapping dogma.For instance, every year we hear that horses who closed significantly in their final mile and an eight Kentucky Derby preps will be aided by the extra furlong in the Run for the Roses. Of course it has much-more-often-than-not been tactical speed runners who have the edge at Churchill.When it comes to the Preakness the dogma gets flipped when we hear over and over about tight turns, a shorter distance, speed edge, etc.  With…

TIPS TO SORT-OUT PREAKNESS & PIMLICO CONTENDERS

Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 12:47 PM

The Preakness StakesTIPS TO SORT-OUT PREAKNESS & PIMLICO CONTENDERSThe Preakness Stakes has been a chalk-players' heaven in recent years, but the second jewel of horseracing's Triple Crown nevertheless should not be overlooked by handicappers and horseplayers looking for value in an important race that is the cornerstone of one of the best racing and wagering days of the entire year.The Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown, will be run on Saturday, May 20 in its usual spot two weeks after the Kentucky Derby.  With the Kentucky Derby winner and other top 3-year-olds heading to Baltimore for…

Preakness Stakes Early Odds

Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 3:42 PM

Preakness Stakes Early OddsAlways Dreaming6-5Classic Empire3-1Lookin at Lee8-1Gunnevera10-1Conquest Mo Money15-1Royal Mo15-1Hence15-1Multiplier20-1Cloud Computing20-1Senior Investment20-1To the victor go the spoils, and in Always Dreaming, we have a very impressive victor of the Run for the Roses. Quickly shifting from Louisville to Baltimore, there are only 11 more days from racing's Middle Jewel, and the field is firming up for Preakness Stakes 2017. Who will be at Pimlico to see if they can prevent the Kentucky Derby winner from taking his fifth straight, and move one step closer to the Triple Crown? As of right now, there are ten expected to enter the Preakness…

Track bias could be an overrated handicapping tool

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 12:01 PM

Some handicappers think too many horseplayers use track bias - meaning conditions that promote certain styles like early speed or location on the track, like outside lanes - as an excuse for disappointing results.Others think horseplayers are too quick to make an assumption of a track bias, like calling out a speed bias when winners of an early race or two go wire-to-wire even though they may have been heavily favored and found races where they could control the pace.With cold weather and intermittent rain at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks Day, May 5, and Kentucky Derby Day, May 6,…

2017 Kentucky Derby Preview

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 4:29 PM

KENTUCKY DERBY PREVIEW: TIPS TO NARROW DOWN CONTENDERSComing 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 difficult, with so many…

The 2017 Kentucky Derby Contenders

Monday, May 1, 2017 at 12:48 PM

The 2017 Kentucky Derby ContendersAs the build-up to the May 6 Kentucky Derby (G1) reaches fever pitch, it’s time to cram on the contenders for America’s iconic race. Now, let’s help find your Derby horse!Derby points in parenthesis.GIRVIN (150 points)Louisiana Derby (G2) and Risen Star (G2) winner tops the leaderboard.Owner: Brad Grady, Trainer: Joe Sharp, Jockey: Mike SmithPedigree: by Tale of Ekati—Catch the Moon, by Malibu MoonCLASSIC EMPIRE (132 points)Last year’s juvenile champion may be favored after rebounding in the Arkansas Derby (G1).Owner: John Oxley, Trainer: Mark Casse, Jockey: Julien LeparouxPedigree: by Pioneerof the Mile—Sambuca Classica, by Cat ThiefGORMLEY (125 points)Santa Anita Derby…

Churchill Downs Opening Tips Through Derby Day and Beyond

Monday, April 24, 2017 at 12:52 PM

CHURCHILL MEET OPENING TIPS THROUGH DERBY DAY & BEYONDThe 2017 Churchill Downs Spring/Summer Meet begins on Saturday, April 29.  What follows after opening Night is one of the best weeks of racing of the year, Tuesday through Saturday of Kentucky Derby week at Churchill Downs. After that, the meet continues through the beginning of July as one of the best early summer race meets in the country.  Read onward for some inside tips on how to make money opening week at Churchill and build bankroll for horseracing's biggest day, and beyond.The centerpiece of the Churchill Spring/Summer Meet, of course, will…

Classic Empire will need more if the horse wants to win the Derby

Monday, April 24, 2017 at 12:31 PM

Although 2016 Juvenile Champion Classic Empire came through with a badly needed victory in the Arkansas Derby on Saturday, he will have to make a stronger forward move to win the 2017 Kentucky Derby.Placed in between horses and a few lengths behind dueling leaders through the first 6 furlongs, Classic Empire rallied wide through the stretch as the 19-10 betting favorite to catch 19-1 shot Conquest Mo Money in the final strides to earn 100 Derby eligibility points. This assures Classic Empire a spot in the Derby starting gate. Nevertheless, the final clocking for the 1-1/8 miles was 1:48.93 on a very…

Always Dreaming could be waking to a Kentucky Derby win

Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 2:05 PM

While Girvin won Saturday's Louisiana Derby as expected, Always Dreaming made a stronger impression winning the Florida Derby. Moreover, his performance had a significant impact on Churchill Downs' final Kentucky Derby Future Book Wagering pool.Before the weekend, Always Dreaming was listed at 50-1 to win this year's Derby. But, after he drew clear by more than four lengths from State of Honor and favored Gunnevera in Gulfstream Park's richest Derby prep, Always Dreaming dropped to 6-1 in Churchill's future book pool. That left him just a notch higher than the 5-1 odds for future book betting favorite McCraken.While no one should ignore the Derby chances of Girvin, or the…

WIN AT AQUEDUCT’S UNDERRATED SPRING MEET

Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 1:13 PM

The Aqueduct main track spring meet - which opened on Friday, March 31 for seventeen 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 17 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 racing, as well as many big-name jockeys, trainers,…

Arrogate not quite Secretariat but definitely top 10 all time

Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 12:41 PM

If you missed Arrogate's amazing victory in the $10 million Dubai World Cup on Saturday, you missed one of the best performances by a racehorse in many years.Off last after being bothered at the start, Arrogate eventually passed all 13 rivals with a strong and steady outside rally that saw him make up about 20 lengths before beating second place finisher Gun Runner by nearly three full lengths.Arrogate's victory in this race - contested at approximately 1-1/4 miles - earned the son of Unbridled's Song $6 million. That pushed him above $17 million in career earnings to pass California Chrome…

The Derby Preps

Monday, February 13, 2017 at 3:45 PM

DERBY POINT SERIES PUTS PRIORITY ON PREP RACE WINSHandicappers Need to Follow Preps Closely for a Chance at Derby SuccessThe Kentucky Derby prep season is already underway. Each winter and spring, 3-year-olds from around the country fight for the right to occupy one of the 20 available stalls in the Churchill Downs starting gate for the Run for the Roses.  The starters in the Derby will be decided by a points system that puts pressure on hopefuls to win, or earn at least a high finish, in at least one high-profile Kentucky Derby prep race in order to qualify.Handicappers everywhere…

Aqueduct Inner Track Handicapping Progress Report

Friday, January 20, 2017 at 10:55 AM

For many horseplayers and handicappers, winter racing means Gulfstream, Santa Anita, Oaklawn, and the Fair Grounds, as the betting masses migrate away from playing at cold places like Kentucky, and closed meets in Chicago and at Woodbine.  But there's one cold weather place where racing continues fast and furious through the winter, and it's a place that handicappers need to not overlook - the Aqueduct inner track.Even if you are the type of winter horseplayer who prefers to play the "big winter meets" in warm weather locales at this time of year, the Aqueduct inner track offers excellent betting opportunities…

All Eyes on Six Tracks During the Winter Season

Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 1:31 PM

ALL EYES ON SIX TRACKS DURING THE WINTER SEASONWith so much good racing taking place in January and February at so few tracks, it becomes relatively easy during the winter months to keep close tabs on the races and results from just about every major track racing at this time of year. This is an advantage for horseplayers and handicappers, who get a better chance to keep their fingers on the pulse of everything that's important in the sport of racing all at once.Although it is not often regarded as such, the winter is perhaps the best time of the…

Winning Tips and Handicapping Preview for the Santa Anita Winter Meet

Saturday, December 24, 2016 at 11:47 AM

DO GREAT AT "THE GREAT RACE PLACE"Winning Tips and Handicapping Preview for the Santa Anita Winter MeetAlong with Gulfstream and Aqueduct, Santa Anita is one of the country's premier annual winter race meets, offering big purses and high-quality racing on both its turf course and on its dirt main track.  In fact, this Santa Anita meet's status is not only one of the best winter season race meets, but one of the year's best race meets of any season.The California winter racing season celebrates its annual official opening day on the day after Christmas, December 26, with the traditional opening…

The Aqueduct Inner Track Meet

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at 4:17 PM

LADIES AND GENTS . . . HERE COMES AQUEDUCT'S INNER TRACK MEET!Aqueduct racing season does not end with the recently concluded main track fall meet. As a matter of fact, racing at Aqueduct is just getting started now as it moves its meet to the winterized inner track beginning on December 7. New York racing will continue all through the winter on the inner track until The beginning of April, when it again will move to The Big A main track and onward to Belmont Park after that.Some people love to bet the Aqueduct inner track while others can't stand…

Gulfstream Meet Preview and Handicapping Guide

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at 10:07 AM

GULFSTREAM 2016-17 MEET PREVIEW AND HANDICAPPING GUIDEThe Gulfstream Park winter meet begins with the Claiming Crown, continues with the Sunshine Millions, contains several key 3-year-old prep races leading up to the Florida Derby, and for the first time ever features the brand new $12 million Pegasus World Cup, the world's richest horse race, scheduled for Jan. 28.Yes, the winter racing season is here, and the best winter race meet is ready to roll at Gulfstream Park, with the 2016-17 Gulfstream Champions meet running from Dec. 3 to April 2. As always, Gulfstream will feature the best trainers, jockeys, stakes horses…

Fall Racing Highlights

Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 3:20 PM

FALL RACING HIGHLIGHTS CENTER AROUND AQUEDUCT, DEL MAR, AND CHURCHILLThe second half of November is truly one of the great times of year for horseplayers and lovers of Thoroughbred handicapping. Important and high-quality racing centers around three tracks - Del Mar, Churchill Downs and Aqueduct - which makes it easy for horseplayers to effectively watch and wager on every good race simply by narrowing their focus to three signals.  All three of these main track meets are scheduled to reach their climaxes over the second half of November as they all roll out their remaining stakes and fill-up their condition…

WIDE OPEN BREEDERS CUP MILE DRAWS 23 PRE-ENTRANTS WITH HEAVY EUROPEAN INFLUENCE

Monday, October 31, 2016 at 12:00 AM

BREEDERS’ CUP BULLETSMonday, 10/31WIDE OPEN BREEDERS CUP MILE DRAWS 23 PRE-ENTRANTS WITH HEAVY EUROPEAN INFLUENCEOne only look at the average prices for all Breeders’ Cup races to know that the term “wide open” can be applied on a majority of the races. Yet in 2016 at Santa Anita the BC Mile might be the poster-board for that definition.By now we know that Turf and European shippers creates its own spotlight but this year’s Mile has more European influence than we’ve seen in this race in quite some time.Perennial Breeders Cup trainer Aiden Obrien has a pair in Alice Springs and…

Five Things To Know Leading up to the Breeders Cup

Sunday, October 16, 2016 at 12:00 AM

FIVE THINGS TO KNOW LEADING UP TO THE 2016 BREEDERS' CUPThe Breeders' Cup will be here in a few 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 Santa Anita on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 4-5.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 have been run over the last few months leading up…

Top 3 Kentucky Derby Finshers Face 9 Rivals In Pennsylvania Derby

Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 12:00 AM

TOP 3 KENTUCKY DERBY FINISHERS FACE NINE CHALLENGERS IN GRADE II PENNSYLVANIA DERBYBest 3-Year Old Betting Race In MonthsKudos to PARX racing officials for timing the $1.25 Million Grade II Pennsylvania Derby at a time separated from the Haskell and Travers and far enough on the calendar ahead of the Breeders’ Cup that they have drawn the kind of field a horse bettor can salivate over.For headline purposes the fact that the race drew the top 3 finishers from this year’s Kentucky Derby, winner NYQUIST, runner up EXAGGERATOR and third place finisher GUN RUNNER is a promotional dream scenario.Despite losing…

Belmont Early Meet capsule Quick Thought For The day

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 12:00 AM

BELMONT EARLY MEET CAPSULEQUICK THOUGHT FOR THE DAYEven Small Sample Justifies Questioning Major Turf AssumptionsThere is not a horse player alive who doesn’t now and then fall prey to oft-repeated “standards” when it comes to handicapping any given race meet or an individual race based on the conditions of tat race (class, surface, distance, etc.)If only those perceived standards were universal enough to make the game easier. If anything, they often get in the way of good individualized handicapping because the oft-repetition is so prevalent that bettors seek what they perceive as a safety net.Those last two paragraphs might appear…

Belmont’s Handicapping Quirks Lead to Profitable Betting Angles This Fall

Monday, September 19, 2016 at 1:02 PM

There are many categories of handicapping angles in play at this time of year in New York as summer turns to fall. Horses and horsemen who spent summer far and wide, not only at Saratoga but also at Monmouth and other tracks in the mid-Atlantic region, all return to Belmont for the Fall Championship Meet, which continues the East's highest-quality racing and wagering throughout this season until the end of October.While it is impossible to mention every Belmont fall handicapping angle in one article, we can focus on some of the best, most effective, and perhaps the most overlooked angles…

Juvenile Maiden Races Saratoga Experience Vs Belmont First Time Starters

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at 12:00 AM

JUVENILE MAIDEN RACES…SARATOGA EXPERIENCE VS BELMONT FIRST TIME STARTERSIt can be argued that there is no more attention placed on Juvenile Maiden races than there is during the Saratoga Meet.This is understandable for a number of reason, not least of which are the late summer being the time where the precocious ones are ready to debut, here the top barns are looking to get a head start in preparation for high level stakes racing and many owners want to run at the Spa and point their youngsters to these races.What comes with these races is also a number of misconceptions.…

Saratoga Last Out Runners Control Early Belmont Races

Thursday, September 8, 2016 at 12:00 AM

SARATOGA LAST OUT RUNNERS CONTROL OPENING DAYS AT BELMONTOn Friday (9/9) the 2016 Belmont Fall Championship Meet Opens.There are a number of changes, subtle and otherwise that a handicapper must consider. Chief among them is the return to one mile and mile and a sixteenth races on the dirt as well as the mile and an eight race that goes around one turn on the main track. This is a significant switch from the Spa where they run up to 7 furlongs at one turn and 9 furlongs around two turns.Although, like Saratoga, there are both an outer and inner…

Conte Anatomy Of Belmont Longshot Winners

Thursday, September 8, 2016 at 12:00 AM

ANATOMY OF BELMONT 2015 OPENING WEEKEND LONGSHOTSCONTE LOOKS TO REPEAT IN 2016 FALL CHAMPIONSHIP MEETI’m John Conte and I am taking a few minutes to let you know that anyone can brag about winners. Anyone can cherry pick from 5 or 6 races and claim their 2 winners without mentioning anything else.What I want to do in this short piece is show you the workings of an everyday handicapper like myself. A handicapper who not only releases plays to the public but wagers on those same plays. I will do this right now by travelling back to the corresponding Belmont…

HANDICAPPING TRAINERS A KEY TO SUCCESS AT BELMONT FALL MEET

Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 11:55 AM

Like The Summer Wind, the Saratoga meet has come and gone and taken summer racing along with it, much to the chagrin of racing fans and handicappers who relished the full fields and excellent wagering opportunities that The Spa is known for.  Thankfully for horseplayers, however, there are only a few days to lament the close of Saratoga and no sooner will the east's next big meet, the Belmont Park Fall Championship Meet, be ready to begin its eight-week run starting on Friday, Sept. 9 as Thoroughbred racing marches steadily onward toward the fall's Breeders' Cup World Championships at the…

Saratoga Trip Notes

Monday, September 5, 2016 at 12:00 AM

NATIONAL RACE MASTERS SARATOGA TRIP NOTES(Friday 9/2– Monday 9/5)NOTE: This is the final TRIP NOTES edition unique to Saratoga. However, a large percentage of them will run at Belmont. You should also check the Monmouth entries as well as the likes of Delaware. We will mention in the TRIP NOTES below if we believe a horses will be possible at multiple locations.Friday, September 2(Turf Firm – Main Track Fast Throughout)DUJAC – A winner of two of five lifetime the Chad Brown trainee made his first start in almost 13 months in NW3L two turn turf 50K claimer. The gelding was…

Hurley Keys Woodward And Spinasway For Saturday Pick 4

Friday, September 2, 2016 at 12:00 AM

ODDS-ON FROSTED LOOKS TO ICE EIGHT RIVALS IN GRADE I WOODWARD…GRADE I SPINAWAY A CONTENTIOUS JUVENILE FILLY SCRAMBLEThere are two ways to look at the LATE PICK 4 at Saratoga on Saturday. The Race 9-12 sequence begins with the Grade I Spinaway Stakes for Juvenile Fillies, continues with the Grade I Woodward for older horses, follows with the Grade III Turf marathon Glens Falls Stakes for 3-year old and up fillies and mares and concludes with a high level allowance on the turf.The two ways to look at this Late Pick 4 are focused on the first two races in…

NRM Trip Notes

Thursday, September 1, 2016 at 12:00 AM

NATIONAL RACE MASTERS SARATOGA TRIP NOTES(Monday 8/29 – Thursday 9/1)NOTE: As the final week of the meet approach a number of these horses will not race back at Saratoga. However, a large percentage of them will run at Belmont. You should also check the Monmouth entries as well as the likes of Delaware. We will mention in the TRIP NOTES below if we believe a horsed will be possible at multiple locations.Monday, August 29(Turf Firm – Main Track Fast Throughout)ENCHANTERESSE – The 4-year old filly made just her fourth career start and first since early November at laurel. She showed…

Make a Seamless Move From Saratoga to Belmont’s Fall Meet

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 at 1:32 PM

The Saratoga racing season continues through its customary closing day on Labor Day, when New York racing once again moves downstate for the start of the Belmont Park Fall Championship Meet, which begins on Friday, Sept. 9 and continues through to October 30.  Following Saratoga, 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. Plus, don't forget, that besides just stakes races, Belmont Park also offers top-notch racing day-in-and-day-out all throughout the late summer/early fall season.Every serious horseplayer plays Belmont during the fall…

NRM Trip Notes

Sunday, August 28, 2016 at 12:00 AM

NATIONAL RACE MASTERS SARATOGA TRIP NOTES(Friday 8/26 – Sunday 8/28)NOTE: As the final weeks of the meet approach a number of these horses will not race back at Saratoga. However, a large percentage of them will run at Belmont. You should also check the Monmouth entries as well as the likes of Delaware. We will mention in the TRIP NOTES below if we believe a horsed will be possible at multiple locations.Friday, August 26(Races 1-3 over muddy sealed main track…races 4-6 over good main track – races 2, 4 & 6 off turf…races 7, 10 and 11 run on fast…

NRM Saratoga Trip Notes

Friday, August 26, 2016 at 12:00 AM

(Monday 8/22 – Thursday 8/25)NOTE: As the final weeks of the meet approach a number of these horses will not race back at Saratoga. However, a large percentage of them will run at Belmont. You should also check the Monmouth entries as well as the likes of Delaware. We will mention in the TRIP NOTES below if we believe a horsed will be possible at multiple locations.Monday, August 22(Turf Courses Good Throughout – Main Track Good Race 3 And Fast For Remaining)DANCETRACK – The Bill Mott Colt shipped in from a second level allowance win at Suffolk in his first…

Travers Preview

Thursday, August 25, 2016 at 4:11 PM

LARGEST TRAVERS FIELD IN OVER 40 YEARS IS HANDICAPPER'S AND BETTOR'S DREAM THIS SATURDAYIf I were to hold a handicapper's seminar and needed a race from which to exhibit every running style, every trainer angles, every possible setup, I could not ask for a better work sheet than Saturday's Grade I Summer Derby. A.K.A. the Travers Stakes.There is only one true purpose to handicapping any race and that is to find the best horses in the best combinations in order to make money!In order to find the right horses in the right combination and make that money I have to…

Place Betting

Monday, August 22, 2016 at 3:01 PM

As you know, I occasionally post an answer to a question received from readers. I do this when I believe the question is general enough that it serves as a "lesson" most horse bettors should consider. I recently received one regarding PALCE BETTING.Jim,I am not a favorite player, but over the years I have been beaten enough by the odds-on favorite that when I like a price-horse but fear the favorite I find myself betting place on my horse because it gives me a sense of security. However, if the favorite does win it often depresses the place price. Is…

Saratoga Trip Notes Aug 19-21

Monday, August 22, 2016 at 2:51 PM

NATIONAL RACE MASTERS SARATOGA TRIP NOTES(Friday 8/19 - Sunday 8/21)NOTE: As the final weeks of the meet approach a number of these horses will not race back at Saratoga. However, a large percentage of them will run at Belmont. You should also check the Monmouth entries as well as the likes of Delaware. We will mention in the TRIP NOTES below if we believe a horsed will be possible at multiple locations.Friday, August 19(Turf Courses Firm - Main Track Fast Throughout)HARLAN'S HARMONY - Juvenile son of Spring At Last out of an Unbridled's Song made it two-for-two when he won…

Alabama and Fourstardave Previews

Friday, August 19, 2016 at 3:24 PM

SONGBIRD LOOKS TO SING "PERFECT TEN" TUNE IN ALABAMAALL SORTS OF ANGLES IN REDRAWN FOURSTARDAVE HANDICAPLast weekend one of my most anticipated plays of the season was canceled when a devastating storm arrived at the SPA after the completion of five races. However, it was announced on Monday that the Grade I Fourstardave would be run this Saturday and the best news of all came a few days later when ALL 9 TURF RUNNERS scheduled to run last week were re-entered.That means what would have been last weekend will instead be this weekend as I'll be making my biggest play…

Saratoga Trip Notes

Friday, August 19, 2016 at 3:12 PM

NATIONAL RACE MASTERS SARATOGA TRIP NOTES(Monday 8/15 - Thursday 8/18)Monday, August 15(Turf Courses Good - Main Track Fast Throughout)PAZ THE BOURBON - Juvenile MSW filly was four to five wide in early going, tucked in at the half mil pole then moved out 4 wide to commence a rally that fell a neck short. Breaks maiden in next.LOVE AND LEMONS - The juvenile MSW turf filly improved significantly from first to second straight in last. She broke sharply to press the pace in the 5½ furlong sprint moved to the lead inside the sixteenth pole but was late to change…

The Toteboard Does Not Tip Live Juveniles

Monday, August 15, 2016 at 5:17 PM

DON'T BELIEVE THE CARELESS TALKING HEADS...THE TOTEBOARD DOES NOT TIP LIVE JUVENILES, And Other Baby Bathwaters That Should Be Thrown OutIt is very likely that when it comes to wagering on Juvenile Maiden Races at Saratoga there is one adage that is repeated ad-nausea and statistically speaking could not be more in error.This is an adage and conversation the public which pounds the macadam and the "sharps" that sit in the grandstand and clubhouse repeat endlessly."There is no way to bet juvenile maidens. The information does not exist. If you must wager on them, follow the tote board!"There might be…

Saratoga Trip Notes

Monday, August 15, 2016 at 10:26 AM

NATIONAL RACE MASTERS SARATOGA TRIP NOTES(Thursday 8/11 - Sunday 8/14)Thursday, August 11(Turf Courses Firm - Main Track Fast Throughout)VENTRY BAY - Wesley Ward juveniles are all trained to break out fast and this on broke dead last in MSW Turf sprint. He was a bit green early but swung 4 wide at the 3/16ths marker, willingly went between rivals in mid-stretch sided up to the winner and just lost. Breaks maiden in next.MUNCHKIN MONEY - After a pair of bad trips in NYSB MSW Turf tests (while backed at the windows) Chad Brown gave this filly a few months off…

Fourstardave Preview

Friday, August 12, 2016 at 2:12 PM

HORSES FOR COURSES OR HOTTEST HORSES, ALL SORTS OF ANGLES IN FOURSTARDAVE HANDICAPOn Saturday I'll be making my biggest play on the Guaranteed $500,000 Pool LATE PICK 4 at Saratoga and the featured race in that 4 race sequence is the Grade I Fourstardave Handicap.After many years as a Grade II Race the Fourstardave, which will be run a one mile over the Inner Turf Course, has finally been elevated to the Grade I status it deserves. Ten runners including Main Track Only entrant Weekend Hideaway drew post positions.You have read me comment on races in the past where I…

The Pick-3 is the Best Wager in Racing

Monday, August 8, 2016 at 12:35 PM

TURNING THE ULTIMATE $3.00 SURE SHOT AND $12 WAGER INTO AN $87.00 PAYOFFJOHN CONTE SAYS: "THE PICK 3 IS STILL THE BEST WAGER IN HORSE RACING"It didn't matter if you were on the local feed from NYRA, on MSG Plus, on TVG or on HRTV and many other live racing outlets, the consensus was the same...FROSTED WAS ALL BUT UNBEATABLE in the Grade I Whitney at Saratoga on Saturday!Even competing trainers more or less conceded the race to FROSTED. Todd Pletcher, who had class riser COMFORT as one of the five opponents to FROSTED said he only hoped his runner…

NATIONAL RACE MASTERS SARATOGA TRIP NOTES

Sunday, August 7, 2016 at 11:34 AM

Thursday, August 4(Turf Courses Firm - Main Track Fast Throughout)GREAT NECK - NYSB juvenile MSW race saw 1-2 finishers that were only previous starters in race. Great Neck broke well but was reined in early and settled between rivals until lane in 6 furlong event. Jockey Bridgmohan had front runners measured but probably restrained his filly too long. Breaks maiden next time.ORZO - 40K turf sprint claimer had trouble from start to finish. Bumped at the start, settled in the middle of the field, went three wide on turn, was kept in by rival turning to stretch, blocked from the…

Money Management

Saturday, August 6, 2016 at 9:47 AM

CONTE KNOWS MONEY MANAGEMENT JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE RIGHT HORSESI'm sure you know by now that I am not only a public handicapper, one who among other things can lay claim to winning a number of national handicapping contest, including the initial $500,000 NTRA/DRF CHAMPIONSHIP, but most important of all, I make my living betting horses.I bring this up because I receive many e-mails or tweets along the same lines.Here is one I received Monday."John, you often say that betting the horses correctly is just as important as having the right horses to begin with. Can you give me…

Saratoga Trip Notes

Saturday, August 6, 2016 at 9:43 AM

NATIONAL RACE MASTERS SARATOGA TRIP NOTES(Monday 8/1 - Wednesday 8/3)Monday, August 1(Races Off The Turf - Main Track Sloppy And Sealed)Race 2 - BRIMSTONE - After the race was washed from the turf to a mile and an eight on the main track trainer John Terranova kept this one in. The gelding wired the NYSB entry level allowance and is now 3-2-00 on a sloppy main oval and 3-1-10 on fast dirt. The conditioner might keep him on dirt for the second level try.Race 6 - LIFE IN SHAMBLES - The Steve Asmussen gelding has found a home sprinting. The…

Jim Dandy Preview

Friday, July 29, 2016 at 4:15 PM

TOP 3 YEAR OLDS IN ACTION AT SARATOGA AND MONMOUTH...6 KENTUCKY DERBY RUNNERS, 8 TRIPLE CROWN RUNNERS SQUARE OFF IN JIM DANDY AND HASKELL INVITATIONALI have seen 6 horse fields before which are relatively competitive despite the short number. But given that the Grade II Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga on Saturday and The Grade I Haskell Invitational on Sunday drew as many top 3-year olds in training as they did allows me to say that these are two of the most competitive 6 horse fields I have seen in recent memory.Today we'll take a look at the Jim Dandy…

Spa Shots For Wednesday July 27

Thursday, July 28, 2016 at 4:13 PM

SPA SHOTS - NOTES ON PREVIOUS DAY RACINGWednesday, July 27RACE 1 - Steeplechase RaceRACE 2 - 40K Maiden Claimer - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 3 YO-UpFact that FEAR THAT ($26.60) as part of a Nick Zito (6% last year) entry and defeated by 21 lengths at 25-1 at the same level in his previous race pulled away to a 5 ½ length victory in the lane despite navigating the final 1/16th of a mile in 7 seconds tells you everything you need to know about the rest. The winner did add blinkers but so did the other half and that…

DON’T OVERLOOK JOCKEY TRENDS AND ANGLES AT SARATOGA & DELMAR

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 at 12:00 PM

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 trends should always be considered in conjunction with your other handicapping angles to come up with your best possible pick in every race.Two of the best jockey colonies anywhere at any time of the year are currently in action at the summer's premier race meets at Saratoga and Del Mar.  With roughly a week of action in the books early on at both tracks, let's take a closer look into which jockeys…

Spa Notes For Saturday, July 23

Monday, July 25, 2016 at 2:26 PM

SPA SHOTS - Saturday, July 23NOTE - After main track played cuppy on Friday times were relatively quicker on Saturday, indicating some maintenance was done in between.RACE 1 - 25K Claimer - NW2L - 6 ½ Furlongs - 3 YO-UpTodd Pletcher had first and second favorite when they left the gate but only one finished. Favored ZAMJARA was pulled up on the 7/16ths pole and vanned off while second favored MONEY CHANGER went right to the lead and wired the field in a sharp time. He appears to like the surface and will win again. Also nice effort from second…

Spa Shots

Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 10:04 AM

SPA SHOTS - NOTES ON PREVIOUS DAY RACINGFriday, July 22, 2016RACE 1 - NYSB 1 1/8 Mile Second Level Allowance/Optional 40K Claimer - 3 YO-UpIt began right away and throughout the day on the main track the surface was somewhat cuppy and tiring. Winner CLIFTON PLEASURE got a great trip from the rail, was able to run measured fractions just off the pace and easily came off the rail heading into the far turn, remained close and pulled clear in the final strides. BATTLE OF EVERMORE got just the opposite a trip. He was strung out wide on the first…

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…

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