National Race Masters Blog

RATING THE FINAL DERBY PREPS AND THEIR INFLUENCE ON THE KENTUCKY DERBY.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 5:05 PM

DaSilva Previews The Kentucky DerbyWednesday, April 25First let’s state the obvious. With 20 horses running in the Kentucky Derby I take the stand that you can’t begin by fine-tuning every horse in order to create a short list. In the beginning, whether it eventually catches you by the short hairs or rewards you, there need be a few “recent trend” realities which should be respected.With that in mind, one of the first things I do is check and recheck every year to see which final Kentucky Derby Preps have a reasonable expectation of positive influence and which have been sub-par…

BELMONT OPENS FRIDAY… AND NOT A DAY TOO SOON.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at 3:46 PM

John Conte Belmont Spring Meet PreviewTuesday, April 24On Friday (April 27) a strong heart beat returns to the New York Racing Circuit as the Belmont Park Spring Race Meet gets under way with nine races.With no total disrespect to Aqueduct’s just completed winter meet, it was a pleasure to look at the first Belmont race card of 2018 and see full fields in just about every race.After a steady diet of 5 and 6 horse fields (before scratches) the switch in locations is highly anticipated. On Sunday there were two races in which 5 horses ran and a race in…

CHURCHILL MEET OPENING TIPS THROUGH DERBY DAY AND BEYOND

Monday, April 23, 2018 at 10:26 AM

The 2018 Churchill Downs Spring/Summer Meet begins on Saturday, April 28.  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 last day of June as one of the best early summer race meets in the country.  Read onward for some 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 be the 144th running of the Kentucky…

WANT TO RAISE A DERBY WINNER… LOOK TO RAISE A NATIVE

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 2:01 PM

Jim Hurley’s Derby Doings – Friday, April 20 The first question that any handicapper or bettor has to ask about the Kentucky Derby is simple. Which 3-year old that has never run a mile and a quarter will run a mile and a quarter.There are many ways to approach this. One can search through the running lines in the past performances of the Derby Preps and determine if the colt has shown in his final quarter mile that he mirrors what previous Kentucky Derby winners have done in their final quarter mile efforts.I’ll go more into this in subsequent preview…

Kentucky Derby Prep Season Ends with Justify, Audible and Magnum Moon Looking Strong

Monday, April 16, 2018 at 1:38 PM

With the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn and the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland now in the books, the final prep races have been run and the field has more or less been set for the Kentucky Derby. Six of the 20 horses in the starting gate will be trained by Todd Pletcher (4) or Bob Baffert (2).  Pletcher will enter the race as the defending champion trainer, having won last year with Always Dreaming, while Baffert is likely to go postward with this year’s favorite, Santa Anita Derby winner Justify.The Arkansas Derby was another tour-de-force performance by Todd Pletcher’s undefeated Magnum…

HANK GOLDBERG SAYS “ARKANSAS DERBY MIGHT BE THE LAST BIG PREP, BUT IT IS FAR FROM THE LEAST”

Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 5:26 PM

Thursday, April 12It shouldn’t be any surprise why I love the Arkansas Derby.As a serious handicapper and analyst for ABC, NBC and ESPN coverage of horse racing I gave gave out my selections to an attentive public. And there is only one reason the public was attentive. I was never afraid of a price…which is why I have that love for the Arkansas Derby.Let me whet your appetite by showing you just what kind of boxcar payoffs this race provides year in and year out.In 2015, eventual Triple Crown Champ American Pharoah chased all but seven challengers and romped at…

Arkansas Derby Preview

Monday, April 9, 2018 at 4:00 PM

On The Derby Trail With John ConteSATURDAY'S ARKANSAS DERBY IS THE LAST 100 POINT DERBY PREP QUALIFIER...BUT IT IS FAR FROM THE LEASTAfter last week's triple dose of 100 point Derby Prep qualifiers, the Wood Memorial, Blue Grass Stakes and Santa Anita Derby which brought headlines to the likes of Vino Rosso, Good magic and Justify the attention will turn this Saturday to Hot Springs, ArkansasIt is here where Oaklawn Park will conclude another spectacular meet with the running of the Grade 1 ARKANSAS DERBY.Undoubtedly the national attention lavished on last week's trio of Preps will, as it does year…

KEENELAND OPENS FRIDAY AND IT IS ONCE AGAIN “BIG SCORE” TIME

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at 11:47 AM

John DaSilva Keeneland ReportWednesday, April 4Just when Gulfstream is winding down to 4 day weeks for a bit, Aqueduct is running 3 days and the weather throughout the mid-Atlantic states and the northeast hangs on the way we wish some of our speed horses would, ALONG COMES THE SPRING MEET AT KEENELAND. And not a day too soon.When I was the analyst there I wrote many a feature exclusively for the NY Post during my 19 record breaking years as their handicapper. I still hold the record for most wins and highest Return On Investment of any competitors and I am…

TWO DOMINANT PERFORMANCES LAST SATURDAY ADD TO KENTUCKY DERBY DEPTH

Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at 4:37 PM

TWO DOMINANT PERFORMANCES LAST SATURDAY ADD TO KENTUCKY DERBY DEPTHEven if we only had the “eye-test” to go by in order to determine which horses are on a direct bullet train to the first Saturday in May, the UAE Derby and Florida Derby provided us with as close to twenty-twenty vision as we could ask for regarding Mendelssohn and Audible.However, there are many angle reasons as well which point players in the direction of these two important Derby Prep winners from this past Saturday.(THE ANGLE THAT WILL NEVER WIN…UNTIL IT DOES)As we approach the Kentucky Derby another weekend of Prep…

Florida Derby Preview

Friday, March 30, 2018 at 5:33 PM

JOHN CONTE'S FLORIDA DERBY REPORTFriday, March 30DOES THE FLORIDA DERBY (AGAIN) BECOME THE TODD AND JOHNNY SHOW?The question that will be asked the most leading into Saturday's $1 Million, Grade 1 Florida Derby is, "do the rich get richer or will Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez share the Derby Prep Wealth?"Once again trainer Todd Pletcher will send out another one of his deep Kentucky Derby prospects in the aptly named Audible.Over the course of the last three Saturday's Pletcher has successfully called audible as he makes certain that he doesn't defeat the overall purpose by having his top Kentucky Derby…

John Conte Florida Derby Report

Thursday, March 29, 2018 at 8:50 AM

JOHN CONTE'S FLORIDA DERBY REPORTThursday, March 29Over the course of the next few days I'll be posting a few of my thoughts regarding the Florida Derby.As we progress through the next 5 plus weeks I'll be living, breathing, investigating, checking-and-rechecking works, connecting with the major players PLUS wagering and winning the Derby Preps and then the Kentucky Derby.When it comes to the Florida Derby on Saturday (3/31) I plan on doing the same thing I did last week in the Louisiana Derby when my clients and I COLLECTED ALL THE WAGERS as those who responded to my e-mail offering the…

SPRING CAN’T COME FAST ENOUGH TO AQUEDUCT

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 2:31 PM

With the fourth major winter storm of March bearing down on the New York area this week, it is hard to believe that the calendar has actually turned over to spring, and let’s face it, spring can’t get here fast enough for people in the northeast this year.  Even though it might be hard to believe now, soon pastimes like scraping ice off the car and shoveling the driveway will be replaced with some that we actually look forward to, such as opening day of the baseball season (less than two weeks away – hard to believe) and the return…

REBEL STAKES OPENS UP KENTUCKY DERBY FIELD

Monday, March 19, 2018 at 4:56 PM

Saturday was supposed to be another sign that the West Coast 3-year olds were about to once again dominate the Kentucky Derby in 2018.After Bolt d’Oro and/or McKinzie dominated the San Felipe a week prior, Solomini was supposed to head to Oaklawn Park and not only validate his own status in the Grade II Rebel Stakes, but to flatter both Bolt d’Oro and McKinzie who he had run on a par with when they all interacted in previous stakes encounters.And although Solomini did finish second in the Rebel and his supporters could argue he was held up in traffic for…

BIG DERBY PREP FIELDS ARE BETTOR’S DELIGHT SATURDAY

Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 6:12 PM

Solomini Favored Over 10 In Rebel…Hazit And Ride A Comet Installed As Co-Morning Line 5-1 Favorites In Jeff Ruby At TurfwayMid-West Circuit bettors in particular and national simulcast bettors will bettors in general should be licking their chops as they peruse the 23 total 3-year olds entered for the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park and the Jeff Ruby Stakes (nee the Spiral Stakes) at Turfway Park this Saturday. It is likely that morning line favorite Solomini will command the most attention from bettors as he faces 10 rivals in the Grade II Rebel Stakes ($900,000), to be run at a mile…

Derby Picture Coming Into Focus

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 10:33 AM

Kentucky Derby winter book favorites Bolt d'Oro and Good Magic finally have both made their seasonal debuts as another major round of Derby prep races has been completed, giving handicappers a slightly clearer view of the Derby picture and the clock continues to countdown toward the First Saturday in May.Headline Derby prep races are happening on a weekly basis now and will continue regularly throughout March and April. To date, however, none were more under the microscope than the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park, which featured the seasonal debut of Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Good Magic, and the San…

GRADE II SAN FELIPE STAKES WON BY MCKINZIE...NO, MAKE THAT BOLT D’ORO

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 10:25 AM

Perhaps in an attempt to have a metaphorical as opposed to too often real smokescreen emanate from the region, pundits who should know better have repeatedly made the claim that in recent years the best 3-year olds prepping for the Kentucky Derby have been stationed in Southern California.This mantra has been built on the success in 2012 of the ill-fated I'll Have Another, who was the Derby and Preakness winner before being injured and withdrawn a day before the Belmont Stakes, California Chrome, who also was the Derby and Preakness winner in 2014 and of course American Pharoah who swept…

Top Derby Contenders Play the Waiting Game as a Surprise Key Race Emerges

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at 5:08 PM

Handicappers and horse racing fans are stuck in a holding pattern with just a little more than two months to go until the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby. Derby watchers are playing a waiting game on two fronts – we are still waiting for last year’s top juveniles to make their 3-year-old debuts, and/or waiting for new major contenders to emerge from the pack with big efforts in key races that might propel them to spots in the starting gate at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May.The 2018 Kentucky Derby will be run on Saturday, May 5…

A Glimpse at Aqueduct’s New-Look Winter Jockey Colony

Monday, February 5, 2018 at 12:00 AM

The next time you’re betting Aqueduct and look up on the tote board to see the 3-5 favorite with Dylan Davis, Trevor McCarthy, Kendrick Carmouche, or Angel Arroyo named aboard for the mount, you don’t need to check your eyeglass prescription or question the accuracy of your Daily Racing Form or the track program.  It’s probably not a misprint.  The Aqueduct jockey colony has been turned upside-down and inside-out this winter, and it is expected to stay that way, or perhaps get even worse until the big-name riders begin to filter back into town after April 1.Aqueduct bettors need to…

THE ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY IS OPEN

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at 3:54 PM

Right around this time a year ago the Derby Preps and conversation regarding the prospects for the 2017 Kentucky derby and Triple Crown was under way.For most serious barns the nominations had been filed early, the serious contenders had raced as juveniles and the scuttlebutt was sounded regarding those promising newly turned three-year olds who were about to begin their foundations.Now it is mid-January in 2018 and with the Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct and the Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds having been run this past Saturday, along with the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn set for Martin Luther King Monday, the…

NEVER TOO EARLY TO START THINKING KENTUCKY DERBY

Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 3:44 PM

We're still more than three months out from the First Saturday in May, but for horseracing fans it's never too early to start thinking about the Kentucky Derby. Yes, the Derby itself will last only about two minutes - the Fastest Two Minutes in Sports - that doesn't mean we can't have months of fun talking about it in advance.  After all, the waiting is almost as much fun as the actual race.  So for those of you who just can't get enough Derby talk, here is some advance analysis of the soon-to-be 3-year-old class of 2018 Kentucky Derby hopefuls.The…

Santa Anita Preview

Thursday, January 4, 2018 at 3:36 PM

HAVE A GREAT SEASON AT "THE GREAT RACE PLACE"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, the Santa Anita winter 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 celebrated its annual official opening day on December 26, Santa Anita will remain open throughout winter, spring, and early summer until June 24, with the main winter-spring meet ending…

JIM HURLEY’S GULFSTREAM REPORT Wednesday, 12/27/17

Wednesday, December 27, 2017 at 2:31 PM

On this sight I will be posting my GULFSTREAM REPORT on Wednesday each week throughout the Championship Meet. I will take a look at various aspects that a bettor should consider (today we take a look at 5 furlong sprints and betting jockeys) plus each week will have a Horses To Watch List.Make sure to check in weekly.(FIVE FURLONG TURF SPRINTS ARE PRETTY MUCH WHAT THE BETTOR EXPECTS)There is no doubt that for most bettors the first glance at the past performances of a 5 furlong turf sprint is one which searches for the front end or pressing and-or stalking…

DON’T WAIT TO TAKE ACTION AT SANTA ANITA…LOTS OF REASONS TO PLAY EARLY

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 4:04 PM

Are you ready for the DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS?There is one place where you should be, and that is at Santa Anita Park where the Winter Race Meet has its traditional Opening Day on December 26.Below we’ll take a look at some of the angles that can be gleaned from last and past years’ last days of December and January Racing at the venue. But first let’s take a look at the most important reason for getting involved from day one of the meet…THE PAYOFFS.Just as always last year was a VALUE PLAYER’S BONANZA.Over the course of the opening week…*Average Win…

AQUEUDUCT WINTER HANDICAPPING PROGRESS REPORT

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 11:05 AM

For many horseplayers and handicappers, winter racing means Gulfstream, Santa Anita, and other warm weather locales as the best racing of the season migrates away from cold places like Kentucky and closed circuits in Chicago and Canada.  But there's at least one cold weather place where racing continues going strong all through the winter, and it's a place that handicappers need to not overlook - Aqueduct.Even if you are the type of winter horseplayer who prefers to play the "big winter meets" at this time of year, Aqueduct offers excellent betting opportunities for winter racing horseplayers, particularly on weekends, with…

GULFSTREAM 2017-18 PREVIEW AND HANDICAPPING GUIDE

Monday, December 4, 2017 at 12:22 PM

Yes, the winter racing season is here, and the best winter race meet is ready to roll at Gulfstream Park, with the 2017-18 Gulfstream Champions meet running from Dec. 2 to April 1.  As always, Gulfstream will feature the best trainers, jockeys, grass horses and stakes races in action at this time of year, making it a must-bet track for all serious horseplayers and handicappers for the next several months.The 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 also features the…

FIRST FULL WEEK AT AQUEDUCT INNER DIRT TRACK AND GULFSTREAM ARE MUST PLAY OPPORTUNITIES

Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 5:27 PM

A Message From National Handicapping Champ, John Conte:On Wednesday, December 6th racing makes what appears to be “across the street moves.”At Aqueduct, racing simply makes a move from the main dirt course oval to the winterized Inner Dirt Track oval that circles just inside that main track.In Florida, racing switches from Gulfstream Park West (formerly known as Calder Race Course) to Gulfstream Park. Though many of the barns that raced during the just completed Calder meet will be in action, there will be the usual invasion of top notch barns from all over the country for what is hands down…

PREMIER GULFSTREAM CHAMPIONSHIP MEET STARTS DECEMBER 2 Taking A Look At Some Previews

Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 2:18 PM

From The Desk Of John DaSilva19 Year Lead Handicapper For The NY PostGULFSTREAM PREVIEWS – PART 1Thursday 11/16On Saturday, December 2nd the premier national winter meet commences when Gulfstream Park opens their 4 month Championship Meet, which runs through Florida Derby Weekend on April 1st.This meet wastes little time getting going. Right from the start there are key races for big purses just like last year when the meet opened with a pair of 42K Maiden Special Weights followed by the STARTER STAKES DAY comprised of 9 races that provided $110K for six of them, $125K for another two and…

JUVENILE FIRST OUT WINNERS ARE IN THE WORKS

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 2:24 PM

Just about every serious bettor will tell you that, yes, they are aware that the workouts for any debuting juvenile maiden are important. But question those same bettors and they will often tell you that when it comes to betting these first time starters they look to many other factors before spending time with due diligence on workouts in general and more specifically what the patterns might indicate.These bettors will pay attention to the trainers such as Todd Pletcher and Chard Brown, who have sterling records with juveniles. In large part this is because they get the best stock to…

THE DEATH OF AQUEDUCT’S INNER TRACK

Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 4:23 PM

New York Winter Racing Moves to Aqueduct's New Main Track and New TurfNew York racing has been turned "inside out." What was the Aqueduct Inner track is now the Aqueduct outer turf course.The Aqueduct Inner track, the host of New York winter racing for several decades since 1975, is no more.  The era of the Inner track is officially over.Some people loved to bet the Aqueduct Inner track while others couldn't stand it, but no matter which side you were on you had to deal with it, because it was a way of life for more than 40 winters. If…

MAKING SENSE OF THE BREEDERS’ CUP MILE AND DIRT MILE

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 5:38 PM

The middle-distance Breeders' Cup races rarely are the headliners and often are the most likely races to be overlooked on a packed weekend of championship racing. For bettors, however, these races offer some of the best opportunities to catch prices, and you'll need them if you want to cash-in on a couple of the year's most lucrative Pick 4s on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 3-4. Use the following tips in the middle-distance races as guidelines to bet the Mile and Dirt Mile, and hopefully you will have the cornerstones of what you'll need for a winning Breeders' Cup weekend at…

BREEDERS’ CUP CAPSULES Sunday, 10/29 PART 3

Monday, October 30, 2017 at 6:04 PM

Continuing today and on these pages until the Breeders’ Cup on Friday, Nov. 3 and Saturday, Nov. 4 we will take a look in capsule form of the thirteen 2017 Races.YOUNGER AND OLDER DISTAFFERS PAINT DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT SETUP…Juvenile Filly Turf Oversubscribed…Distaff Down To A Handful…Time For Bullet Points!On day one of the Breeders’ Cup (Friday 11/3 at Del Mar) the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly Turf and the Breeders’ Cup Distaff will be separated by much more than age and experience.In the Juvenile Filly Turf (1 Mile over the Del Mar grass course) a field of 18 youngsters, including the main…

BREEDERS’ CUP CAPSULES Tuesday, 10/24 PART 2

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 7:53 PM

Continuing today and on these pages until the Breeders’ Cup on Friday, Nov. 3 and Saturday, Nov. 4 we will take a look in capsule form of the thirteen 2017 Races.STACKED BREEDERS’ CUP DIRT MILE COULD HAVE LARGEST AND DEEPEST FIELD IN YEARSPre-entries will be taken this week for the Breeders’ Cup Races (Friday, November 3 and Saturday, November 4 at Del Mar) and if those runners that appear to be legitimate contenders all go in the BREEDERS’ CUP DIRT MILE on Friday, we should not only see the largest field (13 are under consideration after an average field of…

Jockey Tips Can Make You Breeders Cup Cash

Monday, October 23, 2017 at 3:00 PM

JOCKEY TIPS CAN MAKE YOU BREEDERS' CUP CASH... HERE'S HOWGood handicappers know that you just can't base your handicapping solely on just simply betting the leading jockeys. This is especially true at the Breeders' Cup, where, let's face it, they're all top jockeys.When it comes to jockey handicapping in the Breeders' Cup, horseplayers will need to delve beyond simply looking at the current win percentages of the jockeys.  At this level, you are dealing with the best of the best, and just picking a jockey with a good current record is worthless and not worth basing your bets on.  Nevertheless,…

BREEDERS’ CUP CAPSULES Wednesday, 10/18 PART 1

Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 1:52 PM

Beginning today and continuing until the Breeders’ Cup on Friday, Nov. 3 and Saturday, Nov. 4 we will take a look in capsule form of the thirteen 2017 Races.BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE TURF…HISTORY SAYS WINNERS COME FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD.Before I begin the Capsule for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf it is noteworthy that this will be the first time ever that this race (as well as all BC races) will be run at Del Mar. The race is contested at 1 Mile on the grass course. The youngsters will complete one turn around the oval with the starting gate…

Keeneland Fall Racing Preview

Monday, October 2, 2017 at 2:57 PM

WIN BIG WHEN RACING RETURNS TO KEENELAND IN OCTOBERTop class racing returns to Kentucky this week as Keeneland's annual fall season gets ready to open for its three-week, 17-race day, boutique meet from Friday, Oct. 6 to Saturday, Oct. 28.  The meet will attract big fields, good horses, and a load of top jockeys and trainers befitting the world epicenter of Thoroughbred horseracing in Lexington, Kentucky.Since Keeneland's fall meet is only three weeks long and the meet's stakes are front-loaded so they can be Breeders' Cup prep races, the time is now for handicappers to start brushing up on some…

BELMONT FALL CHAMPIONSHIP MEET REVIEW

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 4:34 PM

Wednesday, September 27, 2017  (JUVENILE RACE TOTE WATCHING STILL A LIABILITY) We’ve discussed before how at any race track, or in too many “Guides” bettors are told of the value of watching the tote board with juvenile races.I have many times written extensively on why this JUST DOESN’T WORK any better than not watching the tote. But rather than repeat these reasons yet again. Let us simply take a look at the bottom line by going over the juvenile races over the first 11 days of the Belmont fall Championship Meet.There have been 20 such races over the time span. Of…

Tips And Trends For Big Wins At The Belmont Fall Meet

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 11:56 AM

Every meet, no matter where it is, or when it is, or how high-profile it is, can always be made better and more enjoyable for horseplayers if you are winning and cashing tickets. The Belmont Park Fall Championship meet contains all of New York's key prep races for the Breeders' Cup, but besides just stakes races, it also offers top notch racing and wagering on all types of races, day-in-and-day-out throughout the season. For this reason, it pays to know and understand the handicapping trends that will work for you at the Belmont fall meet. This knowledge will help you…

ALL SORTS OF STORY LINES IN SATURDAY’S GRADE 1 PENNSYLVANIA DERBY…WHO WILL TAKE CHARGE?

Friday, September 22, 2017 at 4:41 PM

With the 3-year-old rankings (if there even is one) as wide open now as it was during the preps leading up to the Kentucky Derby, there are a pair of late season restricted Graded Stakes, the $1 Million Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby at PARX on Saturday, which could, if it is even possible, determine a division leader and the $400K Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park on Sunday. (Check back Saturday Night for the Preview of the Oklahoma Derby.)As we look forward to the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G1) on Saturday at PARX following his commanding 3 1/4-length victory…

BELMONT FALL CHAMPIONSHIP MEET REVIEW

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at 3:07 PM

Part II – 9/15 – 9/17WHAT DID WE LEARN IN WEEK TWO?Week 3 of the Belmont fall Championship Meet begins today (Wednesday 9/20) and as we did last week and will throughout the meet, here is the review of the previous race week..(TURF RACE SCENARIO STAYS CONSISTENT)The first two paragraphs below are a repeat of what we noted last week in our review.Throughout much of the recent Saratoga Meet the place to be on the Turf was either on the lead or close to it. Certainly there were off the pace winners, although many of the smaller portion of grass…

Belmont Fall Meet - What Did We Learn From Week One

Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 5:38 PM

BELMONT FALL CHAMPIONSHIP MEET...WEEK TWO BEGINS FRIDAY...WHAT DID WE LEARN IN WEEK ONE?TURF TURNS UPSIDE DOWNThroughout much of the recent Saratoga Meet the place to be on the Turf was either on the lead or close to it.Certainly there were off the pace winners, although many of the smaller portion of grass winners from off the pace came in the 5 ½ furlong (and only) sprint races.Now back at Belmont during the opening three days (9/8 - 9/10) that was just the opposite. Small sample notwithstanding it likely behooves bettors to consider the makeup of the results from the seventeen…

MAKE A SEEMLESS, WINNING MOVE FROM SARATOGA TO BELMONT

Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at 3:28 PM

New York racing once again moves downstate for the start of the Belmont Park Fall Championship Meet, which begins on Friday, Sept. 8 and continues through to October 29.  Following Saratoga, there are few race meets on the calendar 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 early fall season.Every serious horseplayer plays Belmont during the fall of each year, so it will pay quick and important dividends for…

Travers Stakes Preview

Thursday, August 24, 2017 at 5:36 PM

APTLY NAMED MID-SUMMER DERBY ONCE AGAIN LADEN WITH QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS AND QUESTIONS...2017 TRAVERS ANOTHER BIG PAYOFF CHALLENGEThe Grade I Travers Stakes, the $1.25 Million Centerpiece of the Saratoga Meet every year once again, in 2017, lives up to its title as THE MID-SUMMER DERBY.Each and every year the Travers is, unlike any other 3-year old test of a season, a mirror of the Kentucky Derby. For year in and year out, there are, just as is the case entering the Run For The Roses, more questions involving the status of the various 3-year olds developed enough and with resumes enough…

JOCKEY TRENDS AND ANGLES YOU CAN BET ON AT SARATOGA

Monday, August 21, 2017 at 12:54 PM

One of the best jockey colonies anywhere at any time of the year is currently in action at the summer's premier race meet at Saratoga.  With roughly two weeks of action still remaining at The Spa, let's take a closer look into which jockeys make the best bets and are having the best seasons at Saratoga.  You can use this information to bump up your bankroll and make some money during the closing couple of weeks at the meet.A horse's jockey is one of the most important handicapping elements to consider before horseplayers make their bets. When making selections, the…

SCRAMBLED 3-YEAR OLD PICTURE MEANS PLENTY OF UPSETS

Friday, August 4, 2017 at 5:11 PM

SARATOGA SHOTSVolume 16…Number 7Friday, 8/4SCRAMBLED 3-YEAR OLD PICTURE MEANS PLENTY OF UPSETS MOVING FORWARD…NEXT STOP WEST VIRGINIA DERBYEarly on in the 2017 three-year old stalks racing campaign there were a few analysts who were out in front with contention that there didn’t seem to be any standout 3-year olds on the Triple Crown Trail.In the Kentucky Derby, Always Dreaming was among the few untroubled trip runners and captured a rare Run For the Roses victory for trainer Todd Pletcher as the generous 4.7-1 favorite, odds which reflected the indecisiveness of a public perhaps knowing there were no standouts in the…

SARATOGA IN-DEPTH TRAINER TRENDS FOR SERIOUS PROFITS

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 at 12:30 PM

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 August at Saratoga. 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 decisively give you the advantage over the rest of the betting public.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…

Saratoga Shots - Horses To Watch

Monday, July 31, 2017 at 12:25 PM

SARATOGA SHOTSVolume 16…Number 7Sunday. 7/30SARATOGA HORSES TO WATCHFriday 7/21-Friday 7-28The horses listed below ran well enough in their first attempt at the Saratoga meet to expect them to run back and well before the meet is over.ANOTHER – Trainer Bill Mott seldom has them ready for their debut so the sharp effort by this juvenile MSW colt for the place in 8 ½ furlong turf test despite being caught between rivals is a next out buy sign.BELLOWS – 25K starter level veteran went two wide into the turn of 6 ½ furlong event had to go 7 wide until mid-stretch…

Saratoga Shots Opening Days

Friday, July 28, 2017 at 5:37 PM

SARATOGA SHOTSVolume 16...Number 6OPENING DAYS AT SARATOGA...A FEW OBSERVATIONS(CHURCHILL, MONMOUTH AND GULFSTREAM CONTINUE YEARLY SHIPPING INFLUENCE...GOOD AND BAD) At the beginning of any Saratoga Meet conversation invariably gets around to the "influence" of Shippers.Now that Gulfstream races year round and the focus on the Winter Meet isn't as pronounced, and with Keeneland's short meets falling in early Spring and mid-Autumn, it is not a stretch to declare that during the 40 Day Saratoga Meet more shippers fill the race card than at any other separate meet.This is especially true during the opening 3-4 weeks of the 7 week meet as…

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.…

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…

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…

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…

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