Vekoma can punch his Kentucky Derby ticket in Blue Grass Stakes

The Grade II, $1 million Blue Grass Stakes highlights opening Saturday at Kentucky’s historic Keeneland racecourse. The 1 1/8-mile event for three-year-olds attracted a field of 14. Going as Race 10 of 11, post time for the Blue Grass is 6:23 p.m. EST. The winner is virtually assured a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting…

Weekly jockey review, 4/3/19; Franco, Ortiz Jr. secure meet titles

The horse racing calendar continues its transition from winter to spring, as Aqueduct and Gulfstream wrapped up their traditional meets, while Santa Anita got back underway on Friday. We’ll highlight notable jockey performances here. Aqueduct Manny Franco put the finishing touches on the Aqueduct winter meet title with a three-win week. All told, he amassed…

Bourbon War out for revenge on Code of Honor in Florida Derby

The Grade I, $1 million Florida Derby is set for Saturday at Gulfstream Park. The race carries 170 total points toward the Kentucky Derby, with 100 going to the winner. The 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby, which goes as the finale on a stakes-laden 14-race program, drew a field of 11. Approximate post time is 6:30…

Marley’s Freedom, Selcourt to renew rivalry in Beholder

The Grade I, $400,000 Beholder Mile is the feature on the first Saturday card at Santa Anita in four weeks.  A field of seven will line up for this one, led by Santa Monica exacta finishers MARLEY’S FREEDOM and SELCOURT. Post time for the Beholder, Race 9 of a scheduled 10, is 8:28 p.m. EST….

Weekly jockey review, 3/26/19

The nation’s premier winter race meetings are beginning to wrap up. We’ll highlight jockey achievements at the recently-concluded Fair Grounds meeting and more here. Aqueduct Manny Franco still holds a large lead as the Aqueduct winter meet heads toward a close. After winning another five races to boost his meet total at 95, Franco has…

Wicked Indeed gets tepid nod in wide-open Sunland Derby

The final 50-point Kentucky Derby prep, the Sunland Derby, takes place this Sunday at Sunland Park. The Grade III, $800,000 event will be contested with a field of 10 at 1 1/8-miles. Post time for the Sunland Derby, Race 11 of 12 on the day, is 7:30 p.m. EST. #1 MUCHO GUSTO (8-5, morning-line favorite)…

War of Will should overwhelm Louisiana Derby field

The Grade I, $1 million Louisiana Derby takes place this Saturday at the historic Fair Grounds racecourse in New Orleans. The 1 1/8-mile race awards 100 Kentucky Derby points to the winner, assuring them a starting spot in the “Run for the Roses.” Second place receives 40 points, third gets 20, and fourth gets 10….

Weekly jockey review, 3/19/19; Rebel day results and more

Oaklawn Park took most of the national attention last week with the split Rebel Stakes on Saturday, but there was also important racing going on at Aqueduct and Gulfstream. Let’s review the results here, noting which jockeys did best. We’ll also include an update on Santa Anita. Aqueduct Manny Franco has all but wrapped up…

Juvenile champ Game Winner makes return in Rebel

The Grade II, $750,000 Rebel Stakes, part of Arkansas’ road to the Kentucky Derby, takes place this Saturday. Oaklawn Park has split the 1 1/16th-mile event into two divisions, the latter of which drew 10 runners. Division two of the Rebel goes as Race 10 of 11, and estimated post time is 7:06 p.m. EST….