Belmont Stakes undercard stakes analysis, 6/8/19

The 151st Belmont Stakes is just one of eight Grade I stakes on Saturday’s 13-race program at Belmont Park. Let’s dive into a pair of the undercard races below. Belmont Race 9 (Post time: 4:46 p.m. Eastern) The Grade I, $1.2 million Metropolitan Handicap One mile on dirt #2 MCKINZIE (5-2, morning-line favorite) ended a…

Tacitus a tepid top pick in Kentucky Derby 

One of America’s premier horse racing events, the Grade I, $3 million Kentucky Derby, is set for Saturday at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/4-mile classic drew 21 entrants, but the defections of favored #12 OMAHA BEACH (4-1) and longshot #11 HAIKAL (30-1) saw that number shrink to 19. The “Run for the Roses,” which goes…

Improbable far from impossible in Arkansas Derby

The Grade I Arkansas Derby, the final 170-point Kentucky Derby prep, takes place this Saturday at Oaklawn. The 1 1/8-mile dirt event drew a field of 11, led by both of last month’s Rebel division winners, OMAHA BEACH and LONG RANGE TODDY, as well as Bob Baffert’s IMPROBABLE. Post time for the Arkansas Derby, Race…

Weekly jockey review, 4/10/19; Castellano wins early and often at Keeneland

It was a super Saturday for horse racing, as the Wood Memorial, Blue Grass Stakes and Santa Anita Derby were held at Aqueduct, Keeneland and Santa Anita, respectively. Let’s review the results for the week at each circuit, focusing on the top jockey performances. Aqueduct Manny Franco and Jose Lezcano both got off to successful…

Game Winner should garner Kentucky Derby auto-bid in Santa Anita Derby

The Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby drew just six runners, but it’s a quality field. The 1 1/8-mile heat attracted the likes of GAME WINNER, ROADSTER, and INSTAGRAND. Going as Race 8 on an 11-race card that also includes the prestigious Santa Anita Handicap, estimated post time for the Santa Anita Derby is…

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….

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….

Galilean gets first shot vs. open company in Rebel

Oaklawn Park will be the site for two crucial Kentucky Derby preps on Saturday, as they split their Grade II Rebel Stakes into two divisions. The first division of the 1 1/16th-mile heat, which drew a field of nine, is slated for Race 8. Approximate post time for the $750,000 Rebel is 5:57 p.m. EST….

Nolo Contesto holds value in Robert B. Lewis

The Grade III, $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes anchors the action at Santa Anita this Saturday. A potentially sloppy track could throw a wrench into the works, but with little wet-track form to go on, handicappers shouldn’t worry about having to dramatically alter their strategy. Post time for the 1 1/16th-mile Robert B. Lewis, the…