Weekly jockey review, 6/19/19; Bejarano wins 4,000th race

There were graded stakes galore offered at Churchill Downs last week, while one rider attained a prestigious personal milestone at Santa Anita. Let’s go over all the action from thoroughbred racing from last week, focusing on jockey achievements. Belmont Jose Lezcano maintains a comfortable lead at the Belmont spring/summer meeting that ends in three weeks….

Gift Box should top stacked Stephen Foster

The Grade II, $600,000 Stephen Foster Stakes is the feature race on Saturday night at Churchill Downs. A field of 12 will crowd the gate for this 1 1/8-mile test. The Stephen Foster goes as Race 8 on an 11-race program; estimated post time is 9:47 p.m. ET. #6 GIFT BOX (3-1, morning-line favorite) gets…

Weekly jockey review, 6/12/19

We’ll visit a trio of tracks in this week’s jockey review, focusing mainly on the results at Belmont Park during Belmont Stakes week. Let’s get started. Belmont Joel Rosario was the winning rider aboard Sir Winston in the 151st Belmont Stakes. He expertly guided his charge through traffic while saving ground to beat a wide-running…

Tacitus, War of Will look hard to beat in Belmont

The Grade I, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes, the Triple Crown’s third and final jewel, will be run for the 151st time this Saturday at Belmont Park. There’s no Triple Crown on the line this year, but 10 three-year-olds with Eclipse Award aspirations have assembled for the “Run for the Carnations.” The Belmont Stakes, set for…

New York, Belmont Gold Cup analysis, 6/7/19

Prestigious turf stakes, namely the New York and Belmont Gold Cup, highlight the Belmont Stakes eve card at Belmont Park. Let’s dive into the action right away. Belmont Race 9 (Post time: 5:15 p.m. Eastern) The Grade II, $600,000 New York Stakes 1 1/4-miles on turf #8 HOMERIQUE (6-5, morning-line favorite) was last seen winning…

Zulu Alpha heads competitive Man o’ War field

The first Grade I of the spring/summer meet at Belmont Park, the Man o’ War, is set for this Saturday. The 1 3/8-mile turf event pits a field of nine in pursuit of a $700,000 purse. Post time for the Man o’ War, Race 10 on a stakes-laden 11-race program, is 6:24 p.m. ET. Betting…

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…

Bellafina appears vulnerable in Kentucky Oaks

The Grade I, $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks puts three-year-old fillies in the spotlight at Churchill Downs on the Friday before the Kentucky Derby. The prestigious 1 1/8-mile heat drew an overflow field of 16, including two also-eligibles. Post time for the Kentucky Oaks, Race 11 on a lucrative 13-race program, is 6:12 p.m. Eastern. #15…

Zulu Alpha looms large in Elkhorn

Saturday’s feature race at Keeneland is the Grade II, $250,000 Elkhorn Stakes. The 1 1/2-mile event takes place on the lawn and attracted 10 runners. Post time for the Elkhorn, Race 9 of 10 on the day, is 5:30 p.m. Eastern. #10 ZULU ALPHA (8-5, morning-line favorite) goes for his third straight stakes victory in…

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…