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…

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…

Bourbon War a tepid top pick in Preakness

A field of 13 will try their luck in the Grade I, $1.5 million Preakness Stakes at Pimlico this Saturday. There’s a lack of star power with both disqualified Kentucky Derby winner Maximum Security and promoted winner Country House bypassing the race along with the sidelined Omaha Beach, but that has served to make the…

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…

Kentucky Derby undercard analysis, 5/4/19

There are stakes races galore in the run-up to the 145th Kentucky Derby, which is scheduled as Race 12 of 14 on Saturday at Churchill Downs. We’ll discuss a pair of them below. Churchill Race 8 (Post time: 2:45 p.m. Eastern) The Grade I, $500,000 Churchill Downs Stakes Seven furlongs on dirt #8 MITOLE (7-2,…

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…

Rushing Fall can build on perfect Keeneland record in Jenny Wiley

Older female turfers will be in the spotlight at Keeneland on Saturday in the Grade I, $350,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes. The 1 1/16th-mile event goes as Race 10 on an 11-race program that also includes the Grade III Lexington Stakes for Kentucky Derby aspirants. Post time for the eight-horse Jenny Wiley is 6:12 p.m. Eastern….

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…

Tax tries to add to Derby point total in wide-open Wood Memorial

Aqueduct’s final Kentucky Derby prep, the Grade II, $750,000 Wood Memorial, is set for Saturday. The 1 1/8-mile heat drew a field of 11 looking for vital Derby points. The winner will receive 100 points, the runner-up 40, third 20 and fourth 10. Post time for the Wood Memorial, Race 10 on an 11-race program,…

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…