Competitive Iroquois, Pocahontas Stakes kick off Churchill meet

Two-year-olds take center stage at Churchill Downs on Saturday as fillies compete in the Pocahontas Stakes while males go in the Iroquois Stakes, a 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Derby prep. Previews of both races are below. Churchill Race 9 (Post time: 4:53 p.m. ET) The Grade II, $200,000 Pocahontas Stakes 1 1/16th-miles on dirt #7 BRITISH IDIOM…

Code of Honor should triumph in Travers

The Grade I, $1.25 million Travers Stakes, the traditional centerpiece of the Saratoga meeting, will be renewed for the 150th time this Saturday. The 1 1/4-mile classic drew full field of 12. Post time for the Travers, Race 11 of 13 on the day, is 5:44 p.m. ET. #2 CODE OF HONOR (4-1) crushed his…

Global Campaign could break out in Jim Dandy

The Grade II, $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes puts three-year-olds in the spotlight at Saratoga this Saturday. A compact but quality field of six will line up in the gate for this 1 1/8-mile test that’s a logical prep for next month’s Travers Stakes. The Jim Dandy, going as Race 11 of 12 on the day,…

It’s all about Owendale in Ohio Derby

The Grade III, $500,000 Ohio Derby is set for Saturday at Thistledown racecourse. The 1 1/8-mile heat drew a field of seven three-year-olds looking to add to their credentials. Post time for the Ohio Derby, Race 9 on a 10-race program, is 5:10 p.m. ET. #2 OWENDALE (9-5, morning-line favorite) was third in the Preakness…

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…