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…

West coast win machine Vasilika top choice in Gamely

Santa Anita’s Grade I, $500,000 Gamely Stakes is among the more intriguing races taking place on Memorial Day. Eight fillies and mares will do battle over 1 1/8-miles on the turf course. Post time for the Gamely, Race 7 on a 10-race program, is 7:03 p.m. ET. #4 VASILIKA (8-5, morning-line favorite) goes for an…

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…

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…

Lady Apple is most appealing in Fantasy

The Grade III, $500,000 Fantasy Stakes is set for Friday at Oaklawn Park on the eve of the Arkansas Derby. The 1 1/16th-mile Kentucky Oaks prep drew a competitive field of 12. Going as Race 8 of 10 on the day, estimated post time for the Fantasy is 5:42 p.m. Eastern. #4 LADY APPLE (6-1)…

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…

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…

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…