Handicapping

Tips and picks for how to bet on Thorougbred horse racing

Bella Bella Bella to be Challenged by Three in Santa Ysabel

Team Valor's Bella Bella Bella has bent sent off favored in both her career starts and that trend will likely continue in Sunday's $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III). Golden Ballet Stakes winner Bella Bella Bella will face just three rivals -- one per Bella -- in the 1 1/16-mile Santa Ysabel, two maiden winners and the maiden Gaslamp Girl.

Kentucky Derby 2002: Hitting the Trail

Kentucky Derby 2002: Hitting the Trail

As the masses congregate at the start of the Kentucky Derby trail, there will, as usual, be lots of pushing and shoving until late February and early March when the contenders begin to separate themselves from the pack. But disappointment and frustration can be prevelant just getting to the Derby trail, as evidenced by the number of highly promising juveniles who stumbled along the way last week.

Once Again, Baffert Top Trainer by Earnings

How does a trainer go about snatching away the money title from someone who captured 48 stakes, 36 graded stakes, 18 grade I stakes, and earned a whopping $14,715,944? For Bob Baffert, who somehow managed to stay one step ahead of Bobby Frankel all year, all he had to do was win a $6-million stakes in Dubai in March, then unleash a powerhouse of a colt to become the first horse in history to capture four consecutive $1-million stakes.

Bailey Regains Position on Top of Jockeys' Standings

Bailey Regains Position on Top of Jockeys' Standings

In 1999 and again in 2000, Jerry Bailey lost photo finishes to Pat Day for leading rider by North American earnings. In 2001, however, Bailey made sure the camera was not necessary by finishing a furlong ahead of his competition. By the time his 12-month rampage across the continent (plus the Dubai World Cup, UAE-I) was in the books, Bailey had absolutely shattered Gary Stevens' three-year-old record for earnings, his $22,597,720 besting the old mark by better than $4 million.

Xtra Heat 2-5 Morning-Line Favorite for Interborough

Xtra Heat 2-5 Morning-Line Favorite for Interborough

Kenneth Taylor's Xtra Heat will make her first start as a 4-year-old on New Year's Day at Aqueduct when she goes to post as the 125-pound high weight in the $75,000 Interborough Handicap. The $5,000 auction purchase will concede from 11 to 14 pounds to her seven rivals in the six-furlong race and has been installed as the 2-5 favorite on the morning line.

Derby Winner Continues Working Toward Donn Handicap

Derby Winner Continues Working Toward Donn Handicap

Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos continued working toward the Feb. 9 Donn Handicap (gr. I) Sunday, working five furlongs at Gulfstream Park. The John Ward trainee, who won the Florida Derby (gr. I) at the 1 1/8-mile distance of the Donn, will likely have to face 2000 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Red Bullet in the $500,000 Donn.

Chaposa Springs Choice is Gold Mover

Edward P. Evans' 3-year-old filly Gold Mover appears to be the class among 10 fillies and mares entered in the $100,000 Chaposa Springs Handicap (gr. III) at seven furlongs on the main track at Calder on Saturday. Jockey Eibar Coa will be aboard the daughter of Gold Fever for trainer Mark Hennig.

Queue Hopes to Add La Prevoyante to Resume

Gerald Robins and Jay Weiss' 4-year-old filly Queue will attempt to add another grade II stakes victory to her growing resume when she goes to the post among the choices in the $150,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. II) as part of "Grand Slam II" at Calder on Sat., Dec. 29.

You Faces Two Other Grade I Winners in Starlet

You, whose disappointing effort as the odds-on favorite in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies serves as one of the few minuses on trainer Bobby Frankel's resume this year, will be out to rebound against two other grade I winners Sunday in Hollywood Park's grade I, $365,000 Hollywood Starlet for 2-year-old fillies.

Siphonic Likely Futurity Favorite; Officer Challenges

Siphonic Likely Futurity Favorite; Officer Challenges

Trainer Bob Baffert's Officer, the 2-year-old colt who won his first five races so effortlessly he was promoted as racing's latest wunderkind, will seek redemption from two dramatic setbacks in Saturday's $460,750 Hollywood Futurity at Hollywood Park. Siphonic, who overcame obstacles that compromised odds-on favorite Officer and finished third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, is expected to be a slight favorite in the grade I event at 1 1/16 miles

Baffert to Send Pair in Hollywood Futurity

Ending weeks of speculation, trainer Bob Baffert confirmed Wednesday that he would enter Officer and Mountain Rage in the $360,000-estimated Hollywood Futurity Saturday. "They're the two that are doing the best," said Baffert Wednesday from his Santa Anita stable office. Baffert also had Popular and Hawk's Top Gun under consideration for the Grade I test at 1 1/16 miles.

Ice Point and Second Reality Top Pellegrini Field

While Argentina finds itself in a political and economic crisis, its racing industry, which sees itself seriously affected by the general situation, awaits to close the year with a bang this next Saturday at Hipodromo San Isidro with the running of the 113th edition of the Gran Premio Internacional Carlos Pellegrini (Arg-I), over the turf course at the distance of 2400 meters .

Is Morluc a 'Shoe-In' for Hong Kong Sprint?

When Morluc finished second to Falvelon in the 2000 edition of the Hong Kong Sprint, he did so while running on tender feet. "That's not going to be the case this year," said trainer Randy Morse. "We've had Morluc on bar shoes ever since he arrived in Hong Kong. The shoes provide him with just the elevation he needs. Morluc's in much better condition for this year's race."

Steeplechase Season Closes Sunday

Florida's Calder Race Course will again close the National Steeplechase Association season, with two races carded as part of Sunday's racing program. The jumpers will compete in a $25,000 allowance hurdle and the $50,000 Tropical Park Steeplechase Stakes (NSA-III).

2002 Derby Hopefuls: Early Horse-by-Horse Rundown

2002 Derby Hopefuls: Early Horse-by-Horse Rundown

Before the early (and we stress early) list of classic hopefuls gets too long, we're going to sort out the growing number of promising 2-year-olds and take a crack at where they might fit in the 2002 Kentucky Derby picture. We're sure there will be omissions, but this at least will provide an idea who might be some of the major players next spring. Horses are listed in alphabetical order:

Kentucky Derby 2002: Some Holiday Gifts

Kentucky Derby 2002: Some Holiday Gifts

Trainers on both coasts unwrapped some exciting early Christmas presents last week, and all the gifts appear to come with batteries packed with enough charge to last well past next May. This is the time of year when the colts with Derby pedigrees make their appearance, and if you like to see brilliance and a big closing kick to go along with a very low dosage index, then you're going to love Pelirrojo, Charioteer, Axis, and Iwin.

Warp Speed Scottie Beaming In for Hollywood Futurity

Remember Tincin, whose connections threatened to enter the maiden in this year's Kentucky Derby before a cough forced his withdrawal? Those who look back on that debacle fondly will want to tune in for the Dec. 15 Hollywood Futurity, when Iowa-bred Warp Speed Scottie will ship in to take on Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) third-place finisher Siphonic in the 1 1/16-mile grade I race.

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