Handicapping

Tips and picks for how to bet on Thorougbred horse racing

John's Call Concedes Five Years to Man O' War Rivals

Trillium Stable's 9-year-old gelding John's Call will take on seven 4-year-olds, including the filly Ela Athena, in Saturday's $500,000 Man O' War Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park. Jean Luc-Samyn, who rode John's Call to a 9 1/4-length victory in the Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) last month at Saratoga, will guide the Thomas Voss trainee from post position four.

Fantastic Light Preps for Man O' War Start

Godolphin Racing's Man O' War Stakes (gr. IT) hopeful Fantastic Light put in a five-furlong drill over the main track at Belmont Park Wednesday morning in preparation for Saturday's $500,000 race. Other probable starters for the race include Aly's Alley, Down the Aisle, Ela Athena, Gritty Sandie, Honor Glide, John's Call, Sunshine Street, and Timboroa.

Megans Bluff Holds Off On a Soapbox in Arlington Matron

Megans Bluff became the second graded stakes winner of the day bred by Kevin G. Pipes when the 3-year-old daughter of Pine Bluff just held on to win the $150,000 Arlington Matron Handicap (gr. III) by a neck Monday at Arlington International. Earlier in the day at Philadelphia Park, Pine Dance, a 3-year-old son of Pine Bluff bred by Pipes, earned a three-length win in the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. III).

Samum Wins Grosser Preis von Baden

Stall Blankenese's BMW 130 Deutsches Derby (Ger-I) winner Samum took the lead after 1 1/4 miles and then held Catella, Fruits of Love, and Daliapour -- the second-, third- and fourth-place finishers, respectively -- at bay to win the Mercedes Benz Grosser Preis von Baden (Ger-I) by 2 1/2 lengths Sunday at Baden Baden, Germany.

Rob's Spirit Holds On for Saranac Victory

Michael Paulson and Edward White's Rob's Spirit held off the late charge of Whata Brainstorm to narrowly win the $113,800 Saranac Handicap (gr. IIIT) Sunday at Saratoga. The top two finishers continue the legacies of two of the sport's premier breeders. Rob's Spirit was bred by the late Allen Paulson; Whata Brainstorm by the late Fred Hooper.

Maiden Wins Del Mar Debutante

Elizabeth and Tom Baxter's Cindy's Hero charged along the rail while rounding the turn to move into contention, was swung out for racing room approaching the stretch by jockey Garrett Gomez, and closed gamely though the stretch to earn her first career win in the $250,000 Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) Saturday at Del Mar.

TVG, NYRA Join Forces to Pursue OTB Corp. Bid

The New York Racing Association and TVG have joined forces to pursue the possible acquisition of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation. Under the terms of a preliminary proposal, NYRA would assume the operation and management of NYCOTB's physical wagering outlets while TVG would assume the management and operation of its existing telephone account wagering assets.

City Zip Heads Hopeful Field

City Zip will attempt to become the first horse since Dehere in 1993 to sweep Saratoga's juvenile stakes when he faces 11 rivals in Saturday's $200,000 Hopeful Stakes (gr. I). The Hopeful is also the first leg in a new bonus series offered by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

50-1 Shot Pulls Upset in Forego

Shadow Caster, the longest shot in the field for the Forego Handicap (gr. II) at Saratoga, zipped through the stretch to stun graded stakes winners Intidab and Successful Appeal, winning Wednesday's feature race by a length. Those two rivals, along with Iron Punch, followed Shadow Caster over the line and forced a photo for second, won by Intidab.

Pleasant Breeze Wins Saratoga BC

Even-money favorite Pleasant Breeze, left alone on an easy lead by his six rivals in the $283,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) Sunday at Saratoga, repulsed J.R. Holmes' challenge and drew off through the stretch to a 2 3/4-length victory. After the win, though, Pleasant Breeze was vanned off the track.

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