Handicapping

Tips and picks for how to bet on Thorougbred horse racing

Obviously still unbeaten at a mile in Arroyo Seco

Fanticola and Scardino's Obviously turned in another terrific front-running effort in Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 Arroyo Seco Mile at Santa Anita. Aside from remaining perfect from three starts at the distance, the Mike Mitchell charge burnished his credentials for the Breeders' Cup Mile over this same course.

Wise Dan flaunts his superiority in Shadwell Turf Mile

Eclipse Award contender Wise Dan came out of his Grade 1 Woodbine Mile heroics in such fine fettle that trainer Charles Lopresti didn't want to keep him in the barn until the Breeders' Cup. Thus Morton Fink's homebred was entered in Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland, and judging by how he crushed the opposition once again, it's clear why Lopresti couldn't hold him down.

Neck 'n Neck proves best in Indiana Derby

A. Stevens Miles Jr.'s homebred Neck 'n Neck closed strongly in Saturday's Grade 2, $513,600 Indiana Derby, rallying down the center of the track to post a one-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile test at Hoosier Park. With new jockey Brian Hernandez up, the Ian Wilkes-trained colt was off as the 9-2 third choice among 11 rivals and returned payoffs of $11.20, $4.80 and $2.80 to his supporters.

Tapitsfly denies Daisy Devine in First Lady

Frank L. Jones Jr.'s homebred Tapitsfly got up to take the Grade 1, $350,000 First Lady Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday and in the process gained a measure of revenge over rival Daisy Devine, who held her to third when capturing the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley during Keeneland's spring meet. Daisy Devine had a clear lead in the stretch of the First Lady, but Tapitsfly lived up to her name when swooping in late to finish a mile on the firm turf in 1:35 2/5.

Dreaming of Julia ekes out Frizette win over My Happy Face

Stonestreet Stables' homebred Dreaming of Julia just got the head victory on Saturday in Belmont Park's Grade 1, $380,000 Frizette Stakes after a stretch-long duel with near 3-1 second choice My Happy Face. The pair raced in tandem down the lane, in very close quarters at times, but Dreaming of Julia managed to take the win under jockey John Velazquez to move her record to a perfect three-for-three.

Groupie Doll on cruise control in TCA

After saving ground for a half-mile, Groupie Doll had to wait patiently for a seam to open up at the top of the stretch in Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America at Keeneland. When it finally did, the four-year-old burst through with ease and drew off to win the six-furlong Polytrack dash by 6 1/2 lengths. The 2-5 choice, now the probable early favorite in next month's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, Groupie Doll returned $2.80, $2.20 and $2.10.

Bridgetown a popular Woodford winner

Eugene Melnyk's homebred Bridgetown made a rare off-the-pace rally to land Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Woodford going 5 1/2 furlongs on Keeneland's firm turf. Favored at 3-5 in the field of six, the five-year-old son of Speightsown wore down long-time leader Great Mills inside the final furlong to post a one-length win in a time of 1:02 2/5.

Spring in the Air BC-bound; Phoenix top two still pondering

John Oxley's Spring in the Air returned to Churchill Downs on Friday night after her one-length victory in the Grade 1 Alcibiades and "is great this morning," trainer Mark Casse said Saturday. The victory earned Spring in the Air a spot in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies to be run November 2 at Santa Anita. Casse said her travel itinerary to California has not been set.

Retired Thoroughbreds to be honored during Festival of the Sun

In addition to hosting a stakes-filled afternoon of live racing as part of the 21st annual Festival of the Sun on October 13, Calder Race Course will also hold ceremonies throughout the day in conjunction with Florida Thoroughbred Retirement and Adoptive Care (TRAC), Horses and the Handicapped of South Florida, the Broward Sheriff's Mounted Unit, and Hobbs Equestrian to honor retired Thoroughbred race horses now serving the community in their second careers.

Spring in the Air rallies to take Alcibiades

Not only did John Oxley's Spring in the Air pass the test in Friday's Grade 1, $400,000 Alcibiades at Keeneland, but so did bettors who made her the mild 4-1 favorite in a wide-open field of 14 juvenile fillies. Under Patrick Husbands, the daughter of Spring At Last weaved her way through the field from the second tier, angled out approaching the stretch, and closed with a rush to overtake Magical Moon and go on to win by a length. Spring in the Air returned $10.60, $6 and $3.60.

Sum of the Parts takes flight in Phoenix

Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence's Sum of the Parts grabbed command early in Friday's Grade 3, $175,000 Phoenix Stakes on Keeneland's opening day and never looked back en route to a 1 1/4-length victory under jockey Julien Leparoux. The Tom Amoss trainee beat older horses in the six-furlong sprint when stopping the clock in 1:09 4/5 over the Polytrack.

Kaplan still 50-50 on starting Musical Romance in Mike Sherman Memorial

With the possibility of a somewhat surprising appearance by Pinnacle Racing Stable and trainer Bill Kaplan's Eclipse Award winner Musical Romance in the $55,000 Mike Sherman Memorial Stakes, the complexion of Saturday's 6 1/2-furlong filly and mare sprint at Calder Race Course could change drastically once scratches are in.

Uncaptured brings perfect mark into Grey

Uncaptured will put his unbeaten record on the line against six rivals in Sunday's Grade 3, $200,000 Grey Stakes at Woodbine. An impressive 3 1/4-length winner of the September 9 Swynford Stakes in his last outing, the Mark Casse trainee will make his first start at two turns as he preps for a possible start in the November 3 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita. Regular rider Patrick Husbands will be up on the dark bay son of Lion Heart.

Tiz Miz Sue chases first Grade 1 win in Spinster

Tiz Miz Sue has been keeping company this summer with the top fillies on the East Coast, but when she arrived at Keeneland Wednesday morning for Sunday's Grade 1, $500,000 Spinster after vanning from Monmouth Park, there was no Royal Delta or Love and Pride in sight.

Pletcher holds strong hand in Champagne, Frizette

Shanghai Bobby will look to continue his dominance of the East Coast juvenile division on Saturday while taking on some familiar faces as well as a few newcomers in the Grade 1, $400,000 Champagne at Belmont Park. The Harlan's Holiday colt brings a perfect three-for-three mark into the one-mile contest, and will try to use the race as a springboard to Breeders' Cup Juvenile glory and year-end championship honors.

Full field set for Breeders' Futurity; Groupie Doll highlights TCA

Saturday's Grade 1, $400,000 Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland came up very contentious. The 1 1/16-mile event on Polytrack has attracted an overflow of 16 two-year-olds, but only 14 will be allowed to start and favoritism could fall to Pataky Kid following his victory in the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity. Other legitimate contenders include Grade 2 With Anticipation Stakes winner Balance the Books; Grade 2 Summer runner-up Are You Kidding Me; Sunday Silence Stakes victor Java's War; and Tizracer, a recent 10 1/2-length maiden scorer for Todd Pletcher.

Wise Dan faces 11 in Shadwell; Daisy Devine seeks sweep in First Lady

Wise Dan is unquestionably one of America's best turf horses, posting impressive victories in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile and Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap in his last two starts, and the talented gelding looks poised to make a serious assault upon the November 3 Breeders' Cup Mile. He will receive his final tune-up in Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile, one of five graded stakes races on a strong Keeneland program.

Fed Biz, Grace Hall face competitive fields at Hoosier

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who enjoyed success in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby two years ago with eventual three-year-old champion Lookin at Lucky, will seek to land Saturday's $500,000 renewal at Hoosier Park with the highly-regarded Fed Biz. The Corinthian colt had better bring his running shoes with him from Southern California as the 1 1/16-mile heat has attracted a deep, attractive field of 12.

Alternation faces six in Hawthorne Gold Cup

Alternation outbroke the rest of the older male division this year when capturing his first four starts. After falling behind the pack over the summer, the Pin Oak homebred will try and re-rally to catch up with the rest of the divisional heavyweights beginning with Saturday's Grade 2, $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup. The 1 1/4-mile test serves as Alternation's final tune-up for the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic.

Ascot announces Champions Day acceptors

The countdown to the second British Champions Day at Ascot on October 20 is now in full swing and the sense of anticipation ahead of British racing's richest day of the year steps up a gear Wednesday with the publication of the latest acceptors for the championship finales in each of the five categories of the British Champions Series.

Animal Kingdom aimed at Breeders' Cup Mile

Animal Kingdom will return to action in the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita on November 3 with a chance to become the first Kentucky Derby winner to go on to Breeders Cup glory since Unbridled in 1990.

Breeders' Cup releases wagering menu, post times

The Breeders' Cup on Tuesday announced the wagering menu and post times for the 29th Breeders' Cup World Championships, to be held November 2-3 at Santa Anita. This year's wagering menu on the 15 Breeders' Cup races features an abundance of betting opportunities including two all Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick Sixes, 10-cent Superfectas, 50-cent Trifectas, Pick 3s, Pick 4s and Pick 5s, a Ladies' Classic -- Breeders' Cup Classic Daily Double and two Super High 5 wagers.

Nathaniel latest Arc withdrawal

As expected, Sunday's Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe will not feature last year's winner Danedream, but there was another twist as Nathaniel was also ruled out Tuesday. Just hours after Germany's defending champion was scratched at the six-day forfeit stage due to the three-month quarantine of all horses based at the racecourse hit by a case of EIA in Cologne, dual Group 1 winner Nathaniel also went by the wayside after he was found to have a temperature.

Dawn Approach pleases Bolger ahead of Dewhurst

Dawn Approach on Tuesday morning warmed up for his Group 1, £300,000 Dewhurst engagement with a solid work-out under big-race jockey Kevin Manning. The unbeaten colt worked in company with fellow Dewhurst entry Leitir Mor over 5 1/2 furlongs at trainer Jim Bolger's Beechy Park in County Carlow.

Malibu Moon filly sells for $300,000 at F-T Midlantic

Ellen M. Charles purchased a Malibu Moon filly for the top price of $300,000 at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic's Eastern Fall Yearlings Sale, conducted in Timonium, Maryland, on Monday. Cataloged as Hip No. 81, the Virginia-bred was consigned by Charlton (Mr. and Mrs. Rick Abbott), agent for Audley Farm Equine.

Danedream unlikely for Arc after Cologne put under quarantine

In a strange twist of fate Monday, last year's Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triompge heroine Danedream was effectively ruled out of Sunday's renewal at Longchamp after a case of equine infectious anemia (EIA), or swamp fever, put Cologne racecourse under immediate quarantine.

Pataky Kid drills for Breeders' Futurity

Swifty Farms' Pataky Kid, winner of the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity and undefeated in two starts on Polytrack, worked five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 on Monday in preparation for a run in Saturday's Grade 1, $400,000 Breeders' Futurity, a "Win and You're In" race for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile to be run November 3 at Santa Anita.

Overanalyze overcomes troubled start in Futurity

When the gate opened, Overanalyze was a bit tardy to move from post 4, then got bumped by Handsome Jack, who veered in from post 5. Meanwhile, as Overanalyze found himself lagging in the rear with John Velazquez, a contentious pace unfolded up front.

Slim Shadey turns in front-running exhibition in John Henry

The complexion of the John Henry changed early on, as the field crossed over the brief span of the main track before linking up with the turf course proper. When 3-2 favorite Turbo Compressor didn't sprint to the fore as expected, jockey Garrett Gomez called an audible and let Slim Shadey roll. The Simon Callaghan trainee never looked back.

Politicallycorrect goes to extremes to upset Oklahoma Derby

Ken and Sarah Ramsey's homebred Politicallycorrect rallied on the extreme outside to upset 2-1 favorite Willy Beamin in Sunday's $400,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park. Hung out seven wide down the lane, the 10-1 chance came with an irresistible late charge beneath Kent Desormeaux to prevail in the shadow of the wire, snapping the favorite's six-race winning streak.

Catalano takes Arlington training title for 10th time

The 90-day meeting at Arlington Park ended Sunday, with trainer Wayne Catalano earning his 10th Arlington crown while jockey Francisco Torres and owners Midwest Thoroughbreds of Richard and Karen Papiese each took down their first Arlington title.

Karlovy Vary, Gold Edge post works at Keeneland

Alex Campbell Jr.'s Karlovy Vary, winner of the Grade 1 Ashland this spring, breezed a half-mile in :52 3/5 over Keeneland's Polytrack Sunday morning in preparation for next Sunday's 57th running of the Grade 1, $500,000 Spinster.

Kanaloa rules as Lord of the Sprinters

Second favorite Lord Kanaloa, ridden by Yasunari Iwata, exerted a strong late charge, despite the strong crosswind from the approaching typhoon, to capture his first Grade 1 victory in a course-record time of 1:06.7 in Sunday's Sprinters Stakes at Nakayama. His victory prevented stablemate Curren Chan from achieving her third consecutive Grade 1 sprint race victory.

Game on Dude solidifies role as Classic favorite in Awesome Again

Game on Dude did what was expected in his final tune-up for the Breeders' Cup Classic, posting an easy win in the Grade 1, $250,000 Awesome Again Stakes, and figures to be a definitive favorite over the same Santa Anita track on November 3. Favored at 1-5 over eight rivals on Saturday, the classy gelding provided Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Rafael Bejarano with their third Grade 1 victory on the afternoon when cruising to a 3 1/4-length decision.

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