Handicapping

Tips and picks for how to bet on Thorougbred horse racing

Ramseys named top owner, breeder at TOBA Awards Dinner

Ken and Sarah Ramsey took home a pair of major awards, National Owner of the Year and National Breeder of the Year, at Friday evening's Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association's (TOBA's) 27th Annual National Awards Dinner at the Keeneland Entertainment Center in Lexington, Kentucky.

Ortensia heads 15-strong field in Haydock Sprint Cup

The Group 1 Sprint Cup is the highlight of the Flat season at Haydock Park, and the 2012 renewal, which takes place on Saturday, promises to be the most cosmopolitan ever with representatives from Australia, France and Ireland as well as a strong British-trained presence among the 15-strong field.

Bejarano, Miller honored as leading jockey, trainer at Del Mar

At mid-season, pursuit of Del Mar's 2012 riding championship was a three-way battle among Rafael Bejarano, Garrett Gomez and Joe Talamo. A short time later, with a burst of victories, Bejarano was alone and in control atop the standings en route to his second Del Mar title and first since 2008.

Groupie Doll faces 11 in Presque Isle Masters

Groupie Doll established herself as the nation's leading female sprinter earlier this season, recording smashing Grade 1 wins in the Humana Distaff and Madison Stakes, but is perhaps a little forgotten by the racing public following a planned four-month freshening. The four-year-old filly will have the opportunity to make another favorable impression Saturday, and re-affirm her status as a top contender for this year's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, when she lines up for Grade 2, $400,000 Presque Isle Down Masters Stakes.

Paynter's condition improves slightly

Owner Ahmed Zayat revealed at midday Wednesday that the health of Grade 1 Haskell Invitational winner Paynter had shown slight improvement. The son of Awesome Again has battled colitis for more than a week and recently developed laminitis and three of his four feet.

Paynter suffering from severe laminitis

Owner Ahmed Zayat has tweeted that Grade 1 Haskell Invitational winner Paynter has developed laminitis in three of his four legs. The news came Tuesday as the three-year-old colt's health continued to decline due to the effects of colitis.

Laurel opens fall meet with higher purses, more stakes

After a 15-week break, live racing will resume at a major Maryland track on Wednesday. The 2012 fall meeting begins at Laurel with a first post of 1:10 p.m. (EDT). Racing will take place four days a week through the end of the year on a Wednesday through Saturday schedule, holidays excluded.

Easter Gift opened in Smarty Jones

The 8-5 favorite Teeth of the Dog jumped out to the early lead, hitting the opening quarter in :23 3/5 and half in :47 3/5 under pressure from Traffic Light, who jumped in front after three-quarters in 1:12. By that point, Easter Gift, a close-up fourth early, loomed into contention. Traffic Light tried to fend him off down the stretch, but Easter Gift was too strong inside the final furlong.

Handle, attendance increase during Saratoga's 144th season

The 144th meet at Saratoga was a rousing success, highlighted by strong wagering gains, robust attendance, top quality racing, a number of new and innovative fan initiatives, continued television coverage from the NBC Sports Group and the MSG Networks, and an unprecedented level of community involvement.

Paynter experiences new complications Monday

Owner Ahmed Zayat has reported that his star three-year-old colt Paynter, whose condition had been improving over the weekend, sustained a couple of setbacks on Monday. The Grade 1 Haskell Invitational winner has been hospitalized since August 26 with a potentially life-threatening case of colitis, and other complications have set in.

Shanghai Bobby much the best in Hopeful

Trainer Todd Pletcher had three of the eight starters in Monday's Grade 2, $400,000 Hopeful at Saratoga, and won the historic fixture for a second time when Starlight Racing's Shanghai Bobby impressively dismantled his rivals by 3 3/4 lengths under Rosie Napravnik. Part of an entry that started as the 2-1 second choice, Shanghai Bobby returned $6.30, $3.50 and $2.30.

Nathaniel, Snow Fairy set for stellar Irish Champion

Nathaniel and Snow Fairy appear among the 12 entries for Saturday's Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown. As expected, the fine French gelding Cirrus Des Aigles has been taken out at the five-day stage, but a terrific field remains.

Micromanage to target Champagne

On the final Saturday of the 2011 Saratoga meet, a two-year-old colt named Alpha joined the New York Watch after posting a debut score in a seven-furlong maiden special weight, and 51 weeks later he was in Saratoga's winner's circle after dead-heating for the win in the Grade 1 Travers.

Hit It Rich takes the initiative in Glens Falls

Two days after her very close relation Dominus wired the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga, 4-5 favorite Hit It Rich took a page from his playbook to post a front-running victory in Monday's Grade 3, $150,000 Glens Falls on closing day at the Spa. The Stuart S. Janney III homebred was prompted by Bizzy Caroline early, but pulled away in the stretch to earn her third stakes win, all at the Grade 3 level going long on turf.

Grass champ Theatrical dies at 30

Theatrical, the 1987 champion turf male, was euthanized Friday night due to the infirmities of old age at Hill 'n' Dale Farm near Lexington, Kentucky, where he was pensioned from stud duty in 2009.

Trio gearing up for Arlington juvenile fixtures

Muppet Man, winner of the $65,000 Meadowlake on August 4 went an easy five-eighths in 1:01 this past weekend at Arlington Park in advance of Saturday's Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity. The local Futurity is Chicago's showcase race for juveniles run out of Arlington's one-mile chute.

Record-setting Dominguez takes Command in Saranac

Lakland Farms' Unbridled Command overtook bold front runner Skyring in the stretch of Sunday's Grade 3, $150,000 Saranac Stakes at Saratoga, providing on-fire jockey Ramon Dominguez with another milestone. Dominguez's amazing sixth score on the day also ranked as his 66th win of the meet, a new single-season record for the Spa.

So Many Ways powers clear in Spinaway

In a manner reminiscent of her victory in the Grade 3 Schuylerville, Maggi Moss' unbeaten So Many Ways swooped off a fast pace and drew clear in Sunday's Grade 1, $294,000 Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga. The Tony Dutrow pupil was even more emphatic this time, however. Subduing the harried 3-5 favorite Teen Pauline in midstretch, So Many Ways stamped her authority by 2 1/2 lengths over the late-running Sweet Shirley Mae.

Brave Dave takes Sapling wire-to-wire

Sent off as the 8-5 favorite, the son of Put It Back finished the six furlongs in 1:10 2/5 over fast dirt, holding off challenger Special Jo by three-quarters of a length for trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. and jockey Paco Lopez.

Know More to be tested in Del Mar Futurity

Know More made Del Mar history by winning the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes in his career debut, but the Reddam Racing colorbearer will be subjected to a stiffer test in Wednesday's Grade 1, $300,000 Del Mar Futurity. The highlight of the closing-day program, the seven-furlong contest has lured such sharp maiden winners as Capo Bastone, Rolling Fog and Gabriel Charles.

McLaughlin plots path to BC for Godolphin runners

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin reported Sunday morning that Emcee, who registered Godolphin Racing's fourth Grade 1 win at Saratoga this summer when he captured Saturday's Forego, emerged from the race in fine fettle. The four-year-old Unbridled's Song colt will either run in the Grade 1 Vosburgh Invitational on Super Saturday, September 29 at Belmont Park, or train up to the Breeders' Cup on November 3 at Santa Anita Park, McLaughlin said.

Shackleford looks ahead to Kelso

Scratched by trainer Dale Romans from the Grade 1, $500,000 Forego on Saturday because of a persistent cough, Shackleford now will be pointed toward a run in the Grade 2, $400,000 Kelso Handicap, a one-mile race September 29 at Belmont Park.

Zayat posts Saturday update on Paynter

Owner Ahmed Zayat gave a Saturday night update on the condition of Paynter, the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational winner, who is being treated for colitis at Upstate Equine Medical Center in Schuylerville, New York.

Emcee runs away with Forego

Godolphin Racing's Emcee established himself as one of the nation's premier sprinters with a dominant victory in Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Forego Stakes, striding away to a 4 1/2-length victory at Saratoga. With Alan Garcia up, the improving four-year-old garnered his first stakes victory when completing seven furlongs in a quick 1:21, and the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained colt has now earned $479,900 from a 7-4-0-2 record.

To Honor and Serve fends off late charge in Woodward

Odds-on favorite Mucho Macho Man got to the throatlatch of Live Oak Plantation's To Honor and Serve inside the eighth pole in Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward at Saratoga, but in a thrilling dogfight couldn't get past the gutsy son of Bernardini, who record the neck victory as the 7-2 second choice.

Middie wins Washington Park in record time

After splitting horses at the three-eighths pole, Middie drew away to a commanding advantage in upper stretch and cruised to the finish line in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Washington Park Handicap, winning by 3 3/4 lengths in 1:49.27 to establish a new 1 1/8-mile track record over Arlington Park's Polytrack. Overlooked at 14-1 in the seven-horse field, the Phil Oliver-trained gelding was guided to his first stakes victory by Francisco Torres.

Dominus masters turf debut in Bernard Baruch

Although Dominus had never raced on turf, his pedigree strongly suggested that he'd love the surface. Trainer Todd Pletcher took the hint, tried the lightly-raced four-year-old in Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga, and the well-bred son of Smart Strike, from the family of Honey Ryder and Hit It Rich, dominated wire to wire.

The Green Monkey sires first winner

The Green Monkey, who sold for a record $16 million as a juvenile and never won a race, is back in the news after siring his first winner. His juvenile daughter Kinz Funky Monkey did the honors in Saturday's 2ND race at Del Mar.

Saez, Iadisernia top standings at Calder

Highlighting the Calder Meet was the 13th edition of the Summit of Speed on July 7. Thoroughbred racing's fastest day saw Musical Romance, the 2011 Eclipse Award winning champion female sprinter made amends for a neck defeat in last year's running of the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap when prevailing by a half-length in the 2012 renewal.

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