Handicapping

Tips and picks for how to bet on Thorougbred horse racing

Domestic Dispute May Avoid 'Dubai Bounce'

Given more than a four-month rest since his indifferent effort in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), Domestic Dispute should be able to avoid the so-called "Dubai Bounce" in Sunday's $200,000 Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar, trainer Patrick Gallagher believes.

Blackdoun, 'Lucky Boy Clash in La Jolla

Blackdoun, a solid winner of the faster division of Del Mar's opening-day Oceanside Stakes at a mile on the turf, heads a field of seven 3-year-olds for Saturday's $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/16 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.

Saratoga Notebook: A Dandy Lead-in to the Travers

The $1 million Travers (G1) is now less than three weeks away, but the picture is still cloudy. With SMARTY JONES retired and Belmont (G1) winner BIRDSTONE training up to the race, it appears that starter Bob Duncan will have a gate full of sophomores since no one is being scared away.

Freshened Speightstown Ready for Vanderbilt

Eugene and Laura Melnyk's Speightstown, who has managed to avoid the sort of injuries this year that have plagued him during his career, is the horse to beat in the $200,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II) at six furlongs Saturday at Saratoga.

NTRA National Pick 4 Offered Saturday

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Thursday that it will offer another "National Pick 4" wager this Saturday, Aug. 14, as part of its "NTRA Super Saturday" series that will be featured on the ABC and ESPN networks.

3-Year-Olds Spar in Secretariat

A small but strong field of seven 3-year-olds passed the entry box at Arlington Park Wednesday--drawn for a shot at the purse in Saturday's running of the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT).

Del Mar Notebook: Horses to Watch

Sunday's $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch H. (G2) highlighted the stakes action at Del Mar this week as a field of eight fillies and mares, three-years-old and up, went to the gate for the 1 1/16-mile affair.

Godolphin Duo Gallops for Million, Beverly D.

The Irish-bred colt Vespone and the South African-bred mare Crimson Palace, a pair of Godolphin Racing Inc. competitors in Saturday's International Festival of Racing at Arlington Park, turned in easy gallops Monday morning at the suburban Chicago track.

Artie Schiller Top Choice in Hall of Fame 'Cap

Although he suffered his first turf defeat of the season in last month's Virginia Derby, Artie Schiller will be odds-on to get back in the winners' circle when he starts in Saratoga's $150,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Handicap (gr. IIT) Monday.

Even the Score Out of Pacific Classic

Even the Score, bothered by foot problems, was dropped from consideration for the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) on Aug. 22 by trainer Vladimir Cerin Sunday. Another prospect for the race, Olmodavor is extremely questionable, according to trainer Richard Mandella.

German Million Raider Epalo Enjoying Arlington

Gary A. Tanaka's Epalo, the first of four European invaders to arrive at Arlington Park for the upcoming Arlington Million (gr. IT) Aug. 14, was on his toes -- alert and interested -- while being walked behind his barn by Elke Schutz Saturday morning.

Silver Ticket One to Beat in Breeders' Stakes

With Queen's Plate winner Niigon at Saratoga to contest the Jim Dandy (gr. II) on dirt, Sam-Son Farm's Silver Ticket and The Two Bit Racing Stable's A Bit O'Gold head a field of 11 Canadian-bred 3-year-olds for the $500,000 Breeders' Stakes Sunday at Woodbine.

Elloluv Faces Top Field in Hirsch Handicap

With a lineup that includes four multiple graded stakes winners, Sunday's $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) boasts one of the strongest fields of fillies and mares ever gathered for the 1 1/8-mile fixture on Del Mar's main track.

Souvenir Gift Leads Sorrento Line-up

Undefeated Souvenir Gift, who has two stakes victories among her three wins, heads a field of eight 2-year-old fillies in Saturday's $150,000 Sorrento Stakes (gr. III) at 6 1/2 furlongs on Del Mar's main track.

Bare Necessities Looks to Repeat in Gardenia

Iron County Farms' Bare Necessities is looking to repeat her winning performance in Saturday's $200,000 Gardenia Handicap (gr. III) going 1 1/8-miles at Ellis Park. Bare Necessities took the 2003 edition by scoring an impressive 5 1/4-length win and paying just $2.80 to become the shortest price in the race's 22-year history.

Gutty Peace Rules Heads Whitney Handicap Field

Five weeks after giving everything he had to win the Suburban Handicap (gr. I) by a neck over Newfoundland, Edmund Gann's Peace Rules will have his work cut out for him once again as he faces a field with quick speed horses in Saturday's 77th running of the $750,000 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga.

Lion Heart to Roar from Post 4 in Haskell

Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's Lion Heart, the 121-pound starting highweight for the Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I), drew post 4 on Thursday for Sunday's race. He was quickly installed the 9-5 favorite for the $1-million Haskell, Monmouth Park's signature race of the season.

Chowder's First Outduels West Virginia

Chowder's First outdueled West Virginia in the stretch of Wednesday's $250,000 restricted New York Stallion Stakes (Cab Calloway Division) at Saratoga Race Course. The 3-year-old son of Let Goodtimes Roll covered the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:50.99. West Virginia was a neck back for second, with Pay Attention a distant 9 1/2-lengths back in third.

Lion Heart, Rock Hard Ten Set for Haskell

The second season begins in earnest for the 3-year-olds the weekend of Aug. 7-8, with the runnings of the Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I), Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II), and West Virginia Derby (gr. III). If there is even the slimmest chance of dethroning Smarty Jones for the title, someone is going to have to run the table.

Del Mar Notebook: Volume 1

by Brian P. Turner -- It was in 1937 when Del Mar Race Course was first opened to the racing fans of Southern California. Legendary crooner Bing Crosby, one of the founders of the seaside track, was on hand to personally greet the public as they made their way through the gates.

Rock Hard Ten Drills Swiftly for Haskell

Mercedes Stable's and Madeleine Paulson's Rock Hard Ten, runner-up to Smarty Jones in the Preakness Stakes, turned a swift and visually impressive five furlongs Saturday morning in a final tuneup for next Saturday's Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park in New Jersey.

Velvet Snow Fits Royal North at Woodbine

With two consecutive triumphs on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, Velvet Snow looks to extend her winning ways in the $167,550 Royal North Stakes (Can-III) for fillies and mares on a special Simcoe Holiday Monday card of racing at Woodbine.

Sightseek, Azeri in Go for Wand 'Cap Rematch

The champion mare Azeri can become the all-time top-earning mare in North American racing with a victory in the $250,000 Go for Wand Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course Sunday. But to do so, she'll have to overcome Sightseek, who trounced her in their most recent start in the Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park June 19.

Baffert, Jerkens Fillies Spar in Test

A group of a dozen 3-year-old fillies will vie Saturday in the 79th running of the $250,000 Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course. Headlined by Friendly Michelle and Society Selection, the field will go seven furlongs on a surface that could prove wet -- given a stormy upstate New York forecast for the Spa's opening weekend.

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