Handicapping

Tips and picks for how to bet on Thorougbred horse racing

Dayatthespa heads Matriarch; Hollywood Derby attracts 15

Dayatthespa, who has won five in a row at three different tracks, will try to keep her streak alive in the $250,000 Matriarch Stakes on Sunday at Hollywood Park. The one mile event for older fillies and mares is part of a Grade 1 grass doubleheader on the final day of the Turf Festival. The 10-race program also includes the $250,000 Hollywood Derby, which drew an overflow of 15 three-year-olds at 1 1/4 miles.

Guys and a Doll featured in Cigar Mile

No filly or mare in the 23-year existence of the Cigar Mile has won the one-mile fixture at Aqueduct, though few have tried. Fresh off a championship clinching win in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, Groupie Doll will attempt to make a little history before the year is out when she faces six male rivals in Saturday's renewal of the $350,000 handicap.

Kya One relishes added ground in My Charmer

After Mackie Racing's Kya One finished a belated fifth to Naples Bay in her U.S. debut in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel over a mile at Belmont Park, trainer Chad Brown explained that his new recruit really needed more ground. That proposition was tested, and confirmed, in Thursday's Grade 3, $100,000 My Charmer Handicap at Calder, where Kya One profited from an extra furlong to defeat Naples Bay by a cozy 1 1/4 lengths.

Really Mr Greely tops Baffert sweep in Hollywood Prevue

Bob Baffert was virtually assured of continuing his stranglehold on Thursday's Grade 3, $100,000 Hollywood Prevue Stakes by entering four of the five runners, and the Hall of Famer's quartet duly gobbled up the top four placings in the Thanksgiving Day feature. Less predictable, however, was the identity of the Baffert-trained winner -- Really Mr Greely, the 11-1 longest shot on the board, who led throughout to upset 4-5 favorite Super Ninety Nine.

Delaunay runs away with Thanksgiving Handicap

Allowed to settle just off the early pace, Maggi Moss's Delaunay took command in upper stretch and drew off for a 2 1/2-length tally in the 87th running of Fair Grounds' $98,000 Thanksgiving Handicap, the New Orleans oval's tradition-rich annual opening day highlight, giving nine-time Fair Grounds trainer champion Tom Amoss his first winner in the Turkey Day feature attraction.

Handle increases at Belmont fall meet

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) posted an 11.5 percent gain in total handle during the recently concluded Belmont Park fall meet, with additional increases in NYRA Rewards account wagering and wagering on NYRA races. Belmont Park's fall meet ran 36 days from September 8 to October 28, 2012.

Sadler seeks sweep in Generous and Miesque

The Hollywood Park Turf Festival continues Saturday with a pair of Grade 3 stakes for two-year-olds, the $100,000 Generous and $100,000 Miesque for fillies, and both races will be contested at a mile on turf. John Sadler will try to become only the second trainer to win the Generous in consecutive years when he sends out a pair, Rising Legend and Under Review, and he is responsible for top contender Pussycat Lips in the Miesque later on the program.

Uncaptured tops Jockey Club; Golden Rod draws nine

After posting a 5 1/2-length score in the Iroquois Stakes on October 28, Uncaptured will look to keep his momentum rolling while stretching back out to a two-turn distance in Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs. The Lion Heart colt can enhance his reputation as a leading Kentucky Derby candidate with a strong showing in the 1 1/16-mile event.

Shackleford faces nine in Clark in career finale

Shackleford, whose Grade 1 exploits include the 2011 Preakness and the Metropolitan Handicap last May, will bow out of the racing scene Friday in the Grade 1, $400,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/8-mile Clark, which dates to Churchill's founding year of 1875, anchors the 12-race Black Friday program, with the Clark set to go off shortly after sunset.

De Kock stable loaded for Dubai season

He's won more than $6 million at the Dubai World Cup Carnival over the years and globe-trotting trainer Mike de Kock is hoping that his current group of new hopefuls can add to his Dubai spoils.

Ultimate Eagle launches comeback in deep Citation

Ultimate Eagle, who capped a four-race winning streak in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby at last year's Turf Festival, will kick off the 2012 Festival by making his comeback in Friday's Grade 2, $250,000 Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park. Sidelined for nine months since weakening to 10th in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap, the Michael Pender trainee will clash with stablemate and defending champion Jeranimo; East Coast shipper Data Link and his frequent foe Doubles Partner; and former Argentinean Horse of the Year Interaction.

Grade 1 veterans among Claiming Crown nominees

The 14th edition of the $850,000 Claiming Crown promises to make opening day at Gulfstream Park an even more special occasion on December 1, judging from the long and talented list of nominees for the seven-race series that will be renewed for the first time at the Hallandale Beach, Florida, track.

Quality control standards implemented for Listed stakes

The North American International Catalogue Standards Committee (NAICSC) on Monday announced that effective January 1, 2014, additional quality control requirements will be implemented for races in North America eligible for non-Listed black-type in SITA catalogues (those compliant with guidelines required by the Society of International Thoroughbred Auctioneers).

Kentucky Derby, Oaks tickets available online

Shoppers searching for ideas for unique holiday gifts have the opportunity to present family members, friends and business associates with a view of Churchill Downs' venerable Twin Spires on Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Days with an online advance purchase of either general admission tickets to those great racing and entertainment events, or two-day reserved seats for Derby and Oaks in the track's new Section 110 venue.

McClellan marks 40 years as jockey agent

When rising superstar Joe Talamo captured Santa Anita's autumn riding title to break the five-year Southern California reign of Rafael Bejarano and Joel Rosario, it was a scrapbook-filling moment for the 22-year-old. For his agent, Scotty McClellan, it was just another day at the office.

Shackleford staying home for Clark

A decision on whether classic hero Shackleford would run in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile on Saturday at Aqueduct or one day earlier in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs was to be made Monday, but trainer Dale Romans told the Courier-Journal on Sunday that the chestnut would stay home in Kentucky for the latter contest.

Fair Grounds opens with salty renewal of Thanksgiving 'Cap

Fair Grounds is generally accepted to be the third-oldest racetrack in the country, although many accounts, including a heavily researched 2006 feature in The Times-Picayune by Bob Fortus, contend that Fair Grounds could be at least the second-oldest, if not the oldest.

Sadamu Patek hangs on from Boss in Mile Championship

Sadamu Onishi's Sadamu Patek just hung on from favored Grand Prix Boss in Sunday's 29th running of the Mile Championship at Kyoto. Aside from recording his first Grade 1 title, the son of Fuji Kiseki helped jockey Yutaka Take to fill in a rare gap on his resume.

Centre holds court in Mrs. Revere

Centre Court's first two victories came during the spring meet -- a 4 3/4-length maiden conquest on May 19, followed by the Grade 3 Regret in her stakes debut on June 16. The Rusty Arnold filly made it three in a row when taking a rough running of the Grade 2 Lake George at Saratoga. Runner-up to Stephanie's Kitten next time out in the Grade 2 Lake Placid at the Spa August 19, Centre Court was most recently second to the front-running Dayatthespa in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland October 13.

Goldencents wires Delta Downs Jackpot

W. C. Racing, Dave Kenney and RAP Racing's Goldencents grabbed command of Saturday's Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot by a short margin soon after the start and maintained the lead throughout to score a 1 3/4-length victory on the wire. With jockey Kevin Krigger aboard, the Doug O'Neill trainee ran 1 1/16 miles on the fast main track in 1:44 4/5.

Lea justifies favoritism in Commonwealth Turf

Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider's homebred Lea capitalized on a textbook stalk-and-pounce trip to capture Saturday night's Grade 3, $100,000 Commonwealth Turf at Churchill Downs, and in the process, the lightly-raced colt stamped himself as one to follow next year. Bet down to 5-2 favoritism off his late-running third in the Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby last out, the Al Stall Jr. trainee took up much better early position this time for new rider Brian Hernandez Jr., and produced a strong kick down the stretch.

Rose to Gold shines in Delta Downs Princess

Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centofanti's Rose to Gold held off the determined run of fellow Calder shipper Touch Magic to take Saturday's Grade 3, $500,000 Delta Downs Princess by a half-length under jockey Paco Lopez. The Friends Lake juvenile miss was sent off the 5-2 second choice and paid $7.60, $5.60 and $4.60 while finishing the two-turn, fast-track mile in 1:39 1/5.

Fabulous Strike Handicap tops Wednesday card at Penn National

Named after one of the most accomplished horses to run at Penn National, the Fabulous Strike for sprinters boasts a deep field highlighted by the 5-2 morning line favorite Poseidon's Warrior. Winner of the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt in August at Saratoga Race Course, Poseidon's Warrior is coming off a dull effort in the Breeders' Cup Sprint on November 3 at Santa Anita, reporting home last.

Called to Serve strolls home in Discovery

Marc Ferrell's Called to Serve rallied from the back of a six-horse field in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct to take the 1 1/8-mile fixture for three-year-olds by a widening 4 3/4 lengths under Joel Rosario. The 7-2 second choice, Called to Serve paid $9.60, $3.60 and $2.40.

Groupie Doll breezes for Cigar Mile

Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Groupie Doll breezed a half-mile in :48 1/5 over Churchill Downs' fast dirt on Saturday morning in preparation for a possible start against the boys in the Grade 1, $350,000 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on November 24.

Awesome Gem to parade at Hollywood

Awesome Gem, who earned the biggest win of his illustrious career in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup in 2010, will be paraded between races on November 24 at Hollywood Park.

'Ebby' cruises in debut

Eric N. Kronfeld's homebred Eblouissante, a Bernardini half-sister to Horse of the Year and equine star Zenyatta, made her much anticipated debut in the 4TH race at Hollywood Park on Friday and, just like her big sis, flew home to score by 4 1/4 lengths on the wire.

Eclipse Award tickets available for purchase

Tickets for the 42nd annual Eclipse Awards, which will feature the announcement of 2012 Horse of the Year, are now available for purchase. The Eclipse Awards will be held January 19 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida.

My Wandy's Girl a candidate for Gazelle

Puerto Rican import My Wandy's Girl, who won Thursday's Pentelis overnight stakes at Aqueduct in her mainland debut to extend her winning streak to nine, could make a nine-day turnaround to compete in the Grade 1 Gazelle on November 24, trainer Mike Hushion said on Friday.

Big Sport of Turfdom Award to Romans

The Turf Publicists of America (TPA) announced Friday that trainer Dale Romans has been chosen as the 2012 winner of the organization's Big Sport of Turfdom Award. The annual honor is bestowed upon a person or group of people who enhance coverage of Thoroughbred racing through cooperation with media and Thoroughbred racing publicists.

Excitement builds for 'Ebby' debut

Social media sites have been buzzing for months. She already has her own Facebook page. Now the time is at hand; Zenyatta's half-sister is ready to make her debut in Friday's fourth race at Hollywood Park.

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